It’s happened to all of us, one minute we are dropping kilos like they’re hot, next minute nothing is happening. We aren’t doing anything different, we are still consuming the same diet and training hard but we are stuck. So what’s the deal and how can we reboot and continue to shred that fat?
The dreaded “plateau”. It seems that your body has caught on to what you’re doing and has decided to make it harder for you. When we first start trying to lose weight our bodies become confused and need to use a lot more energy when training simply because we are heavier and it’s all new. This means that calories are burned at a much faster rate. When we start to drop the kilos our bodies don’t need to work as hard to keep up the same level of activity because we are lighter and we have gotten used to our new activity levels. The other reason is the amount of calories we are consuming. When we first started dieting we lowered our calories and our body started burning up its own fat stores to give us energy, when we stop losing weight it can be because we are now eating the right amount of calories for our new weight, therefore our bodies don’t need to burn stored fat as energy anymore. Seems unfair, right?
How to break a plateau
It’s time to change it up. Firstly look at your diet; are you still eating the same amount of calories as when you started? If yes, then its time decrease your calorie intake again. Keep in mind though, eating too few calories can cause our bodies to freak out and will slow down our metabolisms. To keep your metabolism high don’t eat fewer than 1200 calories per day. There are many online calorie calculators that you can use and there are plenty of apps you can download a good one to use is MyFitnessPal. This app allows you to track your meals and fitness levels, it will calculate your calorie goal and best part is its free! Another good thing to look at is what you are eating, make sure you are having protein at every meal as this is known to burn calories at rates of up to 60% faster, only eat carbs around your workouts, that’s before and after, make sure your eating enough fruits and vegetables daily and cut out all sugary drinks and snacks.
If your diet isn’t to blame then it’s probably your activity level. Just like with diets our bodies get used to activity levels, when this happens we don’t need to use as much energy to perform exercises. So it’s time to train a little bit harder. Start with a change in cardio like hill jogging, an extra 10 minutes walking or adding an extra day of cardio. You should also be doing weight training as this is known to burn a lot of calories. If you are already doing weights then it’s time to up the weight or performs more sets.
So now you know why you have stopped losing weight, you can get back on track and reach your goals. Everybody ends up hitting the dreaded plateau but with the right attitude you can bounce right out of it.
Don’t give up!