One of the most common stopping points in a weight loss journey is the plateau. We are doing well on sticking to our healthy diets, we are exercising, and we have lost some weight. Then a few weeks go by and it’s like nothing is happening anymore. This is totally natural. We are not actually standing still with our weight loss, but our bodies have become accustom to our new lifestyle and the weight loss happens at a slower pace. Bummer right? Well, it is. But there are some things that can ramp up your weight loss back to 100 percent. I recommend you do these next few things I am about to outline with all the vigor you can muster. Do you remember how bad you wanted to lose weight when you started this journey? Well however much weight you have lost is how much closer you are to your final goal! So don't get discouraged implement these new tactics into your routine and you will see the pounds peel off again!!
Adjust your diet…again
When you started your diet you should have calculated how many calories you needed to maintain your weight, and how to create a healthy deficit in your diet to promote healthy, consistent weight loss. If you missed it and have just been "winging it" here is my other weight loss article to help you formulate a good diet. When I find myself in a weight loss plateau, the first thing I check is my diet. I start my diet with a deficit, but as time goes on and I have lost 15-20 pounds in the last two months, my calorie intake is a lot closer to a maintenance amount then it is a weight loss amount. so we take our body weight (190 pounds for me, yay!!) and times it by 15 (2850). This is your daily body weight maintenance calorie intake. Since we are looking to lose weight we subtract 500 calories a day (2350). If you have stuck to your diet and have not reduced your calories after you have lost weight this is a large part of the reason your weight loss has slowed to a trickle. When I was 220 pounds I needed 3300 calories a day to maintain my weight and 2800 calories to make enough of a deficit I would lose weight. Now I am down to 2300 calories a day. Also watch your carb count. If you are eating rice with every meal, you will see a drastic result when you cut the rice down to the pre and post work out meals only, and only a 1/4 cup for each of these.
Increase the weights you are lifting
Another common mistake is to not increase the weights you are lifting on a regular basis. How regular you say? Well I work out my upper body every other day. I make sure i up the weight every other week. So if you have been working out for the past two months, you should have upped the weight you are lifting four times already. Have you? Remember it doesn’t have to be a lot, I add 10 pounds every other week, and I am a seasoned bodybuilder. Five pounds every two weeks is still great, and will keep you from plateauing.
Increase the resistance and duration of your cardio
If you have been working out for a month or so, on the same machine, for the same amount of time, on the same setting, you are not pushing yourself anymore. Your body has more than likely became used to the workout and you are not burning the calories it says you are...I know, what a bunk deal. I wish I could do the elliptical for 30 minutes at a time on 5 forever while getting better and better results, but it does not work that way! Increase the resistance AND the duration of your cardio workout. If you are in the routine of doing 30 min of cardio, start doing an hour. You will be sweating hard again in no time!!!
Increase the frequency of your cardio
This is another surefire way to absolutely blast through a weight loss plateau. If you are doing cardio 3 time a week like is suggested as the min. congratulations! You have gotten the minimum weight loss results for your minimum effort! Now if you are ready to see those pounds shred off you again you need to increase the frequency of those cardio workouts you just bumped up a little. When I am trying to lose weight I do cardio 6 days a week. I just use the elliptical for an hour, nothing crazy.
Almost everyone I have talked to, who is trying to lose weight, gets stuck in the plateau. It is because they do not apply these simple steps to break through it and to continue losing weight. Well I hope you learned something and you are willing to take your weight loss training to the next level to keep losing weight and achieve your goals!!