In a parallel universe, dieting might be easy. In our sphere – it’s sadly not.
I’ve done plenty of short and long diets in my life, successful and not-so-successful ones. What do all of these attempts have in common?
In every single one of those endeavors, I’ve hit a weight loss plateau after a certain period of time. How I reacted to that weight loss plateau determined if the diet was turning out to be fruit-bearing or not.
In this article, you will learn how to overcome these guaranteed setbacks on your journey and how to come back stronger than before.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
- Why you hit a weight loss plateau
- Are you objectively stuck?
- How to break through the weight loss plateau (Step-by-step)
- 1. Take a look at your goals and your why
- 2. Readjust your habits accordingly
- 3. Be urgently patient
- 4. Add one of the seven plateau-breaker strategies
- Summing it up
Why you hit a weight loss plateau
Our bodies do not like to give away our energy storage.
It’s very unlikely that we had an ancestor that was happily exhausting himself, in an environment where food resources were scarce. Instead our hunter and gatherer predecessors have evolved to shun energy loss.
That’s why the first few minutes of exercising are always a pain in the neck, even for the most advanced of athletes. David Goggins, Ex-Navy-Seal and finisher of multiple continuous 100-mile races, said this about running:
I hate to run. — David Goggins, experienced ultra endurance runner and probably the toughest man alive
What Mr. Goggins is telling us with that thorough statement is that excess energy usage for no apparent survival-related gain, produces negative feelings in his brainstem.
What I want to get across is:
Hitting a plateau is normal. Our genomes have evolved to store energy instead of being energy wasters – and that’s a good thing.
But first we have to find out if we’re truly hitting a plateau or our mind is tricking us into believing so.
Are you objectively stuck?
In the fitness center I manage, a young and ambitious lad once complained to me about his lack of weight loss results.
After 2 months of being on a strict and sustainable diet, his weighing scale still showed him a rather small decline of 2 kilos. He strictly followed the advice of me and our trainers yet couldn’t see the results he hoped for. He felt cheated on and even asked for a refund.
Promptly I inquired if the weighing scale was the only way he measured his progress. It was.
It turned out that the frequent gym-goer in fact did see results. He was extremely satisfied with the view in the mirror and even got compliments from his friends and family.
But he based the results of his success solely on the reduction of his body weight, which means he based his happiness of an irrelevant number on a weighing scale.
This is not the way to do it.
When starting a diet, try to get at least 2 variables that you can measure. For example:
- Your body weight and before and after pictures.
- Before and after pictures and circumferences of your body parts.
This way you make sure if you’re truly hitting a plateau or your mind is simply playing tricks on you.
How to break through the weight loss plateau (Step-by-step)
Once you’ve determined that you’ve indeed hit a plateau. Here are a couple steps that you can follow to break through:
1. Take a look at your goals and your why
If one does not know to which port one is sailing, no wind is favorable. — Seneca
This is an old saying yet so massively true in our day and age. You have to know where you’re going, to be on the right path. That’s why it’s so crucial that you’ve written down your goals before committing to this weight-loss journey.
If not – this is the time to do it. Reassess what you’re trying to reach and why. Humans are reasonable creatures – for the most part – we need a reason why we do what we do.
Take at least 10 minutes out of your day, sit in a quite corner with a pen and paper and get this step sorted.
Do this right now. It’s the easiest step and probably the one that will create a big change in your life.