How to See Results When You Hit a Plateau

It’s easy to get discouraged when you were exercising more or eating healthier, but you aren’t losing weight. I know that feeling. It’s hard for me to lose weight. Especially since I haven’t had a lot I needed to lose.

Over the past 15 years, I’ve slowly added 15 extra pounds. Not a lot, but enough to notice a difference. About 5 years ago, I was considered borderline overweight! And my cholesterol also went up to a more unhealthy level. So I knew I needed to add more exercise and eat healthier.

First I increased my exercise to more intense workouts. But I didn’t see any difference physically. But I didn’t change my eating habits that much. I actually was eating more food since I was hungrier due to exercising more often.

I was reading articles on how to lose the weight. I learned that in order to lose a half a pound a week, I needed to have a calorie deficit of 500 calories per day! And eating 500 less calories a day meant I was going to feel hungry.

I began tracking my daily calories using the MyFitnessPal app. I was eating on average of 1700 calories a day. And that’s why I wasn’t necessarily gaining weight, but I wasn’t losing it either because I burned 1300 calories at rest.

Doctors say it’s unhealthy to eat less than 1200 calories a day so I couldn’t go below that. And since I was consuming about 1700 a day, I could feasibly drop to 1200 a day and reach my weight-loss goal in a month.

So I tracked my calories and tried to lower to 1200, but that was almost impossible for me to do. I would reach my max by lunch time before having done strenuous exercise! I would not be able to do that since I need energy to do my regular job. So the only other alternative was to increase my exercise in order to be able to eat a little more but also still have a calorie deficit.

Increasing exercise while still having a calorie deficit has worked. I haven’t reached my goal yet, but I have lost fat and gained some muscle.

If you aren’t seeing results, here are things that you stop or start doing:

1. Stop doing what you currently are doing. Like I had said above, if what you are currently doing isn’t working, change it. It’s that simple. It may not be easy, but it is simple.

2. Change Your Expectations. Maybe you’ve set a massive goal that is just very difficult for you to achieve. Like I had said, I couldn’t feasibly eat 1200 calories a day. Maybe lower your expectations. If you had stated you want to lose 10 pounds in a month, change it to 2 and build up from there. Something, even if it’s small, is better than nothing.

3. Don’t Make Excuses . I’ve heard many of the excuses. The common one is “it’s genetic”. My dad made that excuse about the high cholesterol in our family. While yes, we are more prone to having high cholesterol, I did prove to myself that I could lower it to a healthy level by eating less fast food and more vegetables. It was hard, but it was also possible. While genetics can play a role of what foods you may be able to eat or how your body metabolizes the food, it doesn’t mean it’s impossible for you to lose the extra weight, you may need to worker harder. I do know from personal experience that once you have more muscle on your body, it is easier to maintain a healthy weight. But if you keep making excuses, you’ll never get to that point.

4. Find more mentors. When I was struggling to stick with my goals, I decided to connect with more people who were at the level that I wanted to be. So I followed fitness experts on Instagram, joined Health and fitness Facebook groups, read books and listened to podcasts on health and wellness. Studies say that we are the average of our 5 closest friends and family. It’s not solely that genetics maybe the reason that you aren’t losing weight, but that those around you have the same behaviors.

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