By: Stephanie Weiss
If the thoughts, “I am working out regularly, but I am not losing fat” or “I am eating correctly, but I am not losing fat” has ever flooded your mind, you are not alone. You have been eating mindfully and clean, you’ve been killing it in the gym and you have been counting macros, and it has worked for you…until now. You may be thinking, “why did my routine stop working?” Well, you have officially hit a weight loss plateau and have no idea what to do about it. First and foremost, it is extremely vital to recognize if you’ve hit a plateau or if you have successfully reached your ideal weight. However, if it is recognizably a plateau, there are a few simple tweaks that can get you back on track in order to finally meet your weight loss goals. There are countless “fat burning foods you must eat” that soar the internet; however, it is as simple as getting back to the basics to kickstart your fat burn that will you help you accomplish your goals in the long run. There are many factors that you can implement into your fitness regime that may solve the problem:
- Get at least 6-8 hours of sleep every night
- Add an extra day of high intensity interval training (HIIT kickstarts fat burning)
- Maintain a caloric deficit to burn fat (keep a food diary and measure portions)
- Increase protein intake
- Eat more healthy fats
- Eat carb loaded foods on workout days
- Keep hydrated (keeps your body full)
- Boost testosterone levels with weightlifting/strength training
- Take omega supplements
- Intermittent fasting can help increase insulin sensitivity, promoting fat loss and increase oxidation of fat
When beating a fat loss plateau, it is important to remember weight loss does not happen overnight. The term “weight loss” is a tricky little term that has no differences between muscle, fat and water retention. The typical health goal is to burn maximum fat, little muscle and maintain a healthy minimum of water retention. Burning fat is a constant, steady process that requires commitment. Remember, “slow and steady wins the race.” Eliminating sugar loaded foods such as sodas and juices with added artificial sugars will hep. The more unhealthy carbohydrates and sodium you consume with little water intake, the more you are going to retain water and hold onto stubborn fat. Filling your body with whole foods can amplify the body’s fat burning process which will eventually aid in proper weight loss. When a plateau is reached, looking at what you put into your body a bit more closely on a daily basis and the amount you are eating is worth paying close attention to. This will allow for optimal performance when alternating boring cardio with resistance or strength training. Your muscles will actively recover, and your body will begin to shed that stubborn fat. However, many people experience a weight loss plateau at some point in their lifetime during their health and fitness journeys and sometimes may experience it more than once. It’s important to remember the human body is complex (and stubborn) when the mind is so focused on shedding that fat and their are many ways to counteract the process.
Lean body mass is necessary for boosting metabolism, and although the process of losing weight may not be as fast, the rate of losing fat will be much greater. Although a caloric deficit is needed to lose weight, sometimes it may be necessary to increase your intake depending on the intensity of your workout. It is difficult, if not impossible to maintain a caloric deficit for long term. If you begin to feel hungrier, chances are you probably are. It is important to fuel your body according to what it needs in order to remain healthy and maintain muscle mass. When your body is not getting proper amounts, you will begin to lose muscle that prompts the boosting of metabolism along with fat mass. When you become lean, it will take more time in order to lose fat the healthy way. Your body still needs to hang onto muscle and strength in order to lose fat. For example, if your body is at 25% body fat, it would be appropriate for your body to shed about 2 pounds of fat each week in the beginning. If your body fat is at about 10%, losing that 2-3 pounds of body fat per week will be extremely difficult, if not impossible, and it is not smart to resort to hurting your body with dangerous drugs to reach that goal.
It is important to take care of your short term health which will ultimately affect your long term body health. Beating a fat loss plateau is all about what you put into your body, feeding and fueling it with the proper nutrients to flood to other parts of your body along with getting active and becoming proactive. As a result, you will create an overall healthy inside as well as outside because your health starts within.