Hitting a weight loss plateau – despite your hard efforts – can be a frustrating and demotivating point in your journey. When this happens, you can feel that it’s not working anymore or that your body is simply rebelling against your approach. This can be a danger zone and time for unhelpful patterns to creep back in, undoing your great work or worse, totally falling off track!
A number of things can contribute to a weight loss plateau. Your diet may need something extra or less, or your workouts aren’t pushing you as hard as they used to! Another contribution is if you aren’t sticking to your plan. You might be doing really well five days of the week, but the other two days you’re not!
There are some positives that you can take out of reaching a plateau. It’s important to not let a plateau get you down. Start reassessing your health and fitness goals! Maybe your body has just adjusted to the things you’re doing and it’s a sign you need to switch it up! Take it as a new challenge!
Try mixing things up a bit and seeing what works! Start strength training, high intensity workouts and focusing on your mindset. Change your meals and try getting your fiber, protein and greens where you can! Also, try getting a friend to join you! You might discover a new hobby like rock climbing, zumba or squash that you really enjoy together and can give you that extra push you need.
The most important thing here is to not panic! Here are 5 tips to help break that weight loss plateau!
It’s always helpful to go back to basics and brush up on those ever important healthy habits! You can also start keeping a food diary and log everything that you have over the day. This includes the times, the amounts and the types of food groups that you are having. Over time, it’s easy for portion sizes to increase and extra bits here and there to sneak into your day so tracking your food keeps you accountable.
Drink more water to lose weight
Being deficient in the amount of water your body needs for optimum function can lead to more water being retained on the body. This may sound contradictory for the purpose of losing weight, but you actually need to drink more to lose more! Who woulda thought!
Change up your workouts – intensity and frequency
Quite often, weight loss plateaus occur when your approach becomes half-hearted or monotonous. Look to switch up the style of workouts that you do. The goal is to keep your body guessing, so any changes to your workouts will be beneficial.
Challenge yourself during workouts
As you get fitter and stronger, you will need to adjust your input accordingly; make sure that each workout is a challenge and that you give each one your best shot, every time! Wearing a heart rate monitor is a great way to keep yourself honest during your sessions and see where you may need to lift your game.
Manage stress AND sleep!
This can be a very overlooked cause of a weight loss plateau; the impact of lack of sleep or increased stress levels on the body can be huge. When we are stressed or sleep-deprived, our bodies produce a hormone called cortisol, which directly correlates to how effective we are at using energy in our body. It also affects the management of many functions that are systematic for overall well being.
With elevated levels of cortisol, our bodies can struggle to carry out its basic duties, making any shifts with weight loss and recovery somewhat compromised. Aim to get plenty of sleep and practice some mindfulness for a happy headspace!
Weight loss plateaus can be frustrating and demotivating. However, they can be a normal part of the process. In fact, nearly everyone experiences a stall at some point on their weight loss journey! Luckily, there are many ways you can take to begin losing weight again and safely achieve your goal.
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