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3 Ways to DESTROY Weight Loss Plateaus Naturally — an article on the Smart Living Network
August 9, 2007 at 11:06 AMComments: 0 Faves: 0

3 Ways to DESTROY Weight Loss Plateaus Naturally

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Your weight loss plan was going great! The diet outline you created had been followed. You were exercising three times a week and, happily, the weight was steadily decreasing. But then, something changed. For the last few weeks, even with the continued diet and exercising, the scale hasn't budged. You have encountered a Weight Loss Plateau. Weight loss plateaus can be an annoying hurdle on your race towards becoming the size you envision. If you are stuck on a plateau and you're wondering how you can get off, here are some tips that will have you back on the weight loss track!

1. Vary Your Exercise Routine

If you have been faithfully hitting the treadmill for 30 minutes, three times a week, your body has adapted to that workout. Challenging your muscles by changing your exercise routine will leave your muscles befuddled. Their confusion will lead them to work harder and burn more calories. So the key is to change your workout program. Here are four ways you might try to vary your fitness routine:

  • Frequency of your workouts. If you normally go 3 days a week, try adding in an additional day of cardio.
  • Change the intensity of your workout routine. Adding hand weights to your 20 minute walk or increasing the incline on the treadmill, are each examples of ways to make the workout more intense.
  • Take on a new fitness activity. Is the recumbent bike your exercise tool of choice? Why not try the Elliptical machine? Are you a fitness walker who would like to take up hiking? A change in activity will give your muscles a necessary jolt.
  • Fluctuate the amount of time that you spend exercising. If you are currently doing 30 minutes of aerobics, try lowering the time to 20 minutes and add in 15 minutes of circuit training.

2. Eat More Often!

In the quest for weight loss, it may seem advantageous to skip meals or have micro-sized portions. The less you eat, the less you'll weigh, is a common misconception of some dieters. Although portion control is advisable, studies have shown that eating 4-6 small, healthful meals each day can boost your metabolism, causing your body to actually burn more calories. Alternately, when your body feels deprived of calories, it goes into crisis mode and may begin to store energy in the form of fat.

3. Be Logical and Reasonable

When you're trying to achieve a desired weight, it may be tempting to jump on the scale and see how you're progressing. This is not recommended. Our weight fluctuates daily, due to food intake, water retention (due to higher sodium intake or premenstrual bloating), and exercise. Try weighing yourself once a week, at the same time of day.

Remember too, that even if the scale isn't moving, it's not necessarily a bad thing. Your exercise program may be increasing your lean muscle mass. Muscle weighs more than fat. Paying attention to how your clothes are fitting may be a more accurate gauge of your weight loss achievement. It's possible to drop a pants or dress size without losing weight if you're replacing fat with muscle.

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