One of the most demotivating times when working out and trying to lose weight is when you hit a plateau. This is where despite having seen great results to date your progress seems stuck at one place and even though you've been true to your routine and diet religiously you just can't seem to go any further. Some lose motivation and some out of sheer frustration start to backslide. It doesn't need to be that way though as you can reignite your fat loss after it stalls.
The reason progress halts is that our rather clever body learns and adapts and above all protects itself. Once you've enjoyed the same routines and diet for a certain time (some say it may start at around three weeks) your body sees you are losing fat and it adapts to match your efforts so you don't lose anything else and of course your activity level has become the norm therefore isn't seen (by your body) as anything new or extra to shift the fat. This is hardly helpful however try telling your body that!
To get past this rut you need to shake things up a bit. If your body has gotten use to you running a certain time or distance, eating a certain diet and working out to the same routine what you need to do is need to make some changes.
Mixing it Up
In order to boost your fat loss once more and see continued improvements when you weigh and measure you need to alter your regime. It needn't be too drastic however it does need to be new or different enough to trick basically your body into letting you have what you want!
If you are a runner for example who routinely enjoys a run at a steady pace over a certain distance every day that is fine. Continue this routine but add in some changes in order to get things moving again. Do some sprints, vary your speeds, times and distances. If you enjoy a steady run incorporate it but be sure to remember to include the changes.
This need to keep things fresh and new in order to boost the fat loss is why interval training at higher intensities is so popular. Short bursts of exercise at varying intensities, focusing on cardio and well as specific body sections keeps things fresh.
While fat loss may seem the goal changing your routine regularly also helps to boost motivation (gives you a new challenge or routine to sink your teeth into) as well as reduces the risk of an injury or strain which may be caused by repetitively undertaking the same routine time after time.
Clearly mixing it up, enjoying the changes and being creative with your workout (and your diet) is key to avoiding the plateau and keeping things interesting. Don't get stuck in a rut, keep things fresh! Remember – change your intensity, the duration of your workout, the type of activity and the exercise that you do regularly to see the best results.