You’ve probably been on a strict diet for quite some time, changed up your lifestyle and started training more. The weight has been dropping consistently and everything seemed to go according to plan. Now, however, you’ve hit a plateau and the weight won’t continue to go down. What could have possibly gone wrong? Why Did This Happen?
First and foremost – there’s no need to worry. This happens to many people on their weight loss journey and there are many ways with which you can break out of it. When you cut calories, the body burns most of the extra fat and a bit of muscle tissue for energy. Your metabolism slows down and adjusts to the current calorie intake. You’re going to need weight loss motivation. Either switch up your diet or your exercise routine. Getting yourself out of the comfort zone will push your body to do the same thing.
Breaking Through the Plateau – Alter the Calorie Intake
Weighing less means that your body needs fewer calories to keep your body at that weight. Weight loss happens only when our body burns more calories than we feed it. This means that you will need to either reduce your portions or start training more intensely. There are many apps that help you monitor overall calorie intake throughout the day. Start slowly. Reduce the intake by about 200 calories and go even lower if you hit another plateau.
Simple Sugars Are the Bane of Weight Loss
Avoid sweets and sodas at all costs. Fast food contains saturated fats and simple carbohydrates, making them high in calories with low nutritional value. If you have a craving for sweets, eat an apple or two, but don’t overeat.
Hit the Weights
While cardio is deemed crucial for weight loss, strength training is equally (or even more so) important. Even though many claim that more reps are better, it’s how heavy you lift that’s going to determine your continuous weight loss throughout the day. Muscle tissue growth burns more than double the calories than what getting rid of a pound of fat would. If you’re running for example, you’ll only be burning calories until you stop, and your heart rate normalizes. With weight training, your metabolism can be increased for up to 38 hours afterwards. Increase the intensity (use heavier weights) and reduce volume. Aim for somewhere between 6-8 reps per set.
Even though they get a bad reputation, carbs give us the energy needed for our workouts. Carbohydrate cycling implies changing up day-to-day carb intake. You could switch it up on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. Whichever method you choose, your toughest workouts should be on the high carb days. Accordingly, your rest days are those with less carbohydrate intake. This will teach your body to mainly burn unnecessary fat and use carbohydrates to refuel muscle glycogen. If it’s a high carb day, then you should eat as little fat as possible and vice-versa.
Someone else is in the same spot as you are. Don’t let a plateau deter you, but rather look at it as weight loss motivation. Weight loss is not an easy journey, but it surely is a worthwhile one.