Crushing Plateaus

By: REBEKA LAMPE

Edited By: ARYA ROERIG

It has now been a couple of months since you made that New Years Resolution. You have been to the gym every day, dieting and staying active as much as you can but you recently stopped seeing results.  You are not sure what is going on and about ready to give up.

Beach Body Coach Nikki Kearney explains three ways that plateaus can develop: through a lack of accountability, doing the same exercise routine every day or overworking your body. However, before you pack up your work out gear and call it quits, there is good news. Taking the steps to change your fitness routine, diet and mindset can become a successful recipe to push you over the plateau, or even avoid it all together.

Step 1: Add a little sweat and spice

“Your body is very good at adapting, which means if you are not constantly introducing your body to new stressors, it will get used to your routine and no improvements will be made,” says Seattle Cross Fit Coach Drew Belton

Try adding strength training or increase your weight when lifting to give your body more of a challenge. Introducing new and fun activities into your week such as yoga, spin or swimming can alter the positive stresses on your body and help your break free from a rut. Plus, trying new things can be invigorating and help to boost your mood.

Step 2: Get some rest

Another factor in plateaus is over-exercising. This not only can make you vulnerable to injury, it can exhaust your body to the point where it will refuse to change. Coach Belton explains how “not giving your body adequate rest to recover and rebuild, you aren’t going to see the results you are expecting.” Take a couple days off from working out, catch up on sleep, indulge in a massage or bubble bath and relax. Your body will thank you.

Step 3: Revise your diet

Eating the same things over and over, not eating enough, or over eating can cause plateaus to occur more frequently. It is important to keep your diet diversified and well balanced.  Coach Kearney encourages her clients to change their caloric intake.

“We tend to under eat when we’re trying to see results, and when the results stop we under eat even more. The real answer is to spend a few days eating a little bit more –but healthy foods. This will stimulate the metabolism and jump starts your weight loss again.”

For example, try swapping high calorie foods for high water, high fiber foods like fruits and veggies.

Step 4: Stay positive and motivated 

The bottom line, Coach Belton states, “is to stay on track and not get discouraged. More often than not, some minor adjustments to your programming will do the trick.” Remind yourself of your goals and why you started working out in the first place and know that experiencing highs and lows along your path to becoming healthy and fit is normal. A great way to keep motivated is to find an accountability partner, whether this is a trainer at the gym or a good friend; having someone to push you as well as support you can keep you inspired.

Plateaus can be disappointing and frustrating but taking the appropriate steps and treating your body right will allow you to make it a thing of the past. As Coach Kearney says, “keep your eye on the goal, stay the course and you will hit your mark.”

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Categories: Home, Sections, Your Fitness

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