When you’re on a fat loss journey, it can feel really amazing to see the results. Your clothes are probably fitting better, you may be feeling more confident in your eating and fitness habits, and the progress is enough motivation to keep going. But what about when you hit a wall? It’s not uncommon in health journeys to hit a bit of a plateau. This can look like not losing any more weight, not having more energy, or simply feeling stuck in place. Before you freak out, throw in the towel, or decide to add in hours more of fat burning exercises, let me tell you this: it’s normal.
To help alleviate any of the stress you may be feeling, today I’m sharing everything that’s helped me overcome a fat loss plateau of my own.
What Exactly Is A Fat Loss Plateau?
A fat loss plateau is a frustrating situation that happens when a person stops losing weight or seeing results, despite continuing to eat healthily and exercise regularly. It can be discouraging for people who are trying to learn how to lose weight fast because it seems like they have hit a wall, and it can feel like no matter what they do, the weight just won’t budge.
One of the major reasons why fat loss plateaus occur is because our bodies are extremely efficient at adapting to changes in diet and exercise. When we start a new weight loss program, we typically see results quickly at first, but as time goes on, our body adapts to the new routine, and weight loss slows down. Our new habits and maybe even relying on calorie deficit calculator numbers become our norm. This is because our metabolism adjusts to our new calorie intake and output.
Another reason fat loss plateaus can occur is that we tend to underestimate the number of calories we’re consuming on a daily basis. Even small changes in portion sizes or snacking habits can add up over time and prevent us from continuing to lose weight. Also, people may unintentionally begin to decrease their activity levels as they lose weight, leading to a decrease in calorie burn. This can happen because we feel like we’ve achieved our goal or we like where we’re at and want to maintain our results.
The best way to overcome a fat loss plateau is to make adjustments to your diet and exercise routine. This can involve increasing the intensity or duration of fat burning exercises, reducing calorie intake, or changing up the type of exercise being done. It’s important to be patient and persistent along the way. Weight loss plateaus can be challenging to overcome but are temporary when paired with the right hacks.
Steps To Overcoming A Fat Loss Plateau:
If you’re interested in continuing your weight loss journey, rather than focusing on how to lose weight fast, here are my go-to hacks for overcoming plateaus:
1. Have a Cheat Day
I thought I’d start with some good news. While experiencing a plateau isn’t fun, a healthy amount of cheat days may actually help you get over the hump. That’s right, indulging in your favorite high-calorie foods can actually help burn fat. This is because our body’s metabolism can sometimes slow down during long periods of calorie restriction, making it more difficult to lose weight. By incorporating cheat days into your life you can boost your metabolism by increasing calorie intake for a short period, which can help break through a weight loss plateau. I recommend just one meal per week, versus one full day.
2. Rotate Your Workouts
Similar to increasing calories to help overcome a plateau, rotating your workouts can support your journey as well. Our body adapts to repetitive exercises and becomes more efficient at using our calories, which can make weight loss more difficult. By switching up the type, intensity, and duration of workouts, you can challenge your body to rev up your metabolism. So, if you always do yoga and HIIT, try to add in a spin class or pilates to spice things up.
3. Increase Weights
This tip goes along with the last one. Just because you’re switching up your activities, doesn’t always mean you’re challenging yourself. If you swap your HIIT class for a strength training class, but you stick to the same weights, you might not be challenging yourself as much as you intend to. If you’re comfortable with 5lb weights, maybe try 7.5’s next time you work out. See how much more focused and intentional you need to be when you increase your weights. This is great for encouraging your body to burn more fat.
4. Take Long(er) Walks
If you’re already talking walks, great—walk longer. If you’re not taking regular walks, they’re one of my absolute favorite fat burning exercises. They’re low impact, you can multitask, and you get fresh air all at the same time! Grab a girlfriend or pick a podcast you’ve been meaning to listen to and get outside. Long walks are a great way to help burn fat, especially if you’re hitting a plateau.
5. Increase Protein Intake
If you’re eating the same amount of calories you always do, but your weight is at a standstill, try increasing your protein and reducing your carbohydrates for a bit. This could look like an extra serving of chicken or steak and less potatoes and bread. I’m not saying it has to be forever, but alternating your calorie intake, especially with the addition of protein, is a great way to tell your body to start burning more fat.