Some people say getting started is the hardest part of a weight loss journey. And now that you are on this journey, you might think the rest of the path is paved from here. Yet, remember that it is equally challenging to stick with your new healthier lifestyle. Especially when you go through the inevitable stage of hitting a plateau.
After weeks of creating a healthy meal plan, pushing yourself out of the bed to run, practicing mindfulness every way you can, sharing the positivity with everyone…the scale has just decided to stay still. The numbers are not moving and you are not seeing any results. You start to think that everything you’ve done is for nothing. Then you wonder if there is still a point in any of this.
Before you completely give up the fight, know that plateaus are a natural part of weight loss. Your basal metabolic rate slows down because your body has adapted to your new lifestyle. Plateaus may also happen several times during your journey. Since it’s something you cannot escape from, then, might as well learn how to get through it.
Acknowledge your progress
You may have heard the statement, “Weight is just a number.” It is. Two people can have the same weight but look and feel totally different. You may have stayed at the same weight because your muscle weight has compensated for the weight of the fat you lost.
So, instead of comparing numbers, you should take a look at some of your “before” pictures and appreciate how much your body has changed. Look at your exercise journal and see how your strength and stamina have improved. Witness how your mind and body have transformed and start thinking about what’s next to come for you.
Shake up your diet and exercise routine
Since your body has already gotten used to your new eating habits and physical activities, the plateau may be your bodies signal to spice things up a bit.
Add more of a variety of fruits, veggies, and whole grains to your diet, have a cheat day. Lengthen the duration of your workout or, if you can, increase their intensity by trying a HIIT workout.
Remember your “why”
Whenever you feel like giving up, or start to lose motivation, go back to where you started. Why did you decide to go on this journey? Why do you want to lose weight? Why do you want to be healthier? What is your end goal?
If you succumb to the frustration on this phase, what is your old self – who went through the hardest part of starting this journey – going to feel? Is this something your new self is going to regret? Think of your purpose and the joy in fulfilling it.
Consistency is key
The path to weight loss can be a long and winding road. Just like any other aspect of life, you will face a lot of challenges and obstacles. Holistic health is not something you will ever lose once achieved. It needs your attention, your maintenance, your consistency. Hitting a plateau is just one of those setbacks. If you can get through plateaus by sticking to your new and healthier lifestyle, you can overcome any other hurdle along the way.
When you reach your plateau, it only means you have done a lot of work, you have devoted time and energy, you have surpassed what you once thought was unattainable. Why stop there? Why not push further and see what’s beyond the horizon?
Your turn! Have you gone through plateaus in your weight loss journey? How were you able to get through them?