Why has the Weight Loss Stopped?
There are few things more frustrating than being 8 weeks into a new fitness program, and suddenly the weight stops dropping off. It’s hard not to blame yourself, and think you’re not working hard enough. However, it is a common phenomenon – and all you need is a little change!
Sleep and Stress
Nutrition and Hydration
Change up your routine
Sleep and Stress:
Sleep and stress both play major roles in all facets of your life, from determining your work productivity to altering your mood and, most frustratingly, by affecting your weight loss. Effective and regular sleep patterns will help to balance out the internal chemistry of your body, and ultimately decrease your stress levels. Elevated stress results in increased body cortisol levels. This in turn makes losing weight harder, as cortisol promotes fat storage – not ideal for losing weight.
Balance and set your sleeping patterns to ensure regular, restful sleep. Power down before heading to bed, avoid heavy exercise in the evenings and finish up all work-related material at least an hour before bed. For more help fixing your sleeping patterns, click here. Managing stress can be as simple as finding an outlet for relaxation. Take time during the day to take 10 deep, controlled breaths. Take a break during work and head out for a walk, run or just outdoors – this can help to clear your head and decrease the stress levels that have no doubt elevated during your day at work. Improving your sleep patterns and decreasing your stress levels set your body up to effectively lose weight and, most importantly, will leave you feeling better every day!
Nutrition and Hydration:
What you eat and drink provides the fuel and sustenance for your body; get it right and you’ll be a weight loss machine, however, get it wrong and you’ll see consistent weight gains irrespective of regular exercise. Not only is this poor for your physical health, but it is also bound to leave you feeling more stressed and anxious. Processed foods and simple sugars provide the body with an influx of easily accessible energy, which is great if you’re about to work-out – but terrible if you’re spending the afternoon at your desk! Similarly, not eating enough or not eating often enough can slow down your body’s metabolism, meaning less energy is expended during the course of the day and hence more exercise required for that weight-loss effect.
Avoid sugary drinks, like fruit juices and soft drinks, and opt for filtered water. Water is the preferred source of hydration throughout the course of the day, however if you want a sugary treat make sure you time it just prior to or just after your workout. Milk and coconut water are great sugary alternatives, with a large array of post-workout benefits that can help to improve your health, not detriment it. Balance your diet with plenty of fruit and vegetables during the day, and minimise processed or ‘junk’ food. Pack a healthy lunch and healthy snack options, and if the need for that mid-afternoon snack comes knocking, try and balance it out with a work-out – or opt for the healthier option. Love a snickers bar? Try a handful of unsalted nuts instead. Although high in energy, these have far less sugar and are much preferred to the body. Less sugar means you’ll avoid the mid-afternoon blood sugar ‘slump’ that always occurs post-lunch. Check out this blog here for more information on balancing your diet for improved health.
Change up your routine:
Having the same work-out routine week after week can leave you feeling stale, and limit the benefits you see from regular exercise. Leaving your routine the same for weeks and months on end allows your body to get used to the routine, and the human body is a smart machine. Each time you do the same routine, the body gets better at adapting to it and, eventually, requires far less energy and effort to complete the same workout. Although this is a major benefit when considering exercises such as long distance running, this is terrible for weight loss! If the body adapts and energy demands decrease each time you work-out, then you will hit a weight loss plateau and become stale and disinterested in exercising.
Regularly change up your work-out routine! Have a trainer create a training program for you, or start training with an experienced trainer. This will challenge you, giving you different exercises and sessions week after week. Most importantly, though, this will keep the body guessing and keep energy expenditure high. Splitting your time across a range of exercise modalities is also a great idea, such as running, weights, cycling, bush-walking, swimming or a range of other sport and exercise options.
Want more information on how to switch up your lifestlye, and shed the weights? Get in contact today to get started on your health and fitness journey!
Written by Johann Ruys
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