A plateau is inevitable if you are regularly working out. This occurs when you have been doing a certain activity for a period of time, producing results and then the weight loss or improved conditioning simply stop. This happens because your body has become accustomed to the exercise or nutrition and it has become the “norm,” which is no longer effective for losing weight.
If you are working toward fat loss, a plateau will only slow the progress that you are making. However, hitting a plateau is not all bad. In fact, it means that you have been working so hard that you have reached the optimum amount of results with that specific activity. This also means it will no longer be effective. This is the time to “shake it up” and find some plateau busting strategies that will help you get back on track to your goals.
- Find New Strength Training Exercises
When you are training with weights, chances are you will perform the same exercises each day. By switching up the routine you follow every four to five weeks you can easily avoid these problems. This can include changing the order of the exercises you do, the amount of weight that you use and the number of reps. It is important to switch the exercises you do to keep your body “guessing” and you will keep achieving results. If you are unsure about what type of exercises you need to be doing, consulting with a professional is important. A personal trainer will have no problem helping you devise a great workout plan that is tailored to your particular needs.
- Switch up your Cardio
Just as you switch your strength routines, you must also switch your cardio routines. If you participate in the same activity each day, you will eventually stop seeing results. Therefore you should try to include other cardio activities. For example, run two days a week, interval train one day and swim another. If you are exercising in a gym, experiment with other equipment. You can also increase the intensity or time that you do an activity. Joining an aerobics class or even kicking up your existing workout a notch is a great way get more of a burn in the gym. A class will also allow you to get some increased motivation due to the community aspect that is common in this type of setting. You will need to do a good deal of research before selecting a new aerobics class to ensure it is the right fit for your needs.
- Focus on Nutrition
When you are facing a difficult plateau consider focusing on what you are eating, as well as the exercises that you are doing. If you are following a limited calorie diet, consider switching to a low-carb or no carb diet for six weeks and you will likely easily break through your weight loss plateau. While it may take a bit of trial and error to find the right diet, it will be well worth the effort you invest.
In some situations, you will need a little extra motivation to get through a plateau. This is the perfect time to treat yourself. You can enjoy a desert or even purchase new workout gear. This will help you feel great and get back on the path of successfully losing weight. With a renewed sense of motivation, you will find it easier to get in the gym and give it your all. It is important to reward yourself for a job well done due to the increased motivation it can provide you.
A plateau is the last thing you want to encounter when trying to lose weight or get in shape. However, with the tips here you can easily find methods to break through these plateaus and come out successful on the other side of your plateau.
RD Neha Kava
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