You’ve been doing really well, eating healthily and even managing to stick to your exercise routine.
At first you were dead chuffed with the results, people noticed you were looking good and weren’t shy in telling you…
But over the last few weeks things have stalled. You’re not seeing the same results you did initially and you still can’t seem to shift that stubborn bit of fat around your middle.
It’s happened – the dreaded plateau.
A plateau can occur for a number of reasons.
- Muscle loss – You’ve been eating really well and cut out all the nasties, and your body is responding to the lower calorie intake by shedding weight. But if you’ve limited your exercise to light cardio then chances are you’ve lost some muscle tissue as well. Less muscle means a lower metabolic rate and therefore a reduction in your calorie deficit (calories in vs calories out). If this sounds likely, just add in some resistance work to activate your muscles fibres and get your body’s furnace burning brightly again.
- Visceral fat – Our bodies tend to go through phases with fat loss, initially targeting the subcutaneous stuff – basically the stuff you can see. But when that reaches a certain level we kick into caveman survival mode. What if we need some blubber to keep us warm? So it starts to burn off the visceral fat instead. Visceral fat is the fat surrounding and contained in your vital organs, so it’s actually really good news health-wise. However it can be frustrating as you won’t see a visible difference apart from on the scales. If this is the case all you need to do is hang tight, it’ll come back to your visible fat stores soon!
- Grey areas – You’ve unwittingly relaxed a bit on something. Whether your workouts aren’t pushing you enough, or that the odd food treat has developed into a daily habit, just go back and reassess what you’re doing and identify any potential areas to improve.
These are, in my opinion and experience, the 3 most common causes for hitting a plateau.
So if you feel like what I’ve described sounds familiar to you, and you need some help fixing it, just click the link to get in touch and we can get you off that pesky plateau and moving again.
In the meantime have a great weekend, I’m off to a weekend in lovely Lewes (after Saturday GroupFit of course), so let’s hope the rain stops.
Ian “plateau-buster” Male
PS. I still owe you the tale of last weekend’s stag do – eventful to say the least!
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Personal Training & Group Fitness in Greenwich, Blackheath and South East London.