You’ve been on your weight loss plan for awhile and seeing good results. All of a sudden losing weight comes to a screeching halt. You haven’t changed your exercise or eating routine, but the scales just won’t drop any more. You’ve reached a plateau.
Weight loss plateaus can be discouraging and frustrating, but they can be overcome. The main thing is to have patience. Don’t throw your progress out the window now by resuming bad habits. More often than not, you just need to change things up a bit. Your body has gotten used to everything you’ve been doing and it needs some new challenges.
Body – [add a couple sentences to these suggestions]
Since your body has gotten used to things it’s time to try different types of exercise and step it up. Increase your intensity or the time you spend exercising. Your body responds to challenges. When it’s not challenged, it has no reason to burn extra fat or calories. In a way, it stalls out. It needs some new juice, so to speak. If you’re doing strength training you’ll also want to give that a boost too. You don’t have to go overboard, just adding a few new things into your daily routine can help get your body revved up again.
If you haven’t been keeping track of your food intake, this is a good time to start. You may be unintentionally slipping or not realizing how often you enjoy a cookie or other treat. This will also help you determine your daily caloric intake and decide if it’s time to drop a few calories each day. All too often, we don’t realize how many calories we’re actually consuming each day. Knowing your numbers is the best way to keep track of it and make decisions on where you need to cut back.
Don’t skip meals. I know most people think an easy way to cut calories is to not eat or to skip meals, but this is not the best way to lose weight or get over a plateau. Make sure you’re eating often enough and not starving yourself. Eating on a regular basis actually keeps your metabolism going throughout the day. Skipping meals will slow your metabolism way down. Be sure that you eat healthy snacks in between meals. Good choices are raw vegetables. Most vegetables are very low in calories and can be consumed at your leisure. Nuts are also good snack foord, but remember they are high in calories, so make sure you stay within your daily calorie range.
Stick with it. Just like you had to train yourself to stick with your new plan in the beginning, now is not the time to give up. Simply make some changes and give your body new challenges so it will return to the fat burning process. Upping your exercise routine and cutting back on a few calories are great ways to get you back in the weight loss zone and over that plateau. Keep going and don’t give up. You’ll push past it through to the other side.
If none of the above suggestions are working after a few weeks, it may be time to consult a professional for suggestions. This can be a physician or a personal trainer. A physician may run some routine tests to see if you’re having a thyroid issue or some other problem that’s preventing you from losing weight. A personal trainer can devise a plan for you to give you a good kick start and possible the kick in the butt you need to add a more rigorous program to your daily exercise routine.
You’ve come a long way. Congratulations on losing weight! You’ll get past this hump in the road called the plateau if you follow the above suggestions and create new challenges for your body. Just as we get bored with the same old routine, so does our body. Change things up, add some intensity and in no time you’ll see the scale going down again.