It happens to all of us at some point – the dreaded plateau!
Everyone is different at the rate they lose weight and where they lose it, and it’s really easy to get discouraged.
The bottom line is that if you continue to keep your new healthy habits in place, you WILL see results. Most people get discouraged and give up too soon – before they ever have a chance to see the results they want.
"I just can't lose weight" or "I'll never reach my goal weight" are things we tell ourselves. But it's not true – we just tend to give up when it doesn't happen within our desired time frame.
If you can change your focus to getting healthier, making better food choices and exercising smarter, you will do more for yourself than obsessing over the number on the scale. For example, if you aren’t getting enough sleep, have a high level of stress, and you’re eating a fair share of processed foods, you’re going to have an uphill battle losing weight.
By addressing it from a ‘taking better care of yourself’ perspective, the rest tends to fall into place. Because while we can't always control the number on the scale we CAN control how we take care of ourselves. In the long run, this is much more important in order to have a healthy, happy life.
In this blog post I'm going to outline 6 strategies that you can use to BUST through your plateau.
1. Focus on Eating the Healthiest, Most Nutrient-Dense Foods You Can.
The more healthy whole foods you eat (with plenty of protein and healthy fats), the less room you’ll have for higher calorie processed foods. When you give your body what it truly needs, you’ll have fewer cravings for empty calories and ‘junk food,’ which usually leads to consuming fewer calories.
I wrote a really great blog post on how to get started with clean eating that you can read by clicking here.
2. Reduce Stress & Get Enough Sleep
When you’re tired, you’re also more likely to eat more (studies show people consume up to 25% more calories when they’re tired).
Do you notice how you reach for a quick energy fix when you’re tired? This usually comes in the form of sugary snacks and drinks and/or processed foods.
3. Food Journaling or Tracking What You Eat
I like apps for tracking food – my favourites are Lose It and Myfitnesspal. Most of us carry our phones at all times, which makes tracking convenient.
4. Don't Skip Meals
This makes perfect sense because our bodies keep track – so if by late afternoon you haven’t had enough to eat, you’re going to be really hungry and make less healthy choices. This is what happens when you ‘diet’ and you feel like you’ve done great until around 3:00 pm and then you’re starving, eat everything in sight and don’t understand why you can’t control your appetite.
Your body needs real food on a regular basis. Eat breakfast, lunch and healthy snacks when needed and don’t wait until you’re too hungry to have something to eat.
5. Seek Guidance from a Health Coach
Food sensitivities, poor digestion, inflammation, toxins, low-thyroid or hormonal imbalances, to name a few.
This is where having a health coach is so essential for trouble shooting and coming up with an effective, sustainable plan to push forward towards your goals.
Are you currently in a plateau?
Click here to book a free health coaching call with me to discuss your situation, and I'll give you actionable steps that you can start taking today to bust through your plateau!
I have worked with hundreds of clients over the past 15 years, and know many of the symptoms of inflammation, low-thyroid, hormonal imbalances, and other issues that keep people stuck.
You shouldn't have to put in hours of cardio a day just to budge the number on the scale!
Book your free call and let's bust through your plateau together!
6. Mix Up Your Workouts
As I, and many others, like to say: You can't out-run a poor diet.
However, if you've implemented all of the above and are still stuck in a plateau, re-assessing your physical activity levels is a great way to bust through!
If you’ve stopped seeing results, it’s good to look at how often you’re working out as well as the length and intensity of your workouts. If you’ve been exercising 3 days a week, it’s probably time to bump it up to 4 or 5 to start seeing results again, OR do longer workouts on the 3 or 4 days if appropriate.
Take a moment to check in with yourself – are you giving it 100% or just ‘showing up’ most days?
We all have days where we aren’t 100%, and that 70% effort is certainly better than no effort, but evaluate your effort level on most days.
Note: If you’re already tired and feeling run down, you would be better off getting the rest you need so you can recharge and give more effort at your next workout.
Remember: you can't out-run a poor diet, so
Adding resistance training is another key tactic if your goals involve reshaping your body. Avoid doing the same routine week after week.
Our bodies adapt rather quickly to new stresses put on it, so by switching things up you will see results quicker.
It’s a good idea to change your routine every 30 days or so.
Finally, doing cardio-only exercise is not going to work long term and can actually stall your weight loss efforts.
The research shows that interval training increases your fitness levels and burns more calories over a short period of time, compared to long steady cardio sessions.
I wrote an informative blog post about the many benefits of moving our bodies. Click here to read.
Bonus Tip: Hydrate!
If you’re feeling a little discouraged, focus on the positive and how you’re making better choices. Do the best you can for your health each day and you WILL see and feel changes. Be patient and just keep moving forward, one healthy choice at a time. Slow and steady is the way to go for long-term success.
There could be other underlying conditions including hormonal imbalances that can hinder weight loss, so it’s a good idea to seek a health care practitioner that deals with this, such as your physician, naturopathic doctor or functional medical doctor.
Promise yourself you are not going to give up...you are in this for the long haul, and you’re worth it!
I've written a separate blog post all about how getting enough water aids fat loss. Click here to read.
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