Before we go any further, I want to establish a key point when it comes to weight loss. The journey to a healthier body weight isn’t a steady progression of results. You will plateau–stall in your weight loss–and that’s okay. You’ll see plateaus throughout your journey, and they tend to get longer as you get closer to your ideal weight. The question isn’t, “Will it happen to me?” The question is, “What can I do to break through when I do plateau?” Here’s 4 strategies on breaking the plateau in the early stages of weight loss (first 3 months).
Break through with harder work and more progression.
When weight loss stalls out in the first 2-3 months of your new journey, it’s usually because you’ve underestimated the effort it takes to see results. There’s no shame in that game; I used to think I could eat pretty well during the week and still binge at family dinners on the weekends. It sounded great in my head, but my scale had other things to say about it.
Adjusting your expectations requires a hard look at your current approach. Start by examining these 4 areas. In true “baby steps” fashion, tweak them one at a time in order to fuel your weight loss progress.
Take a closer look at what you’re eating. Count your calories more vigorously. Portion your food accordingly. Put that cookie down!
2) Cardio training
Whatever your current cardio program uses, take the next step forward. Walking around the block? Try jogging. Using the treadmill at the gym for 20 minutes? Transition to the elliptical. No cardio at all? Start today with 15 minutes at a brisk walking pace.
3) Resistance training
Come with me if you want to lift.
If your current lifting regimen doesn’t challenge you, then it’s not working. Ladies, don’t fear the weights; lifting makes you tone, not big (“Busting the Bulk-Up Myth”). Guys, get a lifting partner or a trainer at your gym to get you going hard on the bench again. My past “No Strain, No Gain” blog talks about this very topic.
4) Mental training
The Secret was right: we get what we’re expecting. I tell my partner all the time to expect the best. Visualize how awesome you feel in your new, leaner body. Pull from that future to fuel your present. Practice mindfulness when it comes to your eating habits. Not in the mood to hit the gym today? Kick your own ass into gear and do it anyway.
Start by taking a long look at one of those 4 areas mentioned above. Deep down, you know where you’re falling short, so be honest with yourself about it. Be patient with this process. You could even start setting 90 day goals to fuel your transformation; read about that process over here.