How to Break Through a Weight-Loss Plateau

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Hi, I'm Wendy Batts, one of your expert fitness professionals on Sharecare. We all get excited when pounds and inches begin to fall off, and we feel like we're making great progress, and that nothing can stop us, and then around week five or six, things often start to slow down, and then we wonder what's going on.

Is something different? Why am I not losing the weight at the same pace I was when I started my program? Well, the dreaded plateau sets in. A number of factors can play a role in this. So you need to take an honest look, and see what you're doing. Are you still logging your food, and being faithful to healthy eating? Have you gone back to any of your old habits that have sabotaged you in the past? Are you still exercising regularly? Are you getting a good night's sleep? Has your health changed or do you have a condition that could be impacting your ability to lose weight? OK, let's assume that you're doing everything right.

And really focusing on a change in lifestyle. Take a hard look at your workout. Our bodies are very adaptable. So every 4-6 weeks, you need to introduce some sort of change to continue making that progress, these variables can include frequency or how often, intensity, how hard, time, how long as well as simply mixing up the routine with variations of exercises to target those particular muscle grips.

Let's look at your cardio program. If you're always riding the bike, switch it up. Try going for a walk with a challenging pace, and then begin adding in a jog. Once you can maintain that constant jog, try mini sprints to really increase your heart rate, and challenge your body. Remember the more you push yourself, the more calories you will burn during your cardio workout, because of the increased demand you're placing on your body.

Start out for 20 minutes and then begin working your way out to 30 and then 45 minutes each time and you'll really start to see and fell the difference. Lastly, let's look at your exercise plan, we all have our favorite exercises that we feel comfortable doing, this comfort level will eventually lead to a plateau, try going outside of your comfort level by adding in more sets or more weight to increase the intensity of your workout.

For example, if you're doing two sets of 15 repetitions, try increasing it to three sets, if you're already doing three sets, try increase to your weight, consider doing newer exercises all together. Adding in lunges, squats, push ups are just a few examples of exercises that will increase your heart rate and lead you to great overall results.

If you're already doing this, try looking into new exercises on Share care to help you find alternatives to add in to your program. These small adjustments make a huge difference and will keep you from heading that dreaded plateau.