“Help Heather, I’ve hit a plateau! I was doing so well and I’m still doing everything right, but I just can’t get the scales to keep moving. What do I do????”
Plateau, Plateau, Plateau!!
I get a message exactly like this to my inbox at least once a month. And if it’s not directly to me, I’m seeing it pop up in my Facebook group.
Because it’s bloody frustrating right??!
I have a client who was losing weight steadily each week. She followed the plan from my Focused In Four program to a tee and was losing 1-2kgs a week. She was LOVING it!!
She was literally on top of the world with how well she was going and really felt like she had is sussed.
After the program ended she continued on with the plan then all of a sudden, the scales got to 70.7kgs and……
No scale movement for 3 weeks straight.
The wouldn’t even let her crack into the 60’s.
Why? What had changed?? She was still doing all of the things right!!
There are so many reasons why you might be plateauing. Here’s a few to take into consideration.
Not eating enough to start with.
I can’t tell you the number I’ve ladies that I’ve helped that when I have asked what they’re eating it’s sooo little.
Your body doesn’t know the difference between diet and starvation. If you started too low in calories to begin with, reducing your calories will become pretty hard if your body thinks you aren’t going to feed it enough.
Working out your BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate) can help ensure you’re eating enough calories to, you know, breathe and function correctly.
Cortisol does lead to stubborn belly fat (although a pill will not solve the situation). Reducing stress and exercising self-care may get you past that frustrating point.
So take a bath, Meditate, Count your blessings in a Gratitude journal, create a zen environment and chill the frick out for a bit.
You stopped tracking your food and exercise. It’s easy to overestimate how much exercise we are doing or under-calculate how much we are truly eating, especially when you want that extra spread of Peanut butter .
Write it down or log it in an app like My Fitness Pal
The scales are not the only measure!!
If the scale is the only tool you are measuring your progress by, you may still be seeing results but not appreciating them. If your body fat is decreasing, you are dropping cm’s and if your clothes are getting too big, you haven’t hit a plateau at all. Progress is progress.
Get your body fat tested, and also take measurement and PHOTOS.
Too much cardio, not enough strength training.
Your body really quickly to cardio, meaning you get fitter, but you don’t burn as many calories doing the same activity as you did when you first started.
But, building muscle increases your metabolism overall (even while you sleep).
While alcohol doesn’t necessarily cause you to get fat, it can prevent your body from burning fat. Your metabolism has to deal with the alcohol first before it can get to anything else.
Not only that a lot of us like to put Friday night drinks in the calorie free zone. When they’re anything but!
Make sure you record those drinks too and slip in a glass of water between each drink to stay hydrated.
As we get older our hormones decline, making it more difficult to lose weight or keep fat off (especially in the abdominal area). This can definitely come into play when we’re hitting a plateau.
There is also something to be said for the chemicals, additives and preservatives found in foods. It’s been reported that high-fructose corn syrup confuses our ghrelin and leptin levels (the hormones that tell us if we are hungry or satiated).
If you’re over 30 it’s a good idea to look into a Hormone support supplement.
Eating too many carbs, not enough protein and fats.
Carbohydrates are your body’s energy source. If you are giving it plenty of carbs, it has no reason to tap into fat stores as fuel. A great tool here is to work out or have a coach work out your Macro’s (Calories, Protein, Carbs and Fats allocations per day), to make sure you’re actually nourishing your body too.
When we’re tired we crave shitty food that our brain thinks will give us energy. Our body ends up producing cortisol, which leads to our bodies holding onto fat as well as making us irritable and lethargic…. Not my idea of a good time.
Too many cheat meals.
I know, Friday night movie night is the one thing you look forward to after a full on week. But you gotta keep it in check
If you are doing great during the week but eating heaps of calories on the weekend, you’re undoing the whole weeks work. What a waste!
Now I’m not saying don’t have a cheat meal. But be sensible. You’re an adult. 3 tubs of Halo top, a block of chocolate, Cookie Times and 2 bags of popcorn is NOT movie snacks mmmmkay.
Tips to get past a plateau:
- Get some help. No-one does it alone. Even the top athletes are constantly coached and checked in on frequently. Cut the DIY attitude and ask for a hand. Hire a trainer, nutritionist or coach who has shown they can get their clients results in a healthy way.
- Go back to tracking your food. It’s important to be accountable. If you aren’t 100 percent sure how much you are eating or how many calories you are burning, you may be justifying extra goodies too often, or just slipping in the odd bite of the kids Mac & Cheese, when you don’t want it going to waste….. mmm hmmm been there.
- Switch up your workouts. Add strength training, or go heavier with less reps, or lighter with more reps, try a new class or take up a new sport to shake things up and stay motivated. Most of all make sure you ENJOY IT!
- Water Water Water!! Make sure you’re drinking enough water for your body.
- Recalculate your macros. If you have lost 10kgs, then your Macro’s would have changed. Work out your new macro’s or ask a coach to help you do that.
- Be patient. If you are seeing other changes like clothes fitting better (or loser), abs peaking through, changes in your photo’s then know that it IS WORKING and scales aren’t the only way to measure progress.
All and all, there’s always a reason that you plateau and it’s just a matter of assessing what that reason is for you.
It’s best to chat to an outside source that has your best interests at heart and can look from an outside perspective to see what’s going on.
I offer One on One Coaching along with 4 week programs to help you get to the core of what’s right for you. You can find me at www.wokengiants.co.nz or on Facebook www.facebook.com/wokengiants
Now get out there and Smash through that plateau!! X
About Heather:I’m a Health and Accountability coach that has helped women lose weight and reach their goals for the last 6 years.
Being a Mum of 3 I totally relate to the time (and energy) stress and so I find ways for my clients change habits for the better so that it doesn’t seem like we’re just adding on extra pressure. We get enough of others expectations as it is right?!
I run Weight Loss Challenges, Programmes and also work One on One with my clients.
I’d love to have you come and join our free Facebook community Women Empowering Women – Body & Mind NZ, and get to know you!!
Website – https://www.wokengiants.co.nz/?fbclid=IwAR2jEH_tKcDtQxMjnntUo0Eu3WKpvyuhxlreV0fVh8SueeZclUmXMB3ySeQ
Free group – https://www.facebook.com/groups/skinnymeskinnyyoutoo/
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Instagram – www.instagram.com/wokengiants & www.instagram.com/thatshowwedofitness