What Are Plateaus

The rate of weight loss may not be consistent throughout your efforts. Weight loss rate may be greater earlier on, taper off as the regimen continues and even plateau. First and foremost, this is typical! Periods of plateau can represent your body's adaptation to the energy restriction by slowing down a bit. As a survival mechanism, your metabolism can slow

Energy Metabolism and Body Weight 185 Table 8.6 Energy Expended During Various Sports

Activity Approximate Energy Expended (Calories/pound of body weight/

minute)

Activity Approximate Energy Expended (Calories/pound of body weight/

minute)

100 lb (45.5 kg)

120 lb (54.5 kg)

140 lb (63.6 kg)

(90 kg)

Bicycling

5 mph

1.9

2.3

2.7

3.1

3.5

3.9

10 mph

4.2

5.1

5.9

6.8

7.6

8.5

15 mph

7.3

8.7

10

11.6

13.1

14.5

20 mph

10.7

12.8

14.9

17.1

19.2

21.3

Running

6 mph

7.2

8.7

10.2

11.7

13.1

14.6

7 mph

8.5

10.2

11.9

13.6

15.4

17.1

8 mph

9.7

11.6

13.6

15.6

17.6

19.5

9 mph

10.8

12.9

15.1

17.3

19.5

21.7

Skiing

6.5

7.8

9.2

10.5

11.9

13.2

(downhill)

Skiing (cross

country)

2.5 mph

5

6

7

8

9

10

4.0 mph

6.5

7.8

9.2

10.5

11.9

13.2

5.0 mph

7.7

9.2

10.8

12.3

13.9

15.4

Soccer

5.9

7.2

8.4

9.6

10.8

12

Tennis

5

6

7

8

9

10

Walking

3 mph

2.7

3.3

3.8

4.4

4.9

5.4

4 mph

4.2

5.1

5.9

6.8

7.6

8.5

5 mph

5.4

6.5

7.7

8.7

9.8

10.9

Weightlifting

5.2

6

7.3

8.3

9.4

10.5

down to accommodate imbalances in energy intake. Some of this will be hormonal (for example, thyroid hormone) while the bulk of it is due to the loss of body tissue, especially muscle. This is one of the most important reasons to do some resistance exercise during weight loss. This will help your body hold on to as much muscle as possible as you lose weight and minimize the reduction of RMR.

Weight loss plateaus happen and should be used to re-evaluate your calorie level and exercise program to make adjustments.

Keep in mind that changes in body weight do not always reflect changes in body composition. This is why it is important to monitor body composition with body weight. Furthermore, make note of changes in "fatty" regions of the body such as the waist, face, and chin. Your clothes may begin to fit differently and you may feel less jiggling when climbing stairs. Your exercise program can lead to tape measurements of different body parts as your body composition changes and you redistribute your weight. Furthermore, health risk measures can continue to change as you stick with your program. So even though the scale isn't moving you are probably still making progress. This is a good time to start weighing yourself less frequently and focus on other measures.

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