Losing weight can be a challenging journey. Just when you think you’re making progress, you hit a plateau. This frustrating phenomenon is known as a weight loss plateau, and it’s a common experience for many people.
But what exactly causes a weight loss plateau, and how can you overcome it? Let’s dive into the science behind weight loss plateaus and explore the reasons why your progress may have stalled.
From the effectiveness of supplements and various natural medications like semaglutide and tirzepatide to the role of natural weight loss methods, we’ll uncover the factors that are helping or hindering your weight loss journey and provide insights into how you can break through your plateau and lose weight.
The Factors Contributing To Weight Loss Plateaus
Understanding the factors that contribute to weight loss plateaus is crucial in overcoming this frustrating obstacle. There are several reasons why your progress may have stalled, and it’s important to address each one to successfully break through the plateau.
One common factor is metabolic adaptation. When you lose weight, your body naturally adapts to the new calorie intake by slowing down your metabolism. This means that you burn fewer calories than before, making it harder to continue losing weight.
Imbalances in insulin and sex hormones (estrogen, progesterone, testosterone) are also common culprits of stubborn weight. When insulin and blood sugar levels are off, it can cause sugar cravings, weakness, irritability, and excess belly fat.
An imbalance in sex hormones can lead to an inability to lose weight, in addition to muscle loss, poor sleep, memory problems, and sexual difficulties.
Stress and lack of sleep can hinder weight loss progress. When you’re stressed, your body releases cortisol, a hormone that promotes fat storage. Lack of sleep also disrupts hormonal balance, leading to increased appetite and decreased metabolism.
Another commonly overlooked weight loss factor is a properly functioning thyroid. It’s estimated that 20 million Americans have a thyroid problem, and up to 60% of them are completely unaware of it.
Hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid) accounts for 90% of all thyroid imbalances, and one of the primary symptoms of hypothyroidism is unexplained weight gain or the inability to lose weight.
Understanding The Role Of Metabolism In Weight Loss
Understanding the role of metabolism in weight loss is essential in overcoming weight loss plateaus. Your metabolism is the process by which your body converts food and drink into energy. It determines how many calories your body burns at rest.
When you lose weight, your body naturally adapts to the new calorie intake by slowing down your metabolism. This is known as metabolic adaptation. As a result, you burn fewer calories than before, making it harder to continue losing weight.
To overcome this, you need to find ways to boost your metabolism. One effective strategy is to incorporate strength training into your exercise routine. Building muscle mass can increase your metabolic rate and help you burn more calories.
You can also support your metabolism by fueling your body with the right vitamins and minerals through supplementation. Vitamins are compounds that help our bodies carry out processes that keep us alive.
They assist in everything from powering our metabolism, falling asleep, healing wounds, building muscle, maintaining our energy levels, and processing macronutrients like carbs, fats, and proteins.
While much of the vitamins and minerals our body needs comes from the foods we eat, many of us struggle to process those nutrients, leading to poor absorption.
Our functional approach to medical weight loss relies heavily on fixing absorption issues, imbalances, and addressing deficiencies.
Basic Strategies For Overcoming Weight Loss Plateaus
One effective approach is to focus on portion control. While you may be consuming healthy foods, excessive portion sizes can still hinder your progress.
Pay attention to serving sizes and consider using smaller plates to trick your brain into thinking you’re eating more than you actually are.
Another powerful strategy is to increase your protein intake. Not only does protein help keep you fuller for longer, but it also requires more energy to digest, meaning you burn more calories in the process.
Include lean sources of protein in each meal, such as chicken, fish, beans, or tofu.
Don’t neglect the importance of regular physical activity. Incorporating both cardiovascular exercises and strength training into your routine can help boost your metabolism and break through that weight loss plateau.
Natural Weight Loss Options
In addition to diet and exercise, there are also some natural weight loss options that you can consider to help break through that stubborn plateau. Two such options are semaglutide and tirzepatide.
Semaglutide was originally used to treat diabetes but has shown promising results for weight loss. It works by mimicking the effects of a hormone called GLP-1, which helps regulate appetite and food intake.
One large research study published in 2021 found that individuals who used semaglutide were able to lose an average of 14.9% of their body weight in just over a year.
Over 85% of people who took semaglutide lost more than 5% of their body weight when compared to the placebo group, where the percentage of people that lost more than 5% of their baseline body weight without taking semaglutide was 32%.
Additionally, an earlier small study of 30 individuals found that people who used semaglutide once a week ate an average of 24% fewer calories than a control group who did not use semaglutide.
Tirzepatide has shown potential for weight loss. It is a dual glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide (GIP) and GLP-1 receptor agonist, which means it targets multiple hormones involved in appetite regulation and glucose metabolism.
Studies have also shown that Tirzepatide may be particularly effective for people with a family history of diabetes mellitus or obesity, as it can help improve both glycemic control and body weight simultaneously.
Every person is different meaning every weight loss journey is different. While natural immediate weight loss options like semaglutide and tirzepatide may be helpful for some individuals, it’s important to consult with a Functional Medicine provider to look at the underlying factors causing weight gain and retention to ensure your weight loss is sustainable long-term.
Both Semaglutide and Tirzeptide are available at Kare Health & Wellness.
Moving Forward In Your Weight Loss Journey
Breaking through a weight loss plateau can be frustrating, but it’s important to remember that progress is possible. Along with considering options like semaglutide and tirzepatide, there are several other strategies you can try to overcome a plateau.
One often overlooked aspect is hydration. Staying properly hydrated is essential for overall health and can aid in weight loss. Drinking an adequate amount of water can help boost metabolism, control hunger, and even reduce calorie intake during meals.
Additionally, ensuring that you are getting enough sleep is crucial. Lack of sleep can disrupt hormone levels, leading to increased appetite and cravings for unhealthy foods. Aim for 7-9 hours of quality sleep each night to support your weight loss efforts.
Remember, everyone’s weight loss journey is unique, and what works for one person may not work for another. Stay patient, stay consistent with your diet and exercise routine, and consider consulting with a healthcare professional for personalized guidance.
To stay motivated, set realistic goals, track your progress, and celebrate your small victories along the way. With determination and perseverance, you can break through your weight loss plateau and continue on your journey towards a healthier lifestyle.
If you’re ready to work with a Functional Medicine professional to reach your weight loss goals, connect with our team. We can help you look and feel your best,
Losing weight can be an incredibly frustrating and difficult process for many people. Often the reasons for our struggles with weight loss are not as simple as just eating less and exercising more.
Our integrative weight loss approach begins with a thorough history and physical with one of our medical providers. Our advanced diagnostic testing will provide information as to how your body is processing hormones, vitamins and nutrients.
Our team will walk through each step of this process until you break down barriers, reach a healthy weight and meet your goals.
We are dedicated to providing a balanced, integrative plan for how to lose weight that eliminates toxins, reduces inflammation and restores balance. If you’re ready to take control of your weight, connect with our team.