If you’ve never hit a weight loss plateau, consider yourself lucky. Very, very lucky.
As for the rest of us, hitting a weight loss plateau is completely normal. It’s also not the end of the world. With the right tips, tricks, and techniques, you can boost your weight loss methods and get right back on track to your goals. Here are 10 of the best ways to overcome a weight loss plateau and revamp your healthy lifestyle!
What is a Plateau?
First things first, what is a plateau exactly?
Once you’ve settled in to a regular routine, complete with diet and exercise, your body will slowly adapt.
What once was a killer workout that had you dripping in sweat within minutes, is now a comfortable warm-up for you. Simply cutting out sugary drinks and junk food isn’t enough to keep the pounds from practically falling off your body anymore.
Simply put: your body has become accustomed to your habits and overall lifestyle. So, how do you overcome a plateau? The answer is simple. You revamp your healthy lifestyle and take your weight loss plateau by storm.
Change-Up Your Workout
Take a look at your current gym routine. Put pen to paper and write it out if that helps. Make note of how much time you spend on cardio each time you work out, and how often you work out. Do you have days devoted to working one part of the body, such as a leg or arm day? Record which exercises you perform each day and how many you can complete.
Now, it’s time to kick it into high gear. Increase the time and intensity of both your cardio and weights. Or even add something new to your workout. You might find that you benefit from interval training, yoga, stairs, or a spin class.
Drink More Water
If there was a universal rulebook to weight loss, there’s no doubt that drinking water would be the first rule.
Keep track of how much water you’re drinking each day. Technically, men should be drinking 13 cups (3 litres) and women should consume 9 cups (2.2 litres) of fluids a day.[i]
To help increase your water intake, you can:
- Set reminders
- Use an App
- Invest in a large reusable water bottle
- Reward yourself
You can even try adding some berries, mint and lemon to your water to help boost the flavour.
Revamp Your Diet
It may be beneficial to your weight loss progress to take a look at your diet. Calculate how many calories, sugars, and carbohydrates and how much fibre, protein, and sodium you’re consuming each day. Find where you can make improvements, and make them!
Try planning your grocery list and weekly meals prior to grocery shopping. Prepare your meals for the following 3-4 days and only bring so much money with you when you leave the house. Having less access to unplanned meals and sticking to your diet can ultimately help you overcome just about any plateau.
Cut Excess Sugar and Salt
While assessing your diet, take note of how much sodium and sugar you’re consuming on a regular basis. Salt can easily be swapped out for a variety of spices while cooking. If you add sugar to coffee or tea, you can slowly add less and less – or eliminate it altogether!
Eat more Protein and Fibre
Protein and fibre are essential to any healthy lifestyle. Protein is critical to help your body build muscle and burn fat, while fibre keeps your digestive system on track!
Not sure how to boost your protein and fibre intake? Try eating more:
- Brussel sprouts
- Cottage cheese
- Greek yogurt
How will you boost your protein and fibre this month?
Swap Your Caffeine Source
Are you drinking specialty coffees, flavoured lattes, cappuccinos and other caffeinated drinks that are high in sugar and calories? Switching your source of caffeine could make all the difference in your weight loss journey. Try swapping for coffee with skim milk or almond milk, sweetener, black coffee, or tea.
Green tea is highly popular for its many health and weight loss benefits. Add a little honey to sweeten it up and you’re good to go.
Find a Weight Loss Buddy
You might be hitting a plateau because you’re bored and unmotivated. Who better to motivate and encourage you to exercise and eat healthy, than your best friend?
A workout buddy can keep you company at the gym and boost your motivation and confidence. Not to mention that they can help you try new things, perfect your form, and ensure that you’re eating and drinking the right things before and after a workout.
Communicate with each other. Keep up-to-date with your weight loss buddy on the meals you ate throughout the day, what you did at the gym, and more. You’d be surprised at how much more effective your diet and exercise can be with a little support.
Try Something New!
Don’t just stick to the same old routine. That’s how you got onto this plateau in the first place! It’s time to try something new. Hike a new trail, play soccer or volleyball in a summer league, go for a walk in a new neighbourhood, or take your pooch for a run.
If you have small children in your family, engage them in your healthy lifestyle. Take them to the park and really get in on the fun. Running around playing games or climbing on the monkey bars can really help you break a sweat – plus, it’s tons of fun!
Surround Yourself with Healthy Reminders
It’s easy to lose track of your diet or exercise when you aren’t thinking about being healthy for a couple days. Be one step ahead of the game and surround yourself with reminders. Keep the healthy food up front in your fridge, set reminders for the gym, set weekly and monthly goals for yourself, and even keep up-to-date with personal trainers on social media!
There are many motivational and inspirational accounts on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter that can keep you going with daily and weekly inspirational posts.
Now is the time to be hard on yourself. You’ve come too far in your weight loss journey to slow down and allow a plateau to keep you from your goals and dreams. Power through this plateau and don’t take no for an answer!
[i] [Water: How much should you drink every day? | Mayo Clinic] Online. Available: http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/water/art-20044256. [Accessed: 2017-07-19].