Everyone who embarks on a weight loss journey will experience a plateau. It’s not you, it’s nature! Your body starts to cling onto fat to avoid starvation. How how do you kick start your weight loss again? Here are 10 methods to try to get you back on track.
Adjust calorie intake
Most fitness experts would encourage you to lower your calorie intake when you’re trying to lose weight. To get leaner you have to lower your net calories, right? Well, this has to happen throughout your weight loss journey, not just at the beginning. The smaller you become, the less energy it takes to fuel you. Every goal you reach, rethink your calorie intake and adjust it accordingly.
Quality not quantity
When you’ve reached a plateau, you need to start thinking about what you’re eating, not necessarily how much. For example, you could smash 5 ‘low-calorie’ bars in an afternoon which are essentially just rice pops and sugar. Or you could eat 2 healthy fruit and nut bars – same calories but the goodness will actually do good things for your body. Depriving it of the nutrients it needs will only make you feel more sluggish and make it harder to stick to your diet. This can be especially hard when your scales aren’t giving you the results you want. If you’re eating wholesome food, your body will be able to digest them more effectively which can kickstart your weight loss again.
Get enough sleep
Without sleep you find it hard to function – work is more of an effort, tasks take longer to complete… you know the drill. Well, it’s the same with your body. If it’s lacking energy from sleep, it struggles to complete processes, such as digestion, to the best of its ability. As a result, the energy from food is not used properly and is stored away for another body in the form of fat. Make sure you get your 8 hours when you hit a plateau and see if it makes a difference – who doesn’t want an excuse to get more shuteye?
When your stomach rumbles, you might actually be thirsty, not hungry. So while you think your body is saying ‘it’s time for a snack’, it’s actually crying out for some hydration. This is a great way to curb hunger and could help you drop those calories that your body doesn’t actually need. Also, drinking more water speeds up your metabolism.
Cardio can get boring, but if you’ve done hundred of kilometres running on the treadmill, you’re probably pretty fit. In terms of cardiovascular, the fitter you get, the longer it takes to get even more fit. Weight training can get your fat burning going again because muscle burns fat. It takes up energy to maintain and gain, so by working your muscles, you’ll give your body another reason to use up calories.
Increase protein intake
You need protein to build muscle, so it makes sense to increase your protein intake. Have a protein smoothie for breakfast and/or one before you workout to really reap the benefits from weight training. Protein is also one of the hardest nutrients to digest. It will keep you fuller for longer, helping you to resist the urge to snack.
Bet you didn’t know that for every 30 grams of fibre you eat, you actually knock of 210 calories overall? Yes, fibre is super hard to digest so you actually burn quite a few calories by eating it. You must have heard of the minus-calorie-celery! Vegetables are the most fibrous foods and are not calorific at all. This means instead of substituting your carbs or protein to manage portion control, just add on loads of veg – filling and great for your diet.
Change up your fitness routine
With fitness, it’s good to second-guess your body every once in a while. Stick with a routine for a while to track your fitness progress, but when you start plateauing in your weight loss journey, you know it’s time to change it up. Find a new sport to do – if you’re a runner, try cycling or cross-training. Your body won’t be used to it and will work harder to perform. Harder work = more energy & calories burned. Another hack for weight loss is to try intervals. Trying jogging with sprint intervals. If you push your body repeatedly while allowing it to have a break (without stopping!) you’ll use up way more energy.
Sometimes you just have to grin and bear it. Your body works in mysterious ways. When you first start dieting it’s easy to lose the first 2 kilos, and even the next 2. But eventually, your body will want to cling onto the fat it has – it’s in our biological nature. But hang in there – if you’re experiencing a plateau, you might find that another 2 kilos will just drop off suddenly. Or after a couple of weeks of no change, your metabolism might pick up again!
Find other ways to measure your progress
Weight is just a number. If you’re struggling to budge the weight from the scales, try a different way to track your progress. A good method is to measure yourself – butt, legs, waist, arms – the lot. Especially if you’re weight training because muscle weighs more than fat. Working hard in the gym means your weight loss journey might not be steady, but it will get the best results.