It’s inevitable. Your diet and exercise religiously, lose 10 or 15 pounds and hit a wall. Known as a plateau, this stall in progress happens to almost everyone. Rather than giving up, you’ve got to work harder. Here are five ways to not only get over the wall but to break it annihilate it:
1.Adjust Your Caloric Intake
When you started your diet, you determined how many calories you needed to eat per day to lose weight. What you may not have considered was that this number would shrink as you did. Think of it this way: If you needed 1,100 calories per day when you weighed 150 pounds, does it make sense that you would still need the same amount at 130 pounds? There are dozens of apps that can help you adjust your caloric intake and get you back on the road to weight loss. LoseIt! is a great app available on both the iOS and Android platforms.
2. Eat More Green
It’s not true that you can eat as many servings of fruit and vegetables that you like, but it’s darn close to being accurate. If you’ve hit a plateau, amp up your fruit and vegetable intake. Barbara Rolls, Ph.D. and author of “The Volumetrics Eating Plan,” suggests starting a meal with a salad. This will fill your belly and help you to eat less. If you can’t make yourself eat a green salad for breakfast, try a fruit salad instead.
3. Change Your Routine
If you walk on the treadmill for 30 minutes each day, your muscles will quickly get into a routine. Once you hit a plateau, it’s a good idea to change up your exercise. Instead of walking on a flat surface, bump up the incline. Start interval training instead of simply walking. Add weight training to your cardio workout. There are hundreds of ways that you can change your routine; find an activity that you’re interested in and try it out.
4. Set a New Goal
When you hit a wall, don’t give up. Instead, come up with a new goal. Doing this can get your mind back in the game and bolster your excitement. You may want to adjust the number of pounds you want to lose, the amount of weight you want to be able to lift, or even the number of miles you want to run. No matter what it is, your new goal can give you the kick in the pants you need to bust through your plateau.
5. Recruit a Friend
A friend might be just what you need to motivate you to push past the plateau. If you have a friend who’s been talking about losing weight or getting fit, ask them to join you on your walks or runs. You and your new diet buddy can help each other track progress and cheer each other on as you get closer to your individual goals.
Everyone hits a plateau when they’re trying to lose weight, but not everyone makes it over the hurdle. If you follow the five tips above, you’ll not only meet your plateau head-on, but you’ll blow it out of the water. You may even be so successful that your friends start asking you for diet tips; wouldn’t that be something?