If you’ve been following a specific diet plan
and exercise routine for a number of weeks or months and have noticed a prominent slowing down of your weight loss
, it is likely that you have hit a diet plateau. A diet plateau is usually not a welcome event in any dieter’s life, but, fortunately for all of us, there are a number of proven ways to prevent and reverse them for the good of our diets.
First, it is important and helpful to know precisely what causes dieting plateaus. Essentially, they are caused by one or a combination of the following:
- Genetic issues with the metabolism
- Failure to consume an adequate amount of nutritious food during the diet
- Stagnant exercise routine
The ways to prevent and overcome diet plateaus are the same. The following simple tips will help you to avoid this common phenomenon and to combat it when it strikes.
- Do not starve yourself. Your body will begin to hold onto everything you consume in an effort to conserve valuable energy.
- Implement high intensity interval training into your workout routine. This type of exercise encourages a strong, healthy metabolism and burns more calories.
- Consume more protein. Protein boosts the metabolism more effectively than carbohydrates or fats and helps preserve muscles on a lower calorie diet.
- Eat smaller meals more frequently. Every time you eat, your metabolism revs up to assist your body’s digestive function. Eating five meals per day rather than three can help you lose weight quickly and healthily.
- Play with your caloric intake. The best way to avoid and break a plateau is to vary your calorie consumption throughout the week. Even a difference of approximately 200 – 300 calories every other day can make a huge difference, tricking your metabolism into speeding itself up and remaining steady.
- Don’t skip the weight training. Lean muscle mass inherently burns more calories at rest than does other tissue in the body. For best results, tackle cardio in the morning before breakfast. Go home and enjoy a protein-rich and carb-filled meal before returning to your weights a few hours later.
Above all else don't let temporary set backs and plateaus break your focus on what you want to accomplish. When people hit plateaus there can be a tremendous temptation to give up and fall off the wagon. Don't. Don't lose sight of your goals and how far you have come. Most often all you need is to take stock of where you are, look at what's working and not, and then make some course adjustments. You've got this!