Shedding those unwanted pounds is a breeze when you first begin a new workout routine. Unfortunately, once you get into the groove of things, your progress can slow down.
Avoid these motivation-zapping plateaus in your workout routine by making a few simple, yet necessary, changes to your fitness regimen.
Stick in a rut? This can happen to the best of us. Try these tips to avoid plateauing as you work to develop a healthier you.
MIX IT UP
One of the most common reasons people hit plateaus is not due to effort or motivation, but to their workout routine.
If you’re performing the same workout, day after day, you’re not challenging your body. As time progresses, your workout becomes easier and eventually ineffective. This type of plateau is very common amongst all fitness levels.
So what do you do? Mix it up.
Once a month, alter your workout and incorporate more challenging exercises that help improve flexibility, mobility, and strength.
If you’re not ready to up the ante, try making the exercises you already do more challenging. Increase weight or repetitions, boost the intensity, or try your hand at interval training.
KEEP YOUR DIET IN CHECK
Even if you’re eating relatively healthy, you may not be getting enough of certain nutrients your body needs to keep up with its physical demands.
Plateaus in your workout routine can easily develop when your diet is overlooked. Not only is it important to look at what you’re eating, but also break down the nutrient content.
When working out, you’ll want to keep your eye on three primary macronutrients: carbohydrates, protein, and fats. These are the nutrients that provide our bodies with energy.
Lack of these essential macronutrients can essentially cause your metabolism to stall, resulting in less calories burned.
Everyone needs a little help now and then, and supplements may be just what you need to push pass your plateau. Supplements make it easier to obtain the nutrients necessary to maintain a healthy diet and build muscle.
Filling in those nutritional gaps can help to kick start your new fitness routine and keep it running smoothly.
Start with a basic multivitamin to get an adequate dose of all essential nutrients.
Feed your post-workout hunger panes with a protein powder or bar, as whey protein is most easily absorbed after exercise.
You may also want to look into supplements that aid in faster recovery, such as BCAAs, glutamine, and vitamin C.
TRY SOME NEW RECIPES
The same meals day in and day out cannot only get boring, but can also affect your workout efforts.
Take a look at your food journal.
If you’ve lost a bit of weight since the last time you made adjustments, your daily calorie requirements are now lower. Therefore, eating the same amount of calories each day will no longer produce results.
Start fresh with some new healthy recipes that are lower in calories but high in nutrients.
Try to cut out all processed foods and stick to only whole, fresh options like vegetables, high-fiber fruits, lean proteins, and beans. Purchase a few new “healthy” cookbooks, check out some from the library, or search online for new, nutrient-rich recipes to try out.
SLEEP IT OFF
It can no doubt be frustrating to hit a plateau when you feel like you’ve come so far. However, it’s important to know when to take it easy and give your body a break.
When losing weight and building muscle, your body needs time to regenerate and repair muscle tissue. The most effective time to restore your energy and health is during sleep.
To reach your workout goals, adequate sleep is critical.
The average adult requires 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night to recuperate from the day before. The amount of sleep you get will directly affect your health, energy levels, and how effectively you train.
At the end of the day, don’t skimp on proper shut-eye.
ENGAGE IN MORNING CARDIO
Whether you’ve hit a brick wall in terms of progress, or simply want to step your weight loss game up a notch, incorporate some moderate cardio into your morning routine.
While cardio can be effective anytime of the day, the morning is the best time to engage in a quick workout, as your stomach is empty.
Performing cardio in the morning on an empty stomach can get your metabolism working at full speed for the rest of the day.
Stored fat is then used as fuel to power your workouts, helping you to burn excess fat faster than ever before. Follow up your workout with a light, yet nutritional breakfast to help revitalize your energy reserves.