[ Brittany Baldwin | livewellnebraska.com ]

“Listen to your body. When your body tells you it needs rest, take the day off. When your joints say you overdid it during yesterday’s workout, lower your intensity the next day.”

After months of making progress towards achieving your weight loss goals, nothing is more discouraging than finding the scale just won’t budge. Here are four reasons why your results might have plateaued, as well as some solutions to overcome this weight-loss dead zone.

1. You are not eating enough.

When you deprive your body of the calories and nutrients it needs, your system enters starvation mode, because it is unsure when it will get another meal. Prolonged under-eating can cause your metabolism to permanently slow, making it nearly impossible for you to lose weight. It might even cause weight gain. To overcome an undereating-related plateau, increase your daily caloric intake by eating smaller and more frequently timed healthy meals. A good rule of thumb for meal timing is every 3 to 6 hours depending upon your individual appetite and needs.

2. You are overtraining.

Overtraining occurs when you consistently work out more frequently and/or more intensely than your body can handle. Overtraining typically occurs in individuals who either refuse to take a day off from working out, or those who insist on “going hard” each consecutive workout session. Prolonged overtraining can cause plateau, serious injury and even weight gain. The best way to prevent or overcome the effects of overtraining is to listen to your body. When your body tells you it needs rest, take the day off. When your joints say you overdid it during yesterday’s workout, lower your intensity the next day.

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