Very little in life can be as frustrating as discovering that the weight loss you were once enjoying has come to a grinding halt. Weight loss plateaus can drive you absolutely batty, but you can take some comfort in the fact that they happen to everyone. Unfortunately, the solution to your dieting frustration may not be a simple to cure as you think. While the most common steps include working out more or eating less, they may be exactly the wrong thing to do. Read on to find out more about getting those scales moving again.
It's an unfortunate fact, but the closer you are to reaching your goal weight is, the harder it is to avoid weight loss plateaus, mostly because your margin of error is so very small. But don't think that you can't win the war in overcoming weight loss plateaus. Here are 5 tips for overcoming a weight loss plateau so you can get the scale moving again.
1. Exercise a little less. This is no excuse to become a couch potato and give up altogether, however from time to time the body simply needs a break from training. How can you tell if you need a break? If you feel absolutely exhausted after a workout that seemed easier the previous week, you probably need a break. Take a week to do some easy walking or gentle yoga. You might also lift lighter weights or do only 1 set of reps. After a week or two, get right back into your original program or even make it harder depending on your energy level.
2. Kick up the intensity. This is the opposite of taking a break. If your workout is boring, then your plateau could be due to simply slacking off because you are no longer excited about exercise. Change your workout routine, make it harder, or make it a little longer. If this is the right move for you, then you'll know in a couple of workouts because you will feel more energized and the scale will start moving.
3. Scrutinize your diet. Everyone's diet could use a little tweaking from time to time. If you've been treating yourself as an incentive to workout, maybe you should stop for a week or two. Get super serious about your diet for a week or two and see if there is a change. We often let our diets slide without realizing it and that can cause a weight loss plateau.
4. Try cardio in the morning. 20-30 minutes of easy to moderate cardiovascular exercise on an empty stomach before breakfast can do wonders for your metabolism. This is one of the easiest ways to train your body to burn more fat all day long.
5. Manipulate your diet up or down by 500 calories. It's quite possible you've miscalculated your caloric needs. As you become more fit your body composition changes and your calorie needs change too. If you exercise regularly and changing your workout hasn't produced any results, then it's likely that you're underfeeding. Try adding calories first. You could also alternate high calorie and low calorie days. Manipulating calorie intake is an easy way to bust through weight loss plateaus.
I hope you got some useful ideas from this article about how to overcome a weight loss plateau. Please keep in mind that these tips will only work if you are already eating a clean, junk food free diet.