How many times have you attempted to lose weight? Each time you attempted chances are, you were successful to some degree, whether you lost 5lbs., 10lbs., or maybe more. The struggle sets in for most people when fat loss is at a standstill. . . as humans, we like constant progress and instant gratification. If we’re nailing our diet and exercise program, we expect to see the linear drop on the scale. Unfortunately, that’s just not the way it works.
When we hit a plateau, this can be discouraging, especially when we feel like you’re doing everything right! This is when most people give up, and revert back to old habits, which ultimately leads to weight regain, and for most people even more weight is put back on! So what’s a person to do when the “dreaded” plateau hits?
KEEP GOING! You see, a plateau is the perfect practice for when you hit your maintenance/goal weight. Think of it as a time to get good at sticking with your program even when the scale isn’t dropping. If you practice maintenance, once you actually get there, you’ll be able to keep the weight off for good!
It’s also important to remember, fat loss isn’t linear, and if you’re only using the scale as a means to measure your progress, it’s likely your progress line is all over the place, because the scale fluctuates based on numerous factors. You have to keep going, keep exercising and eating healthy/nutritious foods and eventually, the results will come.
Dieting for 4-6 weeks, or even 12 weeks isn’t the magic solution! You have to learn how to eat, even when the fat loss goal has been reached, you have to know how to eat for maintenance. Use your periods of plateaus to help with that! It’s also important to remember that the metabolism is adaptive and reactive, meaning that if you’ve been eating the same things and doing the same exercises for too long, the body will naturally adapt and expend less calories. This means you’ve got to change what you’re doing!
HERE ARE MY 3 TIPS ON SURVIVING THE PLATEAU & BREAKING THROUGH:
- Don’t look at is as a negative thing! Remember, it’s good practice for maintenance. . . MAINTENANCE MAKES PERFECT! If you can stick to your eating and exercise plan while in a plateau, your chances of long-term success are great!
- If you’ve been eating the same foods/calories for several weeks and doing the same exercise routine, it’s probably time to switch it up to “trick” the metabolism (i.e. If you’ve been eating 5-6 meals a day and exercising 6x’s a week, try eating 3 meals a day and only exercising 3-4 times a week).
- Stop stressing and get some sleep! Elevated cortisol levels can make our bodies hold on to extra fat, so make sure you’re getting plenty of rest and recovery.
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