You’ve been spending hours at the gym or are on an intensive weight loss diet. But after shedding a few kilos, the weighing scale refuses to go left. This can be the most frustrating part of the weight lossjourney. While it is advised to not look at the scale when trying to be fit, but many times the temptation is too high.
Apart from fitting into clothes a size smaller or feeling good about ourselves, the weighing scale is the most visible way of checking the results of all the hard work we put into our weight loss journey. But when it suddenly stops moving, it means that you’ve hit a plateau.
“Remember that plateaus happen to everyone. But don’t lose heart and get frustrated,” says Prasad Chawan, professional bodybuilding coach, TheFitnesity.com.
Here are some helpful expert tips on beating the weight loss plateau
Change things up, play around with the amount of protein, good fats and carbs you’re consuming. Going on a juice cleanse can help shed a kilo sometimes. These changes will jolt the body and get the numbers going down. “Measure your macros that is protein, carbs and fat intake through the day. You should do carb loading a day prior to working on your leg muscles. A common mistake that people make is keeping the same diet plan for all days,” says a Gold’s Gym trainer. Reduce intake of carbs when you are training the smaller muscles like biceps, triceps and calves.
“Taking a 10-15 second pause between each repetition can help in increasing your strength and muscle hypertrophy,” says Chawan.
One of the first things to try is change your workout routine. “Increase in intensity can help beat a plateau. For example, if you are doing strength training and you are stuck at a particular weight then you have to drop down 1 level and try to do maximum repetitions. This way you’re creating new muscle memory,” says a trainer at Gold’s Gym.
He adds, “I would recommend doing cardio on an empty stomach, right after you wake up. The reason being, your body’s second source of fuel is fats which is like a reserve of petrol in a vehicle. So you have to open that reserve knob by not providing any meal to the body. If your body is depleted of energy, it will use the energy from fats and that is how fat is used or metabolised into training and you will get fat loss effects.”
It is important to allow your body enough time to recuperate. “By rest we mean, the muscle that you train should not be used soon. If you are working on the chest, so you should not train the chest or any other muscle supporting the chest like shoulder and triceps for the next two days because the chest has already been tired along with that the supporting muscles of the shoulders and triceps,” he adds.