Ever followed a fat loss program and it’s stopped working for you? There are reasons for this! There is no such thing as “one fat loss program fits all”. It’s very important to understand that everybody is biochemically different and it is inevitable that you will hit a fat loss plateau at some point during your program. Plateaus can often be just short term, or in some cases can be frustratingly longer term. This article will help you understand why this happens and how to overcome them if they do arise.
You are no different to the many people I help regularly who are trying to lose excess body fat, plateaus will inevitably happen so don’t panic and quit! You have to anticipate plateaus and know how to deal with them when they come along. Yes these plateaus can be frustrating , but if you have set strategies to work from, you can often tackle them and move forward when they do come around. I feel it’s important to understand why they happen, if you know the reason then you’re adding another tool to your fat loss box and will help keep you one step ahead. In this article I want to share with you my top reasons for why plateaus occur and give you ways on how you can overcome them. There are many ways to break your plateau without having to drastically change anything with your dieting or training plans.
Learning new skills and exercises through your fat loss plan will take time and your body needs to adjust to your new physical habits. You must be prepared and fully understand what to expect.
Here are my top tips in overcoming a plateau:
1. If you are training with a personal trainer at Lean Body, strength training is the way we get results. Building muscle is a large part of the process. If though the scales aren’t changing as rapidly as you would hope them to, guarantee your body shape will be. By having your body fat measured regularly you will be able to monitor and manage your fat loss. We coach our clients not too concern themselves with scale weight too much but to concentrate on other motivational measurements like fat loss, how their cloths fit and regular photographs.
2. Protein. If you’re not consuming enough protein on a daily basis, your body will break down its own form of protein and energy coming from muscle mass, meaning it will break down your muscle tissue in order to find energy so you can function daily. Muscle loss eventually lowers your metabolic rate and where you are losing weight each week will be mostly from muscle and not fat. Be sure to consume the required amount of protein for your own body type. A simple rule is to try to eat a portion protein every 3-4 hours either from meals or snacks.
3. Under Eating
Often never thought of, this is one of the most common plateaus that I come across. Put simply – under eating can affect your fat loss progress in such a way where your metabolic rate will slow down as a result. I would always prefer someone to be eating slightly more and have to drop a few calories each day than to under eat and then binge before going to bed or at chance they get.
4. Your Body Will Be Experiencing changes
You will be experiencing a period of readjustment. If you’ve been stuck at the same weight for a few weeks your body may just be readjusting. Because of different changes you’re going through like new exercise or diet, sometimes your body just needs to simply catch up. Be patient and consistent, it will happen. When I ask a client to work on a new habit, I always let the body adjust for at least two weeks before measuring fat loss success again.
5. You Don’t Train Hard Enough
You’re not pushing yourself enough or training as much as you should. Whilst I’m a big believer in nutrition playing a huge part in fat loss, not doing enough exercise on a consistent basis can stall your results as well. A minimum of exercise to do, even for beginners is to follow a 3 – 4 times a week plan if you’re serious about losing belly fat and changing your shape.
6. Your Carbohydrate Levels Are Too High
If you have read any of my work before you will know that I believe in a balanced amount of carbohydrates for fat loss, not the no carb diets! The problem is that people get confused with hidden amounts of carbohydrates (and fats) in many foods. You may not realise they may have crept in by just having one food high in sugars each day. If you are not losing weight your carb intake may just be too high. If you think this may be a problem, write a food diary, track your calories for a week. This is an easier way to identify the culprits!
In nearly all cases addressing one of the above will move you past your stubborn fat loss plateau and you will continue to lose fat successfully week by week.
-Have a great week, team Lean Body
-Written by Paul Karoullas