You’ve been doing great with your new weight loss and fitness plan, and you have been dropping pounds and feeling great. But then it just stopped. Sound familiar? Have you hit what you think might be a plateau? The great news is this period of stagnation doesn’t have to last long, and with a few considerations your weight may be back on the decline in no time!
Stalled results can happen for a number of reasons, but overall it happens because your body has adapted to the changes you have made, and it may be time for new or different approach. Here are our tips for tackling a weight-loss or fitness plateau.
Weight loss motivation tips
Reevaluate your tracking.
The biggest part of having success in any lifestyle change you make is paying attention to details — all of them — especially tracking. Studies show that people who log their calories and activity are more successful than those who don’t. So if this has fallen off, pick it up again.
Cut additional calories.
If you started out losing weight by making a small change, you may be ready to commit to making bigger ones. If you weren’t tracking calories to begin with, start now. Next, slowly reduce your calorie ranges. It’s important though to not go fewer than 1,200 calories per day, so call your MyHealth health coach for guidelines to safely get started.
Ramp up your activity.
Activity plays a role in losing weight, so it’s important to monitor its time, type, and intensity. If you started off strong, it may be time to add additional minutes or increase the intensity by adding intervals. If you are just focused on cardiovascular activity, you may want to consider adding in strength training to help to start to build muscle mass.
Fitness motivation tips
Try new activities.
Routine can be the enemy! To rise above a fitness plateau, you will need to vary the intensity and type of activity so your body doesn’t adapt to doing the same thing over and over again. Remember to always keep it fun.
Add in strength training.
Strength training is an important element in a physical activity program. Building lean muscle mass is just as important as improving cardiovascular fitness, so if this has been neglected, call your MyHealth health coach for tips to safely get started with strength training.
Don’t overdo it.
Overtraining can lead to plateaus as well as injury. It’s important to take an honest look at your routine and evaluate if you are giving your body the essential time between workouts that it needs to recover.
General motivation tips
Staying hydrated plays an important role in both fitness and weight loss. The body uses water to maintain its temperature, lubricate the joints, remove waste, and much more. For most people water is best for hydration, but some foods such as fruits and vegetables also have high percentage of water.
Get a full night’s sleep.
A Harvard Sleep Study found middle-aged women who reported sleeping five hours or less per night were 32-percent more likely to gain 33 pounds or more than women who slept at least seven hours. Sleep is also essential in fitness as well, because the body needs adequate time between workouts to rest and repair for the next session. Losing sleep can impact all areas of health and wellness.
Stress can be both good and bad. It can be a positive force that helps us perform well, but it can also be a negative force that becomes chronic and leads to serious health conditions. Managing stress can help prevent stress eating — which is often connected to weight gain — and it can also leave you feeling energetic and ready to tackle your next workout.
When dealing with a plateau, it’s important to remember not to get discouraged. It’s normal for progress to eventually slow and even stall. The great news is that you now understand some of the factors that go into a plateau, and now you can decide how to adjust and get back on track!