We’ve all been there, that dreaded time when we are doing so well and have lost weight that we just reach this standstill. Like this picture, its beautiful,and it gets tons of compliments, but it’s a photograph of a still moment in time that will not change. Sometimes we feel that way about our bodies, we’re doing the work-outs and we are eating better but we are not seeing any more results & frustration usually sets in shortly after we’ve reached the dreaded ‘Plateau‘.
I have read many things on the dreaded subject & while some doctors feel its physical, others feel it’s merely an attitude that needs to be readjusted. Here are my thoughts:
A. Your body adapts to each movement you do on your daily routines and after some time, the routine get’s easier. When it becomes easier to you, that means your body is not working as hard and you are not burning as many calories. You body adapts which is perfectly common and this translates to the dreaded ‘ plateau‘.
B. The human body needs to be challenged progressively in order to continually see results. Most will tell you, as will I, to vary your routine to 3-4 weeks. You want to keep your body guessing as to what is coming next, you never want it to get comfortable because comfortable = plateau.
C. I’ve also read that if there is no physical reasoning for the plateau it may be what Dr. Mehmet Oz calls a ‘Attitude Plateau’. Which he defines as “the point where the desire to lose weight is equal to the desire to eat more liberally or reduce your activity.” Basically, your motivation to lose weight has slowed down. Fixing this ‘attitude’ can merely be as easy as reevaluating your goals and making new ones. This applies to me, for example, if I’m trying to lose weight for a certain date, like a wedding. Then after the wedding I don’t feel the need to do the regimented healthy measures I was doing before; however, you may reach a plateau and change your goals, to get back on track.
D. While some believe that it’s physical and others feel it’s mental, Dr. Jefferey A. Ayers says it can be linked to your calorie intake and he preaches ‘you must eat to lose’. Studies show that your metabolic rate slows with each missing of a meal or waiting too long between meals by 20-30% . If you are consuming 1500 calories a day but you’re not eating breakfast and waiting 4 hours or more between meals, you’re reducing your calories burn by 300-450 a day. Eat regularly, portioned balanced meals, fluctuating your calories each day. Eating the exact same thing everyday for months on end, like the same amount of calories, day in and day out, is no good. You have to keep your body guessing, that’s why I say to portion your meals and fluctuate your calories day-to-day. I usually try to keep my calories between 1200-1500, some days I’m right in the middle – some days I’m a little lower & other days I’ve spent an entire day with friends and family eating, and I’m way over. It’s called life, live it, enjoy it! But remember: when ‘Monday’ rolls around, jump right back on the bandwagon.
In summary, vary your workouts, to keep your body from getting bored, and to keep yourself from getting bored. Steph talked about P90x being an ever-changing routine; it was hard to get bored & she never really saw that ‘dreaded plateau’. If it doesn’t seem to be physical try evaluating your goals & always try to eat a well-balanced diet with 3-6 small meals a day. All of these can help avoid or delay that ‘dreaded plateau’.
I’d also like to add that with this blog, we try each new trial like the Couch to 5k, the Pinterest trial, the 100 pushups, and the vertical jump training, and plan to change-up our routines, on a 3-4 week basis & give you the results.