Fat Loss

Beat that weight-loss plateau just in time for summer!

So for a while now you have been exercising, improving your diet and reducing your body fat.  You’ve had your eye on your summer holiday and your determined to get the body you desire before you hit the beach.  However, for a number of weeks or even months the numbers just aren’t playing ball, the scales or the tape don’t budge, you are in the middle of a plateau.  I know this is frustrating but you’re not alone, in fact I see this with all my clients and is a normal and inevitable part of weight loss.  The chances are that your body has adapted to the changes you have made so the initial weight loss will stutter.  Here are 5 tips to help you smash through your plateau on get you back on track…

  1. Vary your workouts – If you keep doing the same workouts or exercise, then you will get the same results. You need to overload the body in some way. This could be anything from walking a bit further than normal to adding another set or trying circuit training. If you only do classes a health club the get in the gym or try a different class.  The body is an amazing thing and it will soon adapt to any regime that is putting it under stress.
  2. Be mindful of nutrition – It is very difficult to count calories accurately but you will still need to create about a 500 calorie deficit each day in order to keep losing weight (or body fat) consistently.  Find out if your eating too many or not enough calories based on your age, activity level and your desired goal. If you are not eating enough calories it can trigger ‘survival mode’ and actually make it harder to burn fat!  Keep a food journal and start to know your body cues of hunger, fullness etc. p.s. it’s ok to feel a little hungry you know!  Keep it simple and eat slowly, stop when you feel approx. 80% full, get enough fruit and veg with each meal, lean protein, healthy fats and drink at least 2ltrs of water per day (more when active).
  3. Be wary of the scales – The scales can be your friend or foe!  If they show us what we want to see, then its ‘happy days’. However, what about the next morning when you’ve put on 2 lbs? Body weight can fluctuate either way overnight and there are more variables like water retention, menstrual cycle etc.  Track your progress in other ways such as girth measurements (chest, arm, waist, hip..) and body fat.  You may find that you have increased your body weight by 2lbs but this could be lean mass and your waist has dropped by 2cm! I would recommend only getting on the scales every 2-4 weeks.
  4. Improve your sleep – Getting enough quality sleep is important not only for fat loss but also general health.  Your sleep and stress cycles have big implications when it comes to optimal hormonal state.  Your body will do most of it’s rest and repair through the night so let it do it’s stuff. Get enough good sleep and you will feel like your ready to fire on all cylinders, have more energy and more focus.  Try a new bedtime routine that works for you; switch off i-devices an hour before bed, have a bath, read a book, get your wind-down routine nailed and you will notice the difference.
  5. Have a plan and stick to it – This doesn’t have to be complicated but map-out your exercise days and plan your meals and snacks. Preparation is key! Prepare meals and snacks where necessary which helps you avoid poor food choices and keeps you in control.  Try keeping an exercise and food journal and tick-off the days and meals when you have done/ate them.  Make ‘outcome-based’ decisions and ask yourself ‘how is that working for me?’… If it’s working then carry on, if not change things. By having a plan, you can then review and see if there are any patterns that are getting in the way of your progress and then potentially change them.

Make these changes, do them consistently and you will see your results begin to go your way once again…