When we make the decision to introduce a new exercise and healthy eating regime into our life, we know the journey is going to be tricky but also rewarding We work hard to introduce new, healthy habits and feel amazing when we reach an effortless consistency with everything that we are doing. But for most of us, a plateau in our progress is inevitable. Nothing changes, we are doing the same thing we have always been doing up until this point but our progress seems to be at a standstill.
Here are the reasons as to why this might be...
The only way is up! ⬆
Your muscle memory will reach a stage in your training where the weights you are lifting or the cardio you are performing is just simply too easy! When you find that you are able to perform a particular exercise with greater ease than when you started; it's time to increase the weight you are using, increase your repetitions or increase your speed (if cardio based).
Catch some Zzz's... 💤
Not getting enough sleep really impacts the way our bodies function day to day. If you are not getting a full night's sleep each day then your body will start to show this in other ways, like a change in progression with fitness and health goals.
Stop pulling your hair out! 🤯
Never underestimate the power of stress! Stress effects us in many ways including increased fatigue; loss of motivation; lower energy levels and a pause in health related progress. Assess what it causing you stress in your life - is there anything you can do to relieve it? If so, remove it from your life and try focusing on the things that help to make you feel calmer.
Are you eating enough? 🍝
Sometimes when we are on a winning streak with our progress towards our own goals, we forget that the place are are in now is very different to the place we started in. This is particularly true for those specifically wanting to lose weight.
Your calculated calorie intake to achieve a deficit at the start of your journey will be considerably different to what it is now if you have lost a considerable amount of weight. Why not recalculate and see if this is where you need to adjust.
Similarly, changing the foods you are eating to something different might also help. Put differently - eat smarter! 250 calories worth of strawberries is a considerably larger quantity of food compared with 250 calories of almonds.
There is such a thing as over-training! 💪🏼
Are you taking enough rest days? The magic happens when you are resting. This gives your body time to heal and get stronger from the training regime you have it under. why not assess your training schedule and see if you can drop a day or shorten the workout you are doing once or twice a week?
Find your happy place 🙃
Our bodies have a weight, shape and size where they will settle naturally. It might just be that your body has reached a point where it is comfortable, feeling energized and acknowledges that it is being looked after in a loving and healthy way. Take some time to revise why you eat well and exercise? Are the reasons the same now as when you started? This will help you to decide whether you want to change up your training or continue as you are, happy without seeing lots of visible progress.
Check in with your GP 👩🏽⚕
In some instances a newly developed, or under-lying medical condition could be the reason for your plateau. It could be worth making an appointment with your GP if you have considered all of the other suggestions in this article and you are still seeing no changes in your progress.
Count your calories 📊
Sometimes, simply checking in with your calories and making sure you are still in a deficit is enough to get you back on the right path for your progress. Your portion sizes might have been gradually increasing without you realizing which will contribute to an increase in your overall calorie intake each week.
Slow progress is better than no progress 📉
You might not be in a plateau at all! Remember that 1/2 lb lost each week adds up to 26 lbs lost in a year for those on a weight loss journey! Progress is progress, no matter how slow. Try recording your weigh-ins, progress photos or measurements on a monthly basis rather than a weekly one!
These are just some of the reasons you might be experiencing a plateau in your progress. Take some time to read through them all and be honest with yourself as to how committed you currently are being towards reaching your goals.