10 Ways to Break Through a Weight Loss Plateau
Week after week, you watch the number on the scale steadily slip lower and lower, then—it stops. Days, then weeks go by and still, it doesn’t budge. You’ve hit the dreaded weight loss plateau.
Weight loss plateaus are a common roadblock, and they can put a damper on weight loss motivation. Experts don’t know why weight loss plateaus happen. It could be physiological, related to metabolism, or behavioural - it’s difficult for people to stay true to their weight loss plan.
So, what do you do when your weight has levelled off but your goal is 5 kilos away? You have to shake something up. Start by changing something in your workout plan. If that doesn’t help, then change something in your weight loss eating plan. What’s important is that you do something different.
Here are 10 health tips beginning with exercise, to change up your weight loss plan and help you come down off that ledge.
- Bump up the number of times you do your gym workout at Curves. If you usually hit the circuit two times a week, make it three or four.
- If you are already going to Curves three or four times a week, good for you! Add more daily physical activity by increasing your steps: walk while you talk on the phone at the office or at home. Skip e-mail and instead, walk to your colleague’s office when you need to discuss something. Take a walk during your lunch break. Park farthest from the entrances to stores and other establishments, and always opt for the stairs instead of the elevator.
- Try a class. As you continue to exercise, your body may adapt and become more efficient, which means you use less energy (burn fewer kilojoules) to perform the same movement. Try adding a Curves class, such as Boxing or Cardio, which will challenge your body in new ways.
- On the days you don’t go to Curves, make sure you do something active. Engage in some cardio: walking, cycling, running, or swimming, or play a sport with friends.
- Avoid becoming a couch potato the rest of the day. When people start exercising more, they may experience “compensatory inactivity,”1 which means they subconsciously use a vigorous workout plan as an excuse to move less the rest of the day. To avoid this, keep your body moving as much as possible, even if you’ve stepped up your normal gym workout. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Walk to a co-worker’s office to deliver a message instead of picking up the phone. And park as far away as you can from your destination in a parking lot. These small bursts of activity can make a difference when it comes to adding total movement to your day. Plus, when you keep moving, you prevent your weight loss motivation from taking a break as well.
- Re-check your kilojoule consumption to make sure it’s in line with a weight loss eating plan. If you’re on Curves Complete, you should be following a customised meal plan and maintaining a record of what you eat. If you’re not using Curves Complete, be vigilant about keeping an honest, detailed food journal—write down everything you eat every day. After a few weeks, review what you’ve been eating as well as your daily kilojoule counts with your Curves Coach to make sure it makes sense as part of a healthy eating plan. If it looks like your kilojoule consumption has been quietly creeping up, make adjustments to your meals or snacks.
- Do you skip breakfast? Add it back into your weight loss eating plan. Eating a satisfying breakfast (including protein, whole grain carbs and healthy fat) could help you eat a smaller, healthier lunch as a result.
Those of you on Curves Complete, be sure to meet with your coach each week to review your progress. Being held accountable will give you the weight loss motivation you need to stay true to your plan, and if you have made a few slips in diet or fitness relationship goals, your coach will help you find ways to get back on track.
Commit to weighing yourself every day. Doing so can help you stay on track if you notice a slight uptick.