Plateau (noun); When the results have stabilized and you have tried everything, but the size still does not change and therefore the person seeing in the mirror has not changed in 2 months. Plus, pent-up frustration has put you on the edge of a weekend Netflix and binge on food. HELP!!! Article: How to Beat a Fat Loss Plateau (2021)
Okay, not exactly Merriam-Webster, but here is my definition of “plateau” in the fitness realm.
Plateaus happen to everyone. Happens. Your body can be a master at adapting to its environment. This is why you have gained so much muscle in your first 3 months of weight lifting. He needed to adapt to the new stimuli that were thrown at him during the 3-5 days you were in the gym lifting heavy things. Oftentimes, this is how our bodies’ ability to adapt helps us.
Where it hurts is when it catches up with what we are doing. If you’ve been within the same 500 calorie deficit for the past 4 months, you are realizing that. Your body will adjust to its new expected daily calorie intake and will not require as many as it used to. this is how fat loss often stops.
Why Did I Plateau?
It was easy once he started because the change in his energy balance came as a shock to his body. Suddenly, he dramatically reduced his caloric intake, went from not understanding at least three resistance training sessions each week, and eliminated all (okay, not all, that’s crazy, but MOST) of the junk from his diet.
Now here we are, 3-6-12 months later and all of a sudden progress has slowed to a slow pace or perhaps stopped altogether. Why? Because life isn’t fair and our bodies hate us and we’re just not meant to own pretty things.
It’s how our bodies change in response to the things we owe them. You would not require as much if you know that your food consumption is considerably smaller than before. Similarly, if we haven’t adjusted our workout regimen or strength in a while, our bodies will as well. For the previous six months, he had trained in doing 80-pound pulldowns in three sets of ten. It’s definitely time to make a fresh start.
In any case, plateaus occur because we would like to change. So let’s mention how to change what we’re doing so that progress can resume.
Breaking a Fat Loss Plateau
Fat loss is driven by the primary law of thermodynamics.
The calories in the food we consume are referred to as “energy in.” The energy (calories) we expend by exercise, non-exercise habits, and chemical processes within the body, including digestion, is referred to as “energy out.”
Regarding fat loss, we must expend more energy than we absorb. This is often what is known as a “calorie deficit.” When the left side of the equation is right for the right side, it means that we are in what is known as “maintenance”: maintaining our current weight.
So if you’ve got stuck on your fat loss journey, it means that the deficit you just created (through diet/exercise) is no longer enough. The solution: increase the deficit. We will do it in one of 3 ways.
Eat Less Calories
3,500 calories = 1 pound. So, considering the fact, we expect to lose 1 pound per week during a 500 calorie deficit. This is usually gold for some reasons that I’ll cover in a post I’ll write later in the week on how to find out your calorie intake.
Now, since it is on a plateau, it is already in deficit. Doubling the 500 calorie deficit and eliminating another 500 calories from your diet is too drastic, too unrealistic for many people. Fortunately, you don’t need to take it to the extreme.
From personal experience, reducing calories by just 100-150 calories is enough to maneuver the needle.
For the sake of preserving lean body mass and performance, protein is prohibited.
That leaves us with carbohydrates and fats. They have both become villains over the years, but neither is inherently bad. Looking at them logically, fat would not only be the simplest but also the easiest to chop.
- Carbohydrates = 4 calories / gram. Fat = 9 calories / gram. So you have two options to be successful in that 100-150 calorie cut: cut carbs by 25g-38g or cut fat by 11g-17g. What do you prefer to cut?
- While fats are important for hormonal regulation, carbohydrates are essential for exercise. Cutting carbs beyond a particular point will affect your workouts, which can affect calories burned and lean (muscle) mass.
Many more details to dig into, but that’s for a later article. The case for cutting fat instead of carbs while already in a deficit is strong.
But I am proud of my food intake. In fact, I can’t imagine cutting even more calories! I’ve cut enough already!
Burn More Calories
If you’d rather shed a few extra calories rather than eat less, this feature is for you. This is often also where the addition of cardio comes in.
The debate between low-intensity steady-state cardiovascular exercise (LISS) and high-intensity interval training (HIIT) has been short-lived. The cliff notes are as follows.
- LISS is simpler in the oxidation of fat cells. a better percentage of the calories you burn from LISS will come from fat rather than carbohydrates.
- HIIT is simpler to burn the main calories in the shortest time possible.
LISS may sound more attractive because you see that it is easier to oxidize fat cells, but you have to be careful how you interpret it. It’s a better percentage of calories that come from fat, fewer calories overall.
So for example, if you spent 10 minutes doing HIIT and 10 minutes doing LISS and you burn 150 calories from HIIT and 90 from LISS, surely a better percentage of your LISS calories burned will come from fat, but you are burning more calories overall. total HIIT.
And as we discussed earlier, the primary law of thermodynamics is queen.
Energy input – Energy output = Weight gain / loss
It doesn’t matter where the calories come from, as long as we spend what we consume.
ZACH, tell us NOW the solution! HIIT OR LISS, WHICH IS IT?
First, lower your voice. It’s scaring me.
Second, it is really your preference. HIIT is more effective, but you may not like HIIT. Maybe you prefer to pedal the bike at a coffee intensity for half an hour and read a book or play on Instagram.
Or maybe that sounds boring and you would like ACTION to make HIIT more your flavor.
As long as calories are burned, either one is fine.
So now the question is, “How much cardio should I do?”
If you’re not a fan of cardio and just looking to test enough to determine results, then 1 hour of HIIT / 1.5 hours of LISS might be fine.
If you really enjoy cardiovascular exercise and delight in it, you will have no problem taking the time to benefit from the increased calorie deficit. Just be careful not to make an excessive amount of.
- Too much cardio increases stress and fatigue and therefore affects your training performance.
- The more cardio we do, the more efficient our bodies become, and therefore the fewer calories we burn doing so, making it less effective at burning those extra calories.
- If you’re already doing a high volume of cardio, you won’t have much room to spread it out once you stabilize without affecting other aspects of your workout.
Listen to your body. Find your middle ground between the ratio you want to try and the way you will do before it becomes harmful.
Add A Cheat Day
Cheat days were never a favorite of mine. They seemed to foster a lack of discipline and motivation. That is before I realized the advantages of a cheat day, also known as a “feedback” day in the bodybuilding community.
Essentially, the goal of a cheat day shouldn’t just be to gorge on a number of your favorite sweets and salty food, although Chik-Fil-A can be a great option for cheat days, just saying. Its purpose is threefold:
- Increase Leptin Levels: Leptin can be a hormone created in fatty tissue that controls hunger. once we spend a lot of time during a deficit, our leptin levels drop. This is why you start to “feel hungry all the time.” Having each day where we eat more than our calorie maintenance can be a great way to spice up those leptin levels.
- Clarity of mind: Simply put, it is good to have each day that you will eat a fairly regular touch.
- You can be more sociable – It’s hard to balance your fat loss program and stop eating. we all know that. Take a cheat day to enjoy a night out with friends/family.
Now, this does not mean that you completely free yourself as if it were the Last Supper. Calories keep counting. If you are consuming 2000 calories over maintenance, that is essentially making up the last week of labor you started, do it the same and setting yourself up for frustration and wondering, “HOW AM I NOT LOSING WEIGHT?” despite eating back the job you set up in hebdomadally during your cheat day.
Don’t overdo it. Get between 500 and 700 calories on top of your maintenance and make it worth your while. you continue to enjoy it and will structure it for the next week.
It’s all up to you how much you indulge in a cheat day. Once a week is perfect, as long as you keep it modest, as I said earlier. I’d have a cheat day about every 2-3 weeks if you really break free, like 1000+ calories rather than maintenance.
Plateaus are inevitable, but that doesn’t mean we should allow them to break us. An adjustment to your diet, your cardio, or even a cheat day here and there can help you get through it.
Any questions on the topic of plateaus and fat loss? I ASKED FOR! I would like to know from you.
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