Weight loss plateaus are a normal part of getting into shape. Hitting a plateau is a time to think about your progress and what options you can use to break through the plateau. Circle the strategies below that you will try.
1. Reassess your energy intake – Perform a self-audit on your food and drink consumption. Are you still following the plan that you started on? Be honest and see if there are any areas you can make some calorie savings or where you might be cheating. Alcohol, bread, cereals, sugary drinks, cakes and biscuits are examples where excess calories can slip back into your diet.
2. Write it down – Keep a record of absolutely everything you eat and drink for a minimum of three days. You may be surprised at what you find subconsciously sneaking into your diet. Ongoing self-monitoring will help keep you on track.
3. Burn more calories – Increase your activity level to counteract the natural reduction in metabolic rate that comes with weight loss. Increase the duration or effort during your exercise sessions to burn more calories. Use a pedometer (step counter) to check that you are also being as active as you can throughout your day.
4. Make some muscle – Try resistance training to tone up your muscles. Muscle burns more energy than fat – you’ll boost your metabolism by increasing this energy-burning lean body tissue.
5. Mix it up – If you’ve been in a routine for a while, do something different. Change your meal pattern, the foods you eat or the activities you do. A change can add variety, shock your system and unblock your plateau.
6. Weigh less – You may still be losing weight but not enough to register on the scale, particularly if you weigh yourself daily. Try to weigh yourself less often – no more than weekly. Remember, a quarter kilo a week is equal to thirteen kilos in a year.
7. Hang in there – Be patient and go easy on yourself during a plateau period. You may be doing everything right and just need some time to make a breakthrough. Remind yourself why you are doing this and of all the health benefits you are experiencing.
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