It’s annoying isn’t it? You work hard, you follow some plan to the letter and you hit a plateau or peak, and then you like most people give up, and complain you have tried everything to lose that fat!
When all you really need to do was stay positive and focused on your goal, to lose 30 pounds, tone up etc., by focus on where you want to go, not on where you are now you are more likely to achieve it, imagine if Thomas Edison had of given up on his 999th attempt to create the light bulb, we wouldn’t have the same light bulbs we have now, he persisted and succeeded on his 1000 attempt, remarking “I have not failed 1,000 times. I have successfully discovered 1,000 ways to NOT make a light bulb.”
As well as staying positive, and focusing, you need to work harder, make you work out more intense, if your already giving 100% now give 125% so If you were doing 20 minutes cardio, now do 30 minutes and so on, until you really cannot do anymore!, improve your diet even more, it’s not easy to have a nice body anyone who says otherwise is lying and probably trying to scam you out of your money.
The opposite end of under-training is over-training, it can happen, if you are giving it everything and I mean everything and your still not losing weight/toning up, then take three to seven days then go back to training hard, one step back then two steps forward, you will then be past your previous plateau, and at a new peak and just keep pushing.
If you don’t keep pushing your body will adapt very quickly, you only have to change one or two variables in your training program every four to twelve weeks (as a beginner, the more advanced the quicker you should change).
Literally whenever you hit a plateau, change something, anything, such as shorter rest intervals, changes in stance width, etc.
Monitor your weekly results and if need be:
- Manipulate your diet (specifically the macro-nutrient composition)
For most people the best diet would be a high carbohydrate diet consisting of 55% carbohydrates,30% protein and 15% fat, if you reach a plateau, then you can drop the carbohydrates while at the same time increase the protein or fats, so if you were doing say 55% carbohydrates,30% protein and 15% fat, you may change it to 50% carbohydrates,35% protein while leaving the fats the same, realistically this may mean eating a handful less of pasta and can of tuna.
- Change your food choices – namely eat fewer foods that are processed, and more foods in their natural state, for example if we are talking about grading we would give an apple an A, then unsweetened apple sauce a B, and so on until we get down to an apple pie, which is an “F”, as its been highly proceed and contains very little of the actual apple.
- Manipulate meal timing and frequency – All else being equal; five or six small but frequent meals are better for your metabolic rate than two or three big meals. Women should aim for five meals and men for six.
- Increase duration of aerobic exercise –When your goal is fat loss you should do a minimum of 30 minutes of aerobic exercise per session which you can then increase by five-ten minutes at a time until to the maximum of 60 minutes. Anything after 60 minutes is diminishing marginal returns
- Increase frequency of aerobic exercise – If you reach the 45-60 minutes boundary simply increase the frequency, so at the moment you should be doing a minimum of three days a week, but simply incrementally add one day per week until you reach six or seven days per week.
- Increase intensity of aerobic exercise – If you’re already doing six to seven days a week for 60 minutes, then what? Simply make it harder, faster, etc.
- Switch high intensity interval training into your aerobic program – If you’re already doing all of the above, 7 days 60 minutes, switch to HIIT, where you do short bursts, rest for a short period then another short burst. The higher the intensity, the greater the post-exercise “after-burn” effect.
- Double cardio – If all else fails do cardio twice a day, but remember this is extreme, so your body will adapt after a while, so just do it for a bit as a last resort.
Once you use those 8 strategies your Weight Loss/Fitness Plateau will be successful over, and you will once again be losing weight.
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