How to Bust Through a Fitness Plateau
One of the most frustrating times for anyone on a weight loss plan is when they hit a fitness plateau. Everything seems to be going so great, you are continually losing weight and feeling better about yourself, and then one day, everything just stops. The number on the scale isn't changing and even worse, you aren't looking any better in the mirror.
What's going on, and what can you do to bust through this weight plateau? Let's look at some of the main things that you can do to get your weight loss results back on track.
The Diet Plateau
Usually the main reason for a weight loss plateau is actually because of a diet plateau. When you're on a lower calorie diet, your metabolic rate is slowly going to adjust to compensate for the reduced food intake and before too long, you'll be burning calories at a much lower pace.
This in turn makes it that much harder to keep seeing fat loss results, so what's needed here is a metabolism boost.
The thing you'll want to do is take a few days off your diet plan. This may seem counterintuitive but put trust in your body and know that you have to do something to get it back on track again.
These two to three days of higher calorie eating are going to help 'turn on' the fat burning hormones in the body again so that your metabolism fires up. This way, when you move back to the weight loss diet, you'll start shedding pounds like you used to.
On these off days there's no need to gorge yourself with unhealthy food but rather focus on eating larger servings of healthy foods, especially those that provide quality carbohydrates. These are foods like whole grains, brown rice, and fruits. These play a very significant role in giving you a metabolism boost so they need to be taken in.
The Exercise Plateau
If it's an exercise plateau that you're experiencing, then it's time to make some quick changes. You are experiencing a fitness plateau when you are not making any progress in your workout, and you are not seeing any type of further weight loss.
One of the best ways to break this pattern is to introduce high-intensity intervals into your program. This is where you will be working very hard for thirty to sixty seconds followed by having a rest or lower intensity period for twice that long. Alternate between hard and easy intervals until the cardiovascular exercise is complete.
This type of aerobic exercise also tends to boost the metabolism a lot higher and will help speed up the process of fat loss.
With your resistance training program, you should swap out some of the old exercises you were doing and replace them with new ones. This can also go a long way towards helping improve the progress you're making as it shocks your body with something new.
When you are continually performing the same exercises session after session, eventually your body learns to handle those stressors very well and will stop showing clear benefits. For example, if you typically do squats as part of your workout plan, try doing lunges instead. This movement will still work the same main muscle groups but will target them from a different angle.
It's important that you do vary it from time to time, not only to prevent an exercise plateau from taking place, but also to help you deal with any boredom issues as well.