Throwing everything at your nutrition & training from the outset can only lead to burnout and lack of motivation when your good intentions and results come screeching to a halt. Which means many can struggle to lose those last 7-10 pounds. When coaching on my online 6 week better bodies I always leave something in the “toolkit” so to speak so we can throw it at our program when results start to plateau. However, if you are going it alone here are some hints and tips on how to break that plateau.
Before you start training harder and dieting stricter, you should consider that the condition of your body might affect the type of strategy you use to kick start your progress.
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 counterintuitive. 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.
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 is no way around it: To break a fat-loss plateau, you must reduce food intake. If you’ve stopped using body fat, it means you’re no longer in a calorie deficit.
Lowering carbs and increasing protein can often break a plateau, especially when you’re already lean and you want to get leaner.
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 my online plans with cheat or free meals. Avoid the cheat/free meals and avoid processed foods, particularly processed breaded chicken products which people tend to think is acceptable as chicken contains protein.
Start adding in more cardio. If you have only been doing the 2 strength sessions as part of your program and you have plateaued then add in some 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 hour walk increase it to 1 hour walk. In order to create a metabolic response, keep progressing your cardio with higher intensity or longer duration.
I provide HIIT training workout videos on my online fat loss program. Add extra time on them every week and keep alternating the workouts.
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.