The last 10 lbs are almost always a lot harder to lose than the first 10! That's why a truly ripped set of six pack abs is such a rare sight! If you have difficulty getting the weight loss started or if you get stuck early on, you can almost always bet that you have some kind of compliance, under reporting, or inconsistency issue. Double-check your calorie intake closely, especially on the weekends when you eat at restaurants. Start keeping a journal and be ruthlessly honest with yourself about how well you're following your plan.
The best way to deal with plateaus is to avoid them in the first place! But that's not an easy thing to do! But put the odds in your favor by staying away from extreme diets and lose weight at a slow and steady pace of about 2 pounds per week! When you resort to extreme methods, plateaus and weight regain are almost inevitable.
4 Steps to break any plateau:
1. Check your compliance and raise your accountability. The first thing you should do if your weight loss has slowed or stopped is to double-check your compliance. How well did you follow your program over the last week? I always look past over the last week and only remember the good things I did. I frequently forget that extra serving at dinner and that random glass of wine in the evening. It's easy to look at the overall picture and say, "Hey I did pretty good!" But when you don't keep a journal, track your progress and monitor your portion sizes then it's easy to get off track and not even know why! I recommend using as many accountability tools as you can until you are back on track! Guesstimating your calories or eyeballing portion is fine if you're getting the results you want, but when you are stalled, it's time to get serious and start counting! I use myfitnesspal on my computer and they also have an app for the iPhone as well.
2. Reestablish your calorie deficit. If your nutrition and training compliance were spot-on, then you have to assume that you've started losing your caloric deficit due to metabolic adaptation or decreased calorie needs. The solution is to reestablish the caloric deficit. You have 3 choices for how to do this! You can do more cardio or do your current cardio with higher intensity. You can decrease your caloric intake by cutting back on your food portion sizes or do a little of both!
If you want to reduce calories then selectively reduce the most calorie-dense carbohydrates. Make sure there are no refined or processed sugars remaining in your diet. Reduce starches and grains such as bread, pasta, and cereals. Once they have been removed then selectively reduce natural starches like potatoes, rice, and grains. Do not reduce your calories from protein, vegetables, or essential fats. A plateau breaking diet is lean, green and marine!!! Lean protein, vegetables that are green and omega 3 fats such as salmon!!!!
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3. Go back to work with your adjusted strategy! Go back to work for another 7 days and measure your results again the following Monday. Repeat the sample factors, time of day you measure, clothes and environment for the most accurate read.
4. Take a diet break. If you are still struggling after going through the first 3 steps, then you might want to consider taking a diet break. This is the most counter intuitive of all the plateau-breaking strategies because a diet break means that you'll eat more by returning your calories to maintenance level for a full week. This is a strategy that you should consider when you've been in a calorie deficit for at least three to four months.
I know this soo freaks you out but don't let it! You won't gain fat if you return only to maintenance. The increase in calories shuts off the starvation alarm, stimulates your metabolism, and resets the fat burning and starvation hormones.
You also get a psychological break from the diet as well, which makes it easier to stick with the program when you go back to it. When you go back to your calorie deficit, your body will respond again the way it did when you first started the program! YAY!!!! Great news! I have found this especially helpful for people who are consistently under eating their calories!
Sometimes weight loss plateaus happen and because we don't have the right support system we just give up and go back to our old ways. But clearly that doesn't have to be the case. There is so much knowledge and information out there to learn from! Don't ever let yourself be one of those people that just gives up because you don't know where to go first! Instead seek support from like minded people or experts and keep pushing forward. I have challenge groups that begin periodically throughout the month where you can receive support, accountability and motivation to push through plateaus, beat the odds and prove everyone wrong! This is not a diet it's a lifestyle change! When you do things the right way your body stays lean forever instead of crash dieting and then gaining it all back! So join my team and together we can get and stay lean forever!!!
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Labels: lose the last 10 lbs