There’s nothing more frustrating than when you hit a plateau. It feels like you’re doing everything right- you’re eating well, working out and doing exactly what you should be to achieve good losses (or gains, depending on what you’re hoping to achieve). If you’ve struggled with stalling for weeks, even months, there are a few things you might be doing which could be sabotaging your results. Here are some points to think about.
You’re Not Pushing Yourself Enough in Workouts
We’re all guilty of it. We find a routine or a piece of exercise equipment we enjoy, and we stick to that week in week out. While any exercise is beneficial, to get the full benefits you need to be switching it up more. This allows you to use muscles you don’t usually, making it more challenging. You will only increase your strength and fitness when you feel challenged, you need to push your body to do more than it ordinarily would.
Using a fitness tracker like a Fitbit is a good way to see exactly how much exercise you are doing. It tracks your heart rate, it lets you see how long you are in certain ‘zones’: fat burning zone tends to be lighter activity, cardio zone is where you should be aiming to train in and peak zone is close to your maximum heart rate. This image on wareable.com explains this better, If you aim to get into your peak zone for a few minutes every training session, this will really help to boost your fitness levels. If you’re spending an hour in the gym but not getting your heart up enough, it might feel like you’re being productive but not actually improving that much. Mix it up and push harder, you’ll soon see those scales moving or those gains increasing again!
Your Diet Is Letting You Down
Most of us underestimate the calories we consume. It’s not until you start tracking carefully what you’re eating that you realize just where you’ve been going wrong. Whether it’s being too generous with portion sizes, snacking mindlessly without paying much attention to making a ‘healthy choice’ to realize that actually, it wasn’t as good for you as you thought. This article from clickhole.com shows how some restaurant salads can contain more calories and fat than a burger due to extras and dressings. Use an app like MyFitnessPal to track everything you’re consuming. If you’re going over what you thought with calories, carbs, fat or whatever else you’re tracking- cutting these down will get your progress moving again.
You’re Still Drinking Alcohol
Alcohol is the definition of empty calories. Not only is it full of calories, sugar, and carbs, but your body doesn’t register them to feel full. In fact, alcohol makes you hungrier and also lowers your inhibitions, so you’re more likely to give up on your healthy eating plan and make a bad decision with food. If you’ve noticed you’re drinking more regularly, hiding what you’re consuming or feeling guilty it could be time to seek help. Orlandorecovery.com for example provides the facilities for those struggling with addiction. Not only will drinking too much stall your progress but it’s incredibly bad for the body, and regular use will lead to addiction over time.
You’re Not Sleeping Enough
While exercise will burn calories, most are actually burned just at rest. The body burns them for things like digestion, for giving you the energy to think and move. You burn the most calories when you’re asleep, and your body is repairing. Getting consistent sleep will help you to maximize this process. Plus, when you’re well rested you’re far more likely to be energized enough to hit the gym and work hard. When you’re tired the body releases hormones that make you crave high energy foods (and a lot of them) so making sure you get a good night’s rest will help your progress as well as your mood.
A plateau can be frustrating whatever stage of your journey you’re at. Just stay focused and don’t give up, one or two small changes may be all you need to get things moving again. Transforming your body is hard, but giving up certainly won’t get you there any quicker!
Have you ever experienced a plateau? Were you able to get things moving again, and if so- what did you do?