The most frustrating thing in the world is when you are doing everything right (or so you think) and you are no longer getting any results. This my friend, is called “The Plateau”, and it is one of the worst nightmares of the dedicated weight loser.
As I’ve shared before, I started this journey at 220 pounds, give or take, and currently (6/23/15) am weighing in at 158-159 lbs. Each time I’ve come close to the “4’s”….204, 194, 184, 174 and finally 164 I am always stuck there for a few weeks, and each time it drives me crazy. I would get so upset and become a slave to the scale, but constantly doing the same thing over and over. (Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results- and boy was I going insane.) After binging on one of my favorite Hulu guilty pleasures, Biggest Loser, and doing my own research I found a few tips to try to reverse the plateau and get back on track with weight loss goals.
1. Maybe you have reached a plateau because you are no longer physically challenging yourself. Your body is just as smart as you are, and it can adapt to habits very quickly, even you working out. If you are doing the same thing, over and over and over again, your body will become less challenged and will have to work less hard, thus exuding less energy, which is less calories burned, which is less lbs/fat lost. SUGGESTION: Kick it up a notch or two, use heavier weights, do more reps, add more time, vary your workouts. Go hard or go home! Do interval training, run on the treadmill at your fastest possible pace for 1-2 minutes, jog for 3-4 minutes, walk for 3 minutes and do it again, your heart rate will be pumping and your glutes will thank me later!
2. Your diet isn’t on point. You could also be eating the wrong thing, or too much of the right thing (Yes, this is possible!) Try challenging yourself, this week I am going meatless and getting my protein and nutrients from things like beans, nuts and fresh veggies. Eliminate another bad food item and really begin to challenge yourself. As you get stronger on this journey start refusing to put anything that isn’t good for you in your body. (Say goodbye to soda and juice…tequila and red wine can stay…in moderation!) SUGGESTION: Slowly eliminate more of the not-so-good for you foods such as potato chips, candy and soda/juice and replace with nuts, veggies, fruit and water/green tea! Also try a cleanse once or twice (BE SMART ABOUT IT). Try different recipes for foods eliminating meat. Cut back to one cheat meal a week.
3. Try doing things backwards. Just pointing again that our body recognizes and adjusts to repetition, so confuse/shock the heck out of your body for some fantastic results. SUGGESTION: If you, like myself, are a treadmill person, instead of running/walking forward, get on the treadmill and go backwards. Start slow so you don’t hurt yourself and use a slight incline! If you typically do cardio first and then weight lift, switch it up, do your cardio last for a week!
4. You are eating too much sugar in your diet! I will have another blog post dedicated to sugar and all of it’s evils, but I want to share now, sugar is not, was never, and will never be your friend! Some doctors even suggest that patients don’t need to necessarily monitor their calorie count, but instead their sugar intake! Just cutting soda from your diet can result in a 5 lb. weight loss in a year’s time. SUGGESTION: Eliminate sugar and processed foods to the best of your ability. Fruits are a sugar that is better to have than sugar from candy so don’t eliminate fruit. Instead cut soda, juice, candy, SPLENDA, fancy coffee/tea drinks, shakes, slushies etc. and drink water!! If you must use sugar STEVIA is a good substitute. Always read the ingredients, if sugar is the first ingredient listed, that means it is the biggest ingredient to that food item (YES YOUR CEREALS ARE MADE OF PURE SUGAR IF THAT IS THE FIRST INGREDIENT), and know the many names that sugar can disguise itself under (sucrose and other “crose” names).
These changes should help you to get over the nasty plateau stage and get back in action with your weight loss goals.
See below a current picture of me (06/2015), trying on a SIZE 8 pair of pants…cutting my pants size in more than 1/2!! These were at Old Navy however and a lot of their clothes typically run bigger in my opinion, but a victory is a victory!
There’s no perfect science to this weight loss thing and I do not have all of the answers, BUT I am sharing what has worked for me and want to encourage you to find what will work for you!
Has anyone else found successful ways to overcome a plateau? Shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org