If you’re anything like most exercisers or those trying to lose weight, you have hit a plateau before. If you are one of the lucky few who haven’t, just know that it can happen. Although it can be a bit frustrating to see a lack of results with such hard work, it is possible to plow through a plateau.
First, it is important to understand why you have reached a plateau so you can easily identify it again in the future. When beginning an exercise or weight loss program, your body is not initially used to the exercise or reduced calories and responds very rapidly. However, eventually it becomes used to the change and that is when you no longer see results. Another cause of a plateau is extreme exercise or a diet that is too restricted in calories. When this occurs, your body may “shut down” as a protective mechanism. So what can you do to plow through a plateau?
Take a look at your fitness program and see if you are doing the same routine repeatedly. If this is the case, make it your goal to keep your muscles guessing. If you normally run or cycle, add in a weight training or kickboxing class. With a program that primarily incorporates weight lifting, try a crossfit or kettlebell workout. The key is to change it up as much as possible. Not only will you enjoy working out more, but you will also see amazing results.
Before throwing in the towel with your weight loss efforts, first re-evaluate your daily caloric intake. We are often perfect students when first beginning a nutrition program, but gradually we become more lax on following the rules. Log your food for three days and be brutally honest about your calorie requirements. Switch to eating smaller meals more frequently throughout the day if you are not already doing so. Another great strategy is to add in as many fresh, whole foods as possible. This will help you to stay full longer with less calories.
Instead of beating yourself up for hitting a plateau, respect your body and listen to what it is saying. Use the signal it is giving you to motivate yourself to kick your workouts up a notch or tighten the reigns a bit on your nutrition. By following these simple steps, you will plow through that plateau and move beyond to an even better version of yourself!
*The information on this site is designed for educational purposes only and has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. It is not intended to be a substitute for informed medical advice or care. You should not use this information to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any health problems or illnesses without consulting your pediatrician or family doctor. Thank you!
~by Kimberly Olson