We all know that in order to lose weight, we need to eat healthy and exercise. But sometimes even when we do all of the right things, despite our best efforts, our weight just doesn’t budge.
As a Dietitian, I know how much of an impact what you eat will have on your weight loss success, but in some cases, it isn’t about the food. No matter how much you try to reduce your calories or follow a “diet”, it just won’t work.
If your usual approach to weight loss is to focus only on changing your eating habits, and you don’t incorporate exercise into your routine, you may lose weight at first, but over time your metabolism will slow down.
It will reach at point where you plateau and the only way to get off the plateau will be to either cut more calories or add exercise. If you choose to cut more calories, it may get you off the plateau temporarily, but again, your metabolism will slow down, making it more difficult for you to lose weight.
If you continue down this path and keep restricting your diet without exercise, you’ll experience muscle loss, which will lead to an even slower metabolism. At this point you need to be extremely careful because eventually you may reach a point where your weight won’t want to budge even though you are consuming fewer calories. To make it worse, when you have a day when you indulge, your weight will increase.
Here are 8 signs that you need to stop dieting to lose weight and increase your exercise
- You recently followed a low calorie or low carb diet and your weight has hit a plateau
- Your weight has yo-yo’d over the past 6 months
- You don’t have a lot of muscle
- You feel like your weight is stuck, even though you are eating healthy
- You have a job where most of the day you are sitting at a desk
- When you do exercise (which isn’t often) you don’t use weights
- Your energy levels are lower than you feel they should be
- You have a pedometer, and you barely reach 4000 steps in a day
Don’t fall into the trap of the metabolism slow-down and the dreaded plateau as a result of just “dieting” to lose weight. Remember, following a healthy meal plan and changing your eating habits to include whole foods, lean protein and lots of fruits and vegetables, while reducing sugars, refined foods, low nutrient processed foods, AND exercising regularly are both essential to weight loss.
Just check out these success stories from people who have lost more than 30 pounds and kept it off for over a year, at the National Weight Loss Registry
Have you ever hit a plateau with your weight loss? Post a comment and share what you did to get off your plateau!