Breaking Through That Plateau

Ugh, the dreaded plateau!  All of a sudden, that scale won’t budget.  Wut!?!?!?! 

We’ve all been there, or if you haven’t you will be there one day, unfortunately.  Whether we’re trying to lose weight or add muscle we hit that point in our progress where everything seems to stall. Our bodies go from losing weight to getting stuck at a certain number. Or we go from getting stronger, to having a week or two where we struggle to make it through the workout.  We call this “The Plateau,” and it sucks being stuck on one!

A plateau occurs when you stall out on progress despite doing all the right things, like eating right, exercising properly, getting the right amount of sleep, etc.

We’re humans and humans are happier when we make progress.  When we work hard for something and don’t see progress, we get unhappy. But remember linear progress can’t continue indefinitely!

It’s easier to lose 3 pounds a week when you are at 300lbs than it is to lose 3 pounds a week when you are 150lbs.  If you could lose 2-3 pounds a week every week forever, at some point you’d disappear, and we don’t want that.

Your progress at a consistent pace will definitely slow down, it’s science!  When it slows down it can feel like a plateau for sure.  BUT if you are doing all the right things and your progress completely stalls or you actually regress, then you may have plateaued.

When you do hit a plateau you need to find a way to make the small win’s count.

Sometimes it’s necessary to grind out small victories, prepare for dips, and power through them.  Maybe if the scale isn’t moving track other things.  Are you looking better? Are you feeling better? Do your clothes fit better? That is progress.

The goal is to consistently to prove to ourselves that we are moving one step closer towards our goal. 

While celebrating the small victories there are a few things you can do to push through this dip.

  • Shock your workout.  If you do the exact same thing over and over and over, your body becomes very efficient at that activity. So mix it up a bit. If you only do cardio throw some weight training into the mix. Try a new workout like Kickboxing to introduce some chaos into your system!
  • Shock your diet. Your body can also become quite efficient with calories and can sometimes struggle to progress in weight loss. First, make sure you have a variety of foods to your diet.  Make other changes, like upping your caloric intake from 1800 to 2200 by eating more healthy fats or protein (avocado, nuts, almond butter, more chicken, etc.). Keep your body guessing and see if that shocks your system back into weight loss mode.
  • Adjust your goals.  If you are focused solely on weight loss, you might feel like you have stalled out.  So shift your focus. Work on perfecting the plank to strengthening your core. Or running faster. Or doing a handstand. Try something different.  Give your body a chance to recover and then come back to it.

The best part of plateauing (yes there is a ‘best part’), these dips are where we find what we are truly made of.  We need to be dedicated and have the grit to get us through.  So, you might as well keep pushing.