It’s the most frustrating thing any woman can experience during her weight loss journey. You’re following your diet to a tee, you’re working out regularly. The first few pounds come off FAST, a few each week, and you’re exhilarated. You think, “Yes! It’s working!” Your motivation is at an all-time high. But then, despite that you’re keeping with your diet and exercise plan, the weight loss slows to a halt. This may happen early in the process after the first few weeks are past, or it may occur as you’re trying to lose those last few pounds. Either way, it’s frustrating. Your motivation, willpower and confidence can take a nosedive. This is the dreaded weight loss plateau.
The truth is that the plateau in your weight loss is a quite natural part of the health weight loss process. Sometimes your body just needs some time to catch up with the drastic changes it’s experiencing. After all, through all of your hard work, your body has literally been changing every day, and that can be tiring! Or, if you’ve been with the same nutrition and exercise plan for a while, it’s also possible that it’s time to switch things up again.
The message here is that weight loss plateaus are NORMAL and they’re no reason to beat yourself up or feel like you need to get rigid with yourself or your body. However, there are a few things you can do to wake your body up from its weight loss slumber.
Here are some things you can try to break through your weight loss plateau:
1) Quit Restricting Calories
Weight loss isn’t just as simple as calories in, calories out. If it were, it’d be a lot a simpler to lose weight! You may find a lot of articles online saying that all you need to do is cut more calories from your daily intake to break through a weight loss plateau. But this could backfire! Calorie restriction can actually cause your body to hang onto more fat because of our bodies think, “food seems to be scarce right now…let’s conserve fat for energy at all costs!”
Instead of restricting calories, think of nutrition in different terms. Are you supporting your physical activity with enough nutritious vegetables and strength-building protein? These are two areas we tend to fall short in our diets, and maybe they’re just what your body needs to break through its weight loss plateau. Shoot for at least one veggie at every meal (two is better), and check out this article to see how much protein we recommend for active women.
2) Take More ‘Me’ Time
We often ignore and overlook the role that stress can play in our ability to lose weight as well as in our overall health. Prolonged stress can raise our cortisol levels, which can in turn lead to weight gain or difficulty losing weight. It’s a tough one, because often the sources of stress in our lives are hard to control. Work, family issues, money issues or health problems don’t just go away at the snap of a finger. While there will always be sources of stress, there are things we can do to lessen stress’s effect on our health. If your weight loss is stalled, try taking time out for favorite activities and to pamper yourself. See this article for some ideas for how to manage your stress.
Are you getting your solid 7 – 8 hours of sleep per night? If not, that could be exactly the reason why the pounds have stopped coming off. The statistics coming out of recent studies are telling. In one study, folks who sleep 7 or more hours per night were 33% more likely to succeed in their weight loss efforts. In another study, people who slept 8.5 hours per night lost 65% more weight than those who slept 5.5 hours per night. Several hormones involved in appetite and weight loss are affected by sleep, so it’s crucial you get your Z’s. If you’ve got a super busy life or have trouble with insomnia, you’re not alone. See this article for 5 steps to start getting more sleep.
4) Eat More Frequently
Skipping breakfast due to time constraints OR because you’re trying to take in fewer calories? You may be sabotaging your metabolism. Just like with eating too few calories, eating too infrequently can cause your metabolism to slow down in order to conserve energy. However, eating small meals MORE OFTEN will actually give your metabolism a boost! Eating 5 – 6 small meals per day will also help control cravings, appetite and binging. Read this article for more about why eating small frequent meals helps with weight loss.
When weight loss stalls, we women often think we have to increase our amount of exercise to continue losing weight. Some of us end up putting in 2 hour per days at the gym. Not only is this unnecessary, this type of overtraining can also sideline your weight loss efforts. Too much exercise (especially too much cardio) can greatly increase your appetite. It can also increase your cortisol levels which may halt weight loss and cause muscle loss. See this article about why overtraining is detrimental to your health and weight loss goals.
Instead of exercising more, choose effective challenging exercise, but for a shorter duration. With Athlean-XX for Women, just 30 minutes of your time is enough to produce the results you want to see: weight loss and a toned athletic body. Our workouts are based on circuit strength training, which allows you to get both strength and heart-pumping cardio in one shot! The best part is that they can be done either at home or at the gym – whatever works best for you. Our nutrition plan is equally flexible, providing 90 days of meal plans that you can follow, or allowing you to simply create your own meals from our lists of healthy foods. We actually encourage you to eat more frequently – 5 to 6 times per day, and no calorie counting! Eat more, work out less and get lean and toned with Athlean-XX for Women!
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