It. Just. Doesn’t. Make. ANY. SENSE!!!
You’re working out more than ever, and you’ve cut back on eating so much. Now you’re barely eating anything, yet you STILL haven’t reached your weight loss/fat loss goals! WHY?!?!
That my friend, is a good question.
If you, the reader, can resonate with this situation than I highly encourage you to stick around and thoroughly read and consider what I have to say. If you don’t resonate, then I encourage you to stick around anyways so that you can LEARN!
Time to Learn
Back to the matter at hand, I want you to keep this scientific fact in the back of your mind:
THE BODY WILL ALWAYS ADAPT TO SURVIVE.
In working as a personal trainer for several years now, I have come across countless people who have reached a weight loss plateau in their transformation journey, and I have noticed 5 reoccurring reasons for why people have wound up in that cursed plateau.
Weight loss plateaus are simply just the outcome of the body adapting to whatever stimuli it has been given for a considerably extended period of time. These five reasons are the same for not just people looking to lose weight or body fat, but for people who are also trying to improve training performance or build muscle.
Let’s do this!!
REASON #1 – Your exercise protocol is outdated.
This is a rather one of the easiest reasons to fix. By outdated, I am referring to: not working out enough, working out too much, not mixing up your training modality enough (i.e. implementing cardio AND resistance training), or you have been working out with too low of an intensity level for too long.
Is all you’re doing cardio? ADD some resistance training (training with added resistance such as bodyweight, machines, free weights, bands ect).
Is all you’re doing resistance training? ADD a little cardio.
Only been working out for 2 or 3 days a week for several months? ADD another day!
Been working out 6-7 days a week and sometimes twice in one day? Take a day off!! You might be over training!
Been doing the same routine for months on end now? Mix it up! Don’t be afraid to take to YouTube or social media to look up new exercises or new ways of training.
Have you been training with the same level of intensity because you’re afraid to “turn it up” or “tone it down”? Don’t be! Get a little more fire behind your workouts because that will result in more caloric burn and you’ll find that you’re a lot stronger, can go farther, and do more than you thought!
Don’t be afraid to tone it down. If your mentality has been “no pain no gain” for an extended period of time, expect your adrenals to burn out, your muscle to break down, your joints to hurt, your sleep to suck, energy levels to drop, performance to decrease, weight/fat loss hault, metabolism to slow down, need I say more?? Sometime too much pain steals your gains.
REASON #2 – You’re under-recovering.
This reason is almost common sense. Do you struggle to wake up in the morning? Struggle to get going throughout the day? Crashing too much midday? Taking longer to recover from workouts? Not as hungry?
These are just a few questions that can point to the fact that you’re not recovering enough. Either because you’re being ignorant and not allowing your body to rest ENOUGH nor PROPERLY, or yeah…..just ignorant of the fact that you’re not indestructible!
If you feel like you’re just losing power, then take into consideration these tips to help improve recovery:
- Eat more food
- Sleep longer and focus on getting quality sleep
- dark room
- no blue lights (clocks, phone, TV, charger, etc)
- no excessive inconsistent background noise
- cooler room temperature
- go to bed at the same time
- Perform a cool down after your workout
Key Tip: Choose 10-15 minutes of relaxing activities
-Deep breathing techniques
– Prayer or Meditation
– Slow and relaxed walks
– Journaling thoughts
REASON #3 – You’re under-eating.
Yep…..that’s right. You MIGHT not be eating enough!
No. Food is NOT just fuel for the body. It is a way of life for some families. It is a huge aspect of all cultures. Food is comfort. Food is connection. NOT. JUST. FUEL. Period.
BUT, when it comes to working out, food is super crucial to fueling your performance AND to recovering. Food provides the body with energy needed to carry out every little thing we do both voluntary and involuntary. Food also provides your body with building blocks needed for SO MANY things internally such as: cell structures, muscle tissue, bone tissue, hormones and so on!
So, if you’re not enough food then expect to have issues with your workouts and with your recovery.
This subject can be further broken down into not eating enough of the right TYPES of foods (i.e. carbs, fats, or proteins), but that can be saved for another blog.
REASON #4 – You’re not eating enough QUALITY food.
This would seem like a no brainer but unfortunately it is one of the most widely missed factors by people EVERYWHERE!
Regardless if you count calories and macros or not, it IS NOT ENOUGH to simply eat anything and get your desired results. Yes, you can eat junk food all day and still lose weight and maybe some fat but you will NOT be healthy on the inside and WILL feel like literal crap.
At some point, you will need to have more real foods (nutritionally dense; little to no processing; higher quality food that you could grow, collect, or catch) circulating through your nutrition palate. Your body NEEDS vitamins and minerals to recover enough to be willing to give up body fat and weight PROPERLY and PAINLESSLY. A diet too void of quality food can result in your body being too internally inflamed and stressed to be willing to lose weight/fat.
Quality DOES matter!!
REASON #5 – You MIGHT be in a state of Metabolic Adaptation
For those of you who are not regularly tuned into the health and fitness world, I’m sure by now you’re thinking or saying out loud…
Trust me….I understand. Let me teach you a thing or two.
Metabolic adaptation simply means that when in a prolonged caloric deficit (eating too little calories below your natural basal metabolic rate for an extended period of time), your metabolic rate will decrease. Metabolic rate refers to your total daily energy expenditure (how many calories you normally burn in a day).
This condition is actually a lot more prevalent in today’s society then what might appear. As a trainer and a nutrition coach, I have worked with many clients who could not lose weight/fat because they were in this state.
Why does this happen
If you have been cutting calories and increasing your activity level too much for an extended period of time to where you’re working out more than ever yet eating hardly anything, you’re more than likely experiencing metabolic adaptation. This means that your body has down regulated its metabolism so much, that NO amount of exercise will push it to lose weight. This is because when metabolically adapted, your body thinks it is starving.
When your body thinks it is starving, all weight/fat loss will halt because it is not being given enough food/calories for it to be willing to burn off much more for the fear of you dying. Remember: YOUR BODY WILL ALWAYS ADAPT TO SURVIVE.
But fear NOT! There is a way out!
In the most simple and superficial explanation I can possibly give you, all you need to do is eat more food. Period.
The nitty gritty of how to systematically do this to avoid gaining ALL your weight back can be explained in a future blog, but the process is called the Reverse Diet Method. Don’t worry, it is NOT another “diet”. It is a healing and recovery PROCESS.
Whether you, the reader, are experiencing or have experienced a plateau or not, I hope each and every one of you have learned something and can resonate with this information in some way.
If you’re having trouble losing weight and just cannot figure it out, contact me (Jordan), and I would love to talk to you!
In Mind, Body, and Spirit stay anchored people!