Updated: Jul 21, 2020
What To Do
When you Plateau
You start off by making amazing progress. The weight was coming off, your clothing size was going down. Then out of nowhere your progress takes an abrupt halt. Nothing is moving. You’ve hit the plateau.
I know during this last 15 week prep I hit a few plateaus.. it was the hardest prep I’ve been through. I guess I’m getting older and my metabolism is slowing down.. so I thought to myself.. what would I tell my clients to do in this situation? And I applied it to myself and it worked! So here’s a few times to help you get off a plateau and kick your body back into fat burner mode!
It’s best to first figure out why you hit this plateau and then figure out how you can get off of it.
One reason you may hit a plateau is that you were not eating enough to start with. Since your body doesn’t know the difference between starvation and dieting, sometimes your body will start to store fat because it goes into starvation mode. If you’re trying to lose weight it’s best to slowly cut your calories. If you start too low in calories, you’ll have nowhere to cut more calories and your body will begin to think you aren’t going to feed it enough so it will store fat.
Another reason is you just might be eating too many carbs. Your body uses carbs as energy and if you eat too much energy and don’t burn it off, it will start to store into fat. Try sticking to a low carb, high protein, and high healthy fats diet to lose weight. Once you cut your carb intake, your body will wonder “Where’s all the rest of that energy he/she use to give me?” so then it will turn to using fat as energy instead, turning your body into a fat burning machine.
Also hormones and stress can cause a big role in weight-loss plateaus. As we get older, our hormones decline and it makes it more difficult to keep fat off, especially around the abdominal area. When you’re stressed, cortisol levels rise in your body which can lead to stored belly fat. It has also been proven that processed foods that have a high-fructose corn syrup confuse our leptin levels in the body which is a hormone that tells us if we are hungry or not.
So what can you do to get off this plateau?
First, be patient. Consistency always pays off. Keep at it, even if it takes longer than expected. If you are still seeing changes in your body, just not the scale, it’s okay because muscle outweighs fat, so you may weigh the same but be losing inches or dress sizes. Fat loss should be the goal, not weight loss.
You may also want to switch up your workouts. Sometimes our bodies get use to a certain type of exercise and we stop seeing changes. Try adding in strength training or take up a new sport to shake it up and get motivated. You can change your rep range for example if you were doing 12-15 reps for three rounds, switch it up to 20 reps for 4 rounds. Something to shock the body.
Also make sure you’re tracking your food and water intake. It’s important to be accountable. If you aren’t watching what you eat, you may be justifying extra goodies too often. If you don’t know how to track your food, MyFitnessPal app is a great place to get started.
Your water intake should be around eight 8-ounce glasses per day which is about 2 liters or half a gallon. This will help your body work more efficiently!
If stress is one of the reasons you think you're holding weight, you can take a supplement that will help lower your cortisol levels. There are some out there that will even help you sleep!
If nothing else works, consult a professional. You can hire a trainer or a nutritionist, or coach who has shown they get their clients results in a healthy way. Be sure to choose someone who has plenty of experience, proper certifications, and practices what they preach! I also offer one on one personalized plans for clients online where I am constantly changing it up for you and figuring out what works for your body! Check them out under the online training tab!
For more info on in person personal training in El Paso, TX visit us at www.suncityathleticclub.com