Posted on 20 Jun 2019 Views 8762 Comments 18
Losing weight is a journey – and every journey has its ups and down. Here at Slim & Save, we frequently have members whose weight plateaus whilst doing the plan. We often hear reports from people who plateau particularly in weeks two or three, and again whilst nearing the end of their plan, when trying to lose their final stone or so. The latter is often experienced by members who have been on the plan for more than 13 weeks. In this article will aim to explain why these plateaus can happen, and give advice on how to overcome these to enable you to reach your target weight.
Firstly it’s important to recognise that weight plateaus are a feature of every diet or weight loss approach - weight loss is very rarely linear and it’s completely normal to have a more stepped approach to weight loss. Just because you will see periods of rapid weight loss on a VLCD, doesn’t mean you will not also see periods of plateau.
It’s also important to remember that it’s actually a good thing to have periods when weight plateaus or stabilises. Research studies show that if you have regular plateaus in between periods of faster weight loss, you’re more likely to keep the weight off long-term into the future.
When following a very low-calorie diet (VLCD) like Slim & Save, it’s very common to experience a plateau a couple of weeks into the diet. Weight loss is often much faster in the first couple of weeks due to the associated water loss that occurs. During the first few days of ketosis, your body will break down existing stores of muscle and liver glycogen (the body’s short time energy source). Each gram of glycogen is associated with 3-4 grams of water, so as your body breaks down glycogen, it loses the associated water as well, resulting in the initial fast weight loss.
Plateaus further into the plan or towards the end are extremely common and should be expected as part of the journey. Everyone is different and it is challenging to understand why these occur for some people more than others. As you lose weight, you will need fewer calories to sustain your new weight, so it is common for weight loss to slow down towards the end. The number of calories you get from the Slim & Save plans will still be low enough to stimulate continued weight loss, but this may well slow down the closer you get to your target weight.
Plateaus may also occur due to factors such as reduced exercise levels, hormonal changes (normal hormonal fluctuations as part of a monthly cycle, but also those related to stress) and sleep problems (getting good quality sleep is associated with more successful weight loss).
If you experience this, try not to panic and definitely don’t give up. You have to stay motivated and keep going to see continued results. Try following these tips to see you through:
Support and advice are always available from our website and customer service advisers, so please feel free to contact us by telephone or our Live Chat facility if you need more information or support.
Written by Annemarie Aburrow RD BSc (Hons) PGDip, Slim & Save Dietitian.
How do you cope when you hit a plateau? Leave your comments below to be in with a chance to win a Slim & Save Variety Bar Pack worth £36.99. Winning comment will be chosen on Wednesday 26th of June at 4 pm.
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