When you are religiously following your health and fitness programme, counting your calories and eating healthy. Your workout is top notch and you never miss a workout. Everything seems to be working for you until recently.
You stopped losing weight. At first, you thought it was a mistake, but for the past two weeks, you come off the scale with the same numbers. Nothing changes. What you are experiencing is called a weight loss plateau, and it is normal.
I recently wrote a post about how to overcome a weight loss plateau with nutrition, but today I will be exploring how to achieve this with exercise.
Before you start making any changes to your programme, it is important to determine whether you have reached your ideal body weight or it is a weight loss plateau. This is because your body weight is determined by a variety of factors including hormones, sleep pattern, water intake, salt intake, sweat, bowel activity and a host of others.
You won’t get an accurate reading if you only step on the scales. Your weight fluctuations may be due to any of the factors above, which is why using other ways to determine progress is something I strongly advise. Read more on how to measure progress here.
Adjusting your exercise program can help you overcome your weight loss/fat loss plateau.
One way of making your body to start losing weight again is to switch your workouts every 4-12 weeks. If you’re a client of mine you know that I change workouts every 2-4 weeks and this is specifically to avoid a plateau and keep the body challenged. When you do a physical activity repeatedly, a time comes when the activity stops producing any effect on the body.
This is why doing the same workout for an extended period stops producing results after some time. The body has been accustomed to the activity, and it is now a new normal.
To make your body react positively to exercise, I advise changing your workouts when they start becoming a routine. Engage in a workout until your body starts to respond to it, and when its effectiveness begins to dwindle, ditch it for a new workout that will take you closer to your weight loss goals.
Another way to make your body burn more fat is to take part in strength training. Training with weights builds muscle mass, and you need muscle mass to burn more calories.
If your body has stopped losing weight, it may be because it’s not burning calories efficiently. Increasing your weight training will help you build more muscles, and increase your metabolism. And the good part is that when you work out, your muscles continue to burn calories even when you are resting, increasing your calorie expenditure.
You also need to watch your diet, as it determines the number of calories you are ingesting. Read more on this here.