Stuck in a rut? We’ve all been there at some point, whether that be relating to our physical or mental well-being: where no matter what you do, you’re left running in place and feeling powerless.
Does this mean you should give up? Of course not. Just like other obstacles, a weight loss plateau can be overcome with determination. We’ve outlined some of the most efficient strategies below.
- Change up your workout
You most likely have a specific workout routine, which makes sense. We’re creatures of habit, and having a set schedule makes exercising more efficient. That being said, our muscles get familiar with whatever exercises are done, making it less effective. Try doing different activities that hit the same muscle groups. If there’s a certain machine you can’t live without, either increase your weight, or keep the weight the same and increase your reps.
- Reevaluate your calorie intake
As we lose weight, our bodies require fewer calories to function, which means that even if you’re religiously sticking to your calorie deficit, you’ll be burning a little less calories. To reassess, you can either take a metabolic test, or cut out around 100 calories a day and see how your body reacts. Just remember not to drop below 1200 calories a day, as this can result in your body going into starvation mode and decreasing calories burned, as well as serious health issues.
- Consume foods that naturally increase metabolism
An alternative to the above tip is to increase calories burned by increasing metabolism. Sounds ironic to eat food to lose weight, but the world works in mysterious ways… A quick fix is to invigorate your breakfast with one of these three smoothie recipes design to increase metabolism, made with whole, natural foods. Other foods that amp up metabolism include green tea, coconut oil (ours is on sale on Amazon here with free shipping), berries, melons, cruciferous vegetables, and green leafy vegetables.
- Observe your eating habits
Are you having just a few more bites of something beyond the serving size? Not counting liquid calories? Guesstimating calories when you go out to eat? You shouldn’t start to obsess over calories, but be mindful of those little additions that add up. With some weight lost, it can feel easier to cheat a little. There’s no problem with treating yourself, but too much treating can be the culprit of a plateau.
- Build more muscle
Lean muscle assists in keeping metabolism up: Every pound of muscle burns 30-50 calories per day. Unfortunately, if you have lost weight, some of that was lean muscle, which most likely resulted in a metabolism drop. To offset this, keep your metabolism consistent with increased strength training.
- Eat more protein
Eating protein goes hand in hand with building muscle, and protein in itself can assist with burning calories, more so than other food groups. Protein has the highest thermic effect of food (energy spent digesting the food), at up to 35% (compared to up to 15% for carbohydrates and fats). Try to squeeze in some lean protein at every meal.
- Consider your set weight
We all have a biological set body weight. If you find yourself stuck at a certain weight, it may not be due to you not working hard enough: Instead, your body may just be most comfortable at that point. Think about your fitness goals and consider if you are happy at that weight. If not, it is possible to change your set weight, but just keep in mind it may require a more intense calorie deficit and exercise regime.
Remember: the scale doesn’t define you, and your mental health should always trump your fitness goals. Be sure to observe how you feel, and take care of your mind as much as you’re taking care of your body.
Got any other tips? Let us know in the comments!