You started a diet and initially saw the scale drop. However, after a few weeks or months, the weight loss stopped. You are being diligent with your diet and exercise plan (or so you think!), but the scale will not budge. This is called a plateau and is experienced at some point by almost everyone trying to lose weight. Plateaus can be a very frustrating experience and can make you question your motivation for staying on the straight and narrow with your eating and exercise plan. But with a little planning, you can break your plateau.
5 Tips to break your weight loss plateau:
1. If you have stopped keeping food records (or never started!), it is time to start again. Weigh and measure foods. It is possible that your portion sizes are getting larger or you are unconsciously eating during the day.
2. Try to change your diet around a little.
– If you are eating three meals a day, try to eat 6 mini meals.
– If you are on a low fat diet, try a lower carb diet for a few weeks.
– If you are eating late at night, try to stop eating at 7-8 pm.
– If you are enjoying a glass of wine or two a day, try to cut out all alcohol for a few weeks.
– If you eat a light breakfast and a large dinner, try to reverse this.
3. Make some changes in your exercise program. Try one or more of the following tips:
– Add in another day of exercise each week
– Make your cardio sessions 15-20 minutes longer than usual
– Increase the intensity of your cardio sessions
– Vary your forms of cardio – try boxing, jumproping, etc.
– Work out with an energetic friend or personal trainer for a month, NYC Adventure Boot Camp can help.
– Set a new exercise goal such as running your first 5 K race
– Add in weight training if you are not already doing so (aim for 3 sessions a week)
– Try interval training: increase the intensity of your cardiovascular or aerobic exercise by adding short bursts of higher-intensity movement, such as sprinting. These intervals should last 30 to 60 seconds and be followed by less intense exercise for two or three times the length of the burst. Start by adding one or two of these intervals to your routine, then increase the number as you improve your conditioning
– In addition to working out at the gym start walking more. Walking a mile burns approximately 100 calories.
– Sign up for another session of NYC Adventure Boot Camp!
4. Focus on how much healthier you feel after losing weight rather than focusing on numbers on the scale. See how your clothes are fitting differently. I actually think that it is best for some people not to get on the scale at all as they tend to become obsessed with numbers.
5. Lastly, be patient. Plateaus will almost always break. The trick is staying motivated long enough for it to break!