We all hit plateau at some part of our life. Plateau is a state when you fail to see any changes despite of all the effort you are putting in. In fitness, hitting a plateau is rather common. It can be in any form, you can hit plateau in weight loss, muscle gain, progressive overload etc. We will discuss why weight loss plateau happens and why plateau happens in general. We will also discuss the ways to overcome those plateaus.
Why Plateau Occurs?
Our body is the most complex and yet intelligent machine of all. The functioning of our body can be imagined as any of those machines, but it is intelligent.
The body is designed primarily for the survival purpose. We were meant not to live luxury life, but to survive. That is why, our body quickly adapts to the circumstances around us. It might take time, but it surely adapts. This is the main reason why we hit plateau. Whatever we are doing, our body quickly adapts to that and ceases to show any progress.
In weight loss too, when the body reaches equilibrium, the state when the input and output of energy equals, we hit plateau and the weight loss ceases. We no longer lose weight nor gain weight.
How to Break Plateau?
It can differ person to person. If you have high metabolism, it can be harder for you to see results in weight gain after plateau. While slower metabolism will hit weight loss plateau more often.
The plateaus can be broken simply by following tips:
- Progressive overload: Increase intensity either with adding weight or increasing reps
- Switching programs: You can as well switch programs to overcome plateaus.
- Proper rest: If you provide enough recovery time to your muscles, you will definitely recover faster and recruit those muscles effectively.
- Changing your diet: There are many dieting techniques out there, you can try them to see how your body reacts.
- Taking more rest days: Sometimes a simple day off from workout might benefit you. I tend to see much difference in strength and size after a week off from gym.
- Apply little tweaks to your workout: Increasing the range of motion, holding the contraction, increasing the time under tension, etc. can be beneficial to burn off the muscle.
Weight Loss Plateau Breaker
Weight loss plateau is no different from other plateaus. It too requires tweaks to overcome plateau. You progress stalls whenever you reach plateau and its frustrating. Fat loss will take away some of your muscles too, you cannot avoid this. Here are few tips to break weight loss plateau.
- Go Slow: If you aim to lose weight fast, it will not only be temporary, but also fast in reaching plateau. You will hit plateau faster when your body reaches the threshold or equilibrium. So, the trick is to take time and go slow, taking away few hundreds of calories every week.
- Cut back on carbs: Cut on carbs and not protein or fat intake. When you provide less energy, through carbs, body will switch to secondary power source, FAT.
- Track you daily events: Tracking your workout, nutrition, will give you clear vision of what you are trying to achieve. Whenever you have clear view or your path, you can achieve goals much easily.
- Don’t skimp on Protein: Protein is essential for muscle building. Muscles are live mass and require energy to perform. Larger muscle mass will require higher energy hence you can create more deficit in calories.
- Increase intensity: Either by adding weight or repetition, add intensity to your exercise to burn off more calories.
- Try Intermittent Fasting: If you have been stuck in the process for long, you can try intermittent fasting. Intermittent fasting is just another way of creating an illusion of caloric deficit in body.
Also Read: Intermittent Fasting
- Caffeine can be your friend: While water is the best fluid you can take in, caffeine can be your friend as well. Water has no calorie and still boosts metabolism. Coffee and tea contains minimum calories and good amount of caffeine which can help in fat burning.
- Fat burners: Fat burners are another great supplement, mind it “Supplement”. They are meant to help in fat burning, not burn fat alone. So, I suggest you to add fat burners to your stack once you have hit plateaus in the natural process of burning fat through diet. They mostly contain caffeine that can be found in coffee and tea as well. if you take fat burner at first, you will have to deal with high dosages of caffeine later on.
- Be active throughout the day: Being active apart from the intense and on point diet can help you gain an edge over your existing process.
- Don’t rely on Weight Scale alone: If you don’t see the scale moving, there can be much more odds than just plateau. You can be adding weight while losing fat and the scale won’t show that. So, trust on how you feel rather than what you see.
Hence, these are few of the topics on what plateau is and how you can break through it. Its always easier said than done. So, be sure to be on point with your diet, exercise, sleep etc. You can get results only as much as effort you put into it. These are few of the tips and tricks on weight loss plateau. Do let us know for improvements.