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John A. Mays, MSEd
Avoiding Plateaus
Fitness Together

Avoiding Plateaus

As we begin a new year, many of us are attempting to establish a healthier lifestyle. This is exciting in the beginning, but it can be hard to keep our thoughts on a positive note if we find ourselves stuck in a weight loss plateau.

When you stop progressing toward your weight loss goals and reach a plateau, you have one of two ways to approach this issue.

You can consider a plateau to be a major roadblock to meeting your desired health and fitness goals or you can accept it as the next stage in your weight loss journey. Either way, it's never time to throw in the towel. It's time to get to work mixing up your routine so you can get back on course toward achieving your desired results.

Weight loss plateaus will naturally happen at some point on your fitness journey. But they don't signal the end of the road. They are just indicators that you may need to change up the direction on how you're approaching your nutrition and fitness regimen.

When you weigh more, your metabolism increases because your body requires more energy. You burn more calories just by moving around during your daily activities. When you start to weigh less, your metabolism naturally decreases and you can hit a plateau if you maintain the same calorie intake and exercise program as you did when you started losing weight.

The main reason for this is because people keep the same habits, but their body is changing. If you don't adjust your fitness and nutrition habits as you lose weight then your energy balance starts to even out and you stop seeing results.

The key to working through a weight loss plateau is to acknowledge that the slowdown is to be expected and to not become discouraged, give up, or lose sight of your overall weight loss goals. Instead, create a plan to re-adjust your fitness and nutrition strategies to overcome any plateaus that may be on the horizon.

If positive fitness change stops, you need to adjust what you're doing. Nine times out of 10, when you reach a plateau you're going to need to increase your activity and adjust your calories.

Plateaus ultimately give you the opportunity to take pause, appreciate where you've come from and prepare for your final destination.

When you're ready to work through a plateau, it's important to re-evaluate your mental game, re-adjust your exercise routine and revamp your nutrition habits. You will be happier with your results if you focus on taking this type of holistic approach.

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