Let’s face it, we’ve all been there. You are religiously showing up to your Bootique Fitness classes and giving it all you’ve got. You’re diligently cooking all of your meals at home and following your meal plans to a “T”. For the last four weeks, the scale has been reflecting all of the hard work and dedication you have put in and then BOOM! One day, no change. Then the next day and the day after that and maybe for the next week you step on that scale and still it won’t budge. You have hit the dreaded weight loss plateau. While it seems like this would be a good time to get frustrated and give up, don’t go reaching for that box of bon bons just yet. A weight loss plateau can actually be a good thing. You heard me right. A plateau means you have made progress!
The scale isn’t everything
The average person typically gains a pound or two EVERY year. So already by plateauing you are ahead of the curve. Also, you most likely have more muscle now that you have been swinging that kettlebell and shaking your booty at the Dance Fitness Party. A better test is to see how your clothes are fitting. Those pants that used to barely button? Well, now they feel a little roomy in the waist. Let that be your gauge and motivation to keep going!
You are closer to your fitness goals
When we first start losing weight, we are cutting calories and increasing our fitness level which kicks the body into overdrive. If your diet consisted of a lot of take out (read: salt), much of your early weight loss was most likely water weight. Now that you have lost that weight, your body may not need as many calories as it once did. Reevaluate your meal plan and make sure your calorie intake is on track with your new, healthy body.
You are stuck in an exercise rut
Hopping on the elliptical machine for 30 minutes a day may not cut it. While the CDC recommends 2 hours and 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity every week, the type of exercise you do definitely makes a difference in your progress. It’s great that you are up and moving, but you may not see the results you want. Our bodies are smart! The more you perform the same exercise routine, the more the body becomes efficient at these movements which equals less calories burned. Change it up and make your body work for you. Try going to a HIIT class or working out with a different trainer if you always stick with the same one. The results will speak for themselves.
So while a weight loss plateau isn’t ideal, we can turn it into a positive. Use it as a teaching tool to see what tweaks you can make in your diet and lifestyle to get over the hump. Remember, don’t give up; change it up!
By Guest Post Author: Maura O’Neill