So you’ve been running 5 miles a day, keeping a food journal and eating plenty of greens and you still can’t move that last 3, 4 or 5 lbs. You are not alone. Millions of people suffer from the dreaded “plateau” in terms of health; that point where you have lost weight, are beginning to tone up and build muscle but you’ve been stagnant for the last few weeks and you can’t figure out why. As your own personal cheerleader, I am here to tell you not to get discouraged! We can do this!
Recognize How Far You’ve Come!
Starting a good nutrition plan and workout regimen that you actually stick to is the first step to becoming healthy and fit. Congratulations! You’ve made it through the toughest phase! Now you are looking in the mirror and appreciating what you see; what a beautiful feeling! But what happens when you can’t push through the remainder of your goals? What do you do when you don’t think there’s anything else you can do? This could quite possibly be the most important part of your journey. Check out the following tips on how to stay in control when you feel like you’re unraveling:
1. Push through and switch it up. That extra little bit of effort will make all the difference! When you’ve hit your plateau that simply means your body is becoming more accustomed to your new lifestyle. If you have been doing the same exercise(s) since you began your regimen, it’s time to switch it up. Muscles can get lazy. We need to continuously work muscles throughout the body that we forget we have! I try to do something different every couple of days to keep my body guessing at which muscles I am going to be utilizing. One day I will run and do yoga and the next day I will work on squats and upper-body strength training. Muscle confusion is your friend.
2. Stay on track. Now, more than ever, focus. Do not let the frustration of a plateau keep you from getting to where you want to be. Keep writing in your food journal. Keep focused on your nutrition. Make sure you are moving every day. Get your workout in. This will make your accomplished goal that much more satisfying at the end! The fact that you started strong, reached an obstacle and then overcame it will be one of the most rewarding feelings you will experience. Keep going!
3. Keep hydrated. Water is your ally! Hot water with the juice of half a lemon is what you need the first thing in the morning to re-hydrate your body and to get everything inside revved up for the day to come. Keep a water bottle handy everywhere you go so you never have to drink sugar infested soda drinks, energy drinks or any other kind of beverage (I’m really not a huge soda/energy drink/sugar fan)! Lemon or lime in your water will not only help you alkalize your body providing essential nutrients that only citrus fruits can provide, but it tastes amazing!
4. Keep your outcome fresh on your mind. Remember how much hard work you’ve put in until this point. You will get frustrated but you will remember why you started in the first place and push through. Whether you have a photo or a list of your goals that you can keep in clear sight everyday to remind you of your goal, or another visual affirmation of why you will keep going, use that as your reinforcement and stay positive. The outcome will always outweigh the obstacle. You will get there. Stay true to yourself and your goals!
5. Work with a health coach or nutritionist. There are certified professionals in the field of health, nutrition and wellness who want to support you. Sometimes, having someone designated to keep you accountable is the extra push you need. Health coaches, unlike doctors or physicians, are able to take the time to work with you one-on-one as opposed to a one-time, short appointment. They can work through barriers, issues and unlock the door to your ideal self. Every single person is an individual meaning whatever nutrition or fitness plan works for me, may not work for you at all. Health coaches are able to take you through the necessary steps to figuring out the combination to your “wellness lock” with the result being a new you, a happier lifestyle and never dieting again.
Don’t Give Up!
Whatever stage you find yourself in, don’t give up! You are already making much better decisions for your health, body and life that will aid in results in no time. Do not forget what motivates you, inspires you and gives you that extra nudge you need to take your day from good to fantastic! Now, get out there and rawk out your whole day! Go the extra mile and remember how raw-some you look and how great you are feeling. You got this!