Now we’re going to take a look at the fat loss journey itself.
Something nobody can avoid are plateaus.
This is normal. It’s supposed to happen, the progress you make is not linear, it never is despite how much you hope it will be. So what can you do if a plateau is inevitable?
You want to anticipate the plateau. When there is a plateau in weight loss it generally boils down to three reasons.
New Maintenance calories
Most people will freak out because their weight hasn’t changed. They are doing everything right according to the books, yet still they aren’t losing weight. Generally what happens is people will go forth and cut their calories and add in a few days of cardio, BIG MISTAKE. What that then does is increase your cortisol levels (hormonal stress levels) drastically. When your cortisol levels are increased one of the likely side effects is water retention. So in reality, you will continue to can gain some weight and generally what follows is giving up early, when success was just around the corner. When you gain weight in the form of water, you are still losing fat, as long as you’re in a caloric deficit. Weight gain occurs simply due to the retention of water in the body, so relax.
Patience and anticipation are two keys for a successful fat loss program.
After a while, when you have been consistently losing weight for consecutive weeks or months, it will naturally become more difficult to lose fat at the same rate. Keep this in mind. One way to overcome this type of plateau is to incorporate refeeds into your diet.
Refeeding is basically a planned increase in the amount of food that you would typically be eating to lose weight. Refeeding has been studied and results show countless benefits for the mind and body.
The best type of refeed I would recommend would be over a single day (24 hours). This is simple, effective and sustainable.
Leptin has become the new craze of the fitness world and for good reason. It is one of the hormones which is responsible for the regulation of hunger, libido, drive, your metabolism. Leptin levels usually drop when you are below your caloric maintenance. As leptin is responsible for your metabolic rate your metabolism slows, appetite increases, while your drive and emotions tend to take a dip.
So what does leptin have to do with refeeds and a fat loss plateau. Without getting too scientific, when you increase calories, especially carbs, over your maintenance (as you would in a theoretical refeed day), leptin levels increase significantly. This then results in a boost in your mood, testosterone, dopamine and boosts your metabolism. Overall, when done in a controlled manner this action will benefit fat oxidation. Following the refeed you will experience a pleasant increase in fat loss in the following days. This will keep you on track with your goals and also will ensure you are mentally sane when dieting for prolonged periods.
At the end of the day, you must be conscious that the only way refeeding works is with strong self-control.
Overall it’s important to have patience and adherence in your fat loss endeavor. Understand that progress will not be continuous and linear but over the long haul the progress will trend in a particular direction.
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