The weight loss plateau is all too familiar for anyone who is attempting to lose weight, but especially for those undergoing extreme weight loss.
Knowing how to handle the weight loss plateau is difficult, but we’ve got the answers!
In the beginning, you’re shedding the pounds as your body transforms itself into a fat-burning machine. And then…you stop losing the weight so quickly.
You’re down to the last 10-15 pounds you want to lose and they just don’t seem to budge! You’ve plateaued.
Your body has hit a point where it needs to be challenged and your weight loss strategy needs to be reworked. That’s okay! We’ve written down our best advice for conquering the plateau, staying strong, and reaching your goals.
1) Progress Pictures
Progress pictures aren’t things you take to share with the world (unless you want to, which is also cool!. Their real purpose is to act as visual motivation for YOU.
Remember to take a progress pic every week, every other week, or every month. Being able to physically visualize your progress will show you how far you’ve made it, and how much further you can go to reach your goal! It will also reassure you that reaching your goral IS possible.
2) New Strategy
Once you’ve reassured yourself of your forward progress, it’s time to find a way up and over that plateau, and this requires a new strategy. This strategy will likely come in the form of a new diet rule or reconfigured workout routines.
Remember, YOU are in control of this strategy! There is no one more in control of your health than you. Talk to your doctor about how far you’ve come, then ask them what you can be doing to move forward.
This is usually the stage when people learn a lot about their bodies. What they do and don’t respond well to, where they tend to carry most of their weight, and what their limitations truly are.
Take this phase, learn what you can, and begin tackling that plateau with your new strategy!
Do you want to know the truth? At this point int he game, your body has become GOOD at weight loss. Your metabolism is GOOD at torching those calories. Your muscles are AWESOME at carrying you through those exhausting workouts.
Your body is almost TOO good at everything! This means it’s no longer being challenged. Rather, it’s coasting through your diet, which seemed so difficult in the beginning, and your workouts (which you thought were excruciating on the first day) are a no-brainer for your conditioned muscles.
In other words, you’ve been sticking to a consistent routine until you’ve plateaued. Now, you have to disrupt that routine, confuse and challenge your body, and require it to adapt in new ways in order to experience further progress.
There are a number of ways you can do this. The most obvious ways are muscle confusion, and diet changes. Perhaps you begin including 2-3 no-carb days each week, or 2 very low-calorie days (600-800 calories) per week.
Then, maybe you bring some variety into your workouts. You don’t just go for a jog and do crunches everyday, you’re doing High Intensity Interval Training and engaging new muscles. Or you’re biking one day and swimming the next.
This type of variety causes your body to use and engage your muscles in new ways thereby “confusing” them and making them break out of the routine activities they’ve become so good at.
When embarking on a new project at work, planning an event, having a new personal goal, or making a new plan, you often have a vision for how you want things to play out.
This vision will often drive you and the methods you might use to get from point A to point B. In fact, having “vision” is probably more essential and effective than you think it is.
Professional athletes have been using visualization for years in order to achieve top performance. Why? Because when you can visualize the things you want to be or do, you are conditioning your mind to reach that goal no matter what.
Can you envision yourself crossing the finish line of your first 5k? Can you visualize what you want your health to look like in 6 months? Do you have a vision for exactly how you want your goals to work out?
If you can visualize the end product of your efforts when you’re having a hard day, when your diet is less than fun, or when you’re out of breath during your workout, it will tremendously help you achieve your goals!
Remember: taking care of your mental state is just as important as taking care of your body’s health.