Plateaus are very natural and are a part of your weight loss journey. The human body is incredibly adaptive, and this is why I preach to change things up. Changing your routine continually challenges your body, which keeps your body guessing; and therefore keeps you on track to continuing your weight loss journey.
Typically a plateau lasts anywhere from 3 to 4 weeks. It’s your body adjusting to what’s occurring. Remember the closer you get to your goal weight, the more your body will plateau. However, I want you to focus on how your body feels! Not just the scale. The scale sometimes does not reflect the transformation that’s occurring. Though plateaus are important to pay attention to, they should not stop you in your tracks. There are lots of great approaches to plateaus, which I share with you below.
Suggestions to overcoming plateaus:
1. Look at your nutrition. Can your nutrition be better, cleaner, or more on point? Look at your caloric intake; are you over consuming or under consuming? Maybe try a zigzag approach to nutrition where your total caloric intake for the week stays the same, but each day the calories fluctuate. Remember that under consuming has just as strong of a negative impact on your body as over consuming.
2. Pay attention to detail. Make sure that you are still monitoring your weight loss journey. The farther along we get into our weight loss, we tend to slip a little bit and those small slips will affect your weight loss. Attention to detail may unveil calories that you were consuming that you didn’t realize were negatively effecting your weight loss.
3. Change up your workout routine. When your body knows what your going to do everyday, then your body adapts and you become more efficient at those activities. The more efficient you are, the fewer calories your body will burn during the activity. This means that you have to change it up! If you are running everyday at 7 am, maybe a few times a week, change that to a weight lifting workout. Your body needs change to continually be challenged.
4. Take a look at your stress level and sleeping patterns. We know that when the body is under stress, it stores fat. We also know that sleep is when the body recovers and balances out hormone levels. Multiple studies have shown that not getting enough sleep is related to weight gain. If you are having trouble losing weight, try adding an additional hour of sleep a night.
5. Take a week off of exercise and completely change your nutrition. What!? Yes! Take a week off from working out and focus on dialing in your nutrition. For example, try gluten free for a week. Or if your doing a low carb diet, change it up and incorporate good carbs back in. Then re-evaluate everything at the end of that week, and add your workout routine back in.
Don’t get discouraged if you hit a plateau. Know that it’s natural and you WILL get through it! Hopefully the above suggestions give you the tools you need to get through your plateau with confidence.
Links from this episode:
Chalene Johnson’s Fitness Programs: http://www.chalenejohnson.com/fitness/
Chalene Johnson’s PiYo workout program: http://www.beachbody.com/product/fitness_programs/piyo-workout.do?ch=flx&code=FLX_170_PY
MyFitnessPal for calorie tracking: http://www.myfitnesspal.com
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