Pushing through a weight loss plateau

As discussed tonight. . . Weight loss plateaus can be disheartening, discouraging and downright !@$** frustrating. The bottom line with a plateau though, is that there are ways to push through, ways to get back on course to being your fitter self:

Weight loss plateaus result when your body adapts to your training program and your dietary habits. To lose weight in a plateau, you must change your exercise routine and your eating habits. By incorporating a new exercise routine, your body burns more calories because of the different stimulus, whether you change the intensity, duration, frequency or type of exercises you do. Varying the composition of the foods you eat stimulates a change in the type and amount of hormone released, enhancing weight loss to get past your plateau.


Step 1

Reduce the duration of two of your cardio sessions, but increase the intensity if you have been doing primarily long aerobic exercises. Complete a high-intensity interval workout totaling 25 minutes instead of a 60-minute, steady session, burning plenty of calories after your high-intensity interval. Exercise as fast and hard as you can for 20 seconds, then decrease the intensity for two minutes, repeating the interval until you have reached 25 minutes; this may be done on a treadmill, elliptical, stationary bike or on a running path.

Step 2

Increase the duration of two of your cardio sessions and decrease the intensity if you have been doing primarily short, moderate to highly intense aerobic exercises. Alternate between intervals of moderate intensity and low intensity so you can exercise much longer than you would normally exercise; for instance, run for three minutes then walk for two minutes for a total of 90 minutes instead of running nonstop for 30 minutes.

Step 3

Split a long cardio session into two sessions per day, taking advantage of the post workout caloric burn to enhance your weight loss and push past your plateau. Complete 30 to 45 minutes of your routine in the morning, then 30 to 45 minutes of your routine in the evening.

Step 4

Incorporate a different type of cardio such as a step-aerobic class or a stationary cycling class if you would normally run.


Step 1

Lift heavier weights such that you can only complete 6 to 12 repetitions per set of a resistance training exercise if you normally lift light weights for 15 to 20 reps, increasing the rate of muscle tissue remodeling to burn more calories.

Step 2

Perform a circuit training workout twice per week utilizing only resistance training exercises if you normally lift weights three to four days per week. Keep the resistance at a light to moderate intensity so you can do 10 to 15 repetitions per set, then move immediately to the next exercise. Perform an upper body circuit at the beginning of the week followed by a lower body circuit toward the end of the week, creating a different stimulus to burn calories and get beyond a plateau.

Step 3

Focus on one muscle group per day for three weeks of resistance training if you normally pair two muscle groups together three days per week.


Step 1

Alternate your daily caloric intake everyday throughout the week for two weeks; for instance, eat 2,000 calories on Monday, 1,800 calories on Tuesday then 1,600 calories on Wednesday, repeating the pattern for the rest of the week.

Step 2

Change the percentage of your calories from carbohydrates you eat for two weeks; for instance, eat 55 percent of your calories from carbohydrates on Monday, 50 percent of calories from carbs on Tuesday then 40 percent of your calories from on Wednesday, repeating the pattern the rest of the week.

Step 3

Follow a lower-carbohydrate meal plan for two weeks by eating no more than 41 percent of your calories from carbohydrates; a low-carbohydrate diet is more effective at losing fat compared to a low-fat diet, according to a 2010 article by Jeff Volek, Ph.D., R.D., and colleagues, published in the “Strength and Conditioning Journal.”

Sep 11, 2011 | By Paula QuineneEnjoy this post? Sign up for updates… It’s FREE!

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