You’ve been going hard at that weight loss program, going on a run every morning, eating healthy foods, doing squats and sit-ups every night. You’ve seen results, but suddenly, nothing. No weight loss, no muscle gain.
You’ve hit a weight loss plateau.
This isn’t unheard of; in fact, most people hit a plateau at some point in their fitness journey. Or, at least, it seems like they do.
What exactly is a plateau, though, and how do you get out of it to continue your weight loss journey?
Are You Hitting a Plateau?
So, what exactly is a fitness plateau and how do you know you’ve hit it?
Let’s say you’ve been working out and dieting pretty consistently for a few weeks now and you’ve seen some good results. You’re dropping pounds weekly and gaining some slight muscle tone. Suddenly the pounds stop dropping, the muscle stops developing, and you’re left feeling frustrated.
This is something a lot of people deal with, and there are a few reasons it happens. But what you need to determine is if you’ve really hit a plateau or not. When you consistently work out your muscles develop quickly where they weren’t developed before. However, after a while their progress slows, but that doesn’t mean it’s stopped. If you were gaining the same amount of muscle mass every week for a year think of how crazy everyone’s muscles would be!
The same goes for weight loss; it’s a lot easier to drop pounds when you have more weight to lose. So, don’t get frustrated, this means you’re making progress! That progress is going to be a little slower, but that doesn’t mean you should give up now.
A plateau is when your weight loss completely stops, or even starts to regress. As soon as that starts happening, you’ve got a few options on how to get yourself back on track.
Keep a Closer Eye on Meals
The thing is when you’ve been losing weight consistently you might begin to slack off a bit. This means snacking on foods you shouldn’t be, or cheating a little too often because you’ve been so good. Maybe you’ve been going out a lot lately because you feel so good in that dress now!
Diet is something you have to keep a close eye on if your weight loss plateaus. Make sure you’re not impulsively eating. If you find that you tend to snack more in front of the television, avoid that situation. Or make sure there isn’t anything for you to snack on in the house.
If you have been going out, make sure you order healthy. Don’t jump straight to fast foods, find something lean and full of protein to eat at that fancy restaurant.
The point is, don’t slack off just because you’re doing well. You have to stay consistent with every part of your lifestyle change if you want to continue to lose weight and gain muscle. Keep a food journal if you need to, that could help you realize where you’ve been slipping lately.
Vary Your Routine
Another issue that’s easy to run into is letting your routine become too…routine. If you’re running a mile every day eventually your muscles are going to become used to the action. At that point you aren’t going to build any more muscles, and in turn you aren’t going to burn much fat.
Maybe you’re starting to become lazy with your workouts even. Have you been skipping that last rep lately? Have you been pushing yourself as hard as possible during exercises? Just like with the diet, it’s easy to become complacent with what you’re doing and fall off the track a bit. You can’t allow yourself to let up.
One of the things we focus on at Fit Body Boot Camp is a varying routine. Every day our trainers offer a different workout, focusing on different parts of the body and getting maximum results. By doing this our clients never hit a plateau as long as they follow the guidance of their trainers. You have to vary your daily routine so that your muscles are never sure what’s going to happen next.
Apply the Fit Body Boot Camp model to your daily routine and you’ll notice a difference in your progress in no time.
Check Your Sleep Schedule
Here’s another big issue that can keep you from continued weight loss. Not getting enough sleep is a huge detriment to your continued progress and keeps you from breaking through that plateau.
When you don’t sleep enough you’ll find that your muscles don’t recover as well from workouts, which can cause lasting problems in the future. On the same note, lack of sleep will keep you from performing as well during exercises. You could injure yourself, so this is something you need to be careful of.
What Can You Do
It’s important to remember that just because your progress has slowed doesn’t mean you’ve plateaued. Don’t get frustrated and don’t give up, you don’t want to “yo-yo” with your weight. In the long run going up and down with your scale can be detrimental to your health, so it’s important that you figure out what is keeping you from continued weight loss and fight through it.
If you have a lot of stress in your life try to remove it. Or find something that helps you to relax. Stress is a big factor in plateauing, it can cause you to eat more, sleep less and not try as hard during exercise.
Take every small victory; eventually they add up to a big one and you’ll find yourself back on track. Did you only lose one pound this week where last week you lost five? That’s still great! That’s one less pound for you to worry about now, so keep pushing to get rid of another.
The plateau is a chance for you to really prove yourself. Not to anyone else, but to you. Don’t let the plateau stop you, push through it and find the next mountain to climb.
And if you feel you’ve hit a plateau in your weight loss journey and want some help pushing through it, think about contacting us at Fit Body Boot Camp.