We all hit plateaus in our weight loss journeys, but there is a solution to overcome plateaus and reach your health weight.
It seems like so long ago, but once upon a time, a majority of us used to go to the gym together. We frequently saw women struggling so hard on the stair master trying to lose weight. You know the type, magazine in front of them, headphones on, struggling through an hour or more on the cardio machine. Weight loss for many is a challenge and weight loss plateaus are not fun. I know this because I am an ACSM (American College of Sports Medicine) certified fitness trainer and Founder of Mindful Bodies Fitness. I have coached many to reach their ideal weight. There is a healthy way to eat and a correct way to exercise and lose weight. Many people fall into the wrong routines and hit a weight loss plateaus. While healthy clean eating is an important part of the equation, your physical fitness can be what is making you plateau.
The CDC recommends each adult should do 150 minutes of physical activity a week, but are you doing it right for your body type, hormones and goals? From my years of teachings and coaching and seeing success from my clients, endless hours of intense cardio do not always equate to weight loss, or even further, breaking weight loss plateaus.
For some, overdoing physical activity will trigger hormones to store weight. The body goes into a fight or flight mode. For those who knowingly have hormonal issues I would recommend changing exercise that isn’t strenuous such as walking, while adding meditation, and a better sleep pattern. All which will help lower Cortisol, Leptin, Ghrelin and other hormones which are important keys to weight loss.
Mental stress plays a large role in our weight loss as well. Keeping your mental health in check is imperative. Make sure to get enough sleep and make time for relaxing hobbies. Meditation and yoga are great ways to add to your fitness routine while also helping relieve stress. Sticking to a routine helps alleviate stress, which will aid your weight loss.
If it is a time issue, such as finding the time to go to a gym, or get to exercise classes, to get that 150 minutes of physical fitness per a week in, consider doing online streaming workouts or hire a fitness trainer who can do pre-recorded workouts that are tailored to your needs. My company Mindful Bodies Fitness does just this. There are also other programs like Beach Body, or Pelton which do the same, we are different we are more of a boutique fitness company which tailors each workout to your body, energy, mind and fitness type. We are more hands on then the big hands off companies.
Weight loss could also be a diet issue. If you are finding it hard to eat clean, avoid foods that cause inflammation, water retention and keep insulin levels down. You can also hire a qualified dietician for guidance. If that is not something you can afford consider using the app MyFitnessPal. With both free and paid versions, it has a very good food diary section, which breaks it down to calories, marcos and nutrition along with recipes. Tracking your calories is a great way to look over your diet and fine areas of concern, from too much consumption to deficiencies.
Whether you are just starting your fitness journey, or have reached a plateau too often people focus on a specific intense fitness routine and hit weight loss plateaus. Overall fitness is not created by wasting hour after hour exercising. In fact, repetitive time in the gym can actually prove detrimental to your overall health goals. Our bodies are meant to adapt to routine. The calories lost on a daily 5 mile run quickly decline over time. Mixing up your workouts can prove more effective than strenuous routines, and often don’t require as much time. This is how we can overcome our weight loss plateaus.
- CDC – Center of Disease Control and Prevention – How much physical activity do adults need?
- ACSM – American College of Sports Medicine
- Precision Nutrition – Leptin, Ghrelin, and Weight Loss.
- Research Paper – Maintenance of Lost Weight and Long-Term Management of Obesity by Kevin D. Hall, Ph.D.1 and Scott Kahan, M.D., MPH2,3