Your Weight Loss Journey
How does a typical weight loss journey look like?
During the initial stage of a weight loss journey, weight loss tends to be faster, then as you move forward in your weight loss journey, the rate of weight loss tends to slow down or some times stop (pleatue) for several reasons:
Water Weight Loss: When you start a new diet or exercise routine, your body may release stored glycogen, which holds onto water. This initial loss is often mistaken for fat loss.
Caloric Deficit: In the beginning, if you create a significant caloric deficit (by burning more calories than you consume), you'll experience faster weight loss. This can be achieved through a combination of diet and exercise.
Higher Initial Metabolism: If you're starting from a higher weight, your body may require more calories to maintain that weight. As you reduce your calorie intake, you create a larger deficit, leading to more rapid initial weight loss.
Increased Motivation and Adherence: In the early stages, you may feel highly motivated and committed to your weight loss goals. This can result in strict adherence to your diet and exercise plan, which contributes to faster progress.
Adaptation Phase: Initially, your body may be more responsive to changes in diet and exercise. It takes time for your metabolism to adapt to a new routine, which can lead to more substantial weight loss at the start.
Metabolic Adaptation: As you lose weight, your body's metabolism may slow down, meaning it burns fewer calories at rest. This can happen because your body requires fewer calories to maintain a lower weight.
Plateau Effect: After an initial period of rapid weight loss, your body may reach a plateau where it becomes more resistant to further weight loss. This can happen due to various factors, including changes in diet, exercise routine, and metabolism.
Lack of Sufficient Caloric Deficit: Initially, you might be in a significant caloric deficit, which leads to rapid weight loss. However, as you lose weight, your calorie requirement decrease, which calls for change in your present calorie regime.
Loss of Lean Muscle Mass: If your weight loss is too rapid or not accompanied by strength training exercises, you may end up losing lean muscle mass. This can slow down your metabolism and make it harder to continue losing weight.
Stress and Hormonal Factors: High levels of stress can lead to the release of hormones like cortisol, which can affect your body's ability to lose weight. Hormonal imbalances (hypothyroidism, PCOS etc) can also play a role in slowing down weight loss progress.
Remember, it's important to approach weight loss in a balanced and sustainable way. Consulting a Registered Dietitian (RD) is very important to develop a personalized diet plan and monitor the progress and take account of your specific needs and goals and prevent excessive muscle loss.
It's important to note that initial rapid weight loss is often a mix of water weight, fat loss, and sometimes muscle loss. As you continue your weight loss journey, it's essential to focus on sustainable habits to ensure long-term success. A balanced approach that includes a healthy diet, regular exercise, and gradual progress is key to achieving and maintaining a healthy weight.