What to do when you plateau. So you’ve been working out regularly and you’re eating well and you’ve been losing weight and getting stronger and now all of a sudden, it feels like you hit a wall. Everything seems stop dead in its tracks and you are frustrated and ready to give up. It’s happened to all of us and it can be an extremely frustrating moment in your journey to health.
WHAT TO DO WHEN YOU PLATEAU
Is it really a plateau? After the initial honeymoon period is over and your progress has slowed down and maybe you’ve even (gulp!) put on a pound a or two, you might be thinking you have plateaued. The truth is that if you are doing everything right, chances are you are still losing weight, but perhaps at a slower place. If you stay on track then your weight loss will accelerate again as your body adjusts to this new way of life.
Start your food journal. It’s time to check-in and be honest with yourself. Are you snacking just a little bit more? Or maybe you are letting your diet (aka healthy meals) slide a little. One extra glass of wine is a non issue, right? Go back to the basics and start writing down every food that touches those lips and yes, that includes liquids.
Re-asses how much you are trying to lose. The truth is that it’s harder to lose the last 10 lbs when you are in a healthy range than the first 10lbs when you are overweight. When you are in this range, you’ll need to approach fat loss in a different way. Your body will be hanging on to calories and it’s vital that you don’t start eating even less or your metabolism will go into starvation mode and you might even gain weight. Make sure that you are eating enough to fuel your needs.
Re-vamp your workout. How do you get better at something? You do it over and over again. That’s exactly what happens when you work out, your muscles become more and more efficient at getting stronger. This is the ideal time to try something new or to simply change up your workout. Aim for a few more reps or add some weight or try a different cardio routine and up the intensity. It’s also a good idea to pay attention to what you are doing outside of your gym. If you have a sedentary job, make an effort to get up and move every few hours.
Get enough rest. It’s hard to shift your mindset when you are feeling energized and good about yourself. Chances are you might actually be pushing too hard. Take a day off, do some yoga or stretching and make sure that you are getting enough sleep. Rest is just as important as work for your muscles as they need the recovery time to repair themselves. Also, not getting enough sleep means that you might start to overeat and you won’t be able to train as properly. So you see, getting rest is a win, win, win situation.
Get yourself checked out. I’m adding this tip because if you find that you are really and truly doing everything right and you find that you aren’t losing any weight and maybe have gained a pound or two it’s probably a safe bet to get yourself checked out. From a very personal standpoint, I had this exact thing happen to me and it turned out that it was my thyroid. So no matter how hard I was working, my body just wasn’t responding.
So if you are embarking on a new diet or fitness regime, the key is to anticipate that you will have a dip or slow down in your progress. Don’t let this derail you and instead, focus on the small things that are happening and let it empower you to work a little harder to get past the slowdown and to keep moving forward.
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