Summer is just around the corner and now is the time to kick it into high gear to look and feel your best this season! While maintaining a healthy diet and exercise routine is crucial to losing weight, there are dozens of outlying factors that can affect your progress. If you find yourself at a weight loss plateau, don’t give up!
As women age, weight comes off at a slower pace. Our hormones, our stress levels, and our sleep patterns in addition to our diet and exercise directly affect how we lose weight. It’s not enough to simply cut calories and hope for the best – we need to pay close attention to our bodies to overcome plateaus and continuously march towards our fitness goals.
Here are a few things to keep in mind with your exercise routine when you hit a plateau:
- Increase Your Cardio. Sometimes, our bodies simply become accustomed to our fitness routines. If you notice that you’re being consistent with your workouts but still aren’t seeing the weight come off, it’s time to increase your cardio. This doesn’t necessarily mean you need to increase the time you’re spending working out – you can increase the resistance or weight you’re using to challenge yourself in different ways.
- Add Intervals to Your Cardio. Alternate your pace during your cardio workouts! Switch from going extremely fast to slowing down and allowing your body to recover. The benefit is twofold- intervals enable your body to burn calories long after your workout ends AND they allow you to conserve energy and extend your workouts.
- Rise and Shine. If you notice that your progress has become stagnant, it might benefit you to move your cardio sessions to early in the morning. According to a 2013 British Journal of Nutrition study, exercising on an empty stomach can burn as much as 20 percent more fat than when a meal is eaten beforehand.
- Switch It Up. Do you have your go-to cardio routine? Always head for the treadmill on a high incline or opt for the elliptical to sweat things out? Try varying your routine. Get on a bike and pump up the resistance or try out a zumba class. There are so many different ways to get your heart rate elevated and enjoy the many benefits of cardio – go outside of your comfort zone and challenge yourself!
There are also several steps you can take with your nutrition to overcome your next fat-loss plateau:
- Put Pen to Paper. Often times, we think we’re being diligent with our diet and are frustrated by our non-results. But the truth is, if you’re not closely monitoring what you’re eating and holding yourself accountable each step of the way, it’s hard to make continuous progress in your weight loss journey. That’s why I highly recommend keeping a food journal in which you can record everything you eat on a daily basis – from the full breakfast you ate at 9:00 AM to the half of a cookie you enjoyed after dinner. Mapping out your diet allows you to identify what you can change to get yourself back on track. I am a big believer in keeping a food diary and my post 7 Days to Diet Awareness explains how it’s done.
- Start Measuring Your Portions. This goes hand-in-hand with keeping a food journal – be sure to measure your portions. You may think you’re consuming one serving size of brown rice, but in reality, you could be eating well beyond the recommended amount. In measuring your portions, you’ll have complete control over what you’re body is taking in.
- Eat …. More! It may sound counterintuitive, but you may need to eat more to see a change in your weight loss progress. If you’re not eating enough or not eating often enough, you could be causing your metabolism to slow down. This doesn’t mean to load up on bagels and pasta – rather, focus on lean protein, whole grains, fruits and veggies to keep your energy levels and metabolism up. For optimum results, follow a structured nutrition plan.
- When in Doubt, Drink Water. It’s the oldest trick in the book – be sure to drink at least eight 8-ounce glasses of water on a daily basis. This can help speed up your metabolism and flush out toxins.
The most important thing to remember is that plateaus are normal and a part of the process – stay motivated and diligent in your efforts! Ladies, YOU have to be your biggest cheerleader and know when it’s time to switch things up to meet your goals.
HAVE YOU RECENTLY OVERCOME A WEIGHT-LOSS PLATEAU? PLEASE SHARE YOUR EXPERIENCE IN THE COMMENTS BELOW.
Are you looking to further your weight loss journey? This post is for you:
Prepping Your Kitchen For Weight Loss Success