Ever feel like you’re putting in the work, but aren’t seeing the results you’re longing for? Don’t worry. Fitness plateaus are extremely common, but nonetheless frustrating.
Believe it or not, hitting a fitness rut can be a good sign! It likely means that your body has worked hard to adapt to your recent fitness efforts. However, it’s important to shake that rut so that you can keep progressing toward your fitness goals. Here are five reasons why you’re not seeing results from your workouts–and how to move past that plateau!
A good night’s sleep is essential to your weight loss efforts. Leading a healthy lifestyle of dieting and consistent exercise is difficult to uphold if you don’t have the energy to do so. When we don’t get enough sleep, our bodies aren’t able to properly recharge after each day. Believe it or not, even just thirty minutes can be the difference between being well rested or sleep deprived.
According to Michael Breus, Ph.D, the more sleep deprived you become, the more your body releases the stress hormones cortisol and ghrelin, which increases your appetite for high-fat, high-carb foods. You’re also more likely to retain sugar, store fat, and have a slower metabolism. Simply put, sleep deprivation can quickly cause weight gain–even if you exercise regularly.
Let’s be honest, sometimes it’s really hard to convince ourselves to work out. So, when we find workouts and exercises that we particularly enjoy, it’s easy to fall into a routine of doing the same things over and over again. While it’s important to find workouts that we love, it’s critical that we don’t grow too accustomed to our routine.
According to health expert Cedric Bryant, a failure to keep your workouts fresh and new will quickly cause boredom and a plateau in progress. In fact, a study by scientists at the University of Florida found that individuals who switched up their workouts every two weeks were more likely to be enthusiastic about their workouts and to stick to their schedules more closely.
Furthermore, health coach Chelsea Aguiar says that when we perform the same movements and workouts all the time, our bodies no longer have to adapt. It’s important that we feel challenged during our workouts. According to Aguiar, your physique and body composition changes when you feel challenged and uncomfortable. If you’ve done a workout so many times that it feels effortless, or like you’re coasting through, then you’re not going to see new results. It’s time for a change!
While this one may seem counterintuitive, it’s essential for our bodies to have days of rest in order to progress. When we feel eager to lose weight, we sometimes believe the misconception that working out every day will help us get there sooner. This mindset, however, could be the very thing that’s keeping you from losing weight.
According to trainer Adam Rosante, taking days off is an essential part of losing weight and achieving your fitness goals. He advises limiting workouts to a maximum of five days a week if you want to lose weight. As Rosante reminds us, when we work out, we are actually breaking down muscle – not building it. It’s during the recovery that our muscles build themselves up to be stronger than before. So, if you want to achieve the results you’re aiming for, it’s important to take days off and allow your body to recuperate.
When it comes to diet and exercise, you have to think of your body like a vehicle. For the vehicle to work efficiently, it must be properly fueled. If you want to lose weight and achieve your fitness goals, then you need to be sure that what you’re eating matches your objectives.
Maintaining a healthy diet takes more than cutting out the bad; it involves fueling up with the good. There are a few common foods that could cause you to gain weight without even realizing it, such as potatoes, red meat, and sugary drinks. What’s surprising, though, is that simply cutting out bad foods won’t necessarily help you lose weight–it will just prevent you from gaining more. If weight loss is your goal, then it’s important that you eat more superfoods like nuts, berries, leafy greens, and vegetables.
A recent study from the University of St. Louis found in their subjects that “the lower the intake of fruits, vegetables, nuts, whole grains, and yogurt, the more significant the weight gain.” So while eliminating highly processed and sugary foods from your diet is extremely important for your health, it’s also essential to fuel your body with healthy foods if you want to lose weight.
As silly as it may seem, do not skip over this last one! Finding workouts that you actually enjoy and look forward to is essential for succeeding in your weight loss efforts. For starters, trying out new workouts and finding your favorites will help you keep your routine fresh and effective. And, once you find a new routine, you’ll feel more motivated to stick with it.
One way to keep your workouts fun is by joining a fitness class. Working out with a group of people can keep you motivated as you freshen up your routine. If fitness classes aren’t your thing, then find a friend to be your workout buddy, and work together to find new ways to stay moving while still having fun. Either way, working out with others is a great way to spice up your workouts and give you something to look forward to.
Developing a healthy lifestyle of diet and exercise is essential to your overall wellbeing. However, sometimes our bodies can grow accustomed to our fitness efforts, stopping progress in its tracks. But, that doesn’t mean you’ll be stuck in a fitness plateau forever! With a few simple changes to your everyday life, you can quickly shake that rut and get back on your way toward your fitness goals.
With two locations in Lafayette, Indiana, the Lafayette Family YMCA is a community committed to healthy living and social responsibility. For more fitness tips and to stay up to date about YMCA events, connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram, or visit our website.