People often hit a plateau on their quest for weight loss and there is good explanation for it. Your body won’t change unless you give it reason to!
Aside from health conditions, common reasons for weight loss plateaus are:
Your eating habits haven’t changed
Or they haven’t changed enough. (nutrition)
You’re not exercising often enough
How many days a week do you participate in some kind of physical activity? (frequency)
You’re not training hard enough
Preferably around 70% of your maximum effort. (intensity)
Your exercise sessions are too short
Rock-hard abs in just 5 minutes a day? Yeah right! Better than nothing, but you have to get your heart rate up and keep it there for a sustained period of time if you want to make a dent in your belly fat and tone up those legs! (time)
You’re doing the same workout every time
Are you doing a mix of resistance training and cardio? When was the last time you did a new programme or tried a new exercise? (type)
Your body is capable of adapting itself to the exercise routines you give it so it won’t change if you do the same thing for too long. For example, if you lift a heavyish weight one week, your muscles will repair and grow stronger so that next time you have to lift that weight it will be easier. This is why it’s recommended that you should start a new programme (or at the very least, make your exercises more difficult) every 6-8 weeks.
HOMEWORK: You know yourself better than anyone else. If you’ve hit a plateau and you’re stumped as to why, look at each of these bullet points and do a bit of self-analysis. Are you absolutely sure you couldn’t be making a better effort in one or several of these areas?
Image / Flickr – David Lofink