One thing we probably all have experienced before, no matter what our fitness goals are, is a plateau. Plateau’s can happen for several different reasons, which is what we will go over. In addition, we will give you 5 ways you can get over plateaus!
Why Do Plateaus Happen?
- Caloric Deficit – Now, you might say “I thought the rule was calories in vs. calories out” in a weight loss scenario. And yes, this is true to a degree. However, if you are at too much of a calorie deficit your body is also not getting all the nutrients it needs. And if this happens for too long, this is where a plateau will occur.
- Starvation Mode – When you are hungry, your body releases a hormone called ghrelin. Ghrelin is also the hormone in your body that promotes fat storage. Whenever you have feelings of hunger during the day, your body is producing too much ghrelin. This in turn causes your metabolism to slow down and fat storage to go up.
- Tracking – If you are not tracking your food, you can expect to hit a plateau. And if you do track your food, a lot of us don’t track properly or report all calories eaten.
Here’s 5 ways to get past that stubborn plateau:
- Stop Starving Yourself – Work with a professional to figure out what a good calorie intake would be to reach your goals. In addition, if you are starving yourself, you are less likely to stick with this type of diet and you will feel deprived constantly. And this may cause you to get into the restrict – binge cycle a lot of us know so well.
- Track – When you have specific fitness goals, tracking is a huge way to reach these goals. And ensure you are tracking properly by measuring your intake as well. There can be a huge difference between guessing and actually measuring:
- For example: A medium apple (100g) = 52 calories and 14 carbohydrates. A large apple (223g) = 116 calories and 31 carbohydrates. So, if you are not measuring that apple and tracking the calories for the exact size, you could potentially overeat quite easily.
- Some of our favorite Tracking Apps:
- My Fitness Pal –
- My Plate Calorie Counter
- Lose It! Calorie Counter
- LifeSum: Diet and Macro Tracker
**Our suggestion is to work with a professional to figure out calories and macros (protein, carbs, fat daily count) that is for you and your goals. A lot of times apps will restrict your calories too much and this will cause a plateau as mentioned above.
- Make it a Lifestyle – Finding a diet and exercise routine that fits best into your life is ultimately the one you will stick with. Stop restricting and binging. Stop getting some results, stopping and then starting over. Making your health a priority and part of your everyday life is ultimately the best way to get results and maintain those results long term.
- Rest – If your goals are losing weight, it’s common that losing weight up front is easier than losing those last few pounds. As we get leaner, our body holds onto certain weight a lot more because of survival purposes (and for women, perhaps child bearing purposes). In this scenario, a lot of people think they need to restrict calories even more, which will in turn create a more negative outcome. Giving your body rest is important in this case. Taking stress off the body will be huge in this scenario. Additionally, try increasing your calorie restriction 10% each week until you are only in a 500 calorie deficit. This will help jump start your weight loss once again!
Change it Up – Have you been doing the same classes each week? Or the same program? Our bodies are made to adapt. As workouts become less challenging, they also become less effective. That does not mean you have to progressively make your workouts harder and harder. But, you could simply change the types of exercises you’re doing. You could go heavy with strength training with fewer reps and then switch to lighter with more reps the next week. For example, if you normally do push-ups maybe switch it up to a bench press this week. And if you are not sure where to start on switching things up, we have you covered! Our programming is specifically created with this in mind!