It’s an unfortunate reality that we all deal with…
Lots of us have been there. You’ve been doing really well, staying consistent with your workouts, seeing some really great results after the first month or two and them BAM, everything screeches to a halt. The motivation you’ve built up after gaining strength and losing fat is dwindling because you’re not losing weight or gaining strength as rapidly as before. It happens. Today we’re going to discuss the science behind why that happens, as well as what you can do to keep moving forward.
As you’re settling into a workout routine, your body will shed a lot of it’s water weight. Previous to consistently working out, your body holds a lot of water, but once you start working out regularly, sweating and rehydrating on a regular basis, your body will shed that water. This causes the illusion of weight loss when in actuality, it’s just your body adjusting to the new conditions which you’re putting it through. As you continue your workout routine, your body adjusts and your water weight will regulate, making it seem as though you’ve stopped losing weight or gaining definition.
What you can do is recognize that this is what’s happening, and continue to push forward because once your body gets itself into a mode of burning through the sugar and water in your system, you’ll start to see results once again…and these results are the ones that will last even longer, not be depleted by missing a week of workouts because of plateau frustrations.
Lighter People Burn Less
When you began your workout lifestyle, you may have weighed a good 15-20 pounds more than you do once you start plateauing. Even though you’re still a bit away from your end goal, this can be frustrating and cause you to fall off of the wagon. The reason you’re plateauing is because people who weigh less require less work to burn calories, therefore weight loss won’t be as rapid unless you’re really ramping up your workout intensity. Doing the same things you were doing when you were 15-20 pounds heavier won’t yield the same results because your body has started to get used to those activities at that intensity.
What you can do is start to push yourself a bit harder or start eating fewer calories. Maybe add in some extra cardio, or bump up the resistance on your weights. By increasing intensity, your body will have to work harder and you’ll start to burn those extra calories once again.
Muscles Can Be Burned Too
As you begin to lose weight, your body won’t continue to only burn fat, it will also start to burn muscle. This is a result of not taking in enough calories. If you cut your calories too low, your body will regulate itself by cutting muscle rather than fat, which slows your growth process, especially if you’re trying to bulk up or build lean muscle.
What you can do is to start paying closer attention to taking in more calories on a daily basis. There are small tricks you can do to add just a couple hundred more calories into your daily diet. Find out how to optimize your carb, fat and protein goals to ensure that your hard work is going to yield the best outcome.