This article is for all of you who are trying to lose a few KG’s and find that you have hit a wall in terms of going down in the weight. The law of diminishing returns suggested that the more you do a certain type of exercise, the less of a return you will get from it. Therefore, there comes a time that you must spice things up to keep getting the results you want. So here we go.
1. Recover More
A lot of the time, people think they are not losing weight because they are not training enough. However, the opposite may well be true. You could be putting too much stress on the body, which could result in actually putting weigh ON the more you train! This is obviously not a desirable outcome on a weight loss program. You will know that you are one of these people if; you feel tired before or during workouts; you feel like you never have enough done and are always thinking about doing an extra session here or there; you are stressed out more than usual through for whatever reason; you are not sleeping well. If you find yourself nodding your head to the above, I would recommend doing some if not all of the following:
- Be asleep by 22:30
- Make sure your drinking 2 litres of water per day
- Make sure you have 2 days of the week where you are doing very light exercise such as a leisurely walk.
- Find some quiet time during the day where you can sit, walk, or lie down. Listen to some relaxing music, and drop whatever is stressing you out for a while.
- Replace a heavy workout with something more relaxing but just as beneficial such as a yoga class, Pilates, Thai Chi, etc.
2. Try a New Form of Exercise
Ok, this is a big one. Just because you got some gains from a certain type of exercise up until now does not mean that that type of training will bring you all the way to your desired weight. Your body will adapt to any type of exercise, and the adaptations will slow down, and eventually stop. There are countless ways in which you can rev up your engine and drop the pounds. To set you on the thought train of other exercises you can try, here are a few examples:
- Hill walking
- Kettlebell Training
- Weight Training
- Barefoot running (proceed with care here if you have not done it before)
- Walk a dog
You will notice that there is nothing groundbreaking in the list above, but it’s the change in exercise more than anything else that will let you bust through your plateau.
3. Change your Diet
In the same way that your body will adapt to exercise, it will also adapt to your diet. You will not see the pounds drop off with the same diet that you started out with. This presents you with a brand new challenge, and will force you to explore new types of food, different ways of cooking, and should bring a renewed sense of excitement to your program. Here are some suggestions you can use to get yourself on your way:
- Find the biggest flaw in your diet, and vow to cut it out for 2 weeks solid. Have a cheat sheet on the fridge door where you will write any violations of your new vow. Keep this sheet clean!
- Get yourself a new cookbook. Mark’s Daily Apple has a free cookbook to download on the site, and Precision Nutrition has a great system if you want a more detailed plan.
- Drink only water for 2 weeks.
- Cut dairy products out for two weeks
- Cut all flour products out for two weeks
NB. Most ‘Weight Loss’ diets these days vilify dietary fat, and concentrate on high carbohydrate (also known as sugar) foods. This plays havoc with the blood sugar levels, and also leaves the willing participant with very low levels of healthy dietary fat found in nuts, avocado, coconut, and animal meats. Overall, although this approach may work for a while, long term it will result in regaining of weight. You NEED your fats, even to lose weight!
4. Sneak Calories
Whether you are trying to put weight on, or take it off, sneaking calories in (or out) of your diet is a great helper. Here are some examples of sneaking calories out of your diet for the purpose of that extra boost to your efforts:
- Don’t add sugar to foods
- Use a spray can when adding oil to foods for cooking
- Drink only water or herbal tea
- Replace starchy foods (pasta/ rice/ bread etc) with an extra portion of vegetables.
- Drink water before meals. You will feel fuller sooner
5. Get s few sessions with a personal trainer
At the end of the day, if you find yourself dealing with a plateau in your training adaptations, a few sessions with a good trainer will most certainly help you break through the stalemate. If you have the right trainer, you will have your diet assessed, get help with setting new goals, do some fresh training routines, get some motivation back, and feel fresh and ready to get yourself to the next level. You can always book yourself in for a free consultation with ACLAÍ!