At the start of your health and fitness program you will generally feel the changes before you see them. Soon enough the scale shifts, you’re shedding fat and you’re feeling great. After a while though you find that you’re not making any more progress. You’ve hit a plateau and now you’re stuck. Don’t give up – stick with it. This is very common as the body adapts to this new lifestyle and becomes more efficient. Your scale may not be changing but positive changes are still happening. Here are some strategies to help speed up the shift.
1. Change It Up
When we participate in physical activities consistently we get better at them, we grow stronger and things become less challenging. It’s good to mix it up. Consider changing the exercises for each muscle group, alternate the order of your exercises, your sets and repetitions. This should also change the amount of weight you are training with. Try adding supersets, pyramid sets or even super slow training. If possible you might even consider changing the time of day you workout. Continue working but do so in a different way.
2. Know What You Are Consuming
At the start of a program we may find ourselves focused and compliant and our body responds accordingly. As time passes though we can become lax in our choices causing a continuous energy surplus but again our body responds accordingly. Everything adds up. Know what you’re eating and know how much. This is important when you have several pounds to shed. As your body fat decreases though and you get closer to a state of homeostasis it becomes harder to shed fat. At this point you may consider varying your caloric intake by strategically increasing your intake for a short period of time. This will give your metabolism a boost and keep you moving forward.
3. Daily Activities
You may be keeping up with your workouts and diet but are you now spending more time seated at the computer or in front of the television? As the season changes and days get shorter we are inclined to spend more time indoors. Keep yourself moving throughout the day. Always take the stairs, walk quickly during your lunch break and get up often from your desk. If you’re laying on the couch or surfing the net get up, stretch and move around.