Everyone who has tried to lose weight or ventured out and started a fitness program has eventually hit a fitness plateau. Either you are cruising along that first month losing weight steadily, losing bodyfat, and seeing some awesome results.
But after a month or two you all of a sudden hit a wall and you can't get the scale to move at all. You are working out just as hard as you have been (if not harder!), you are eating the same amount of calories, and your "winning weight loss formula" just stops working. What do you do?
first you need to understand...
Fitness and weight loss plateaus are totally normal. Imagine you were taking a long trip. My wife and I often travel downstate to visit our family here in Michigan. That 3.5 hour road trip is filled with hills, ups and downs, and yes, even long stretches of flat, boring, fields, also known as "plateaus". So the first step is just to simply know that they are part of the travel and part of the journey.
The second point is to know that plateaus are your body's natural way of protecting itself. Any time you make a drastic change in your fitness or your nutrition, your body is trying to adapt, conserve calories and fat, and protect you. It reverts to it's primal instincts and tries to start preparing in case there is a upcoming famine, you are being chased by a lion, or you are going to need to store energy for the upcoming winter.
So even though this plateau can be frustrating, it means that your body is doing what is natural. But what are some ways you can confuse your body to get it burning fat again?
5 tips for breaking through that frustrating plateau
1. Change up your workouts drastically.
If you've been doing the same types of workouts or same style of training for a while, chances are your body has adapted and even if you are busting your butt, you won't be getting the same calorie burn or results as you did when you first started and it was brand new.
For example, I love the Insanity workout program. I've been doing it for years and although it was the first workout I did where I really got amazing results, if I do the same workouts I had been doing when I first started, not only would I get bored but I just wouldn't see the same results I did that very first round unless I changes something in workout such as interval length, adding a weight vest or dumbbells, etc.
Here are some specific things you can change:
4. Incorporate more recovery workouts into your program. Surprisingly enough, too much of a hard workout can be a bad thing. Humans weren't made to go "all out" all the time. You need recovery days and days for your muscle to heal and you'll be amazed at how much better and stronger you'll feel. That also gives your muscles time to grow. I've had days where I've missed 3 or 4 days of workouts and by the time I'm able to resume my routine I'm amazed how "pumped" I feel and how much stronger I am for that first workout back :)
5. Mind the details in your nutrition and workouts. And my last tip... Sometimes we get a little "relaxed" with tracking our nutrition or tracking how much weights we use in our workouts. And those little details can catch up to us. We may forget to track that extra snack before bed that is costing us gains or the weight loss that we are shooting for, or not realize that we aren't really upping our weight each week. So be mindful of the details and continue to track so you really can know whether you are progressing or not!
I hope these tips have helped you, especially if you feel you are going through a weight loss or fitness plateau. And if you want some extra support and help, feel free to connect with me on our Fanpage and ask me your question directly on my page and we'll do the best we can to help you out!
Feel free to share this page on facebook and twitter as well if you found this at all helpful or know of anyone who is going through a plateau right now!
Yours in Fitness,