If your weight loss has stalled there could be many reasons for it. It could be your hormones, a stressful project at work or a number of other things. Plateau is a normal part of training, and it happens to probably all of us. Here I share with you the most common reasons for plateau in progress which I encounter as a personal trainer.
1. You are doing the same exercises over and over again
Let's say on your leg days in the gym you start to superset split squats and hip thrusts. The first time you do it, it feels challenging, and you have soreness after it. But if you continue to do this same superset on every leg day workout you do, after three months your body has become "accustomed" to it, is more efficient at it and your progress has slowed down. For this reason, it is important to change the exercises you do and not to the same routine in every workout. Keep the body surprised!
2. You are not sleeping enough
Rest is very important for your body to recover. Be it from your workout the day before or the stressful day at work, you need at least 7 hours of sleep. If you are training for muscle building, you are better off sleeping even longer. If you have trouble falling asleep, try to not have caffeine after lunchtime. In the evening try taking a hot shower, reading a book and make sure the temperature in your room is cool. It's harder to fall asleep when you're too warm.
3. You are eating too much "healthy food"
If your weight loss has slowed down, it could be from all these healthy recipes you're trying out. Homemade sweet potato brownies might be gluten free, dairy free, vegan and full of healthy ingredients but if they are loaded with coconut oil or peanut butter, they are probably very caloric too. Remember to enjoy these foods in moderation if you don't want them to slow down your weight loss progress. My advice would be to shift your focus on the main meal not the desert and on the amount of protein you are eating. Don't let yourself become wildly hungry, always have a healthy snack around (like hummus and veggies).
4. You are drinking your calories
Smoothies are full of vitamins and milk shakes are fun but same as with those homemade sweet potato brownies they are packed with calories. Most of the juices you can find in the store are full of sweeteners, colorants, preservatives and all kinds of substances you don't need. It's okay to have these drinks but just remember that water is your best and most needed friend.
5. You started working from home and stopped moving around
This, in my practice, turned out to be one of the biggest reasons why people struggled to lose weight. You might be going to the gym 4 times a week but if that is your only activity it is not enough. One hour of activity a day cannot compensate for 23 hours of inactivity. Cycling or jogging to the office, when possible, is a great way to add activity to your day. Going for an evening stroll around the neighbourhood or going for a weekend hike are also good options. If your work is far and you have to drive or use public transport, try going outside for your lunch, stand up often, use the stairs.
6. Your hormones
Our hormones work in sensitive balance and for one or another reason it can be disrupted. If you are stressed, don't sleep enough, eat sporadically or even if you are using the wrong cosmetics, it can wreak havoc on your hormones. The thyroid gland produces the two hormones responsible for regulating metabolic rate and if it doesn't work properly your metabolism can slow down and you can start feeling fatigued. If you think you are doing everything right and still not getting in shape, it is worth talking to your health care provider. I hope these tips help you to get out of the plateau and smash your fitness goals. Thanks for reading!