Prevent the Weight Loss Plateau
Hitting a weight loss plateau after weeks on a fitness routine is incredibly frustrating. No matter what you do, things feel like they’re not changing. Did you have to back down on weights? Or can’t lose those last 5 pounds? So first, if you’ve hit a plateau… congratulations! You’re working towards your goals, so don’t get disillusioned. The plateau is just part of the process.
Don’t worry, there are ways to break through. Here are our top tips to improve your fitness to PREVENT THE WEIGHT LOSS PLATEAU.
prevent the weight loss plateau
1. You May Need to Eat MORE Calories.
Most often, a weight loss plateau is due to improper nutrition. So before we dive into ways to break your plateau with better fitness, how is your diet? As you start losing weight, your metabolism slows down. Your body has recognized that there are fewer fat stores to call upon in “times of need” and therefore burns fewer calories.
This is the double-edged sword of weight loss and the big reason why we never subscribe to restrictive fad diets or “overnight” weight loss. It is the same reason why dieters yo-yo and bounce back to above their original weights.
When this happens, stay the course and always choose natural, longterm strategies to lose weight. You often need to increase your caloric intake or eat more carbs to match the intensity of your workouts and build muscle. The problem with only evaluating the number of the scale is that it doesn’t differentiate between fat loss and muscle gain. It is critical to take measurements and photos to track progression. These come in handy when trying to figure out if you’ve hit a plateau or just fooled by the scale.
Make sure you do these things before pointing your finger at fitness. An excess of any of these will keep you in a weight loss plateau even with the best fitness plan. An excess of eating more vegetables will drastically improve your results.
- Quit drinking soda. Here’s why you should quit (for added motivation) and how to do it.
- Drink in moderation. Here’s how we keep alcohol in a healthy lifestyle.
- Eat real food. No fast food or highly processed food. Here’s what you should be eating.
2. Add Variety to Your Fitness Program.
Now that we covered the importance of nutrition let’s talk fitness. Hitting a fitness plateau will influence your weight loss. It happens when your body becomes accustomed to a routine. Your body starts to work more efficiently to burn fewer calories when it anticipates the same routine.
We’re all creatures of habit, so adding variety is key. The variety can be subtle, like mixing up the number of reps and weights, changing the speed, or trying out HIIT (high intensity interval training) workouts instead of the exercise bike. In one cardio experiment we conducted, we found that HIIT workouts can be 60-90% more effective than slower-paced cardio workouts.
We love to add variety by adding more couple’s yoga into our routine.
3. Follow a Plan.
Having a schedule for your workouts is critical. Useful calendars compensate for plateaus by incorporating appropriate rest days, ramping up intensity periodically, and including variety. With our current workout, Insanity Max:30 through Beachbody On Demand, not only do we follow four different workouts over six days a week, the calendar changes every two weeks to ramp up the intensity. More often than not, we feel the plateau only once we fall off!
Read more: How To Work Out Together And Get Results>>
4. Introduce Periodization.
While the good calendars offer variety, the best offer periodization. Defined as the “long-term cyclic structuring of training and practice to maximize performance,” periodization is a design strategy for strength-training workouts. Periodized workouts account for variables such as tempo, number of repetitions, amount of resistance, the order of moves, and types of exercises.
Through this, periodized workouts make slow, step-by-step changes for gradual progression. An often-cited study by Bell State University shows that sports performance in both body fat percentage and lean muscle gains more than doubled with periodized workouts vs. non-periodized workouts in women.
For Ryan and I, we noticed this effect most greatly when working out to Body Beast before our wedding. The workouts were much more effective when watching the program with trainer, Sagi Kalev, than when we simply printed out the worksheets to follow along on our own. The difference was noticeable!
5. Diagnose Overtraining.
Often mistaken as a plateau, overtraining is when you’re over-stressing your body. Signs include reduced energy, muscle and joint pain, headaches, or frequently catching a cold. Prevent overtraining by getting inadequate rest days, quality sleep, rolling out/massaging your muscles, and eating enough carbohydrates.
Yes, carbs! Although vilified today, we need carbohydrates for muscle recovery. If absent from a diet, your body will go into muscle catabolism – meaning your muscles become energy instead of your fat! A tell-tale sign of this is if you’re losing more than 2 lbs. of weight weekly. If so, you’re losing too fast.
6. Bring in the Ringer – a Workout Buddy.
Our favorite way to prevent plateau is by working out together! Ryan and I both have days when we’re not feeling it, so it’s the responsibility of the other person to push through and motivate the other. Don’t underestimate the power of a workout buddy, especially when it’s your partner.
Working out as a couple is game-changing, and it will enhance your bond, boost attraction, and give you that much-needed quality time together. If you’re feeling so ambitious, sign you and your partner up for our free, 1-year mentorship program to lead you toward a stronger mind, body, and marriage.
- The Secret To Lifelong Fitness
- What We Learned After A 14-Day Couple’s Yoga Challenge
- A Healthier Life Is One Word Away
- Find Your Why To Live A Healthy Life
- Overcoming A Fitness Or Nutrition Imbalance In Your Relationship
- Why You May Have Hit a Fitness Plateau – US News – “Plateaus can be frustrating, ” Comana says, “but they give good feedback that you need to change things up a bit.”
- Science Found the Best Workout to Overcome Your Weight-Loss Plateau – SHAPE – “After completing the program, 36% of the standardized group had zero increase in VO2 max, so were dubbed non-responders – while 100% of the people in the IFT group showed an increase in this important fitness marker.”