It is inevitable that at some point during your weight loss journey, you will eventually reach a plateau where you seem to be stuck. You don't really lose weight, but you are still working out and maintaining your diet and lifestyle patterns. It is extremely hard to not get discouraged when this happens. There are many ways to stay motivated and on track if you are sincerely interested in continuing the journey.
Change Your Routine
The fastest way to reach a plateau is to continue to do the same workouts over and over again. Your muscles have memory and once they get used to working in a specific order, less effort is needed to maintain the workout. Change your routine. Add new exercises. Include new foods in the diet and add a few new spices. If you have specific workouts that you really like, break them into sections and perform a different section on a different day. Instead of going to the gym, twice a week turn up the music and dance while you vacuum and clean the house. Not only will you get a good cardio workout, your house will be clean and you have fun in the process.
Add a Few New Challenges
When most people start on a weight loss journey, they tend to stick to one form of physical challenge. The gym isn't the only way to get a work out. Take a dance class, Go hiking once a week or take the kids swimming for the afternoon. All of these are ideal alternatives to the gym and will work out different areas of the body each time. The best thing is they are breaking up the monotony of the routine that is causing you to plateau.
Re-Evaluate Your Diet
One of the key things to remember is that you need to adjust your diet as you move forward. Once you have started to lose the weight, you will actually be adding muscle and boosting your metabolism. You may need to add a few more calories and increase your protein intake to provide the right amount of protein to support the new muscle tissue and help the body to maintain the jump in your metabolism. At this point, increasing your calories slightly is not a bad thing. As your weight drops and you begin to be more active, your body will become much more efficient at burning off the calories as they are consumed instead of trying to constantly store them as fat.
Don't Focus on the Scale, Concentrate on Inches
Looking at the scale on a daily basis is a one-way road to disaster. Not only is it discouraging, it is also misleading. As you lose weight, the number on the scale will actually fluctuate. Sometimes it will be higher and other times it will be lower. Many times, it won't change at all. The reason for this has to do with the difference between fat cells and muscle cells. Muscle cells weigh more than fat cells. Every time you lose fat cells you lose weight, but when muscle cells are gained, your weight will increase. This will eventually even out, but until it does, watching the scale is a big mistake.
Instead of watching the scale, concentrate on inches. As the fat leaves certain areas, the muscles and soft tissues will become more defined resulting in a loss of inches. The muscles are denser and more firm causing the body to appear more slender and well toned.
Reaching a plateau is a natural part of weight loss. The key is to ignore it and not let it have too much of an impact on your journey. When you do reach that point, you know it is time to begin changing your routine and spicing things up a bit. Don't get discouraged if your weight seems to be stuck in a holding pattern. By changing a few things in your routine, your body will begin to establish a new balance that will kick start your metabolism and get you back on the road to weight loss.
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