Dr. Caroline Apovian - I have hit a plateau in losing weight, what can I do next?

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Most people when they lose weight are going to find periods of time in which they've hit a plateau, what's a plateau? You're on a weight loss trajectory, you're eating a low-calorie diet, you're losing about 1-2 pounds of weight per week and then after a for a day or weeks, or after you've lost maybe 10 pounds, you don't seem to lose any more weight.

That is your body's response to weight loss, your body thinks, unfortunately, that you're starving and it is doing what it can do to counteract your efforts to lose weight, so what is it doing? Unfortunately, your body is lowering its basal metabolic rate, so that it doesn't burn as much energy because again your body thinks that you're starving to death.

Because we have the same genes that we did eons ago when times were scarce, we had to conserve energy because there was no food around. And now we have too much food but we have the same genes and so now we have plateaus and it's our bodies response. Your body is not going to win if you keep going, so the idea is just keep doing what you are doing through that plateau after about a week or two your body is going to get the picture that you are still on the diet and you are going to keep dropping that weight.

After about maybe another 20 pounds of weight loss, you may hit another plateau and again your body is trying again not to have you lose any more weight because it's on another plateau, and the hormone changes have occurred to make you stop losing weight. But again if you just keep it up or maybe change your exercise pattern maybe go on and interment liquid diet for a few days you will break through that plateau.

So we have a lot of tips to break through plateaus, you can either keep doing what you are doing or change it up a bit in terms of your exercise or your diet and give yourself another boost of weight loss and you'll see that you'll break that plateau.