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Weight Loss Plateau October 3, 2007

Posted by Coolguy in Health.
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One of the most common frustrations in weight loss is when all progress halts, despite the fact that you are diligently following your plan. Such plateaus are predictable and explainable. Basal metabolic rate (BMR)—the energy required to keep the heart pumping, lungs expanding, kidneys filtering and all other vital bodily functions going when the body is at rest—accounts for 60 to 70 percent of the calories you burn and depends, for the most part, on body mass. When weight-loss occurs, body mass goes down; so does BMR.

Consider an example: You weigh 162 pounds and eat 1,900 calories a day. To lose a pound a week, you’ve got to cut between 500 and 600 calories per day. So you restrict yourself to 1,400 calories, and the weight comes off. But suddenly, after week six, the scale refuses to budge. This is because with the weight loss, your BMR has also declined, and where your body used to burn 1,368 calories per day, now it’s using only 1,080. At this weight, there’s less of you to move around, so you burn fewer calories working out and waste fewer calories as heat. All in all, your daily calorie expenditure is now pretty close to what you’re taking in. You’ve hit a new—and probably very annoying—equilibrium.

Tips to sustain:

Increasing physical activity is particularly useful for moving beyond a plateau, because exercise both uses calories and builds muscle.he more muscle you have, the higher your BMR, which is why working out with weights or doing some kind of resistance training can be especially helpful. In fact, increasing your muscle mass as you lose body fat can compensate for the decline in BMR induced by weight loss.

Up your protein quotient : There is some evidence that shows that shifting fat and carbohydrate calories to protein calories may help preserve BMR during weight loss. But don’t overdo it—twenty-percent of daily calories from protein is as high as you should go.

Switch to a new type of exercise. Alternate aerobic workouts with light weight training. A change may be just what you need to get the progress rolling again.

Zig0-Zag Calorie Intake

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