I once did a blog post on plateaus and how to break them. Today I’m going to expand upon that and give more tips based on personal experience and watching others go through similar experiences:
- Move more! Find ways to squeeze in an extra 5-15 minutes throughout your day versus one long, crazy workout. You’ll be less likely to overtrain and get injuries this way, too. More tips on increasing physical activity here.
- Log EVERYTHING. Use sites like MyFitnessPal.com and cronometer.com to track food intake.
- Make sure you’re getting enough nutrition. Make sure you’re getting enough calories. I see a LOT of people plateau if they severely undereat because after a time, your body will go into starvation mode. If you’re eating under 1000 calories and/or have a calorie deficit greater than 1000 on a regular basis, you are in this category. Maybe what you were doing was working to start but it doesn’t work for the long run.
- Consider getting a device such as a Bodymedia or FitBit to track calorie burn. You may be under or overestimating calorie burn, which can affect your performance and how valuable your diet is. See #3.
- Change up your routine! Avoid steady state cardio and try new ways of burning calories.
- Pump that iron! Try heavier weights or mix it up.
- Take rest days! You could be overtraining, and your body can not only adapt quickly but will treat it like a burden and just “get by”. Don’t work out for hours per day. Extreme workouts will NOT get you extreme results, but being consistent with both eating and exercise habits will.
- Weight loss and fitness goals are a marathon, not a sprint. If you look for a quick fix you can expect to gain the weight back and return to where you were at to start when you’re done. Worse yet, you could gain more than you had to begin with. Go for the long haul. There ARE healthy approaches that are of shorter duration than most, and if done right can help to start you off on the right track, or shake you up. I highly recommend the 3 Day Refresh for this.
If your problem is motivation, consider getting an exercise buddy. I’m also available to you as a coach to help you with your fitness goals.