Causes of a weight loss plateau Part 1
Eating more than you think
It is only natural that when calories have been restricted we become more “heavy handed” with our servings and pretend that they are smaller. This is known as under reporting, and it can throw off weight loss data. This occurs because subconsciously our body wants more food for energy. So instead of eating 2500 calories to lose weight we eat 3000 calories and maintain our weight or gain weight, but our records of what we eat still say 2500 calories.
Solution: Self-discipline is key here because if we don’t give into our cravings and natural desires we can continue to eat the right amount of calories for weight loss. To be as accurate as possible we can use food scales to weigh our food to ensure that we are not eating more than we are supposed to eat.
Decreases in LBM(Lean Body Mass)
When we lose weight we inevitably lose LBM, which is metabolically active (requires calories to be maintained). When this happens it drops our RMR (Resting Metabolic Rate) which is how many calories we burn per day without doing a single thing and our TDEE (total daily energy expenditure) which is calories burned during exercise/daily activities plus RMR. Therefore, as weight loss occurs we lose LBM and our caloric needs are reduced, which means we must drop calories further.
Solution: The best way to offset this loss in LBM is to engage in resistance training because it stimulates muscle protein synthesis (which tells the body to keep LBM instead of burning it for energy). Furthermore, eating a diet high in protein (.55-.91g per lb. of body weight) can make losses in LBM less significant.