Bust Through Plateaus With These Tips
Four months ago you put your words into action by dedicating time each week for exercise. You also made the choice to give up drinking alcohol during the week and drastically cut back on processed foods. During this time you have watched the scale steadily decrease. You are now 20 lbs. lighter!
But for the last month, you haven’t dropped a pound. You’ve hit your first weight plateau.
It’s always easy when things go our way. FORTUNATELY for us, there’s rarely a straight linear path to achievement…
Sometimes the path will be wide open and easy to follow. Other times, it will be overgrown with thorny bushes and doubt. Sometimes the path may even appear blocked. At this point you’ll think you need a new path with more hours dedicated to workouts and more restrictions (no carbs, less social time with friends because you drink more wine).
I suggest staying on the path and focusing more on the quality of the process.
Instead of letting a plateau bring you down, let it build you up! During a plateau you can rejoice and celebrate the changes you have made that led to this point.
Above, I used the example of losing 20 lbs. That is no easy task! Take time to appreciate and enjoy your success. Buy some new workout clothes to celebrate your weight loss. Treat yo self! You’ve built a solid foundation out of creating new habits and behaviors.
- During your celebration, remember that there were daily struggles.
- Remember all the good choices you had to make to be at this plateau.
You can also use a plateau to evaluate and refine your current fitness and nutrition.
Ask yourself, “what can i change?”
- Have I been as consistent as I was when I started?
- These 5 lb. dumbbells feel super light now; maybe I should lift heavier ones.
- I have been enjoying an extra small glass of wine here and there; I can cut back.
- I probably could speed up my pace during my treadmill walks/runs.
- I could use some help learning more about strength training.
- I haven’t been walking as much because it’s getting hot out.
What about your behaviors?
- Eat slower and more mindfully.
- Control your portions. Watch out for empty calories in your diet
- Increase the intensity of your workouts instead of adding more time. (Most of us don’t have more time).
- Focus on more daily life movement.
- Improve your sleep quality.
- Manage your stress.
- Remind yourself that steady progress will get you to your goals, not fad diets and insane workouts.
- Believe in your abilities.
- Keep your thoughts positive.
- Get back to meal planning and scheduling.
- Create boundaries so your co-workers, family, and friends know your goals.
- Eliminate the people criticizing or sabotaging your efforts. (This is a hard decision, but worth it in the long run.)
You will reach a point sometimes referred to as “the gap”. You have two choices. You can look ahead and see how far you still have to go or you can look back and be proud of how far you’ve come. It’s always your choice.