The Exercise Space

Getting Through a Plateau

April 2, 2015

The dreaded plateau…it tries to kill your motivation, inspiration, and momentum!  But don’t let it.

A plateau can be caused by many things but in order to break through it, it is best to make small changes and see how your body adjusts.

Plateau Busters:

  • Switch up Your ‘Routine’: Our bodies like routines because they adapt and get more efficient when doing the same things over and over again.  Unfortunately this translates into the body adapting and doing less work (aka burning less calories) during the same activity.
  • Drink More Water: We have the capacity to do 2.5% more work when properly hydrated versus even slight dehydration.  Aim for 64 ounces of water each day, and more if you are exercising.
  • Increase Exercise:  Unless you are already working out 6 days a week for at least 1 hour per day, you may just need to increase the duration, intensity, or type of exercise you are currently doing.  Try intervals, speed work or varying your rep/weight range.  or try a new activity all together like rock climbing, tennis, kick boxing, trapeze etc.
  • Decrease or Increase Food Intake:  As you lose weight, your body needs less calories to maintain that weight loss.  So decreasing your total calories will help your body continue to shed pounds. On the flip side if you do not eat enough calories to keep your metabolism burning, your body may go into starvation mode and hang onto the calories you eat and store them as fat.
  • Move More: Even small amounts of movement will help your body burn more calories.  Pace while talking on phone, take a 10 minute walk at lunch, walk the dog an extra block, or get off the bus 1 stop early.
  • Hire a Personal Trainer: A professionally trained and certified personal trainer can help you bust through your plateau by designing an appropriate workout and meal program to fit your goals.  They can help you identify why you hit a plateau and help you work past it.
  • Take Care of Yourself: A stressed, over tired, or malnutritioned body is not a happy body.  An unhappy body may not be functioning at it’s most efficient level.  Asses your lifestyle, and make the necessary changes…like  getting enough sleep!
  • Keep a Food Journal: Sometimes we get ‘lazy’ about our food choices and habits.  Try recording everything you eat for at least 3 days to help identify ’forgotten’ calories.

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