You eat right, and you exercise several times a week. You even find time in your busy day for sleep and meditation. Your drop-dead date arrives, but the scale is not moving. In fact, the scale seems to remain at a permanent standstill.
What you do next can spell your success or finalize your failure.
Do you give up, and moan that you were meant to be fat?
Do you eat a tub of ice cream, because you deserve it?
Or, do you take F.I.V.E.?
I recently taught a community education class on how to achieve weight loss success. The most pressing question my students wanted to know was “how do you break through a weight loss plateau?” The answer lies in the power of F.I.V.E.
F is for Frequency
How frequently do you eat? Eating smaller meals of 200-400 calories throughout the day will break through plateaus more than any other eating trick. If you are still at 2-3 meals a day, add another meal or a light snack to boost your metabolism and kill cravings.
How frequently do you move? Even if you are at the gym several times a week, those sessions do not cancel out how much time you spend sitting the rest of the day. In fact, research shows that short bursts of energy throughout the day might be more effective at weight loss than longer sessions less frequently. Take a walking break for 2-3 minutes every hour.
I is for Intensity
If you are not even breaking a sweat during your sweat session, you need to up your game. High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is the best way to burn more calories in less time. You can also capitalize on resistance training for an afterburn effect. For examples of each, check out my Gym-Free Fitness board.
V is for Volume
How full is your cup? It is too easy to lose track of how much volume you are drinking, especially as the hot summer months roll in. Stick to water, but jazz it up. Add a slice of lemon, lime, berries, watermelon, or even cucumber. This is a great, all-natural, low-calorie way to add flavor without adding anything else.
E is for Evaluation
Evaluation can stand for two things.
One, evaluate your goal, and why it is important to you. If you are struggling with those last 5 pounds, what would happen if you never lost those? Would it drastically change your life? I’m not saying you should give up, but revisit your goal, and how you will feel once you have broken through the plateau. If it still excites you, then keep going!
Two, you might need to evaluate how often or what you are keeping track of. When you are in a plateau, it means that your body was adapted to your new lifestyle. Once I lost the weight, I got a bit lazy with tracking my meals and portions. Thankfully, I still weighed myself weekly, and was able to adjust accordingly. Evaluate how you will tweak your lifestyle to take it one step farther!
Weight loss plateaus are not fun. By using the power of F.I.V.E. you can break through them.
What ways did you use to break through plateaus? Comment with your techniques!