You and I may be trying to lose weight and get fit for any number of reasons, and one factor that perhaps most disheartening and discouraging about this process is when you reach the dreaded Plateau!
You may make great progress to begin with; weight loss may be fairly quick and you may be extremely pleased with how well you are doing.
Then comes a point where the same amount of calories and the same amount of exercise are simply not getting you any results; you have reached the Dreaded Plateau! Firstly understand the reasons behind this:
- Your body becomes comfortable with the program you’ve been on. This usually happens after a couple of months of good progress and then your body becomes more efficient at dealing with the exercise and managing with the amount of calories you are ingesting without making any inroads into your reserves of stored body fat.
- If you have shed a reasonable amount of weight in the first part of the program, then you are lighter and fitter than you were previously, so now you need fewer calories to do what you had been doing so far and as your fitness levels increase you are doing the same activities with less effort, less strain and with fewer calories expended. Also with a smaller and lighter body, fewer calories than before are needed in general than a larger body needed so you need to create a greater caloric deficit.
- You may even notice that the same amount of time on the same treadmill at the same speed is no longer causing you to break as much of a sweat as it used to; you aren’t getting as winded as quickly either. This means that the intensity of the work out is not as much as it should be in order to actually create a caloric deficit.
So the way that you can get past the plateau is to rev up your metabolism anew. Increase duration and/or intensity of exercise.
Change that which your body had adjusted to, and stimulate further weight loss. Try to regain the intensity that your workout had at the beginning of the program, add more of what is working and subtract what is not.
Add resistance exercises to your regimen, since doing weights will notch up your metabolism and help you increase lean muscle mass which is far more efficient at helping burn calories.