Weight Loss Plateaus occur when you no longer lose weight despite your exercise and nutrition efforts. To officially be in a plateau you must be at the same weight for at least 6 weeks or more. If you find your weight fluctuates after the weekend or after certain types of foods (salty, high carbs) then the plateau may be easier to push through than you think.
You usually lose more weight in the first few weeks/months of your weight loss efforts because of the change in your nutrition and exercise. It is basic math. Calories in calories out. Burn more than you take in and you will lose weight and usually more water weight. According to the Mayo Clinic the body is releasing stored glycogen in the first phase of weight loss and that results in the quick loss of pounds. As time goes on your metabolism burns fewer calories with the same work.
How do you push through a plateau?
NEVER use fat burners or drugs to activate the fat burning or to push your metabolism faster. It will do more harm than good and could end up causing serious damage to your metabolism.
1) Return to math. Calories in calories out. You must assume that your metabolism has slowed and become used to the new activity and nutrition routine. You must step up the level of intensity of your exercise, do more of it, or lower your calories.
2) Track everything! If you really want to know where you need the most improvement then track every bite you eat and every workout you do. Share it with a workout buddy, coach, personal trainer etc. See if he/she can offer suggestions. I’ve seen trackers where someone will eat 1500 calories in a day but they are empty calories. 0 calorie jello etc. Don’t do that. Don’t eat your meals from box that says low fat or no fat. Focus on fresh fruits and veggies and make the calories count.
3) Eat breakfast. If you want the furnace to burn you have to put in the wood. Never skip breakfast even if you think you are not hungry. I have Shakeology every morning for breakfast. Decide what works for you. Even if it is a just a piece of fruit and ½ an English muffin get it in your belly. I’ve seen people not eat breakfast, wait to have lunch until 2pm and then have a huge dinner at 7 and then go to bed. No wonder they were having issues. Their body was starving.
4) Don’t eat 2 to 3 hours before bed. Or eat very light. Your stomach needs blood to function and digest. Eating a steak and then going to bed an hour later is not good for your digestion. Drink water, have a light snack if you really need it but you should feel your stomach start to grumble when you go to bed.
5) Eat more fruits and veggies. Get the garbage out of the house. If your pantry is only full of healthy stuff then good for you. I challenge you to step up your servings of fruits and veggies and limit grains, meat and dairy as much as possible.
6) Drink tons of water. When I say tons I don’t actually mean tons. I mean about a gallon a day. Sure you will go pee a lot but your body needs water to function. Your cells need water to function. Keep it hydrated.
7) Weight training. Some people only focus on cardio. They say “I don’t want to bulk up.” “Weight lifting is boring.” I have news for you. There are many workout programs that have weights and cardio that are fun. Of course Beachbody has several. I can recommend a few. There is a new Nike + Xbox game out too. Find a way to add weight training to your life a few days a week and you will see your metabolism pick back up again.
8) Chang e up the routine. If you walk 3 miles a day and do the elliptical 4 days a week and you are stuck then you are in a rut. Movement doesn’t equal success all the time. You must have resistance in there and really get a sweat going to see results. I’ve seen people ride machines at the gym and they are barely doing anything. They are reading a book or talking on the phone. Nope! Get off the phone and get pumping.
9) Complete the 21 day Ultimate Reset. It is a 3 week program offered by Beachbody and it worked wonders on my health. It tells you exactly what to eat and when. 99% of the people I know who completed it have lost 10 or more pounds in the 3 weeks. If you want to get control of your nutrition that is the key.
10) Eat out less. Know what you are eating and how much. There are some salads out there that are over 1500 calories. Prepare your stuff at home and take it with you.
11) Personal Development. Go the library, search on youtube, or whatever it takes. Listen and read personal development audio as much as possible. The more inspired you are the more you want to work harder at your vision.
So there you have it. A few tips to get through a plateau. You can always ask me anything. Show me your food journal and I’ll speak the truth. Tell me your routine and I’ll give you tips on how to move it around.
Be honest with yourself about why you are having the plateau and I’m sure you will push through.