About a month ago, Courtney at Don’t Blink. Just Run commented that she was having difficulty breaking through the plateau in her weight loss journey. In the early months of Courtney’s weight loss journey she saw good results, but then things slowed down and she stopped losing weight. This isn’t unusual, and I told her that she had inspired me to write about it because it’s a concern that I sometimes have to address with my clients.
The most important thing to remember during a plateau is to not give up and revert back to old unhealthy ways. Remember that body weight is just a number, it does not define anyone. The real focus should be on learning to make healthy food and exercise choices during your healthy lifestyle journey.
Approaching your day during your plateau in a proactive way will make a huge difference in breaking through and seeing results. On the following two charts I have made the first point the same: Every morning ask yourself, “What can I do to become a fat burning machine?”* This applies to both exercise and nutrition. By starting off your day with a plan, you will be far more likely to meet your goals for that day.
You can become a fat burning machine by taking the stairs instead of the elevator, biking to work, getting up and moving every hour during your work day, etc. Even if you’re scheduled to go to the gym after work, try to fit a quick walk in during your lunch break (even 15 minutes can make a difference). Instead of just running or riding your bike at a consistent speed, change up the pace by doing intervals or fartleks. And don’t do the same workout every time you hit the gym. Change it up and keep your body from getting used to the same workout. Challenge your body to do different things, and don’t allow it to become complacent.
On the nutrition side of things, you can become a fat burning machine by eating a nutritious breakfast to fire up your metabolism, eating nutrient and fiber rich vegetables and fruits, hydrating properly, etc. Hold yourself accountable by logging your food intake into a phone app, or even onto a piece of paper. You might be surprised by how much food you eat when you see it in writing, and might be surprised at how small a serving size really is. Often portion sizes at restaurants are much larger than what is considered a serving size and leads to overeating, so try to limit visits to your favorite place, especially if the food is so good that you find it impossible to save any for the doggy bag.
Good luck breaking through your plateau, and remember, you’ve worked too hard to get to this point to give up and revert back to your old unhealthy ways.
- What can you do to become a fat burning machine?
- What have you found effective for breaking through a plateau?
*Phrase introduced to me by Jack Broderick, instructor for my Nutrition and Weight Management Specialist course.