So you’ve started a healthy lifestyle journey and at first, the weight was coming off quickly, and then as you got into your routine the numbers tapered off, and then you’ve hit a wall and the numbers aren’t changing. Whether you’re looking to lose weight or bulk up a plateau is part of the journey. They’ll come a time when your body gets used to what you’ve been putting it through, and you’ll need to reevaluate and readjust to get the numbers moving. Here are a few ways to get over the plateau.
If you’ve been losing weight your body requires less energy to fuel the new you, however, on the other end of the spectrum if you’re looking for more muscle your body will need more to fuel the new muscle mass you’ve acquired. Revise your caloric intake based on your goals. Whether your goal is to lose or gain, make sure you’re implementing more fresh foods and less processed.
Change Up Your Routine
Once you’ve established a routine that works it can be hard to stray from what’s been working, but if you’re not seeing the progress you’re aiming for it’s time for a change. Chugging away on a treadmill or elliptical machine might have started your weight loss, but try incorporating HIIT, High-Intensity Interval Training, to burn body fat. If you’ve been pumping the same iron and your guns are no longer blazing you can change up your sets, rather than volume focus on intensity so instead of 3 sets of 10, do 10 sets of 3.
Protein, Protein, Protein
Protein is essential for weight loss or weight gain. Eating proteins burn more calories during digestion and contain an amino acid, leucine, that initiates your body to burn fat. Just like your workouts your body can get used to what you eat. If you’ve been sticking to skinless, boneless chicken and eggs as your protein sources, change it up. Incorporate cod, beans, turkey, or quinoa into your meals.
Take a Break
Going full steam ahead on your goals is great, but sometimes your body needs a break. Take a week off and let your body reset. Taking a break isn’t just good for your body it’s good for your mental health also. Despite what you may be thinking, taking a week off isn’t going to mean you’re back at square one. Studies have found there isn’t much change in a week. If you do decide to take a break, continue to pay attention to what you’re eating, don’t go crazy and fill up on sugar and fat, but do treat yourself. When you get back to the gym you’ll feel like a new person and you’ll be ready to work harder.
Plateaus happen, it’s a part of the journey. Know your numbers and you’ll know when things are starting to slow down. If you’ve tried making changes and still don’t see a difference talk to your doctor to make sure there are no underlying concerns.