Seriously!? After doing all of that exercise and eating all of those tasteless diet foods, the numbers on the scale still won’t budge. It’s been over a month, and you have had it with staring at the same digits every time you hop on the scale. Although hitting the dreaded plateau is frustrating, flinging your scale out of the window isn’t the answer. There are less dramatic solutions to help you bust through your plateau and keep you from dealing with the same drama in the future.
Avoid a Weight Loss Plateau
Switch things up. When you do the same workout routine over and over again, your body becomes accustomed to it and the exercises no longer have the same effect. While you don’t have to make any drastic changes to your routine, switching out one or two of your exercises periodically can keep you from hitting a plateau. For instance, if you use the treadmill every day, consider taking a fitness class sometimes.
Opt for higher intensity. One of the best ways to bust through your plateau is to work out at a higher intensity. Going harder when you exercise can increase the rate at which your body burns calories and help you avoid those weight loss plateaus. If higher intensity is not something you want to do, consider extending your exercise time by about 15 minutes per session.
Reevaluate your cheat days. While you don’t want a diet that absolutely forbids you to indulge in a piece of chocolate cake every now and then, overdoing it can interfere with your ability to lose weight. Instead of setting aside one day a week to chow down on anything you want, limit your cheats to one meal. Limiting cheats to a single meal will reduce the urge to spend an entire day indulging in calorie-laden treats.
Adjust your caloric intake. If despite your best efforts you are still having trouble shedding the fat, consider reducing your food intake by 200 to 300 calories. If you maintain your exercise habits, you could lose an additional pound or two every month. Make sure any calories you add to your diet are from such nutritional sources as fresh fruits and vegetables, lean meats, nuts, legumes, fish or poultry.
If your diet is already restrictive, the problem may not be too many calories, but too few of them. Extremely low caloric intake may mean you’re not getting enough nutrients to fuel and sustain your body. If this is the case, try adding 200 additional calories to your eating plan. The additional calories will keep your body from feeling starved and keep weight loss plateaus at bay.
When you’re working hard to lose weight, seeing the numbers on the scale remain stagnant week after week can make you mad. Being angry is one thing, but overreacting and throwing your scale into the neighbor’s yard is another. If you adjust your caloric intake, exercise harder, limit cheats and change your routine periodically, you can bust through weight loss plateaus and keep them from happening in the future.