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The weekly weigh in
First thing in the morning, on that same day every week, post pee but pre breakfast, you jump on the scale in eager anticipation of this week’s drop. Every week up until now you’ve been regularly dropping one or two pounds between weigh ins and progress has been going great.
The one day, on you hop, and – nothing.
The scale still reads exactly as it did last week.
Off you get, give the scales 20 seconds to reset, and jump back on again. But nope – same thing. That number is the same as seven days ago, so what gives?
Reasons for Weight Loss Plateaus
First off, weight loss plateaus are very common and there really isn't any need to get worked up over them. It may even be the case that you've lost fat, but gained weight in another way.
This could be through gaining muscle if you've recently taken up weight training. Additionally, a change in routine can cause inflammation and swelling, which will also show up as weight gain. Likewise, if you've eaten more carbs the day before, had a particularly large meal before going to bed, or are carrying excess water weight, your weight may appear to have increased according to the scale.
This is why it’s important not to put all your trust in the scale. At the end of the day, it is only a number.
Your stomach contents has a huge impact on your weight too, and without getting into the finer details, whether or not you’ve been to the toilet recently can change what you weigh in at.
Another point to consider is that the longer you diet for and the longer you’ve been losing weight, the more likely it is that weight loss will slow down. This is due to the fact that dieting is not a particularly metabolism-friendly activity.
Your metabolic rate is the speed at which you burn calories. A higher metabolism is always preferable when losing weight as it means your body has a higher turnover rate, so you can eat more food while still burning it off.
Your metabolism is directly linked to how many calories you consume. (It is also influenced by your age, sex, activity levels and genetics, but diet is a big factor.) The more calories you consume, the higher your metabolism. Clearly though, dieting requires a need for a reduced calorie intake. When you start dieting and cutting your calories, it’s likely your metabolism won’t be impacted much, so you’ll keep burning calories at a higher rate.
The longer you eat a reduced calorie diet for though, the slower your metabolism gets, so you may be eating the same, but you’ll be burning less.