Over time, as we lose weight, our bodies might adapt to a lowered calorie levels. This happens because our body becomes more efficient using energy (lower metabolism). If metabolism declines, a fewer calories will be burned compared to when we we were heavier, therefore, burning less fat. Thus, the slower metabolism will also slow down our weight loss, even if we eat the same number of calories that once helped us to lose weight. When the calories we burn equal the calories we eat, then we most likely reached a "weight loss plateau". But do not panic!, If this is your case, this is the right article for you.
Often I have this question from users:
Why the nearer I get to my weight goal, the harder it gets?
Continually reducing the number of calories we consume only helps the lower metabolism. So, from the moment we come back to our eating habits, the weight comes back to us.
What can we can do?
At this point, the only solution is boosting metabolism. Here is how:
- Recalculate daily calorie needs(DCN): As we lose weight DCN should be recalculated based on our new weight since a person's energy expenditure decreases as they get lighter, meaning that the amount of food intake that once resulted in weight loss, will only maintain by then. We have created automatic tools/apps to make this periodic recalculations..
- Increase cardio / changing workout routines: are you stuck on the same workout routine? then maybe it is time to change it. Over time, muscles become familiar with the same workout, making usual routines less effective. To see a change in weight and body fat, we most likely need to get outside our comfort zone. Try to do High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)(burns body fat more effectively) or alternate walking and running intervals. Just be careful when incorporating HIIT into your routine. You could get sore, tired or injured.
- Increase muscle mass: Lifting heavier weights and strength-training help to build muscle. The more muscle you have, the more calories you burn and the more body fat you get rid of.
- Cheat your brain: We have demonstrated that the hypothalamus memorise our feeding habits for periods of time. One way to cheat this complex process is by eating occasional high-calorie meals or weekly cycling DCN, e.g. If your DCN has been adjusted to 1800 per day, eat the following: day 1 (2000cals), day 2 (1600cals), day 3 (1800), day 4 (1700), day 5 (1900), day 6 (1850) and day 7 (1750) so that we cheat our brain without affecting the recommended DCN.
- Recalculate nutrient ratios: We have created a tool/app, "Calorie Breaker", to help you calculate the right calorie needs per macro-nutrient. Our tool/app nutrition ratios have been adapted to effective weight loss.
- Sleep properly: A good sleep is vital for losing weight and body fat because it helps synthesizing the right vitamins and resets hormones. Even a little sleep shortage can lead to increased cortisol, a stress hormone. High cortisol levels can lead to body fat accumulation around the midsection.
- Drink enough liquids: Stay hydrated. We often crave food when we are poorly hydrated. Try to drink 80-100 ounces (2.35 liters) of water per day plus additional enriched fluids lost during workouts.
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We encourage you to test what has been discussed on this blog by yourself and let us know about your experience, your progress and achievements in the comments section below. The results of these experimental program will be presented at international conferences and hopefully published in high impact medical and scientist journals. Your involvement and interaction as well as your contribution is important for us since the information and voluntary donations you provide will be further used for adapting, modifying and improving our programs.
Virtual Personal Trainer approach is recommended for healthy adults only. This site is not intended for use by minors or individuals with any type of health condition. Such individuals are specifically advised to seek professional medical advice prior to initiating any fitness or nutrition effort or program.
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