How To Prevent A Weight-Loss Plateau
You lost kilos at first; now you’re stuck?
You needed to lose about eight kilos, so you decided to try running. But you’ve seen no change since the five kilos you dropped six months ago and as for muscle tone – well, your “guns” are pea-shooters at best. Welcome to the weight-loss plateau.
People who lose weight and then stall tend to be sticking with what used to work, even if it’s no longer getting results. “Your body has an incredible ability to adapt. Therefore, one of the keys to successful training is to keep the body guessing by continuously making changes to your training,” says WH fitness expert Dr Kim Nolte.
Work it out
Progress comes from going a little harder each month (like increasing your weights by two kilos). Nolte also suggests resting: “A break from your workout may also give you more motivation to train harder during the next session. But I wouldn’t recommend that you regularly skip a workout.”
Reboot your results
Think total body
Many exercisers start zeroing in on trouble spots after losing weight. But that’s usually a waste of time. Losing overall body fat is usually a surer way to reveal strong, flat abs. “Crunches can strengthen your abdominal muscles, but not help lose fat around the stomach area,” says Nolte. You’d need to do about 22 000 crunches – or two straight days’ worth – to burn 14 600kJ, which is the amount you need to torch in order to lose half a kilo. (Our necks hurt just typing that.) So stick with total-body training for a more defined waistline.
Give yourself 10
Adding a high-energy strength circuit for just 10 minutes once a week can help you get over a hump on the scale. For example, 45 seconds each (doing as many reps as possible in that time) of moves like push-ups, star jumps, burpees, planks and squats with toe raises.
Phone a (fit) friend
Who you spend your time sweating with matters: working out with a pal who’s faster or stronger than you can help motivate you to go longer and harder, according to a US study.
Looking for more weight-loss tips? Here are five crucial things you should do if you’re exercising to lose weight. Want to kickstart your weight-loss journey? Get our Lean Body Blitz 12-week meal and fitness plan to turbo-charge your slim-down!