How to break through a weight loss plateau!

If you have ever dieted seriously then chances are you have hit a dreaded weight loss plateau. You may have been losing steadily each week, but all of a sudden the diet and exercise regimen doesn't seem to be working anymore and the scales are just not shifting! Well, the good news is that there is a way to get past this plateau and it may not be that difficult at all!

Woman on scalesThe main reason most people hit a plateau at some stage in their weight loss process, is simply because our bodies are too clever and they don't like to diet! When we restrict our calorie intake for extended periods of time our body starts cottoning on to what we are doing and eventually it will slow down the metabolic rate in order to conserve energy for lean times. Once your metabolic rate slows down it means you have to eat even fewer calories in order to get at those fat stores, which obviously is no fun at all!

So how does one trick the body into releasing that excess fat without slowing down the metabolic rate? Well, the key is to make it think that it is living in a time of plenty so that it doesn't need to conserve or store any energy. One of the best ways of doing this is called zig zagging your calorie intake. To do this you simply have to work out your weekly weight loss calorie level using an online calculator, then you divide that into 7 days with some days being lower and others higher. On the lower days your body will release the fat because it frequently has the higher days to trick it into thinking it is in a time of plenty. This is much more effective than sticking to the same amount of calories each day.

The other benefit of zig zag dieting is that it is better for you psychologically. Lets face it, eating very low calories can be quite depressing after a while, so having higher calorie days to look forward to will make the process a lot easier. 

There are many different ways to zig zag your calorie intake. You don't have to do one day high one day low, you could do two days high, two days low, or any combination as long as you don't go over your weekly calorie amount. It is actually good to keep changing the pattern so that the body doesn't get used to it. In one week, for example, you might want to eat low for 5 days in a row and then use all your extra calories on the weekend. This is great if you have functions to go to where food is involved.

The other way to break through a weight loss plateau is through changing your exercise routine. Once again, the body will soon adapt to any routine if you don't mix things up every now and then. If you usually do an hour of moderate intensity exercise then why not do half an hour of high intensity instead. If you do weight training, increase your weights or start circuit training where you alternate weights with cardio. There are so many different exercises you can do, just don't get too comfortable with any routine. If you are not challenged with your workout then that is an indication that you have to change something if you want to keep seeing results.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Caroline December 20, 2011 at 5:01 am

I already feel better to know there are different ways! Keep up writing!

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