So you have put in the hard work, eating well and thinking positively. maybe even started seeing results than out of the cold deep blue you stop seeing anything. No movement on the scale, no muscle gains or loses and no inches from your body. Its become more of a struggle then ever before right? When you started this, it was exciting and new and your motivation was off the charts but now that this massive blockade has presented itself you start thinking “maybe I can’t do this, maybe this is all I can do,maybe it’s not worth it. Well,I don’t like being a bad news bear but you have hit a plateau. And I am here to tell you, EVERYONE who has begun a diet or weightless journey comes up on these and has second thoughts.
It makes you question yourself and the goals you set. For me I am currently in a plateau and its frustrating. My confidence was at an all time high but now that the scale hasn’t moved in about 2 weeks, I’m sad, mad, upset and have to generally fight internally for the will to keep going. I’m not where I wanna be so I HAVE to keep going. Doing research is helping me though. The last couple of days I have blazed through the internet, back and forth, back and forth and have come up with a few things that might help you and I. After this post I will be doing all tips in an effort to get through my plateau and will do a follow-up post to confirm or deny the success of the tips. I have come up with five things to start today in an effort to push through.
Protein/Fiber Rich Foods:
First thing is to up your protein consumption, and begin eating more fiber rich foods. This will help you feel fuller longer and decrease any hunger pains you may have. Protein also helps repair muscles that are being worked out. So it could help with recovery time. This, I believe is my main problem because I ran out of my protein powder I usually take after a workout (waiting on payday to get some more) and have been unsuccessful in replacing the 30 grams of protein I lost. My muscles ache more now too so my workouts haven’t been as effective either. In an effort to stay healthy i have been eating more carbs, good carbs but still carbs. Not breads and starches but veggies, carrots, cucumbers and broccoli. Which are good for you but it is not a substitute for lean protein. Previously I was using Beyond Raw Iso-Protein and it was great. All lean protein to help with muscle repair. Right after I work out I would drink it and feel full. Now I’m literally starving and sometimes reach for something bad or over eat. Some examples of High protein foods include fish, cheese, tofu, yogurt, milk, beans, lentils, eggs, nuts, and seeds. The average body needs about 50 grams of protein a day. Because I am working out and trying to build muscle I like to get more than that.
Eating too little fiber can make it tough to control blood sugar and appetite because fiber regulates the speed of digestion and contributes to feeling full. It also can lead to being “backed up,” you know what I mean. Regular trips to the bathroom are natural and healthy. Example of high fiber foods are Split peas, lentils, black beans (also high in protein), artichokes, broccoli and black berries. Adding them into your diet has a lot of positive effects on your body.
Add extra workout time:
This one is a no brainer but so hard to actually accomplish. I do High intensity interval trainings (HIIT) and an extra 15-30 minutes seems so long and damn near impossible. But the benefits could greatly outweigh the effort it takes to complete it. It helps you burn a little extra calories that could be the difference between remaining on a plateau and fighting your way across. I will probably add a couple extra sprints in and maybe some jumping jacks. Maybe if I’m feeling spicy an extra interval, my neighbor may have to call the paramedics so we will see. I’ll have to talk with her. LOL
Skip your cheat meal for a week or two:
Lets not get crazy right? Just hear me out. It’s not a permanent solution just a little push to get you through a rock and a hard place. So a couple of weeks of no cheat meals may help you do that. If you are like me it may not be the cheat meals themselves but the portions of the cheat meals. I for one am notorious for over eating. It takes a lot of effort for me to think about measuring out a portion instead of just grabbing what looks good and eating the crap out of it. In our society, portion sizes have become so large and normal that it’s an after thought to see that they are too big. (Hello supersize McDonald’s french fries and coke.) Seriously, my entire days calorie intake is in that one meal.
Limit Salt Consumption:
I’ve mentioned this in a previous post but salt is the devil. Seriously. It causes your body to swell and retain water, which for me causes me to have mini heart attacks overtime I get on the scale. If I have too much salt in a weekend the scale will reflect that. as in will reflect a 3 to 4 pound gain. Thankfully its just water weight but who wants to carry around extra weight when they do not have too.
Eat Detox foods:
This is something the Hubby and I do when we feel like our cheat meal was over done. I love lemon in my water and will seriously binge drink the crap out of it especially after a particularly salty cheat meal. Sounds dumb but water weight can be helped by drinking more water. You might have to use the bathroom every 15 minutes for the next several hours but trust me it is worth the inconvenience. We also make sure we eat asparagus or zucchini. Both are great at flushing the system and help in aiding detox. Another thing that I like to do is substitute my morning coffee and creamer with hot tea and a little honey. It makes me feel less bloated and if consumed at night it helps me with craving sweets.
I am plateaued right now. It sucks and I hate it. But as much as I want to quit, I DON’T. The worst thing a person can do is quit. You have already made it this far. If you let something this little get in the way you were not ready for this change. I am already trying these tips and you can find more at Livestrong.com or bodybuilding.com. Both are great resources for losing weight, getting muscle gains and over coming the plateau curse. And sometimes it takes consistent, determined strides to get through hard times. If your plateau lasts a awhile and none of these tricks work, try switching up your workout routine a bit and remember, muscle weighs more than fat and building muscle takes more time than accumulating fat. Keep on trucking you got this.