When you decide to change your lifestyle by eating whole foods and adding exercise to your daily
routine you will see results from the start. You will feel better, look better, and be healthier. But at some point you will notice that the pounds of fat that were once falling off effortlessly seem to be sticking around a lot longer than you'd like. It feels like no matter what you do, nothing seems to work anymore. You get more and more frustrated as time goes on, throw your hands in the air, and declare you're done. Have you ever been there? I have! It's so frustrating, but getting over a plateau is possible! Here are some tips to help you break through and start seeing results again.
Focus on quality of foods.
A calorie is not a calorie. Are you eating the right ones? Breaking through a weight-loss plateau is more than calories in and calories out. Processed foods won’t won't help you break through. Quality whole foods like vegetables, beans, high-fiber fruits and lean proteins are needed for your engine to burn body fat.
Change up your routine.
I always recommend changing up your routine every 4-6 weeks. You might not realize this, but your body will adapt to any type of exercise. Your body gets accustomed to your exercise routine, making it less effective. To see a change in body fat, you have to get outside of your comfort zone. You all know I love some High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)! It has been shown to burn body fat effectively and efficiently. Short, intense bursts of exercise will really get your metabolism amped and your heart rate up. If you are a runner, try doing speed work at the track, run your route in reverse, or even run backwards. Try a new class at the gym, or find a trainer to mix things up for you.
Adjust your calorie intake.
I'm not big on calorie counting, but when you are trying to loss weight it is necessary. As you lose weight, your metabolism can drop because your body requires less calories or “energy” to fuel you. The calorie intake that you initially had when you began your weight-loss journey will need to be adjusted to match your body’s current needs for weight loss.
Keep hydrated and flush out toxins.
Staying hydrated will keep your body from craving food when you are even mildly dehydrated. If you feel hungry, drink some water. Symptoms of dehydration are similar to symptoms of hunger, so it’s easy to confuse the two. Aim to drink 64-100 fluid ounces of water per day plus more to replace lost during activity.
Beware of mindless eating.
A little bite here, a little bite there, and it all adds up. It's hard to resist the food our kids or spouse leave on their plates, but when you are trying to break through a plateau those habits can keep you from seeing results.
Get more sleep.
Who doesn't love sleep? Who has a hard time finding more sleep? It is so important to make sure you are getting the adequate amount of sleep we need per night. A full night’s sleep is vital to losing body fat because it resets your hormones while your body repairs itself. Even a little sleep deprivation can lead to increased cortisol, a stress hormone. Elevated cortisol levels can lead to body fat accumulation around the midsection. Plus, when you are getting enough sleep you will feel more energized and ready to take on a great workout in the morning.
Keep a closer eye on your caloric needs.
Research has shown that people often overestimate how many calories they burn during exercise, and underestimate how many calories they eat. You can use MyFitnessPal basal metabolic rate calculator to learn how many calories you burn a day if you did nothing but rest for 24 hours. Use your basal metabolic rate as a benchmark to subtract the approximate number of calories burned during activity. Keep in mind that the number of calories burned during activity can vary.
Increase your muscle mass.
You know I'm all about those gains, bout those gains. Haha, but seriously! Want to burn more calories at rest? Lift (heavier) weights and follow a strength-training program to build muscle. The more muscle you have, the more calories you burn, and the more body fat you’ll shed, even while resting! That doesn't mean you have to go and be a body builder, but adding weight training into your routine will help you see results.
Eat more protein.
Protein burns more calories because it takes longer to digest. Protein also contains an amino acid, leucine, that numerous research studies have identified as a potent catalyst for burning body fat.
It's been proven that people who have accountability are more likely to stick to their plan, and reach the goals they have set. *Shameless plug* if you are looking for accountability join my Fit Summer Jumpstart group starting May 2! Check it out here to learn more.
Have blood work done.
If you really feel like you've done everything possible by eating right and getting exercise, consult with your doctor to see if there are any underlying issues that you may not be aware of. But, be honest with yourself first. Before you run to the Dr. really ask yourself if you've done all you can to change your lifestyle.
Always keep in mind that the plateaus will come. Whether it's a weight loss plateau or a fitness plateau, they happen. Don't get discouraged. Keep pressing on. Ultimately we should eat right and exercise because it matters to our over all health and wellness. It's a continual journey that has no end point, and we should never stop our journey because we aren't seeing results.