7 Plateau Busters!

Let's face it, no one likes a plateau whether it's weight loss, gaining muscle, building endurance etc...but we have ALL faced it at one point right? So what can we do about it? Well I'm going to tell you. Here are my 7 plateau busters - just for you!

 1) BE HONEST
Are you really eating as clean as you should be? Is your diet solely comprised of meats, healthy fats, whole food carbs ( not processed carbs), veggies and fruits? Or are you still having those late night pizza snacks, dinner out with coworkers so it must be ok to order mac-n-cheese days? (we've all been there).


If you are still eating processed foods then start by eliminating whatever processed foods are left! I mean it - no pasta, no pizza, no bread sides. Your body HOLDS ONTO those things like a leech! (See my previous post Getting real about food - what you need to know!)

2) CONSIDER DAIRY

If you are eating all whole foods, (and if you're not, go back to point #1 please) the next culprit may be dairy. There are a lot of hidden sugars and carbs in dairy and some people just don't do well with it. For me personally, I have found I have to eliminate it. I'm hoping to bring it back in slowly at some point, but so far it seems I do better without it! This is a tough one for a lot of people. We like our CHEESE! (I know.... I miss it too). For healthy individuals I would recommend a 2 week dairy elimination diet. During the 2 weeks, notice how your body responds or doesn't respond. If you bust through your plateau you have your answer. If not, add dairy back in after 2 weeks and again see how your body responds. A good article about what types of dairy are best is here.


If your diet is spot on, and you know dairy is not your issue, I honestly have to tell you to experiment with the following options because everyones body is different and what may be the reason one person plateaus may not be the same for another!

3) TOO MANY OR TOO FEW CARBS.


Take a look at your daily intake. Track the grams if you need to get a better idea (I don't usually recommend tracking calories or grams but in the case of trying to get a baseline sometimes it can be helpful!).  A good place for a woman to be is about 100g carbs (through sweet potatoes, potatoes, plantains, veggies, fruits etc.... NOT grains, wheat, flour, breads etc.....) per day. If you are way above or way below that, try to make some adjustments and see what happens. (Give yourself some time with the change to notice any differences. Listen to your body and be your own advocate!)

2) EATING TOO MUCH OR EATING NOT ENOUGH.

Just like eating too much can be a problem, eating not enough can stall your weight loss too! Very often when we focus on "reaching a goal" we feel like restriction is key. Weight loss CAN'T be easy right? So we limit our calories, and say "no" to that extra serving at dinner even though we are hungry. Restricting your body if it's legitimately hungry puts it into starvation mode where it will store fat to protect itself! Yo-yo-ing between eating too much and eating too little can also throw your body out of whack, so make sure to find that equilibrium. Listen to your body and eat when you're hungry- stop when you're full. A good rule of thumb is to stop eating when you are still able to take a light jog.

 Make sure to listen to your body and eat the appropriate foods when you're hungry. Also know that this has to be consistent over a long period of time. If you do this over two days you may not see results right away. Your body has to know it’s safe and then it will respond.


3) YOU'RE EATING TOO MUCH OR TOO LITTLE FAT.

I highly doubt with the preponderance of fat-fearers in our society that you are eating too MUCH fat, so you are most likely not eating enough. Believe it or not, you can eat up to 30-50 grams of fat a day.  Again to clarify, this is healthy fats like grass-fed butter, coconut oil, olive oil, avocados, nuts etc...


If you are totally sold on the eat fat bandwagon there is a slight possibility you might be eating too much. These foods, while extremely beneficial, are also super high calorie, and while I normally don't encourage counting calories, if you are just binging on fat foods while also consuming a normal diet everywhere else you might be going a little overboard. Like I said, I highly doubt that's you if you are reading this, most people fall into the "don't eat enough fat" category!



4) YOU'RE WORKING OUT TOO HARD OR NOT ENOUGH.

If you are working out super hard, and this is a new thing for you, your body can be in shock! High intensity interval training (HIIT workouts) are some of the most effective workouts out there because they cram a lot of effective moves into a short period of time while raising your heart rate up and using a circuit pattern. If you go from nothing, to THAT, then your body will react accordingly. Like I mentioned with how much you eat, your body (especially women’s bodies) are self-protecting MACHINES!!!!! If they sense danger they go into survival mode. If your workouts are REALLY intense, your body may just be in workout shock. Don’t worry, as long as you are healthy in every other area you will be fine and this will go away. Make sure to to stretch, take your rest days, eat the right foods and hydrate. Take note if you get overly fatigued after a workout to the point where you don’t recover all day, or if working out brings on a headache that won’t go away. That may be a sign to cool it down a little and give yourself a break.


On the flip side, if you aren’t really getting sweaty and getting out of breath, you may not be pushing yourself hard enough in your workouts to spur a change! If you have been working out for awhile or haven't changed your routine recently you may need to shake things up! We have to constantly change it up if we want results. Consider starting a new workout program, upping your weights, or pushing harder if this sounds like you. If you need some recommendations contact me here.

5. STRESS AND SLEEP. 


Are you getting enough sleep? Is it quality sleep? Do you feel rested the next day? If not, it may be time to prioritize getting to bed earlier (an hour before midnight is worth 2 after, so try to go to bed earlier rather than sleeping in later). Stress and sleep usually go hand in hand and if either are out of balance your body goes into - you guessed it! Protection mode. Schedule that nap, get to bed a little earlier, and cut out electronics during your bedtime ritual if you aren’t getting good sleep already!

6. PRIORITIZE BUILDING MUSCLE.

This goes a little bit into #4, but the more muscle you have on your body, the more calories you burn at rest, which means the higher your metabolism is while doing NOTHING! So during your workouts really prioritize using weights that challenge you, go deeper into those squats (only with perfect form!) and push for that extra rep. Make sure you do as many as you can with  perfect form. Stop and take a break when your form suffers to avoid injury!

7. RELAX! Everyone hit’s a plataue here and there. Be willing to experiment with your body, your food intake, your workouts, etc (welcome to my every day life!) haha. This is a normal part of everyone’s health journey. If you are focusing on the right things and remain consistent you WILL see results over time. Remember, this is a longterm lifestyle which means it doesn’t happen overnight.

Everyone gets frustrated and disappointed at times - but if your lifestyle has really changed and the foods you put into your body nourish it, then you will achieve the results you want - just be patient and keep pushing!!!

K.T.Comment