Everyone loves to make progress in the gym and love the results they see after putting in the work. However, at some point in everyone’s fitness journey they come across a plateau. What is a body plateau? A body plateau is a period of time where your body no longer responds to your fitness or nutritional routine. Your body adapts to being under a certain amount of stress if repeated constantly without any changes. In this article I will discuss 5 ways to either break or prevent a body plateau.
1. Increase Exercise frequency or intensity
This is the simplest but one of the most effective ways to break a body plateau. Most people stick to the same exercise regiment (i.e. 3 sets of 12). After performing the same amount of sets & reps your body will get used to this stress because your muscles aren’t under tension. Increase the weight either by 5 to 10lbs or you can increase the sets and reps from 3 sets to 4 sets & 12 reps to 15 reps.
2. Keep track of your food consumption
This is very important and I’m going to explain why. Most people think they’re tracking their food correctly, however they’re actually consuming double of what they want to consume. This is called guestimating. Tracking your food consumption is important because you can make conscious decisions and know what you’re putting into your body. Track your calories and macronutrients such as proteins, carbs & fats. This will provide a solid number on what you should be consuming on a daily basis.
3. Manage stress
Now I know this seems like something that shouldn’t hinder your weight loss, however it can be a determining factor on why the weight isn’t coming off. Stress can often put the brakes on weight loss and cause your body to plateau. It can put the brakes on weight loss because your body starts to release Cortisol. Although cortisol is great for managing stress, too much of it can cause an effect on that stubborn stomach fat. Ways to manage stress can be as simple as deep breathing, going for walks outside either on a trial or near water, meditation, yoga & writing.
4. Get a full night of sleep
Not getting enough sleep at night is very common in most people. On average humans get about 4-5 hours of sleep a night. Now you’re thinking I can function properly on 4-5 hours of sleep. However, your body is adjusted to being restless. Not having enough of sleep can lead to weight gain or body plateau because it lowers your metabolic rate and alter hormone levels. Now this can cause you to reach for that donut instead of the bowl of strawberries. To prevent body plateauing its recommended to get 7-8 hours of sleep at night.
5. Drink more water
It’s important that we consume water. Up to 60% of the adult human body is made up of water. You’re probably asking, "how does water contribute to breaking a plateau?" Here’s the reason why - studies have shown that consuming water can boost your metabolism by 24-30% for 1.5 hours after consuming 16oz. The more water you consume the higher you boost your metabolism which creates weight loss and prevents a body plateau. It's recommended to consume 1 gallon of water, if not, half of your body weight.
Reminder & Encouragement
Body plateaus can be very frustrating and discouraging. If you apply these 5 simple steps in your daily routine you can decrease the chances of experiencing a body plateau. Always remember that your journey is a learning marathon and not a regretful sprint.