You’ve set yourself a weight loss target (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-bound!), and you’re working really hard to shift those pounds – calorie counting, increased exercise and cutting out all the ‘bad foods’. The trouble is, it’s stopped. The numbers on the scales won’t budge, and they haven’t for a few weeks now.
The good news is you’ve reached a plateau! Everyone does at some point or another – if you go through your entire weight loss journey without experiencing it, you’re very very lucky!
Although it is a common thing, people just don’t know what it is and how to overcome it, and so give up their goal as a lost cause.
It doesn’t need to be like that! Here are some tips to help you get over your plateau, and continue on your journey to success:
- Boost your N.E.A.T – Non-exercise activity thermogenesis is all activity which burns calories outside your exercise routine. If you sit down for long periods throughout the day, your calorie burn will be lower. Can you nip out for a quick walk at lunchtime? Can you take the stairs instead of a lift/ escalator? Can you go and talk to a colleague instead of sending an email? It all adds up, and all makes a difference.
- Take a closer look at your calorie count – calories aren’t the be-all and end-all when it comes to weight loss but, if you’re eating more than you’re burning then you energy balance will be way off. Recalculate your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR), to give you an indication of the calories you need, before even thinking about calories burned through exercise. Apps and websites such as MyFitnessPal have a BMR calculator and will allow you to log your food intake and exercise, to give a round figure in terms of weight loss. It’s easy to underestimate the amount of calories eaten and overestimate the amount of calories burned through exercise, so this can take away some of the guesswork.
- Work out your workout – look at changing your workout routine, as your body gets bored quite quickly. If you’ve not altered the intensity or added extra weights, then switch things up a bit.
- Quality foods – as well as how many calories you’re consuming, looking at the make-up of your diet can make a difference. Cutting back on processed foods and increasing your consumption of vegetables, beans and lean protein can help keep you fuller for longer, probably meaning you won’t need to reach for the biscuit tin as a mid-afternoon snack.
- Stay hydrated – sometimes we confuse thirst with hunger, so make sure you stay hydrated throughout the day. Aim for 8 glasses of water per day if you can, or just aim to increase this steadily over a period of time. If you’re exercising, you’ll need to add more to this, as you’ll be sweating it out!
- Increase your muscle mass – a higher muscle mass will mean a higher calorie burn, so add resistance and strength exercises to you routine. If you’re unsure what to add in, ask an Instructor if you go to a Gym, or feel free to get in touch and I can point you in the right direction.
- Get adequate sleep – sleep is where your body recovers and makes adaptations. Tiredness also means you are more likely to make poor food choices, which can lead to greater calorie consumption.
Remember your body can be resistant to change, so it takes a bit more time and hard work to get the results you’re expecting.