Let’s Talk About Plateaus!

By Taralynn McNitt April 4, 2014

What is a Plateau?
A weight-loss plateau is when you are stuck at the same weight even though you are practicing a healthy diet and working out. Let’s just say you have been running two miles a day and eating the same diet. You lost fifteen pounds on that routine. This week you continued that routine, but the scale stayed the same. You did everything you were supposed to, but your weight hit a plateau. The more weight you lose, the higher chances are for hitting a plateau.

Why Do Plateaus Happen?
As you lose muscle from working out, your metabolism slows down. When you gain muscle your metabolism speeds up. As you lose weight, your body burns calories a lot slower, because it has less to feed. Your body is also smart, it knows when you are trying to take away from it. If you are constantly in fat burning mode it will fight against you making it more difficult for you to lose weight. You have to trick your body.

Plateaus are frustrating. They happen to almost everyone who is on a weight-loss journey. When I was on my journey I hit one almost every month. I once hit a plateau that lasted 45 days. I can’t explain how frustrating that was. I felt like my hard work was for nothing.

It is important not to get frustrated with plateaus. Finding motivation to push forward and not fall back into old habits is important. There are a bunch of different methods to escape them, but how do you know which one to choose?

I have tried just about every method. Some worked and some…a disaster. Here are some do’s/don’ts based on my experience:

– Increase your calories and increase your workouts.
– Change your workout routine. Try new classes or focus on new muscles.
– Continue to eat healthy, but take a couple days off working out to allow your body to relax and your muscles to rebuild.
– Have a cheat meal to increase your leptin levels, shocking your metabolism, causing it to speed up.
– Relax. Find a way to relive your stress. Yoga a couple times a week can help relax your body and muscles.
– Treat yourself. Depriving can cause stress and binge eating.
– Add strength training and weight lifting into your work out routine to speed up metabolism.
– Calorie cycle. Don’t eat the same amount of calories everyday. Go up and down, but never under your recommended intake. If you go under, you will put your body in a starvation mode. That will seriously damage your body.
– Increase your water intake to speed your metabolism.
– Eat more fiber.
– Increase your social life activities. Going out and clearing your mind from a weight-loss plateau can help you relax and push forward.
– Be patient. It didn’t take you overnight to gain the unwanted weight. It won’t come off overnight either.

– Weigh yourself. Focus on the measuring tape. Your scale may not be changing, but you may be losing inches.
– Cut your calories and increase your workouts.
– Cut your calories and decrease your workouts.
– Eat junk food after working out.
– Eat the same thing over and over.
– Take a diet supplement.
– Cut out fruits.
– Eat strictly three meals a day.
– Give up.

These are some of my trial and errors when it comes to the weight loss plateau. It’s important to not give up. Try a couple different things. I’d love to hear your plateau tips too!

*This post was originally published on Taralynn’s website, Simply Taralynn. For more from Taralynn visit www.simplytaralynn.com

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