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Understanding and Preventing Weight Loss and Fitness Plateaus

February 22, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 167

Almost everyone reaches a weight loss or fitness plateau in their life. The reason is that the human body works hard to keep intake and output in balance. When you initially start a fitness regimen your body responds to the change in your diet and the addition of physical exercise. However, after the initial weight loss then progress will slow down and eventually stop even though you're being consistent with your food intake and exercise.

So the question is how can you avoid this plateau and continue to see the results you want?

· Vary your workout intensity! - Doing the same exercises with the same intensity (i.e. weight or volume) over and over is a sure bet that you will hit a plateau. Plus, it simply gets boring. In order to maximize your results, you need to change things up. Instead of 40 minutes running steady on a treadmill, try interval training. Interval training consists of spiking the heart rate with high intensity work which is alternated with a period of rest or low activity. Interval training is a great way to get fit quickly, burn fat and super charges your sports performance.

· Mix it up! - Just as talked about in the first tip, you need to mix things up. However, this time instead of changing your workout intensity, change your actual workouts so that you avoid training the same muscles and movement patterns over and over again. Changes in your routine will shock the body and force it to adapt, brining you to a new level of fitness. Try a Yoga class on a day following in intense Interval/Total Conditioning class. Yoga will increase your range of motion, increase your flexibility, provide toning of the muscles and is a great stress reliever.

· Try working with a Personal Trainer! - Working with a certified personal trainer will offer you new variety to your workout. This will help to re-energize you with a plan specific to your personal goals. Plus, your trainer will help you remain accountable and committed!

· Eat for fuel (energy)! - Changing your fitness routine will make changes in your metabolism. It is important to eat for fuel, but be mindful not to overeat because you think you have worked hard and "deserve" it. It is a myth we create in our heads. We think we feel hungrier because we have had an intense workout. This can lead to weight gain and only make you more frustrated. However on the flip side, don't decrease your food intake drastically because it takes calories to burn calories! When you decrease your food intake, your body simply lowers its metabolic rate in response. This allows your body to still function, but ultimately teaches your body that you require fewer calories which creates hunger and prevents you from losing fat.

· Avoid over-training! - Just like not eating enough can lower the amount of calories you burn, so can over-training. When you exercise too much, there is a point of returns when an increase in exercise energy expenditure is negated by an equal decrease in non-exercise expenditure. In other words, when you increase your exercise intensity, your body responds by decreasing the amount of calories you burn the rest of your day. To avoid this, make sure you take time to recover. If you reach exercise burnout, this is a great time to take a break for a few days. After you've rested, get back to exercise but lighten up your routine and gradually increase intensity.

· Get your rest! - In fact, getting your rest is probably one of the most important elements of any training program. Specifically, during deep sleep is when your body repairs and regenerates itself. Always listen to your body, if you are tired, sore and feel weak...then take a day off. Also, make sure you maximize your sleep patterns. Try to go to bed at a consistent time each night, ensure a dark room, and sleep on a good mattress. This will allow your body to regenerate more effectively.

Most importantly, changing your training approach will be the trigger for making it through a frustrating fitness or weight loss plateau!

Wilson D. Thomas

Wilson graduated from the University of Nebraska with a degree in Business Administration and an emphasis in management and went on to have a career as a Professional Athlete. In March of 2008, Wilson decided to start his own company specializing in personal training and boot camps. Certifications: ISSA Personal Training Certification, Mad Dog Cycling, AFFA Yoga, TRX® Suspension Training.

Source: EzineArticles
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Weight Loss


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Preventing Weight Loss


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