Is your scale broken? It has to be because you've been busting your butt week after week. You are eating right, exercising, drinking more water, getting more rest, yet the scale is not moving.
Whatever you do, don't quit, reverting back to old eating or lifestyle habits.
Encountering a weight loss plateau happens to us all. While it can be frustrating, it is a normal part of the weight loss process.
A weight loss plateau occurs when your weight stops changing. This can be attributed to an even offset of the calories you consume and the calories you burn. Truth is, there can be a number of factors to impact slow or no movement on the scale. While we will provide a few suggestions to help jump start the scale progress again, it is important to understand there isn't an "ultimate" fix.
The real solution to addressing a plateau is committing to the consistency of your daily, healthy habits and lifestyle efforts.
Here’s the deal. Your body is simply not working as hard as it was when you first started. Give your body credit--it is very smart, efficient, and resilient. While you are putting forth the same effort, if you've lost weight or improved your physical strength/fitness, your body is working more efficiently. As a result of your marked improvement and consistency, your body is not as challenged as it was on your day one.
When you lose weight, your body will burn fewer calories doing the exact same things because it does not have to work as hard. This just means, if you desire to lose more weight, you'll have to make some adjustments.
Remember, now is not the time to get discouraged. You can get past this plateau.
1. Add interval training to your workout regimen.
You are probably doing at least 30 min of cardio 4-5 times a week. Add interval training to your work regimen 2-3 times per week. While cardio is great at burning calories, intensity matters. Try alternating your moderate effort with a 60-sec vigorous effort while walking, jogging, or using the elliptical machine.
2. Lift weights.
Muscle weighs more than fat. It also uses more energy. While cardio burns calories immediately, strength training increases your metabolism over time. Muscles help you burn more calories even at rest. On your next commercial break, get your hand weights and do a few lifting circuits. Add a 60-second cardio exercise, like jumping jacks, in between your sets. You will be surprised how those 5 minute work-out sessions add up!
3. Eat more plants.
Be mindful of the amount of fruit you are consuming on a daily basis. Try swapping one of your fruit snacks for an opportunity to have more vegetables. Veggies will not only help you cut additional calories, their high fiber content will keep you feeling full.
4. Increase hydration.
Drinking water is essential. It’s not an option & it doesn’t count that you made your tea with water! Research suggests even if you are slightly dehydrated, it can affect your athletic performance. Drinking water will not only help to BOOST your metabolism, it helps to curb your appetite. Most times when you think you are hungry, you are actually thirsty.
5. Avoid skipping meals.
Think about this: If your body NEEDS FUEL to PROPERLY FUNCTION and FOOD is your body’s fuel source..then how does depriving your body of fuel a good thing for you to CHOOSE to do?
No matter what you tell yourself about skipping meals, your body is telling you something different. Whether it’s a headache, feeling tired, you are just cranky or struggling to focus, there are a number of ways your body will let you know it is in need of GOOD FUEL!
Skipping meals also SLOWS DOWN your metabolism! When your blood sugar drops, you will find yourself starving & ready to eat a HORSE by your next meal.
6. Consider all physical activity.
We advocate for increasing your daily activity by any means necessary. Sometimes, you may not have time to get to the gym or get in a full workout routine at home. However, by finding easy ways to get in physical activity, you will be surprised how those calories add up!
Try parking towards the back of the parking lot when you go shopping. Of course, SAFETY FIRST! This is an easy way to get in additional steps daily. Instead of taking the elevator or escalator, take the steps. Bring your grocery bags in the house one by one. Take a walk on your lunch break. Do jumping jacks during commercial breaks.
Find ways, within your daily routine, where you can take 5 minutes of your time & do something! The calories will add up & you will break through that scale rut!
7. Maximize the weekend.
How many more times will you start again…on Monday? It’s easy to stay on a diet regimen Monday-Thursday because that is routine. The weekend, beginning with Friday, usually gets most people in trouble because they are no longer following that weekly regimen. This is why you have to extend your regimen to include the weekend.
Are you eating out every weekend?
Are you maintaining your meal/snack schedule on the weekend–even if attending birthday parties or other social type events?
Are you staying hydrated?
Are you getting in activity on the weekend?
Remember, this is a lifestyle. In other words, what you do every day matters…not just M-Th work days.