You’ve struggled to wake up and drag yourself out of bed, get ready and actually get to the gym. After weeks or months of this, you have finally gotten used to the routine.
For the first month or so, you have been losing weight steadily - I mean that’s your reward after all those morning struggles and craving quashing, but suddenly the scale stops dipping. Alas, you’ve hit a weight loss plateau. Weight loss plateau is the period when the rapid weight loss slows down or stops happening. It eventually happens to everyone who tries to lose weight. This comes as surprise to most people because they still eat carefully and exercise regularly. But why does it happen?
In the first few weeks of exercising, a rapid drop in the weight is normal, especially when you come from a sedentary lifestyle. Exercise combined with a lowered calorie intake makes the body get its needed energy by releasing its stores of glycogen, a type of carbohydrate found in muscles and liver. Glycogen is partly made of water, so when glycogen is utilized for energy, it releases water - this is what we call getting rid of the water weight.
When we lose weight, we also lose some muscle with the fat. Muscle helps keep our calorie burning rate. Naturally, when we lose weight, our metabolism declines, which causes us to burn fewer calories than we did at our heavier weight. It automatically follows that the slower the metabolism, the slower the weight loss - even when we eat the same number of calories that helped us lose weight. When the calories we burn equal the calories we eat, we hit a plateau.
How do we avoid this?
Reassess your over-all habits. Check your food and activity logs (It pays to have one). Don’t let yourself just go through the motions of working out just because you’re already used to it.
Eat less. It’s simple - we reach a plateau once our calorie intake equals the amount of effort we exert to burn it. So, we have two choices: either we eat less or exercise more.
Take your workout to the next level. If you’re like me whose main struggle is dieting, I would suggest to challenge yourself more in the gym. Don’t be satisfied with your existing regimen - challenge yourself. Lift heavier weights, spend a longer time on the treadmill, or you can even get into HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training), whatever way you wish to challenge yourself, own it! Remember: The Journey does not stop.
Do more physical activities outside the gym. Whether it’s taking the stairs, walking to work if possible, doing random lunges throughout the day, or even taking a sport, increase your general physical activity. It does not need to be strenuous at all times. You just need to keep moving!
If you want to go the extra mile, I recommend my perfect combination: Nutra Botanics’ BCAA and L- Carnitine!
BCAAs or branched-chain amino acids are a special group. This chain is made up of three essential amino acids: leucine, isoleucine, and valine. BCAAs stimulate protein synthesis. Simply put, more protein means more muscle. The more muscles you grow, the higher your calorie-burning rate is which will lead to a faster metabolism, and eventually weight loss. BCAAs also contain Valine which counteracts tryptophan which is converted into serotonin. Because of this, BCAA supplements can help reduce stress and let you take your workout sessions to another level.
To complete the combination, I also suggest taking L-Carnitine 5000. L- Carnitine is touted as the “ferry” that transports long-chain fatty to be used as energy or fuel. Now, if you want to speed up and maximize fat usage as efficiently and as effectively as possible, L-Carnitine is what you need. Without adequate L-Carnitine, most fats cannot get into the mitochondria and be converted into energy. L- Carnitine is guaranteed to work best when you exercise.
Don’t Let a Plateau Be an Avalanche
I know, I know - it’s frustrating to keep working hard without seeing results. You have to remember, though, that you’ve hit a plateau because you are no longer in the same place as you were before. It only means that your body is asking you to do more. It wants continuous development. Are you up for it?