At the start of the year, you were fired up. You had an exercise plan in place, you were ready to learn to cook from scratch to get the best out of your meals and you bought the latest fitness equipment to help you on your weight loss journey. As time went on, the weight dropped off and the clothes sizes shrunk, and then all of a sudden, your weight losses stopped. This is what we call a plateau.
It may be a normal part of the process, but it’s a frustrating one! When you’re looking longingly at the old treats you used to have and the scales haven’t budged for a few weeks, it becomes very easy to want to slip back into old habits. The good news here is that a plateau doesn’t have to last. If you’re changing up the eating habits for your diet regularly and making subtle changes to your exercise routine, there’s no reason you can’t move past the plateau and carry on in your weight loss efforts. Once your body is used to living a certain way, the weight loss stalls. The trick to getting over a plateau is all in the surprise element. If you’ve stuck to the same exercise and workout routines for a few months, you need to change things up. We’ve got some pretty good ways you can do this while avoiding giving up entirely:
- Strength Training. Cardio can only take you so far on your weight loss efforts and while cardio is wonderful for burning off calories like no tomorrow, there’s no way for you to build muscle. Believe it or not, adding in a strength training workout or two a week in place of your regular cardio routines can change your entire response to exercise. You may stall in terms of the pounds on the scales, but you’ll notice changes in inch-loss and your clothing, which means that you are still managing to shed weight!
- Portion Control. This whole time, you’ve been calorie counting and allowing only the smallest of treats per week to keep you on track. Keeping a food diary on apps like this one can help you to be mindful about your portions and how much you’re actually eating. It may be surprising, but you sometimes need to eat more food to get your metabolism working properly. Start looking at your portions and ensure they measure up to the workout level you’ve been maintaining.
- Protein. Adding lean proteins in the form of meat and beans to your meals can make a huge difference to the rate of weight loss. Your body requires repair as you work out and if you aren’t replacing your muscles by eating the right proteins. Small, regular portions of protein can do wonders for your body in the same way loading with veggies does!
Your body is an amazing thing and will lose fat and gain muscle. Overcoming a plateau doesn’t have to be hard – just stick with it and it’ll move forward!