Plateaus….. Listen, they happen to EVERYONE! There isn’t one person on this planet who hasn’t hit some sort of plateau at some point in their life. When we hit a plateau, we just feel stuck and we tend to feel like it is just us who is dealing with this at the moment, but it’s not just you. There are others around you going through it daily. So just know you are not alone! So…. How do you avoid them? How do you break through them when you get to them? And how do you reach your goals faster with less frustration?
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How would I describe a plateau? When you are making progress and then suddenly the progress tops. You stop losing weight. You stop losing inches. It just feels like nothing has happened for at least 4-6 weeks.
Weight loss is not linear. It is all over the place people!! So how do you see if you are in a true plateau and how do you use a process to get out of it??
What typically causes a plateau?
Here is a list of some things that could be happening that may cause you to be in this plateau.
1. Water weight
2. Maybe you had a big meal the night before
3. You may not have pooped 12 the night before
4. Indulged in many carbs the night before (Many people will see this when they get back from vacation.)
5. Food choices. Some food causes us to retain more water. Carbohydrates love to absorb water. Same with sodium-rich meals
6. Portion control
9. Same workout without body change. Or need a rest day.
When you lose weight, you lose some muscle mass too. So, this is where weight training comes into play to help build that muscle back and help your metabolism. You may have lost weight, but now nothing is happening. This is where building that muscle mass can help your metabolism increase so that you can start to lose more. What is really a plateau, has all your progress really stalled?
You have to go for the non-scale victories so when the scale isn’t budging, you can see you are managing stress better or moving better! Take pictures, every 4 weeks to see what is happening. Take a measurement to see where you are! ½ inch is better than nothing. And remember you are not always going to be big sweeping changes all the dang time!
Alright, so let’s dive into how you can BUST THROUGH a plateau!
The first one I am going to talk about is starting to track your food. Tracking helps us to be accountable. It helps us to see what we are taking in. It helps us to make better choices for the day and the numbers help us see a bigger picture! It is written down helps us to see where we are daily and weekly.
Next, you want to check your activity. Are you moving your body daily? Are you killing it in the gym, and do you have outside activity? The ACE found that up to 30% of people burn more calories doing acts of daily living vs in the gym! Take a look at what you are doing when you are home. Are you sitting on the couch all day watching TV? Go for a walk, weed your garden, push mow your lawn. Do something to get your body moving.
Are you getting enough protein? Protein is a girl’s best friend!! Protein helps boost metabolism, it takes longer to digest and helps signal hormones that we are full and don’t need to eat anymore. It also helps prevent muscle mass loss.
What is your alcohol intake like?
I am never going to say hey no drinks… (whole guide on how to have alcohol and lose weight) but this is a moderation thing. Alcohol by itself is a toxin and your body doesn’t know what to do with it when ingested. Listen, it’s not the sugar or carbs in it, it’s the alcohol itself! If not done in moderation, it causes us to overeat because it lowers our inhibitions, we don’t sleep as well, and if your body is burning alcohol all the time, it doesn’t tap into burning the fat! So use sparingly.
Sugar in your beverages… ? THIS also needs to be done in moderation. All those fancy drinks your order when you are out, they contain a ton of syrups and pumps in drinks are all sugar! All the fruit juice is sugar as well because when fruit is turned into juice, it is turned into sugar. So watch it on the juices as well. Try to drink water as much as possible and use sugary beverages sparingly.
What is your workout like?
Do you need longer or more intense workouts? Or are you working out too much? You may need to overhaul your workouts. Switch things up and try something new. We may have to look into increasing your workouts. (but remember more is not always better) If you are working out 6-7 days a week, I want to know what you’re doing with your workouts then. If you are not really working out, you may need to do longer workouts and more a week.
How are your stress levels daily? When we are stressed out, it triggers you to crave.
And when you are stressed you don’t care what goes in your mouth. Also, when you’re stressed out you don’t sleep and then you will usually tend to eat more when you are not sleeping well. Tap into some stress management techniques and look them up. What can you do to relax and be less stressed throughout the day?
Sleep more. GET SOME SLEEP!!
Simple as that! I did a really popular podcast about sleep. No, you will not sleep when you are dead. But most of us don’t get enough sleep on a daily basis. So just like your kids have one, create a bedtime ritual for yourself, one that helps you wind down and get ready for bed.
Are you giving yourself rest days? Ladies, you have to give your body a break once in a while! And this doesn’t mean stopping your plan and just going into maintenance mode for a little bit. This is so you can make it so it’s not all diet diet, diet all day every day. Scale back workouts a tad bit and give yourself a mini-vacation for your body. Reset and restart the plan after.
If you are doing all of these things and you are still not moving the dial, then I suggest having a talk with your doctor. So before you do that, check in with your food, check what you are eating (you can overeat healthy food as much as not so easy food). Check all of this for a few months and what you are eating. Check your sleep and your water and your protein! And if all of this is in check and great, then check with a doctor to see if something else is going on.
If I am not nailing the basics, then going to my doctor to talk about these other things will still be a problem if I don’t hit these basics! So just remember that. I go over all of this in a hormones podcast that you can find here. We have to have all basics nailed before you go to a doctor to get a good picture of what is going on. Because a lot is lifestyle behaviors more than medical going on but if it is dramatic talk to your doctor!
A lot of this is in the way you treat your body. “If you can’t hear your body whisper, you can’t hear your body scream.” We don’t listen to our bodies enough to really see what is going on or when we need help with certain parts of our bodies and functions of our bodies. What are we doing to support our bodies so that we can do this and get it done! It could be as much as sleeping more or adding more calories or strength training, I might feel better. You just don’t know until you stop, listen to your body and try to help it the best way you can.
As a coach, I really work to provide motivation, accountability, support, a plan and a proven process to my clients. So, if you need this and are missing it, hit me up and let’s see how I can assist you!!!!
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Guilt Free Summer Guide
ep. 61 how to lose weight while still using alcohol https://www.kimbarnesjefferson.com/how-to-lose-weight-while-still-including-alcohol/
ep 38 questioning your relationship with alcohol https://www.kimbarnesjefferson.com/is-it-time-to-question-your-relationship-with-alcohol/
ep 45 are you ready to have a good night sleep https://www.kimbarnesjefferson.com/are-you-ready-to-have-a-good-night-sleep/
ep. 76 How to Balance Your Hormones https://www.kimbarnesjefferson.com/who-else-wants-to-balance-their-hormones-naturally/
alcohol resource guide https://www.kimbarnesjefferson.com/alcoholguide