The Key to Breaking Through a Weight-Loss Plateau

October 22, 2013 / Health & Fitness / Source: Health & Fitness

Plateau_Brick WallDo you feel like you have been doing everything right with eating and exercise, but the scale just won’t budge?  If so, then you might have hit a plateau.  Plateaus are very normal and a common experience that many people face when trying to lose weight.   So, the question is, “What causes a plateau and how can I break through it?” 

A plateau is reached when our body adapts to the different experiences and demands we place upon it.  Basically, our bodies become more efficient with dealing with the changes and it doesn’t have to work as hard…meaning we burn less calories.  So, if you initially experienced good progress when you started a new exercise routine or diet and then your progress eventually slowed down or even stopped, then it sounds like you most likely have reached a plateau.

How do you break through a plateau?  The KEY word is CHANGE!  If your body has adapted to your new workout or diet, then you need to change it up a little bit.  In fact, two of the most common reasons for hitting a plateau are doing the same workout routine day after day and not eating enough.   So, the best way to fight this is to change it up.  Generally, it is best to switch up our workout routines about every 30 days to cause a little “muscle confusion.”  It doesn’t mean we have to exercise more or longer, it just means we need to change up our routine.  In addition, if we don’t eat enough calories then our bodies start to adapt to the fewer calories and basically goes into starvation mode to protect our bodies…and the end result is a slower metabolism.  

Therefore, it is important to pay attention to our bodies and recognize when it is time to switch things up a bit.  As we become healthier and leaner, our bodies often need more of a challenge AND more calories.  So, don’t be afraid to challenge yourself or up your calories a little because you just might be surprised by the results.  Lastly, change also helps to add a little variety to keep us from getting bored with our workouts…so it is a double win.  So, go ahead and give yourself permission to CHANGE!