Understanding fat loss plateaus
Discouragement and frustration may cause some people to give up even when they are so close to the finish line. Many people also quit when they stall because they don’t understand the real reasons why plateaus happen and they don’t know about all the strategies they can use to break through them and reach the next level.
The good news is that I am about to take you to the next level and shuttle you straight towards your goals. The bad news is that Plateaus ARE common. In fact, you should expect them.
You are more likely to zig-zag your way to your goal, with sticking points and good weeks and bad weeks , than you are to shoot to your goal in a straight line without a hiccup. Fortunately, if you understand how plateaus are a normal part of the way your body adapts, it wont bother you much. You’ll simply make the right adjustment, get back to work for another week, and be back on target.
The main reason why fat loss stalls is due to the lack of adherence to the plan. Ask yourself honestly: “Have I been doing everything I need to do every day or am I missing something? Have I done my best or could I have given it more? Have I been consistent in my eating habits every day or eating well one day and poorly the next? Am I doing a great job all week, then blowing it on the weekend?”
The cause of your plateau may be uncovered with the answers to these simple questions.
Have you got a current set of updated goals in writing, and have you been keeping your goals in front of you, reading them every day?
Do you have your meal plan printed out or downloaded onto your phone and have you followed it every day to the best of your ability?
Do you have a plan for your cardio which you have been following consistently, or do you just do it when you feel like it?
Have you been attending all your classes as part of this program and maybe adding extra ones in at your own time? Have you noticed your strength progressively getting better week after week?
Before you start training harder and dieting stricter, you should consider that the condition your body is in might affect the type of strategy you use to kick-start your progress. Sometimes you need to push harder; sometimes your body needs a rest before pushing harder again will have much effect.
A dieted down and depleted body doesn’t respond the same way as a well-fed and well-restored body. Your metabolic, hormones, and mental state are not the same. In fact, some of the strategies that work best in the early stages work the least in the late stages.
Late stage plateau breaking strategies are often counter-intuitive. Many people do the opposite of what they should and dig themselves into deeper metabolic holes.
Late stage plateau
Break it with harder work and progression!
More of the same will only get you more of the same. You need to challenge yourself. Many people underestimate how much effort it takes to get lean. The truth is, it takes hard work and dedication to get results, and even harder work to continue making progress.
The mandate is clear: Tighten the belt, train harder. be meticulous, measure portions accurately instead of guessing, count your proteins, fat and carbs more diligently, get stricter about everything.
Eat less –
I know my mantra has always been eating more and burning more for a faster metabolism and better nutrition rather than low calorie starvation. Sometimes, however, there’s no way around it: To break a fat-loss plateau, you must reduce your food intake. If you’ve stopped using body fat, it means you’re no longer in a calorie deficit.
Change your macronutrient ratios –
Lowering carbs and increasing protein can often break a plateau, especially when you’re already lean and you want to get leaner.
Improve food quality –
Breaking a plateau is mainly an issue of calorie quantity and re-establishing a calorie deficit. However, when fat loss slows down I believe it pays to be stricter about the quality of food you are eating. I advocate whole foods in this plan; stick to this and avoid processed foods, particularly processed breaded chicken products which people tend to think are acceptable on the plan.
Add in more cardio –
Start adding in more cardio. If you have only been doing the two strength sessions as part of your program and you have plateaued then add in some cardio.
Increase the frequency of your cardio –
If you have already been doing some cardio on top of your training plan and you are still plateauing, then add some more cardio into your plan. Instead of a half an hour walk increase it to a one hour walk. In order to create a metabolic response keep progressing your cardio with higher intensity or longer duration.
Add Hiit training or sprints into your program –
Use the Hiit videos I provide on the small group page. Add extra time on them every week and keep alternating the workouts.
Change the type of cardio –
If you have a favourite type of cardio you enjoy, by all means, stay with it, and when you’re getting good results, never change for the sake of change. However, when your progress is starting to flatline, a change alone can re-stimulate your progress and your motivation. Try anything your body isn’t used to.
Would you like to learn more about my Online Six-Weeks Better Bodies programme, which offers meal plans, nutrition advice and workouts, as well as access to me seven days a week? Then click the following link for more information http://bit.ly/2dvPluU
Tara is one of Ireland's top fitness & weight loss experts. Tara’s nutrition & fat loss expertise has helped transform the bodies of 1000’s of clients in Ireland and her online business is now helping clients across the world.
Her journey as a nutrition and fitness coach is not the traditional route, but stems from her own experiences and life as a busy mum of 4. Tara holds a BA (Hons) degree from the University of Ulster and an MSc from Queen's University Belfast.
Her business is based entirely on the success of her clients.