Fitness: Hitting the Plateau
What to do when you have hit the Plateau?
This is the number one question I get from people who are trying to get in shape. It all seems so easy an dgreat in the beginning. You may have begun your new way of life and are feeling much better, your dropping pounds and your body is looking great. Then a few weeks or months go by you see no progress your body seems to have shut down and is no longer agreeing with your way of life. You freak (as do I most of the time) and either give up on the lifestyle all together or begin a new regime that is far more strict making you further unhappy. Trust me when I say I have been at this Plateau moment and from speaking with many of you challengers out there you have too.
What a plateau is?
You body becomes used to the current weight you are at and to avoid starvation it doesn’t release any more pounds. You body essentially senses that it is not getting as much food as it you used to, this is the same for exercise you body starts to level out hence the term “Plateau”. So what can you do to combat this type of plateau? You need to slightly increase your calories so your body gets out of the starvation mode, intensify your current workout plan, drink more water and lastly include more protein your diet. (refer to this article).
Are YOU your plateau?
Ok before you start to get defensive hear me out for a minute. I am sure that you have seen some episode of the biggest loser, or HEAVY or any other weight loss show where the person is trying to loose a significant amount of weight and they stop drinking soda and start walking for 20minutes per day and bada boom bada bing they have lost 8 pounds in one week! Well here in the real world where you may be only looking at less than 40lbs to loose it doesn’t work that easily. The point being that what may have seemed like minimal efforts in the beginning probably need to be stepped up since you have lost he initial “easy” pounds the real work must begin. Here are some tips to change things up:
1) Start with the calorie count. Personally I hate to count calories BUT I have a very good grip on what my portion sizes should be and how often I should be eating. However if you are not there yet counting your calories (while tedious) is a good way to see how much you should eat and it will certainly yield results. I used to be the 40lbs over weight girl and eat healthy and wonder why the scale wasn’t moving, its because the devil is in the details.
2) Sugar is not your friend. I cant stress this enough. If you want to see the numbers move on the scale cut back on your sugars for a week and see what happens. This means ALL SUGARS including carbs like: Bread, rice and cereal; also including juices (even the “healthy” ones), coffee drinks, and those “health bars”; and lastly and most surprisingly FRUIT oranges, bananas, berries, mangoes and even carrots (because of the sugar content) just because it comes from the earth it is still sugar! I am not saying eliminate but cutting back should yield results.
3) Pick a time of day to stop eating and stick to it. For me this was the quickest way I saw results. I stopped all food consumption at 7:30pm (the earlier the better) and I saw dramatic results in a week.
4) Change up your workout. Every day at the gym you run 3miles and go do crunches and leave, sound familiar? Well as old as that sounds to me it is even older to your body. Change it up do elliptical, take a spin class, borrow your friend’s p90x dvd’s whatever you do get out of your old routine.
Good luck this week Challengers, lets turn it up for the last week in a half!