Early after surgery, you may loose inches and pounds quite rapidly. Sooner or later, however, your rate of weight loss will slow down, or seem to stop. This is almost never a cause of concern, just a normal physical process. Your body has had a major change in its function. There is no reason to expect it to adjust to this change immediately!
Anyone who has attended support groups will tell you that plateaus are inevitable and should be taken in stride. Plateaus are not a sign that all your weight loss has stopped or that you will now begin to gain weight.
If a plateau continues more than a few weeks, it might be wise to look at the following:
- What are you eating? Check your nutritional program. Are you following your plan carefully? Have you maintained your caloric intake at a weight loss level? Are you careful to eat a nutritionally balanced diet?
- How much are you moving? Check your exercise program and activity level. Are you being consistent with your increased activity and the exercise you are doing? If you have decreased your exercise, your body may be slowing its fat-burning function.
- How much is new muscle? Have you added muscle-building exercises to your program? You may have built enough heavier muscle to offset some of your loss of the lighter fat.
- Do you need to change your intake/output balance? You may temporarily need to decrease your caloric intake and/or increase your exercise output to start losing again. Check with your physician or dietitian for recommendations about using this method to halt your plateau.
Most people, even competitive athletes, think about factors affecting their weight on a regular basis. This is normal and OK.
If you’ve reached your goal weight, these considerations will then keep you on the plateau. If you are still on the weight loss phase of your program, and have hit a plateau, it may be wise to consult with your physician or support team members about how to implement some of these strategies. Most of the time you will be surprised at how easy it is to overcome your plateau.