Until now your diet has been a raging success. Each week the scales are becoming nicer and nicer to you. The good numbers are coming down and others are increasing as you would want them to.
But what happens when things start to slow down?
You’re not cheating, you are still giving 100% but for some reason, your progress has started to wane. You have hit the dreaded plateau.
The weight loss plateau is that make or break moment for many dieters, but it doesn’t have to be. We all hit a dip or a slower period every now and then. With the right attitude, you can power through this dieting doldrum without fear or relapse.
Keep reading because with these helpful tips you will be ready to crush any diet plateau that tries to slow you down.
1. Take a Closer Look at Your Calorie Requirements
As you lose weight, the number of calories you need to consume a day decreases. If you have hit a weight plateau then maybe it is just time to adjust your calorie intake a little.
It doesn’t have to be a big change. Remember, starvation is not the goal, but tweaking in the right areas can help kick-start your weight loss journey.
One of the core causes of weight loss is a calorie deficit. If your body needs less to function then you must consume less to keep losing. It may be a pain now, but it is great when you reach the maintenance stage and can increase back to the required level again.
Stick with it. You are almost there.
2. Check Your Protein Intake
Protein is key. If you have been on a diet for any length of time then this needs no further expansion. However, you might see a weight loss increase if you increase your protein intake a little.
Just make sure to spread your consumption evenly through the day. You don’t want to front or back load your protein in just one or two meals because you will not realize the full benefit it brings.
3. Go Green … With Tea That Is
There is nothing better than a good hot cup of coffee to start the day.
But did you know that drinking 5 cups of coffee can promote fat storage while drinking the same amount of green tea promotes the burning of body fat?
That’s not saying you can slack in other areas as a result, but if you are asking yourself “why can’t I lose weight?” then switching from java to green tea could be exactly what you need.
4. Give Yourself Permission to Cheat
Sometimes you just need to say yes to a slice of pizza or a donut when it’ somebody’s birthday in the office. There is nothing wrong with allowing yourself the opportunity to cheat.
Many people factor one cheat day a week into their diets.
You don’t need to use it, and it is important to understand that cheat day does not mean a full relapse into old habits. Yet, when used wisely, you can power your way through that diet plateau.
Just make sure you keep it to one day and be consistent. No cheat day on Sunday and then take the next week’s day on Monday.
5. Drink Enough Water
Did you know that if you want to start losing water weight you actually need to drink more water? Crazy right? Maybe even a little counter-intuitive, but hey, that’s life.
When you don’t drink enough water, your body will conserve what it was, thus you will retain more water.
Increase your water intake and make sure you are regularly drinking between two and three liters every day. Doing this will help you shed a few extra pounds and kiss that plateau goodbye.
6. Freshen Up Your Cardio With Interval Training
Interval training is not only a fantastic way to make sure you get all of your cardio work done in a day, but it happens to be a great plateau buster too.
If your normal routine is a steady pace or maybe one of those programs on the bike at the gym, then switching it out for a few weeks of interval training will help you keep up that good health momentum.
Take your normal pace and decrease it a tad, then throw in bursts or sprints of high-intensity speed. Keep this up for rotations that last as long as your cardio session is planned for.
You might hate us at first but your body will love you for it in the long run.
7. Start a Journal for Food and Activity
If you have hit a weight loss plateau then sometimes you need to take an honest step back and re-assess where you are.
It is easy to convince yourself that you are still being good. You are still being strict with yourself. But sometimes, little things creep in without us ever really noticing.
One great way to make sure you are not secretly sabotaging yourself is to start a food and activity journal.
How does it work?
You write down everything you do in the day and everything you eat. Snacks, mouthfuls and everything.
If you do this properly you can ensure that you are indeed being as true to your diet as you think you are.
8. Are You Getting Enough Sleep
Did you know that sleep is vital for consistent weight loss and an all-around healthier body?
If you are a fan of Netflix then you should seriously consider cutting one episode a night, especially if you are getting less than 6 hours of shut-eye.
Skimping on some quality time between the sheets – yes, we mean sleep – you could be slowing your fat loss by up to 55%!
It can be hard. Work, family, hobbies, and friends all take up time in our lives, but sometimes you need to think about yourself.
That extra hour of sleep could help you bust open that weight loss plateau. Not only that but maybe you won’t need that venti cappuccino on the way to work either.
9. Don’t Count on the Scale Alone
Dieting is a funny game. Sometimes the sales will tell you that you have hit a diet plateau, but the truth could be a little different.
You see, you cannot rate a diet effectiveness on weight alone.
Most electronic scales will now give you a range of readings, including water weight, body fat, muscle mass and more. Seeing as muscle weighs more than fat, it is entirely possible that your weight won’t change but these other readings will.
Look at the bigger picture before you think about a plateau. Besides, part of this whole thing is feeling good. Weight is just a number, but health is what you feel. If you are still doing your best, eating right and feeling good, then you have little to worry about. You can always check in with an online nutritionist if you want to be sure that you’re on the right track.
10. Take a Day Off the Gym
Overtraining can be harming your weight loss. Your body needs time to heal and recover from the workouts you are putting it through.
If you train too much you can be doing your diet and your body a disservice.
There is nothing wrong with taking a day off the gym. Much like working in a cheat day into your diet, adding in an extra rest day when you feel you need it is the best option.
A key part of a successful diet is learning to listen to your body. Cutting through the cravings and the need for bad food at the start and then listening to its calls for rest, or for a change up of things.
A Focused Outlook Beats a Weight Loss Plateau Every Time
It can be frustrating to hit a weight loss plateau, but as long as you stay focused and keep your eyes set on the next goal post you have planted, then you cannot go wrong.
By having small, manageable goals, you can blase your way through any plateau because your goal is close by.
Remain positive, incorporate the above advice where possible and at the end of the day, don’t be too hard on yourself. You are doing your best and ultimately, that is all you can do, and that is enough to get you where you need and want to be.
Check out some of our other posts if you want more information on living a healthy lifestyle.