Top 10 to Break Through Training Plateau
weight loss programme with gusto, losing a few pounds and then
finding that your progress has come to a dead stop is a natural and common
occurrence for many dieters. This plateau is a result of the body's constant
need to maintain equilibrium.
When you start a new
diet or fitness plan, you usually consume fewer
but also burn more through exercise. As you're expending more energy than you
take in, your body burns those few calories for energy first, then you begin to
burn stored fat quicker than before, when your calorie intake was higher.
Your body, like a finely tuned machine settles into this new pattern of outgoing
and incoming calories and gradually adjusts by burning fewer calories in order
to safeguard its reserves. The result? Weight loss slows down as your body tries
fat stores so it can use its reserves as sparingly as possible.
It's at this point that you'll notice your eating and exercise efforts aren't
producing results and that you can't seem to shift the weight any more. In order
to break through the plateau, you have to do few things: alter your
habits and change your exercise programme in a way that challenges your body.
Add resistance training to your program.
A wonderful way to boost your metabolism and break through to the next level of
weight loss is by incorporating
aerobic exercise into your program, such as 30
walking three to four times a week. (If you are 35 years or older, or
haven't exercised regularly, begin with 10 to 15 minutes two to three times a
week.) In addition,
weight training with free weights or machines several times
a week can help increase muscle mass, which in turn allows you to burn more
calories faster. Studies show that weight training can increase your metabolism
overnight by five to 10 percent. Working out can increase your metabolism for up
to 21 hours after an intense workout.
Look out for hidden carbohydrates.
If your weight loss progress seems slow, look out for
carbohydrates that might
be sneaking their way unnoticed into your diet. Sugar can lurk in the most
unexpected places such as ketchup, salad dressings, teriyaki and barbecue
sauces. Watch out too for cornstarch, sugar or milk solids in many processed
foods such as gravies, or sauces on frozen vegetables. Avoid "low-fat" foods
where flavor is enhanced by sugar and other carbohydrates. Besides, don't be
afraid of heart healthy
monounsaturated fats like those found in olive oil, nuts, seeds, and
avocado. The omega-3 fatty acids found in fish are quite beneficial as well. A
little bit of fat will slow the entry rate of carbohydrate into your blood
stream, keeping blood sugar stable and helping to reduce hunger, mood swings,
Try keeping a diet journal
for a couple of days of EVERYTHING
you eat and drink. You may quickly discover the hidden carbs that are keeping
your weight-loss progress stuck and be able to eliminate them and move past your
Go high-protein, low carbohydrates.
Unless you are eating enough
protein to maintain your lean muscle mass, you are
likely to have lost weight already from both your fat stores and muscle. Women
need to eat approximately 100grams of protein a day in order to preserve
their muscle tissue during a weight loss program. If you have lost some muscle
during your weight loss program so far you will need to focus on protein so your
body can build muscle, which requires more calories to sustain, which will in
turn, kick start your weight loss again. Needless to say, any weight loss
program you choose should be one that preserves your body's muscle and this does
Get clear on your ultimate weight-loss goal.
Be sure that your weight-loss goal is realistic and that your expected rate of
weight loss is reasonable. If you are on a heath enhancing, nutritionally rich
weight loss program you can expect to loss one to two pounds a week. Each body
has its own ideal weight and size. Don't compare yourself to anyone else, but
listen to your body and notice what feels best for you. A simple way to
approximate your ideal weight is by referring to a
Body Mass Index calculator.
Drink to burn up.
It's vitally important to replenish your fluids by drinking plenty of
your weight loss program. An inadequate supply of water in itself can slow down
your weight-loss. Carry water with you wherever you go throughout the day. For
weight-management benefits, add a high quality aloe concentrate to
your water to help keep your digestion in top shape. Keeping well hydrated not
only helps you burn fat efficiently, it also helps control hunger.
Change Method of Doing Exercise
Another way to get past a plateau and force further
gains is to simply do the already effective exercise, but change how you do it
or use different equipment. For example, if you have been doing Front Shoulder
Raise exercises with dumbbells, try using a barbell to perform the same Front
Shoulder Raise, or do the cable version of the Front Shoulder Raise. One
important strategy is to keep switching the way you do each exercise.
So for example, if on Day 1 when you train your chest,
you use a barbell for the Bench Press, the next time either use dumbbells or a
machine to perform the same exercise. This is a great way to add variety to an
exercise you enjoy doing but still keep your muscles "guessing", forcing them to
continue making great gains.
Try New Exercises
The human neuromuscular system adapts to specific
movement patterns, it is advisable to change your training exercises
occasionally. If you have been walking for a long time take up running or
jogging. Choose activities that you genuinely enjoy, and exercise at an
intensity that challenges you.
Similarly, if progress comes to a halt in the Bench
Press exercise, then either the Incline Bench Press, Flys, or Dips can serve as
excellent substitutes to "shock" your muscles and promote further progress.
Although all of those exercises target the chest muscles, the different
movements require different muscle-fiber recruitment patterns that will
stimulate further strength and development.
Whichever eating or exercise plan you choose be sure to
adjust it accordingly depending on how you feel and how your body responds.
Don't ever blindly follow a rigid diet or exercise routine based on someone
else's rules and guidelines. Be flexible and focus on small positive changes.
Balance, moderation, and common sense are key.
Maintain the right attitude
The final, perhaps most important, component of weight loss success is your
attitude. Pay special attention to your mental and emotional connections to food
and exercise. If you find yourself sitting on the sofa, watching television and
eating ice cream rather than working out, ask yourself why. There has to be some
benefit to it, some payoff that, at the time anyway, seems greater than your
long-term goal of health and fitness. You have to identify and acknowledge your
fitness downfalls before you can do anything to change them. Remember that you
canít continue doing the same thing the same way and expect different results.
If what youíre doing is not working, make changes!
Dated 14 February 2012