So, you’re on a fitness journey and trying to lose weight. Maybe you started off strong and made a lot of progress, but now you notice the scale is no longer dipping and your body no longer seems to be changing. I feel you! It’s one of the most frustrating parts of a fitness journey when you hit a wall. It causes you to become discouraged, and the stress of discouragement can be great enough to make you quit. Been there, done that.
But guess what, it’s completely normal to hit a plateau. Even the most popular fitness gurus have reached a point in their journey where they stopped seeing progress. It happens to all of us.
But why does it happen?
You’re Not Letting Yourself Feel Uncomfortable
We all have limits. You don’t want to overwork yourself and risk injury, but you need to get comfortable with being uncomfortable. Challenge yourself with more intensity, more reps, heavier weight. If you’re breezing through your workout and not feeling the burn or getting your heart rate up, you’re not doing enough. The more you work out, the more your strength and endurance increase. Therefore, you have to make adjustments to make sure you continue to get the most out of your workout.
- Instead of doing a circuit where you perform each exercise for 30 seconds, increase the time to 40 or 45 seconds.
- If you do dumbbell curls with ten-pound weights, swap those out for the 12 pounders.
You’re Eating Whatever You Want
Diet plays a huge role in weight loss and overall health. After I lost over 30 pounds, I stopped being so cautious of what I ate. I was still mostly eating healthy, but I did let fast food, sweets, and snacks make more of an appearance. I got comfortable(ish) eating those foods again. And though I didn’t gain the weight back, I definitely stopped seeing progress.
Reevaluate what you’re eating if you notice you’re no longer seeing the progress you want. Work on building healthier habits with food again.
Here are some “bad food” to “good food” swaps if you need a little inspo:
soda –> zero sugar versions or Olipop
juice –> Naked Juice – Blue Machine or Berry Blast (these aren’t as thick of a consistency as others flavors) or drink 100% fruit juice
candy –> Smart Sweets or checkout this sour patch grapes recipe. It’s easy and you won’t regret it!
Chips –> Harvest Snaps or Quest Protein Chips (the nacho cheese is my favorite!)
Related: Starting a Fitness Journey – What to Know
You’re Not Being Consistent
To continue to see progress it’s important to have a solid routine. A routine you can stick to every week with little adjustment. Know what time you’re going to workout, what you’re working out, how you’re going to do it. If I don’t have a plan for the gym, it’s way too easy for me to talk myself out of going. But if I do have a plan, I set myself up to be more consistent.
Before, I was trying to make my workout split too complex, which kept me from sticking to a routine. But since I’ve simplified my split, it’s easier. And all I do the night before going to the gym is type up my workout in my Notes app. Here’s my current split:
Sunday – lower body
Monday – full rest
Tuesday – upper body and core
Wednesday – cardio and mobility
Thursday – lower body
Friday – upper body and core
Saturday – active rest day and mobility
Don’t overthink your workout schedule and routine. Find a plan that works for you and stick to it.
You Need A Break
The thought of not working out for a while used to scare me. But believe me when I say it’s necessary sometimes. And I’m not talking about rest days. There were a few months where I was struggling to get to the gym and do any sort of physical activity. I felt guilty about it too. So guilty that I became really depressed about my body and wanted to give up on my journey. I thought I was doing something wrong, but in reality, I just needed a long break.
Allow yourself to step away from the gym and working out. If you don’t have it in you to go, you won’t put in the effort to get the most out of your workout. Physical health is important, but so is your mental health. Breaks are a good thing, embrace them and use that extra time to do something fun or relaxing. You’ll find your gym spark again when you’re ready to go back.
Related: Body Dysmorphic Disorder – Let’s Talk About It
We’re our worst critics, and we put a lot of pressure on ourselves. No one is perfect and no one has it all, but when you’re trying to lose weight and struggling to do so, it can seem like everyone around you has the body you desire. Don’t give into these false inner thoughts. You might think someone has a perfect body, but I can guarantee you that someone doesn’t think that themselves.
With that being said, take a step back and see the bigger picture. Reevaluate where you are in your journey now, and where you want to be in the future. You got this!
Until next time,
April at Choosing to Bloom
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