Losing Weight? Here’s How to Prevent the Dreaded Plateau
Almost everyone has experienced it at one time or another – the weight loss plateau. You’ve seen the number on the scale drop consistently week after week, but suddenly, you can’t get it to budge no matter what you do. This is extremely common after the first few weeks of starting a new diet and a primary reason so many people give up. It’s understandable: you’re working so hard and doing everything right, yet you just aren’t seeing results anymore. It happens to the best of us, and chances are it’s not that your diet stopped working – it’s that your body is adjusting. Here’s how you can avoid this scenario or move past it if it does occur.
It may sound counterintuitive but giving yourself a cheat day or two can shake things up and get your body back on track when you return to your stricter habits. You might even plan for one cheat day a week to keep things interesting in the calorie department. Of course, the trick is to get right back to it when your cheat day is over. If this proves too difficult, then stick with healthy foods but increase your calorie intake once a week by 1,000 or so. Then reduce the following day again for better results.
Mix Up Your Diet
If you’ve been following a low-carb diet, mix it up with a week of higher carb intake. Then, return to your routine. You’ll trick your body, which thinks it knows what to expect. You may not lose any weight during this “slingshot week,” but when you return to your regular low-carb (or low-calorie, or whatever diet plan you follow), you’ll see improved results.
Change Your Workouts
If mixing things up seems like a theme here, that’s because it’s so effective. You can do the same thing when it comes to your workouts. If you’ve been doing the same thing (walking, running, swimming, yoga, or spinning, for example) for the past week or so, give your body a new challenge. If you typically stick to the treadmill, try out the stair climber instead. If you usually walk, join a gym and try some of the classes to find a new activity you enjoy.
Keeping your body on its toes is the best way to prevent it from settling into a plateau – and it will also save you from becoming bored and giving up on your goals.