If you have been working out and eating right but you are not seeing the scale move, you may have hit a plateau. I know how frustrating that can be! It makes you feel like you are putting in all this hard work for nothing! Please don’t get discouraged. Getting discouraged is probably one of the top reasons why we stop our healthy lifestyle journey. Before I get into how you can break through plateaus, I want you to ask yourself a few questions and answer them honestly:
- Are you honestly eating as well as you claim you are? (Are you sneak eating, drinking calories, excess snacking, watching portion sizes even on healthy foods, etc.)
- Are you consistent with your workouts (working out at least 3 days a week)?
- Are you getting your heart rate up during your workouts?
- Are you getting enough rest?
If you answered no to any of those questions, my first suggestion is to turn those no’s into yeses!
Now I want you to keep in mind body composition changes. Your clothes are fitting better, you are seeing muscle development and you look better in the mirror… but then you hop on the scale and see little to no change. You may be experiencing a body composition change. The following pictures were taken a year apart. My weight was exactly the same on both pictures. The difference was the picture on the left I was about 23% body fat and the picture on the right I was about 15% body fat.
I want you to start taking picture of yourself just like this (for your eyes only) once a week. Also, once a month measure your waist, bust, hips, biceps, and thighs and keep a log so you know what your progress looks like.
Now, here are some tips that have helped me and others break plateaus:
- If you are not already, add resistance training (weight lifting) to your workout. This the #1 way to boost your metabolism. It will help you develop lean body mass which will help you burn fat even while at rest.
- Eating small (healthy) meals every 2 to 3 hours. This will help to boost your metabolism so you continue to burn fat all day long.
- Drink a gallon of water a day. This will flush toxins, help with digestion, and keep you fuller longer.
- Brush your teeth after dinner. This will make you brain say “Oh, I guess we are done eating!” It’s a good trick to stop night time snacking.
- Try not eating carbs besides green veggies in the evening.
- STOP DRINKING LIQUID CALORIES!!!
- Switch up your workout.
- Get at least 7 hours of sleep a night. When you don’t sleep enough your cortisol levels rise causing you to hold on to fat. Cortisol also triggers the reward centers in your brain that makes you want food.
- Track what you are eating. My Fitness Pal, Weight Watchers point system, Fit Bit, and journaling are all good ways to track what you are eating to make sure you are making the best choices possible.
- Above all STAY CONSISTANT!!! You will gain nothing by giving up except all the weight you previously lost. Think of all the wonderful health benefits you are reaping by living this new healthy lifestyle. You are increasing the quality of your life and your number of days to live it! Rest assure, the scale WILL move! Enjoy this journey!