LOS ANGELES–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Whether you’ve been on a nutrition or fitness program, at some point
you’ll hit a plateau where it seems efforts don’t equal results.
A weight loss plateau can zap your motivation, but understanding the
reasons behind it can help you meet your goals. According to Susan
Bowerman, MS, RD, CSSD, “When you cut back on your calories, your body
reacts as if there’s no more food coming its way. So it does what it’s
programmed to do – it hangs onto stored up calories by slowing down the
rate at which you burn them.”
Further, as your weight drops, your metabolic rate naturally goes down a
bit, too. “That means as you lose weight, your calorie needs also drop
somewhat. So, to keep losing at the same rate, you need to either cut
your intake further, or exercise more – or accept that your rate of
weight loss will be slower as you approach your goal.”
From an exercise perspective, you may be pushing yourself harder and
harder but the results seem to be slowing.
“Pushing your body to the point of exhaustion can spell disaster for
your fitness goals. You’ve got to build in time for your body to
recharge,” states former Olympian Samantha Clayton, Herbalife’s
director, worldwide fitness education. “Then when you start training
again, you’ve got a renewed energy and focus.”
Here are eight tips to move off the plateau:
Use a food diary to keep track of your calorie intake – You may have
been more careful when you started your diet – weighing and measuring
everything that passed your lips – but you might not be as accurate as
you once were. This will get you back on track.
Replace two meals a day with a protein shake to help you stay within
your calorie limit. When you make your shake, you know exactly what
goes into it – and how many calories are in the protein powder, the
milk and the fruit – so it takes the guesswork out of calorie
counting. Use the shake for two meals a day, have a healthy third
meal, and fill in with snacks of low fat protein foods, veggies and
Dine out less often – No matter how careful you think you are when you
go to a restaurant, it’s usually difficult to accurately estimate how
many calories you’re eating, because it’s often hard to tell exactly
how foods are prepared.
Step up your activity, particularly strength training – If you’ve been
working out for a while and haven’t increased the intensity of your
activity, you might not be burning as many calories as you used to.
Add some new moves to your exercise routine, increase the intensity,
and pump some iron.
You might actually be at the right weight – If you can, get your body
composition checked. Muscle is ‘denser’ and takes up less space than
body fat – so if you are carrying more muscle than the average person,
you might weigh more than you think you should. If your body fat is
within normal range, then you may not have much – if any – additional
weight to lose.
Avoid fatigue – Your body needs to re-generate, restore and repair
itself often. Your pain receptors will make movements uncomfortable
and your joints can become tender when you push your body too hard.
The nervous system also needs time to rest in order to adapt and
improve from training.
Follow your natural cycle – Athletes train in cycles for a reason, the
timing of training may vary from athlete to athlete but one common
factor in every athlete’s training program are pre-planned rest days.
A well-rested body will get better results than a tired one.
Spark excitement – If you are putting your body through the motions
day after day, you can become complacent and your exercise intensity
is likely to drop without you even realizing. Taking a day or two off
from your current workout routine can make you come back to the gym
with a renewed commitment and excited approach.
Bowerman is a paid consultant for Herbalife. Nutrition and fitness blogs
posts can be read at www.discovergoodnutrition.com.
About Herbalife Ltd.
Herbalife Ltd. (NYSE:HLF) is a global nutrition company that sells
weight-management, nutrition and personal care products intended to
support a healthy lifestyle. Herbalife products are sold in more than 80
countries to and through a network of independent distributors. The
company supports the Herbalife Family Foundation and its Casa Herbalife
program to help bring good nutrition to children. Herbalife’s website
contains information about Herbalife, including financial and other
information for investors at http://ir.Herbalife.com.
The company encourages investors to visit its website from time to time,
as information is updated and new information is posted.