Reached a Weight Plateau?
You've made steady progress so far but suddenly the scales refuse to budge. It doesn't make sense! You haven't changed your diet and you haven't skipped an exercise session...
It's disappointing, it's frustrating and it's called a weight plateau. But the good news is that you aren't the first to experience it, and that you can take steps to beat it:
Maintain your Resting Metabolic Rate
When you restrict your calorie intake it's inevitable that your resting metabolic rate will slow. To preserve your muscles you should incorporate resistance training or weight training into your exercise program. Another effective way of maintaining your resting metabolic rate is to eat small but regular meals.
To burn more fat you may need to change your exercise routine
Adjust Your Exercise Routine
During energy restriction your body's inbuilt survival mechanisms kick in and conserve body fat.
Try altering the type of activity you do; cycling, swimming, rowing, using a cross trainer or learning to use different equipment at the gym. By challenging different muscle groups, you will expend more energy.
The other important thing to be aware of is that as you get fitter, you will need to exercise at a slightly higher intensity to burn the same number of calories.
Be Honest with Yourself
It might be the case that you think that you are doing all the right things when you actually aren't. How long has it been since you weighed your meat portions or measured how much cereal you're having in the morning?
This is the time to get really strict with yourself again weigh your portions and record your food intake, including calories. This can be cumbersome, but it might just be enough to help you identify where the problem lies.
Maybe You Are Not at a Plateau
Are your clothes feeling looser but the scales aren't moving (or even moving in the wrong direction?) It might be the case that your body composition is changing; i.e. you are gaining muscle tissue (which is heavier than fat). This is possible if you have changed your exercise regimen to include more resistance training, or have changed your type of exercise. That's why it's important to monitor your waist and hip circumference as well as your scales.