Weight loss is an ongoing struggle for some - sometimes, we get it right that the weight just sheds week by week, month by month. Then suddenly, it all stops. You’re still working out, eating the same thing, but the weight just doesn’t move.
If you’re experiencing that, then you’ve hit the famous plateau. I’ve struggled with this one too many times - losing 5kgs then gaining 10kg after losing the will to continue once I hit that wall. Eventually, I realised that it was time to face that wall and get over over it as best I could.
Here’s how I stayed motivated to push through.
1. Change Up Your Meals
In order to really make a difference, I had to change my meals up. I took notice of what my diet was lacking and the areas I could adjust. I changed my calorie intake to suit my current needs. If you’re counting macros then you might want to re-adjust your percentages. Switching up your diet will create a new ‘habit’ for your body to recognise.
2. Switch Up Your Workouts
This is something I struggled with - really hard. I took up running - ran outdoors, ran on the treadmill and did minimal free weights. But after losing 5kgs, it wasn’t working anymore. I figured it was because I wasn’t challenging my body enough anymore - I was stagnant. When you’ve set a certain routine and you repeat it over and over again, your body starts to get used to it. So I decided to take up a class of some sort. I tried a functional training class as well as a few classes of yoga - that’s when I started to see the numbers on the scale go down.
3. Re-Motivate Yourself
I get extremely demotivated at times. Once I lose the motivation, I lose the will to go on. That’s when I start to go backwards - and it’s a pretty horrible feeling. After going through the ups and downs of it all one too many times, I realised that in order to keep going in the midst of a plateau, I’d have to re-live the motivation that got me started in the first place. I re-read old messages I used to send out to people who motivated me and vice versa, I started following fitness forums, fitness groups on Instagram and just trying to spark that fire. Once you’re re-motivated, nothing should stop you from going further.
4. Track Your Sleep
I’m a sucker for this mistake - never getting enough sleep. I either go overboard on the sleep or neglect it completely. To be honest, I still haven’t got this down pat yet. One way to help with this issue is to use apps. I started using Sleep Cycle and so far, it has been pretty helpful. Getting the right amount of sleep helps me stay energised and motivated.
5. Let’s Go H2O!
I always thought I was drinking enough water until I started working out. That’s when I realised I just wasn’t drinking enough - always getting headaches at the end of the day and craving for unnecessary snacks. Keep yourself hydrated throughout the day and you’ll keep those snack cravings at bay too.
6. Start Lifting Heavier Weights
Here’s something I never thought I’d be doing, but ever since I joined a functional training gym, I’ve been doing deadlifts and snatches like a boss. I used to be afraid of lifting heavy weights as I was afraid of bulking up, but you’d have to do some serious weight-lifting to look like a body builder. It hasn’t made me ‘buff” just… stronger. And muscles burn calories.
7. That Sugar Weakness
I’m a sucker for sweet things - and when I’m emotional or tired, I go straight for the chocolate. But I knew that if I wanted to see results, I had to control my sweet tooth. I challenged myself to a week without processed sugar and only sourced my sweetness from fruits and honey. It was tough, but for the sake of climbing that plateau wall - it had to be done. And the results came soon after.
Hopefully these small tips will get you out of that plateau funk - but always remember, you’re not in this alone. There are others who are going through the same issues. So don’t be discouraged by the plateau, instead, face the challenge head-on!