I often get asked about breaking through a plateau. My first instinct is to try to make sure it’s really a plateau. I ask:
- How long has it really been since your body (not just the scale) changed? A couple of weeks without change is not a plateau.
- Are you keeping a food log? Fat loss is about food. It’s easy to let extra sweets sneak in or forget to eat your protein if you don’t have some source of food accountability. Face your food in black and white to make sure you’re staying true to your new healthy habits.
- When was the last time you changed your workout? Your body adapts quickly. It figures out how to do tasks as efficiently as possible, meaning your calorie burn goes down if you don’t step up your workout on a regular basis.
If it really has been weeks without ANY sign of body composition change and you’re eating clean and doing challenging workouts then you may have hit a plateau. When that happens, don’t go with your instincts. Don’t fall victim to my final Fit Myth:
Fit Myth #5:
To lose more I need to eat less.
Instead I want you to eat more. I want you to give your body a chance to reset. Go to the Tools tab and choose the appropriate calorie calculator (either female or male). Put your current stats into the calculator and choose your appropriate activity level. Hit calculate and look at the number at the bottom that says Daily Caloric Needs. That’s how much I want you to eat each day.
To break a plateau it can help to increase your calories to your maintenance level of calories (the number we just calculated). Let your body adjust to its new size and new needs. Eat the same clean and whole foods, just a little more of them. I want you to do this for 3-4 weeks before cutting calories again. When you do, only reduce it by about 250 calories per day and not below your BMR. After a week or two, things should start moving again.
I am sure I have missed a Fit Myth or two this month. What did I forgot? You never know, it might show up in a future video blog!