A plateau is defined as “a period or state of little or no growth or decline.” It can be extremely discouraging when initially you begin to see weight loss or fitness gains and then suddenly all those changes seem to come to a halt. You might connect plateaus with weight loss but it is possible to experience fitness plateaus or health status plateaus – e.g. not seeing gains in your fitness goals or in health factors such as your cholesterol levels.
Before predetermining whether or not you have hit a plateau, reflect on your habits and ask yourself these two questions:
- Are you being patient enough?
- Are you consistently meeting the recommended weekly exercise and nutrition guidelines?
It takes time to see change, so first you want to ensure you’ve given your body enough time to respond to your new healthy habits and confirm you are practicing these behaviors regularly. Here are some other tips:
- Have you stopped tracking what goes in your mouth? If the answer is “yes,” then begin logging your food again, you may have begun to slip back into old habits.
- Your fitness routine may need intensifying – add another day, increase the intensity of your workouts, increase your strength training days, add in more cross training.
- It may be time to seek the advice from a professional – meeting with a dietitian or personal trainer can help identify your individual needs and where specific changes could be made.
Initially, if you were seeing results, but now are noticing no further progress, don’t be discouraged! It may just be that your body has become healthier and is now used to your current routine – it is stronger and ready for more! Instead of being frustrated, be proud of your accomplishments and tell yourself it’s time to take on a new challenge and aim for the next level, you never know what your true potential may be!
For more help overcoming plateaus speak to a personal trainer. Send your question here.