So you’ve started your health journey, you’ve been consistently working out and eating well and you noticed the weight dropping off. You may have hit a plateau. Don’t stress!
So you’ve started your health journey, you’ve been consistently working out and eating well and you noticed the weight dropping off. You were ecstatic and it’s pushed you to keep going but lately, it seems like what worked in the beginning has no effect on you anymore and it all feels like a waste of time.
You may have hit a plateau. Don’t stress! I’m going to go through some tips on what to do when you feel like everything that used to work no longer does and how to overcome a plateau. Now before you read this make sure that you are actually in a plateau by determining how long it’s been since you’ve seen progress. If it’s a week or two then you most likely need to ride it out. But if you have been stuck for at least a month then perhaps reflect on the following tips to help figure out what might be stalling the process.
When you started out on your health journey you may have calculated the amount of calories you needed to be in a deficit if weight loss is your goal. But since losing weight have you reassessed the amount of calories you need to be in a deficit with your new weight? We often forget that when we lose weight, the amount of calories that we once used to fuel our daily activities have in fact now decreased. If this sounds like you, then definitely go back and reassess your calories and your new caloric needs.
Time to get real with yourself. Are you REALLY holding yourself accountable? Often when I was on my health and fitness journey I would be “counting calories” but the more I did it the more lax I became. I often overlooked little bits here and there that I didn’t think would contribute that much or would grossly underestimate what I was eating of a weekend. All of those little bits add up and do actually matter! Are you strict during the week and blow it all on a weekend? Be honest with all of the little bits here and there. Check in with what you do of a weekend and hold yourself accountable for all of the little sneaky bits!
Our bodies are constantly adapting and learning to manage the stress we put on it. It’s so important to change up your training and introduce some new ways of working out to ensure our body isn’t getting used to the same routine. Adding in some strength training into your routine is definitely a great way to challenge your body and shake up that routine. You can also add extra resistance or reps if strength training is already part of your routine. Also consider ways that you can get up your NEAT as this will increase your energy expenditure. If you don’t know what that is I did a whole blog on this which you can read here.
Sleep and stress is what I am referring too! Both of these things play a major role when on a health journey because they both affect our body in a multitude of ways. When our stress and sleep is not in check, they both combined can create a vicious cycle. Stress can often interrupt our sleep, which affects our motivation to work out not to mention also increasing hunger and cravings. Ensure you’re getting 7-9 hours of sleep each night and implement some self-care techniques or journaling to keep stress at bay.
How do we progress during the plateau when we feel like our hard work is a waste of time? We focus on small wins, and find a way to get that teeny, tiny bit better each day. It’s so important to recognise all the things we do each and every day that contribute to our goals. We often think too much about the end goal that the work we put in day to day gets forgotten about. Alongside celebrating wins I created the 1% change because if you focus on doing just 1% better than yesterday, think of how much you could achieve in 30, 60 and 90 days time! I actually created a free challenge dedicated to celebrating wins and implementing your 1% change that you can download here!
And not only trust in it but ENJOY the process. It doesn’t sound sexy, but honestly, it’s all about patience and having faith that it WILL work. Consistency is what produces results and when you enjoy the process it makes staying consistent just that bit easier. That’s why I always promote movement for JOY and practice an 80/20 approach to eating. Stop thinking that you have to achieve your goals by a certain time but see it as a journey for life.
As a final note, I REALLY want you to consider this. Making progress doesn’t always equate to your weight. You’re making progress if you are: getting stronger, feeling better in your clothes, feeling more energised, sleeping well. This ALL counts for progress. So despite feeling like your weight is stalling, if you focus on all of the other benefits, you may start to focus less on your weight because, hear me loud and clear here, you’re worth MORE than your weight.