Nothing feels as validating as stepping on the bathroom scale and seeing the pay off for all your hard work. It’s as if you can hear the angels sing.
But what happens when that number stops going anywhere? And no matter how hard you work out or how healthy you eat, you can’t get those numbers to budge?
You’ve hit the dreaded weight loss plateau.
But never fear. You don’t have to let your plateau take control for long. Let’s look at several ways you can overcome a weight loss plateau.
Switch up Your Routine
Since your fitness routine started, you got into a groove on your stationary bike. You might even say you’ve become one with the bike.
But your weight loss plateau is telling you it’s bored and it’s time to mix things up.
As time goes on, your muscles begin to adjust and get used to a regular fitness routine. Making that time you spend cycling less effective.
Try something new! Join a boot camp class, or High Intensity Interval Training.
Whatever you decide to do, a new fitness routine will challenge your muscles. It will wake them up from the routine they grew accustomed to, pushing you out of that dreaded plateau.
Adjust Your Calorie Intake
Watching your calorie intake is a sure-fire way to lose weight. But one thing many people don’t think of is adjusting that intake as the pounds come off.
You should be re-evaluating your calorie needs after every ten pounds you lose. If you don’t, you may be taking in more than you need. And that will lead to a weight loss plateau.
Jump start your metabolism by adjusting your calorie intake according to your new weight. Then keep the plateau at bay by continuing to adjust as you go along.
Review Your Habits
Have your fitness rules become a little lax the further you’ve progressed into your routine?
It happens without many people realizing it. You’ve been doing good on your diet so what does a little nibble here or there hurt? You’ve been exercising like a maniac, you deserve one or two days off, right?
It’s easy to get loose on the rules little by little. But it eventually begins to catch up with you. And that could be causing your plateau.
Get a handle on your habits. Starting a fitness journal may help. Writing down your eating and exercise habits will make it crystal clear where your rules need a change.
Beware of How You Caffeinate
For many, your cup of jo is what gets you through your day, or at least your morning. But how many cups of coffee are you drinking? If it’s more than five cups, it could be your plateau culprit.
A study has shown that overdoing your coffee intake may lead to belly fat and increased risk of metabolic syndrome.
Plus, many of those fancy coffees pack more calories than you realize. Adding creamer and sugar only add to those numbers.
Switching out your cup for black coffee or green tea will turn your coffee troubles around, along with your plateau.
Up the Protein
Lean protein is the best friend of any weight loss diet. And if you’ve hit a weight loss stall, it could be the very thing to get it moving again.
That’s because protein is great at boosting metabolism. Plus, it helps your body keep muscle mass while it’s burning fat.
And better yet, it helps you feel fuller longer. Meaning you won’t get those mid-afternoon munchies, keeping your appetite in check.
To get the full benefits, spread your protein intake throughout the day. It will keep you feeling satisfied and your metabolism will love all the stellar nutrients it provides.
Throw in a Cheat Meal
It almost seems wrong to encourage you to cheat on your diet. But if you’re dealing with a plateau, it could be the deliciously naughty answer to your prayers.
As your body loses fat, sooner or later your brain will realize it’s getting low in fat storage and will try to conserve what’s left. It produces less of a hormone called Leptin, which puts your weight loss on hold.
Eating ONE meal rich in carbohydrates (yes, that includes a burger or pizza) will amp up your Leptin production. Thus, tricking your brain into thinking all is well and to start burning its fat supply again.
Now, don’t go overboard with this. You can’t cure a plateau with a free-for-all. But if things occasionally slow down, it’s ok to rev it back up with some carbs.
Increase Your Activity
Even if you’ve changed up your fitness routine, sometimes all you need is a little extra movement. And you don’t have to spend more time in the gym to get the job done.
Try taking the stairs instead of the elevator. Park further away from the store than you normally would. Or go on a cleaning spree and scrub down your house.
No matter how you do it, it doesn’t take a lot of extra movement to kick-start your metabolism past your plateau. All you need is that little extra push.
Drink More Water
Keeping well hydrated during any weight loss plan cannot be over-emphasized enough. Drinking water has more benefits than you might realize, but it’s the most overlooked part of any diet.
The symptoms of dehydration can mimic hunger. So when you think you’re hungry and are raiding the pantry, you actually need a simple glass of water.
Plus, it flushes your system out of any excess salt. And helps you power through those tough workouts.
And drinking a glass or two of water before every meal can help you eat less. It makes you feel fuller, preventing you from taking in too many calories.
So get out that reusable water bottle and pre-game every meal with a big glass of water. It may be the push you need to kick your plateau to the curb.
Show Your Weight Loss Plateau Who’s Boss
Don’t let your weight loss plateau be the boss of you. Using these tips will get those scale numbers heading back in the right direction… cue the singing angels.
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