Plateau. What a horrid word for any of us who are trying to lose weight! I’ve reached this point quite a few times and just given up because it was too frustrating. I’ve decided to dig deeper and find out why we plateau and what we can do to avoid it from happening again!
- What does a weight loss plateau really even mean?
When someone hits a plateau in terms of losing weight, it generally means that despite their best efforts to continue exercising and eating healthy, their weight stays exactly the same. Yes, this does happen to almost everyone trying to lose serious weight. At this point, losing additional weight becomes more difficult. But only because people let the numbers on scale get to them. Don't do it! Try harder, switch things up.
- How can I avoid a plateau?
You may hit a plateau even with the advice I am about to offer, but these are your best tips for not hitting the dreaded plateau! Firstly, I suggest keeping a food diary if you aren’t already. You will most likely discover that you are snacking heavily after working out and killing any chance of your workout actually benefiting you. You may realize that even though you only eat a few times a day, your caloric intake is 4000, who knows! It can’t hurt to be more aware of everything that is entering your body, though. Once you’ve figured out roughly how many calories you’re eating a day, try to cut that number down. Right now I am on a 2000 calorie a day diet, I plan to cut 100 calories off every other week.
Next, you need to step up your game a bit. Add an extra mile to your run or walk every week or once a month, whenever you feel ready for an increase. Or maybe you could just try to run or walk faster. Whatever you’re more comfortable with. You could always alternate between maybe 5 minutes of walking and then a minute of heavy jogging. You could expand on this as you feel comfortable. Anything to keep your body from getting too used to whatever you’re doing!
Try to incorporate some weight training into your exercise regimen. I don’t mean that you need to pump iron and come out looking like Arnold or anything, simply just add a few reps every other day with some weights, or maybe use ankle weights & wrist weights if you’re walking or running.
Change is good. If you’re doing the same thing night after night, your body will build up tolerance and you won’t be seeing as much beneit anymore. Mix things up by perhaps buying a bunch of different work out dvd’s and switching them out each week. Using the same one weeks after weeks might be comfortable, but it’s not going to do you much good in the long run.
I highly suggest letting as many friends and family in on what you’re doing to try and lose weight and try and get their support. Maybe you have a friend who is interested in losing weight and would like to try it with you! Make sure you have someone you can call to keep you motivated if you just aren’t feeling like doing it. Even if all you do is find a buddy on sparkpeople.com or buddyslim.com, it’s just got to be someone you can rely on to motivate you! Having the support of those around you is wonderful, so try it!
Most importantly: do not let your plateau get to you. Keep on moving, keep dieting, keep going! You can reach your goal, you just need to want it badly enough. Do you want it?