Tag Archives: Strength Training

Overcoming the Plateau

16 Jan

Anyone who has ever tried to lose weight knows what I am talking about.  The dreaded plateau effect.  Also known as “hitting the wall”.  At some point during your weight loss journey your body will fail to respond to the previously successful plan.  Your body has adapted to the increased exercise and diet.  Welcome to the plateau! 😦

When people hit the plateau and stop losing weight, they will get frustrated and often give up. DON’T DO IT!  You simply need to shake things up!  This post will cover some tricks I’ve used in the past to successfully break through that wall.

1. Clean Up Your Eating

Now’s the perfect time to reevaluate your eating. If you stopped or never started a food diary…START!  A truthful food diary will provide insights into your eating habits.  Don’t worry, if you don’t know where to start, I will write a post later this week on food diaries.  Examine it to see where you can cut out empty calories or excess sweets/carbs.  Try subbing out processed foods for whole foods.  Now is the perfect time to make the switch from processed flour to whole wheat/grains.  Your slimmer body needs less calories to sustain itself, so if you want to lose more, you have to decrease your calorie count by 100-300 calories per day.

2. Rest Up!

It seems counter-intuitive, but your body might be wiped and need a break.  Consider taking a full week off from your usual routine. This does not mean kicking your feet up and chilling, but do Yoga, Pilates, or some other relaxing form of exercise (like flexibility work) for 7-10 days. This allows your body to heal and reset. Also take the opportunity to get full nights of sleep (read 7-8 hours for adults). Now that you don’t have to get up before the cock crows to get that hour run in before work, you can get a few extra winks and do some restorative yoga in the evening to unwind after the day.

3. Variety

Mix things up a bit!  If you’re a walker try biking.  If you enjoy biking, try a spin class or mountain biking!  Try taking up a new sport that challenges you!  A few personal suggestions are rock climbing, tennis, snow skiing, or racquetball.  The point here is to help break through the plateau, you need to surprise your body and force it to work in new ways that you haven’t asked it to do before!

4. Intensity

Like I said earlier, your body has likely already adapted to your current routine, so now you need to make it harder! Increase your cardio time by 25-50%. (i.e., if you’re walking for 30 minutes, up it to 45 minutes)  If you’re only doing cardio, add some strength.  If you’re walking try jogging or running.  If you bike on flatlands, find a hill to challenge yourself.  If you’re already doing strength, up the weight, reps or frequency (but don’t do all three in the same week).  So put some fire in your workout to torch those calories!

5. Positive Mental Attitude

Hang in there!  If you keep a positive ‘tude and stick with it, eventually you’ll break through the plateau and enjoy more weight loss! Plus think of what a self-esteem boost it will be to know that all your hard work is paying off (again!).  Stick with it gang and it’ll come off!

 

Do all or some of these tricks to help get through the plateau!

Keep Sweating!

~Coach Lindsey

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