Hitting a weight loss plateau happens a lot, no matter how much we try to avoid it. There are some steps that can be taken to help you shed those extra pounds and prevent that plateauing. As a trainer, I see a lot of people who get discouraged and give up working out and eating healthy, when there is evidence that making a few changes could actually help get past the problem and resume weight loss.
Know why plateauing occurs to identify ways to avoid the problem.
Plateauing can occur because of the body’s drive to be efficient. Efficiency is praised in a business setting and also good for the body, unless you’re trying to lose weight. Then it can cause you to burn fewer calories. The longer you do an exercise, the less difficult it is for your body to do and the fewer calories you burn. Avoiding the problem is easy, just vary your workout more frequently. As a trainer, I make sure we do that for several reasons. One is plateauing and other reasons include combating boredom, working muscles on all planes and working toward maximum potential, which increases as you get fitter.
As your weight changes and gets lower, your body doesn’t have to work as hard.
Just imagine carrying a ten point weight around all day. You’d get pretty tired. You’d also burn extra calories. The same is true if you put on an extra ten pounds and the opposite is true. If you lose ten pounds you won’t burn as many calories, just as you wouldn’t burn as many calories if you put a ten pound weight down and walked without it. It takes 3500 more calories consumed than burned to add a pound and that weight loss can affect the speed of weight loss. The solution is to eat a little less or workout harder to get the weight loss you hoped to achieve.
Plateauing isn’t always indicative that you’re not getting fitter.
A cubic inch of fat weighs less than a cubic inch of muscle tissue. To make that a bit clearer, the container holding ten pounds of fat would be a lot bigger than a container holding ten pounds of muscle tissue. It’s like comparing containers holding ten pounds of feathers and ten pounds of lead. You may not be losing weight, but that doesn’t mean you aren’t making progress. You could be losing inches. Track your measurements, too. If you hit a plateau and don’t track them, check how your clothes fit. Are tight pants suddenly loose? Are your old clothes simply too big? Take heart and persevere, you’re making headway.
- Don’t judge your weight loss daily, instead, weigh yourself once a week or less. Do it at the same time of day. Weight fluctuates throughout the day and water weight can give a false idea of all the progress you’ve actually made.
- If your weight is plateauing for long, yet you’ve counted everything you ate and you’re fine, have you considered it might be what you drink. Soft drinks add empty calories and that could be the problem. Even diet soft drinks are bad and can add inches to your waistline.
- Increase your activities outside the gym. Find ways to boost the calories you burn daily. Skip the elevator, at least for a few floors. Park further from the door when you shop. Walk faster, do physical chores at warp speed and instead of sitting through commercials if you watch TV, do a few exercises.
- You’ll be more apt to keep up your good work if you spend days you’re not coming to the gym in activities that are physical and that you enjoy. Go roller skating, swim or shoot hoops with the kids. Have fun and enjoy your new-found fitness.
For more information, contact us today at Skin Sport Fitness