Let’s Put The Past Behind You
I’m sure a lot of you set goals at the end of 2011 to lose a certain number of pounds and get into a particular size jeans at some point during 2012. Some of you started the year off great! You started working out and eating a clean and healthy diet and the pounds initially started to come off. You were so excited that you treated yourself to something special. However, as the year progressed you noticed that weight was not coming off as before and you were no longer losing weight so you just gave up on your goals and dreams to get into those jeans or resigned to the fact that you were not going to meet your goals before your well deserved vacation, class reunion or special event. When you stop losing weight although you’re still working out and eating clean you’ve more than likely hit a plateau.
What is a Plateau?
A plateau occurs when your body is no longer responding to your exercise regime and diet. Plateaus are frustrating but you cannot give up. That is when you have to reevaluate your workout program and your diet. Are you still doing the same workout you did when you started your weight loss journey? Has your diet changed since you started? If you answered yes and no respectively, then you’ve reached a plateau and it’s time for a change. Once your body gets used to its current exercise regime and diet it will no longer respond by continuing to lose weight so by making changes to your exercise program and making minor changes to your diet your body will begin to respond by continuing to lose weight. So if you gave you up on your weight loss goals this year because you reached a plateau and stopped losing weight then here are a few tips to help you get back on track and reach your goals.
4 Tips to Breaking a Plateau
1. Start keeping a food journal. By keeping a journal you can really see everything you’re eating and begin to make changes to your diet but you have to be honest with yourself for this technique to work. You may find that you’re getting hungry at a certain time of the day or that your foods are not nutrient dense or eating too many complex carbs as your last meal of the day. A great place to start with reviewing your diet, depending how far you are from your goal weight, is to become more knowledgeable about foods and how it affects the body. I recommend getting a copy of any of The Eat Clean Diet books by Tosca Reno. If you’re looking to shed the last 10lbs then I recommend The Eat Clean Diet Stripped book. It has all the tips you need to shed those last 10lbs including an easy to follow meal plan. If you have more than 10lbs to lose then get The Eat Clean Diet Recharged book. Tosca does a great job of explaining how the body responds to food in a simple easy to read book. You’ll refer to it regularly as you progress on your journey. Tosca also speaks from experience. She started her journey to get fit after 40 at the age of 42 and became a fitness model as well.
2. Review Your Exercise Regime. Are you changing up your workout every 30 – 45 days? In order to keep losing weight you must not allow your body to get use to your current exercise routine. When the body adapts it will stop responding. I recommend finding a program that changes every 30 days and will continue to challenge you so that you will see results. What I like about Beachbody home fitness programs is that they are designed to keep you from reaching a plateau. The 60 and 90 day programs change every 30 days. Each phase of the program gets more difficult therefore continuing to challenge your body and helping you to see results. Depending on your fitness level and ability, Beachbody has several programs that can help you to break through a plateau and continue to reach your fitness goals. For example, if you’re intermediate to advanced then consider a programs like the P90X series of fitness programs, ChaLEAN Extreme or Les Mills Pump. These programs are all 90 day programs and include resistance training and cardio which is the combination your body needs to get fit after 40. If you’re just starting out then consider a program like Slim in 6 or Brazil Butt Lift. Also keep in mind that you may have to do more than one round of a program to meet your goals.
For those of you who workout at a gym and have no clue on how to change your workout every 30 days and you cannot afford a personal trainer then go to www.Bodybuilder.com. Set up an account and find a program from one of the personal trainers featured on the website. You can find a program based on your age and weight loss goals. Bodybuilder.com will make several recommendations of trainer’s programs that fit your requirements. These programs come with a meal plan and fitness program as well as instructions on completing the moves.
3. Drink more water. By drinking more water daily you can also begin to lose weight again. There are also many health benefits to drinking water. It helps to flush toxins from your body including those toxins released by fat cells. There are many rules of thumb to follow for water consumption. I’ve read you should drink a gallon of water daily, half your body weight in water daily or just 64 oz of water daily. I personally try to drink 96 oz of water daily and try to drink at least 3 cups of green tea. You will have to find what works well for you. If you’re not a water drinker then start out with 64 oz and work your way up as you progress along your journey. Drinking water before and after a meal will help you to not eat as much and feel full after a meal. Get a water bottle that you can keep at our desk and refill throughout the day.
4. Make realistic goals and be patient. Getting fit after 40 is not easy so we must be patient and set realistic goals. Instead of focusing on the total amount of weight you have to lose break down the overall goal into smaller goals or milestones. Focus on losing 10lbs in 5 to 6 weeks. This will keep you motivated and help you to reach your goal. In reality, healthy weight loss is 1-2 lbs each week. With that in mind you will not place unrealistic expectations on yourself. DO NOT compare your weight loss success to that of someone else. We are all different and will not lose weight at the rate as someone else. Losing weight after 40 is difficult and there are alot of more factors that we must take into consideration when getting fit after 40. Don’t forget to set up a reward system to reward yourself as you achieve each milestone. Also find some motivational pictures of an outfit you want to purchase, a person you want to look like or a vacation you plan to take once you reach your goal. For example, I have a vision board with my favorite fitness model’s six pack. I look at it often and it keeps me motivated.
Weight loss plateaus are apart of the journey when trying to get fit after 40 or at any age. You’re going to hit them but how you respond will determine your overall success at meeting your goals. Continue to re evaluate your fitness routine and diet and look for areas of improvement. Just don’t give up! If you need help staying on track during your journey, consider joining one of my Challenge Groups. Studies show that working out with others help you to stay motivated and reach your goals.