We have seen it happen many times at Glow For Life, in fact, it’s happened multiple times to all of us in the Glow For Life team. You start out on your wellness journey and have made a bunch of diet, fitness and lifestyle changes. It seems to be really easy, the numbers are dropping on the scales and you’re feeling great and then BAM! You plateau. It happens to pretty much everyone who tries to make long term changes at some stage and it’s not only a physical challenge but can also make you feel like your hard work has been for nothing. Rather than going backwards when you hit a plateau, it’s important to consider the reasons why and learn how you can shake things up a bit to stop your plateau.
Your diet got boring. Your body is an amazing machine and it will adjust to anything you throw at it, even what you eat. When you change your diet dramatically, your body goes into shock and sheds weight quickly. After a sustained period of time your body will eventually adapt and think what you are feeding it is the norm and forget to focus on fat loss. Rather than sticking to the same diet, this is the time to try new tactics to shock your body – it’s a great time to have a cheat meal, try changing up your breakfast options or changing the types of protein you eat. Varying your diet slightly can offer all sorts of benefits and can finally shift the plateau.
You’re not tracking your meals. Still on the diet front, are you taking the time to keep track of what you eat? Sometimes your diet can slowly but surely become amiss and you can easily end up under-eating, overeating or eating too much extra on training days. All of these are easy ways to end up hitting a plateau, particularly under-eating as this can put your body into starvation mode which may mean it begins storing fat. To avoid any uncertainty, the Glow For Life team recommend My Fitness Pal as a great tool for meal tracking to keep you accountable for what you’re eating and to make sure you’re keeping your macro splits. Don’t want to stress of dealing with an app? You can always track your meals by simply taking a picture just before you’re about to tuck in!
You have not varied your training. They say the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. The same goes for your workout regime which can also lead to a plateau. Your muscles have what is called ‘muscle memory’ and your body has the magic ability to adapt to even the most strenuous of workouts if you don’t vary what you do. Changing up your training can be really simple; reduce or increase the intensity, tempo and rep range at the gym. Add some super-sets or HIIT training to your workout. If you mix up your routine and keep your body guessing, you should be able to break through the plateau and continue seeing great results.
You might be overtraining. Yes – despite what people tell you, it’s absolutely possible to work out too much, push yourself too hard and end up fatigued and hitting a plateau. While exercise and keeping your muscles moving are important, sleep and rest are essential pillars to transforming your body. It’s 110% ok to rest and recover from time to time and you need to give your body down time to repair all of the broken cells from the intense workouts. Signs of overtraining are:
- Lack of motivation
- No energy
- Loss of appetite
- Mood swings
- Decreased immune system (You are sick more frequently than normal)
Of course, if you’re in the midst of a plateau, feel free to contact the Glow For Life team for a free assessment. As a team, we can help you push through your plateau and come out on top!