You've committed yourself to an awesome diet plan, or switched to eating healthier, and started to notice the pounds drop, gradually. Your loss of some excess belly fat helped to motivate you to exercise to shed even more weight, which worked out great. Then, after several months of healthy eating and exercise, you find yourself stuck at a certain weight. The pounds aren't dropping like they used to, and yet, you haven't changed a thing. However, that is where the problem lies. You've hit a weight loss plateau, so now it's time to make the proper changes to get over the hump so you can continue to lose weight.
1. Change Your Exercise Routine
If you've been jogging a mile, every day since you started your weight loss regiment, it might be time to change things up a bit. In the beginning, you were shedding pounds because you were performing physical exercise that your body wasn't used to. On top of that, you were heavier back then, which means your body was exerting itself to push you through that mile. As you started losing weight and conditioning your body, it grew accustomed to your one mile jog around the neighborhood. One way you can break a weight loss plateau is by changing your workout regimen:
- Try running longer distances.
- Run at a faster speed for a shorter period of time.
- Change your regular course, and try to incorporate some hills for an incline workout.
- Look into other ways to exercise outdoors.
2. Change Your Eating Habits
Now that you're no longer losing weight, it may be time to reassess your eating habits. That doesn't mean it's time to get off your diet and go on a fast food binge. Try eating less at each meal, but eat more frequently. Five small meals a day, instead of three, may be just the thing you're looking for to kick-start your metabolism once you've hit a weight loss plateau.
3. Start Building Muscle
You've never been the type to hit the free weights at the gym, but now's the best time to try. Now, this doesn't mean you need to start benching massive amounts of weight, or doing arm curls with dumbbells that are the size of a small child. If you want to break a weight loss plateau, you'll need to start building muscle. Building a little lean muscle will help you burn more calories than normal, without having to worry about looking too bulky. If you start to get bigger than you'd like to, try reducing the amount of weight you're using to train with.
4. Adjust Your Diet
You're starting to change your exercise routine and you're lifting weights to build lean muscle. Now it's time to change the foods you are actually eating to lose more weight. Yes, it's ok to veer off your successful diet plan, but only if you've hit a plateau and are no longer achieving the desired results. Adding more lean protein to your diet by eating chicken breast and salmon is a great way to break a weight loss plateau. These metabolism boosting foods combined with light weight training can help you drop more weight than before.
5. Record What You Are Eating
You may not realize it, but once you've lost some weight and start to feel more comfortable with your body, it's easy to start cheating on your diet regimen. Taking in an extra snack, or indulging in something off of your diet menu is very tempting after a bit of weight loss success. If you are cheating on your diet, then you are cheating on your weight loss goals. If you feel you've hit some sort of weight loss plateau, start accounting for every single thing that enters your mouth and make sure you're adhering to your diet and daily allowances.
Don't Give Up
One of the worst things about a weight loss plateau is that it can be quite discouraging for those trying to turn their lives around. They might start to feel frustrated or hopeless, and they may give up entirely on their new healthy habits that helped them lose weight if they are unable to achieve the desired results. Don't give up on your diet and exercise that easily. Try these helpful tips and look for new ways to get your weight loss goals back on track.
One last thing to consider is that you might have already achieved a healthy weight for yourself. A weight loss plateau is for people who have started losing weight, but hit a plateau while still having excess pounds to shed to achieve a healthy weight for themselves. If you've lost a significant amount of weight, but are still unsatisfied with how you look, talk to a physician before trying anything else. You don't want to get to a point where you are spending too much energy exercising or not eating enough to keep your body healthy.