How To Push Past A Weight Loss Plateau

Stopped seeing progress? Here's what you need to do...

Woman exercising

Picture credit: unsplash.com/@chrisjoelcampbell

You’ve had great success so far. You’ve been hitting the gym, eating your greens and strictly counting your macros but for some reason your progress has halted.

What once seemed so easy, now seems like a daily battle and no matter how many extra minutes you put in at the gym or how many calories you cut it doesn’t seem to make an iota of difference.

The science bit

When you first start losing weight, your body’s fat-burning mechanisms kick into high gear and rapid weight loss is normal, as your body burns glycogen found in the muscles and liver. As you lose weight however, you lose muscle as well as fat and as your muscle mass declines so too does your metabolism. This makes it harder to burn calories at the rate you did when you first started.

The good news? You can totally push past it. Here’s how…

Do more incidental exercise

While the temptation is to hit the gym even harder when your progress slows, a much smarter way to increase calorie burn is to look at your daily habits and see where you can slot in a little extra movement. Sit in an office all day? See if you can put in a few extra laps around the block on your lunch break. Take public transport absolutely everywhere? Increase the number of daily steps you take and walk instead. These small tweaks may be enough to create a greater calorie deficit.

Woman walking

Picture credit: unsplash.com/@reddangelo16

Switch it up

If you’re training consistently but not seeing a difference it could be that your body has become accustomed to your routine. Now’s the time to make some strategic modifications. In particular, include more weight training and HIIT sessions, which will have a knock-on effect on your metabolism. As a rule of thumb, you should see some form of progress, whether it’s an extra rep or increased stamina, after two identical workouts.

Plan a week of rest

Reckon taking time off will halt your progress even further? Wrong! It’s actually when you rest and recovery that your body builds new muscles. A week off every six to eight weeks will give your muscles adequate time to properly repair. Plus, sometimes a little time off is all you need to remotivate.

Evaluate your diet

It’s time to cast a critical eye over your eating habits. Have you been having a few extra treats here and there, increased your portions sizes or introduced a new food that could be throwing your system out of whack? Track your daily intake for a week so you can pinpoint anything that could be slowing down your progress. Oh, and make room for a cheat meal. They’ve been proven to both boost your metabolism and keep you on track in the long run.

Picture credit: unsplash.com/@sagarcia

Picture credit: unsplash.com/@sagarcia

Hold tight

We know, we know, it’s super frustrating when you’re putting in all the effort and not seeing progress, but being patient and remembering that you’re in this for the long haul is key. Be consistent, don’t be too hard on yourself and just keep trucking away. Plateaus are only temporary; you’ll get there eventually – promise!

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