It’s never going to be easy, but it would be fair to say that we seem to shed more pounds during the early stages of a weight loss journey. We steadily drop down the scales until suddenly, we bump into a plateau and can’t go any further.
This is something that’s completely normal. After all, it’s widely known that the leaner you become, the harder it also becomes to shift those final pounds.
However, while it might become harder, it should never become impossible. A lot of the reasons this halt in progress arrives is because of your own mistakes. Many of these will be completely unwitting – and you probably got away with them at the start of your journey. As things come closer to the crunch, these mistakes become more unforgiveable though and this is the reason why the plateau occurs.
Following on from the above, we are going to take a look at five reasons why people suddenly can’t lose any more weight – and just how you can combat these individual problems.
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Reason #1 – Treats have become too common
It doesn’t matter who you are, we all need treats. Without them, it’s hard to get through the challenging parts of life – and this is just amplified when it comes to dieting.
However, there is most definitely a case of “too much treating” with some people. In other words, it’s fine to have the odd cake after a workout, just because you have earned it. Right?
Unfortunately, this is asking for trouble. Sure, you need a treat every now and again, but it’s important not to push the line. Once you do it a few times, what tends to happen is that your rewards will actually outweigh the workout itself. In other words, a workout burning 300 calories will be rewarded with a 500 calorie cake. Clearly, someone hasn’t done the math.
Over time, little else needs to be said about what happens to your waistline.
The best advice to take on board is to make sure that no more than 20% of your daily calories are in the form of junk food. Even then, this figure can sometimes be deemed as too much, and you might have to drop it to 10% if you’re not seeing the desired results.
Reason #2 – Your pre-workout fuel is all wrong
This next reason leads perfectly on from the previous one. One of the reasons so many of us binge on the wrong foods after a session is because we don’t consume the right sort of foods before we start working out.
If you don’t eat the right foods beforehand, or enough of them, you’re probably going to be hungry heading into your workout. It means that once you emerge out of the other side of it, starvation has probably set in and there’s no going back.
The best way around this is to have a substantial pre-workout snack. Like a lot of things involved in the fitness field, there’s a balancing act here. If the food is too heavy, it means that you might feel uncomfortable during the workout. If it’s too light, you’ll hit the same problem of being too hungry afterwards.
Some example foods include apples and almonds. These contain carbohydrates and proteins respectively, although if you want to focus specifically on the latter you can always turn to a special protein bar.
All of the above should mean that your stomach is in a much better place as you approach your fitness workout – and you won’t be diving in to a load of junk food straight after the shower.
Reason #3 – You lack consistency with your workouts
The next reason focusses on your general consistency in relation to the gym. Sure, there will be occasions where your normal schedule gets in the way of things, and it means that you genuinely can’t show up for a workout. However, it’s when this “odd occasion” becomes a regular occurrence that the problems will start to impact your waistline.
Studies have suggested that as soon as you miss one workout, the chances of you missing another one increase by over 60%. This is simply down to habit; you’ve done it once and in the back of your mind, this almost deems it acceptable to repeat.
It’s not just about being consistent in turning up though. This consistency-factor also applies to the type of exercises you do. Just because you have performed your bench press and squats in a couple of sessions, doesn’t mean that you should stop now.
These are regarded as the core exercises from a successful training schedule and while you might initially master them, you need to keep adding weight to them to ensure that your body progresses and your weight declines as a result of this.
Reason #4 – Your food portions are all over the place
Really, this next reason is all about how much you drill down into your weight loss journey. When you hear the term “portion sizes”, we’re going to assume that you don’t measure these out with real measurements. Instead, it’s all done with your eyes.
This immediately poses a big problem. By relying on your eyes, you don’t have a clue how much you are actually eating. Not only that, but consistency is thrown out straight away. One day you might have two tablespoons, while the next you might have three. Immediately, there’s a difference of 60 calories through that slight misjudgment.
The worst thing about this whole equation is that things become harder as your weight drops. You have to be more methodical, and this is very hard to do by just measuring portion sizes with your eyes.
Once you reach your target weight, and have the consistent portion sizes to go with it, you might be able to train your eyes to know how much to eat. Before that point, you really need to exercise caution and take out the measuring cups though.
Reason #5 – Your body doesn’t recover from exercise
We can almost forgive this last mistake, as we’re sure that those people who don’t rest their body adequately are doing it for “good reasons”. After all, the more you work your body, the more weight you are going to lose, right?
Well, there’s a limit to this work. Your body needs time to rest and recover following each workout. Without this recovery time, your results are going to serious plateau. This is because your muscles are being broken down, and by not giving them a break they don’t have any time whatsoever to recover accordingly.
If you are completely serious about training as much as possible, there is a quick and easy way to insert rest periods into your routine though. You don’t necessarily have to take out a complete day of training, but you can just rest one muscle group. For example, this might mean training your chest one day, followed by your shoulders the next. This means that your chest muscles are at least provided with a rest, and you won’t hit the same plateau that we have just spoken about.
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