Exactly what to do to get over a plateau
You’re cruising along towards your health goal, when suddenly you hit a speedhump. Your progress slows.
“A stagnation in weight loss or fitness goals is often referred to as a plateau,” says Melinda Cooper, a personal trainer from Own It Fit (five locations across Sydney!). “Our bodies get used to things if they’re not constantly challenged, you have to keep introducing new challenges so your body can reach higher goals.” Here are her tips to getting over a plateau.
1. Reduce sugar
A very effective way to restart your results is to reel in your sugar intake. Inspect all of your food for added sugars and eliminate items that contain high calorie sweeteners. This means no sugar or honey. If you’ve already eliminated processed sugars from your diet, and have still hit a plateau, then it’s time to dig a little deeper by eliminating some of the natural sugars from your diet. Limit your intake of sweet fruits and eliminate dried fruits.
2. Get more sleep
We are supposed to get an average of eight hours of sleep each night. If you’re not getting adequate amounts of rest, you’re more likely to be hungry, overeat, and gain weight. When you’re tired, you don’t feel like cooking a healthy meal, and you’re more likely to opt for fast (fattening) food. Then your lack of energy causes you to skip your workouts. And to make matter worse, sleep deprivation causes your metabolism to slow down, slowing or reversing your results. To beat your plateau, make sleep a priority.
- Workout with Mel on Bodypass
3. Drink only water
To restart your results you’ll need to make some changes. Sorry, but some of the changes aren’t going to be fun. If you’re one of the millions hooked on soda, alcohol, juice or other sweetened beverages, then your plateau will stay locked in place until you replace these drinks with water. Keep in mind that your brain often confuses thirst with hunger. So at the first sign of hunger, don’t grab a snack or calorie-filled drinks. Instead, grab a glass of water.
4. Eat healthy breakfast
But not just any breakfast. Your plateau-breaking breakfast should be low in carbs and high in protein. Try eggs, lean breakfast meats, a protein shake, or a mini-muffin made with almond flour. Fitting breakfast into your busy morning may take some work, but research shows that the habit of eating a healthy breakfast is key to losing weight and keeping kgs off. Set your alarm 15 minutes earlier to give yourself time to eat breakfast
5. Increase exercise intensity
It’s time to start taking your workouts more seriously. No more going through the motions, it’s all-out for you. If you want to get back on track with your body transformation, and to keep the fat melting away, then increase the amount and intensity of your exercise routine. 20-30 mins of cardio before before breakfast is a great way to kickstart the metabolism.
- Do something you will enjoy whether it be tennis, dancing, swimming etc. You have to keep it interesting and that will help you stay motivated.
- Bump up the intensity if your cardio. Adding HIIT (Hight intensity interval training) sessions can help amp up your results and will also have the after-effect burn for hours afterwards.
- Add sprinting to your work out. If you are already doing sprints you could increase the length of your sprints, reduce the recovery time between intervals and increase the speed.
- Adding weights to your workout will help create lean muscle mass. Or increase the weights if you’re already using them.
- It comes down to diversity. Change it up. If you do the same thing every day, your body gets used to it and so does your mind. It will become a bore and you will eventually lose interest and that will set you back.
- Workout with Mel on Bodypass
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