The Dreaded Weight Loss Plateau
What happens during a weight loss plateau? Well, it is important to know that glucose is the body’s primary energy source, and the storage form of glucose is glycogen. Glycogen is stored in muscle and liver tissue and consists of glucose along with water. During weight loss, glycogen stores are broken down for energy releasing water in the process. This loss of water results in a temporary rapid weight loss in the beginning of any weight loss attempt.
When losing weight, people may lose some muscle in the process, which can lead to a slower metabolism. However, in our program, our meal replacements and protein recommendations for grocery meals ensure that our patients receive sufficient protein to protect muscle mass during the weight loss phase. In a very low-calorie (VLCD) diet, the body’s metabolism eventually slows to adapt to the current low intake of energy. Thus, when one continues to consume the same number of calories, the person may reach a plateau in his or her weight.
When a patient in our program reaches a plateau, the individual may reach out to the medical provider and behaviorist to discuss ways to overcome this slowdown in their weight loss efforts. At our clinic, we know that each patient is different with varying food preferences, physical activities he or she enjoys, as well as social and work obligations that may also contribute to a weight loss plateau. Different suggestions may be explored depending on the person’s daily food intake, physical limitations, medications, and current exercise habits. Our clinic team encourages patients to consult our providers, behavioral health educators, or exercise physiologists for advice on how to best accommodate your personal circumstances in the safest and healthiest way possible.