4 Ways to Overcome The Diet Plateau

I recently got this email from D.K.:

“My biggest struggle is the diet plateau.  I hit a plateau a couple months ago and can’t seem to budge the scale no matter what I do.  I don’t want to work out harder or longer because my joints are already starting to hurt.  How can I work out smarter to break this plateau and lose the weight and inches.”

Many of us can relate to working hard, getting results, and then having those results slow down or come to a screeching HALT.  Why???  What used to work is no longer working.  We are still eating the same things and doing the same workout but the results are not the same.  It seems like a lot of hard work for nothing.

But that is just the problem!  We are doing the same things.  Our body has gotten used to that same workout style, the same machines, the same daily regimens, and the same foods.  Here are 4 tips to change things up and shock your body so it begins to respond again.

  1.  Eat Junk – This one sounds crazy but in the right context it works quite well.  When I used to compete in fitness competitions the goal was to get super lean.  Every week I had fat loss goals I had to meet in order to be ready by competition time.  I was on a very regimented diet eating – pretty much the same things everyday.  I would tweak my food each time I stopped losing fat and lower my intake of either carbs or fat and that would typically work.  But sometimes it didn’t.  Did you know that when we diet our metabolism actually slows down.  Eating something junkie and high in fat and carbs can actually wake it back up.  This means one meal!  It does not mean going on a junk food binge!  Doing this 1 x/week can be just the boost your metabolism needs to get your fat loss moving again.
  2. Increase Water Intake – What gets measured gets done!  Many times we think we are drinking enough water but we may not be tracking it to make sure.  Tracking our water intake and working up to 80+ ounces per day keep food moving and metabolizing through our system.  It keeps us hydrated and can curb hunger.  It helps prevent constipation.  Water carries nutrients and oxygen to our cells.  And it lubricates our joints so that we move more freely with less joint pain.
  3. Increase Your Sleep (Quality & Quantity) – Maybe you are getting 6,7, or even 8 hours of sleep.  But is it quality sleep?  If you are getting less than 6 hours of quality sleep it is almost impossible to drop weight.  This is because our bodies need extra calories to keep us going for longer hours while we are not sleeping.  Sleep and weight are directly linked.  Did you know that lack of sleep affects our brain’s impulse controls.  I am sure that you have heard that drinking alcohol impairs our decision making when it comes to food.  Lack of sleep affects us in much the same way.  To top it off we are less active when we are tired and thus burn less calories and fat.
  4. Figure Out What’s Eating You? –  I am sure you have heard the phrase “it’s not what you are eating it’s what is eating you.”   Not getting enough sleep in and of itself can be a stressor.  Working to lose weight can be a stressor.  Health problems, loss of money, grief, work, etc, etc, etc. There are too many to list here.  And each of us react to different stressors differently.  The sooner we work through our stress points the less damage they do to our waistline.  This one may be the toughest of all.  It takes work and time depending on how big the stressor.  Let’s get to it! The sooner we get started tackling our stressor/s the sooner we will get over the diet plateau and get back to results.

It is time to break the plateau and get back on it!  Never let go!

Success seems to be largely a matter of hanging on after others have let go.
–William Feather (1889-1981), American author

P.S. Thanks for sharing your story.  I would love to hear about your diet plateau struggles and how you overcame them in the comment section below.

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