Plateau Effect - Don´t you hate it?
By Charles Hopkins
Published 11/27/2007 | Fitness
Well, my dear dieter.
I think you already know what iīm talking about.
Here you are, ten pounds lighter, enjoying the happiness of being
able to tell everybody that all your efforts were rewarded, when
suddenly...YOU STOP LOOSING WEIGHT.
Frequently there are still those final pounds you need to get rid of, the most stubborn ones.
What the @&%(#!
The Plateau effect has been known for about twenty years as the
phasis where the body "refuses" getting thinner. Itīs like the
metabolism enters a slow-motion state. Even reducing calories and
increasing physical activities donīt seem to work.
It usually comes when you reach a 10 to 15% of weight loss.
Some causes may be:
- Overestimated goals: You donīt need to loose anything and your body knows it.
- Less exercise: Maybe you didnīt notice it, but you may have diminished the time or frequency of your workout.
- Doing only aerobics: Itīs known that weight exercises are an essential complement to any fitness program.
- High restriction diet: Some people fail to eat enough! Too many hours without food are equally bad for your metabolism.
Your body has a memory and all your glands, subcutaneous fat cells
and digestive system are programmed to respect what they thin itīs a
The problem is that the fashion magazines keep pushing in on what THEY think itīs as ideal weight.
Your metabolism has hundreds of years of "experience" in hunger and
disease, since the cavemen. It gets scared when you try to eat less
calories and start to "save" for the future, by slowing the
This is not bad, itīs a defense mechanism, that has protected a lot
of pregnant women and entire ancient civilizations from dying during
winters and wars.
Now we have plenty of food (In some countries. Donīt forget to
thank God for this), microwave ovens and tasty malevolous
carbohydrates. With the abundance of food, we donīt need that defense
But you will just have to accept it.
You can restart your metabolism using these tips:
- Change and increase your activity: You can exercise up to five
times a week with a sixty minute program. Ask your Personal Trainer for
orientation and avoid ultra-low calories diets if exercising.
- Start resistance training: Use weights to create more fat- burning muscles.
- Drink more water: Water is an essential catalyzer for a lot of biochemical reactions in yuor body, donīt overlook it.
- Reassess what and how much you are eating: Never skip breakfast,
and try to stick with a three or four maximum interval between meals.
Is your calories table accurate? Are you really counting everything?
Donīt forget that sometimes your weight is stationary, but in
reality your organism has replaced fat with muscles. This is good, but
doesnīt show in the scale! Only the fat percentage exam can show this.
Avoid weighing yourself around the menstrual period. Itīs an hormonal mess and frequently causes overestimation of your weight.
Always empty your bladder before, and weigh only in the morning.
The plateau effect is a matter of "WHEN", not "IF".
It WILL happen, but the closer you get to your healthy weight, the least important it will be.