STUCK? Strategies to Overcome Plateau’s
By Unite Fitness Retreat Dietician, Brooke Bouwhuis, RDN
Frustration can set in when your efforts at weight loss come to a screeching halt. No doubt about it, when you slam against that wall and hit the proverbial plateau, it makes you rethink the steps you took to make that change in the first place.
Looking at the big picture can help keep your perspective in context. Where did the number come from that you felt was your ideal weight? High school graduation? Before your first baby? Or is it a number you feel is healthiest for you regardless of how strong and powerful the new you has become?
That number may be precisely perfect for you and it may not. Consider that as you continue to eat well and move your body with purpose and power. Maybe you are in just the right place now.
But maybe you aren’t.
Diets fail us every single time. Two thirds of all people who go on a diet gain more back than when they started. No one goes on a diet to gain weight!
When stuck in a plateau there are a few things to consider:
- Creating a caloric deficit is a big deal. We underestimate how many calories we eat and how many calories we burn. It’s a horrible process but the only way we can tell how much we truly eat and burn is to track it. Every single bite. My Fitness Pal and Lose It! are 2 apps our clients use and like. Track everything you eat for 2 weeks where your weight stays the same. Not losing, not gaining, just a steady weight. From here you up your calories for a week or two; eat so you don’t feel hungry, overtired, weepy or irritable. This “re-feeding” tells the brain all is well, we are not in a starvation mode – even if it is a self-imposed diet. Once you have “re-fed” the beast, create a deficit again.
- Eat whole real foods, minimally processed and full of fiber. Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein and healthy fats like avocado, nuts, seeds and olive oil need to be on your plate. Don’t be afraid to add fat – it makes you feel full; speeds up metabolism and it can actually help you lose weight.
- Fat, protein and fiber all help control the insulin response. Keeping the insulin response minimized is the ultimate secret to weight loss.
- Bust a new move and change up your workout both in intensity and difficulty. Try that kickboxing class, fight the power of the water in a water aerobics class, spin like a hamster in its wheel while indoor cycling, hike a new gorgeously steep trail. You see where this is headed? When we do the same thing over and over, our body adapts quickly, and we see less progress. If you have been training with hyper focused intensity, you may need just the opposite with a week off. Give yourself time to reboot and recover.
- Change up your exercise game. If you can get away for even 3, 5, or 7 days, try a fitness retreat escape to reprogram your body. Obviously we recommend Unite Fitness Retreat! But, if you find another fitness camp that suites you better, go. Get back in the fitness groove, try new classes, find a new routine and overcome your fitness plateau. Additionally, you can reset your metabolism and clean up your diet while you’re at it.
Erasing years of habits over a matter of weeks or months isn’t being fair to yourself. Creating long term life long habits and routines will keep you moving in the right direction.