Can you believe it’s already (almost) May?! How are those New Year’s resolutions treating you? Most everyone has typically bailed on them by now. Good news is that you can make goals at any time; it doesn’t have to be at the beginning of anything! Sometimes there are road bumps in reaching our goals – it’s hardly ever a straight line to success. One of these bumps could be a weight loss plateau. The pounds peeled away steadily for awhile, and now the scale won’t move, even if you bribed it. You’ve been working out and eating right most of the time and now it’s not working. What gives?
It turns out the body can get bored and stuck in a rut, just like our minds do. It needs change, a shock to the system to kick it back into gear. Remember the change when you started your weight loss journey? Once you recreate that surprise to the body, you’ll be back on track. Here are some helpful hints to help you bust through the weight loss plateau.
First, check your workout intensity. Is it the same as it was six months ago? Have you been slacking lately, not putting in your best effort in your cardio sessions (be honest, it happens to all of us)? A heart rate monitor is a useful tool in measuring if your workouts are an appropriate intensity. Another one is if you can carry on a conversation during your workout. How much are you sweating? Same thing applies to the weights you are lifting. Have you increased over time?
“So, Jen, what’s the fix?” you ask. Turn it up and change it up. Try different modes of cardio. Integrate interval training, maybe increasing the intervals if you already train that way. Take your hands off of the treadmills and stairmills; it’s amazing the difference a small change like that can make.
Now on to your food. Ugh. You’ve been so good and eat well most of the time. This component is trickier to change. Take a look at your caloric intake and first make sure you are eating enough. Most people shouldn’t fall below 1200 calories in a day. How about your carbs? Not just the amount, but type. Fruits, vegetables and whole grains are all great sources of carbohydrates. Processed foods and refined sugars are not. Change up your protein sources, maybe exchange a hard boiled egg for some sliced turkey.
Finally, quit worrying about it. The stress you place on yourself about the number on the scale can inhibit progress. Give yourself a break from the scale for a couple weeks, even a month, be smart in your exercise and eating, and check back in later.
Hope this helps those of you frustrated and stuck. Now get back to it! See you at the gym!