Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Plateau Busting Part Deux: Then What?

A little more on plateaus. 

So you've been sitting on your plateau for a few days now, enjoying the view and thinking nice thoughts, but eventually you probably look at your watch and are all, "okay Healthy Heather, I've been thinking on this stupid plateau for like three days now, what gives???" 

Chillax. There's more.

Plateaus are great for resetting our clocks and resting, but we don't want to hang there forever. To get things going again, we need to shake it up! Plateaus usually happen because our bodies have become accustomed to what we're doing. It's that annoying evolution in hyper mode. Just like our taste buds get with the healthy eating program faster than we expect (yay), our bodies find ways to adapt to our workouts and nutrition and make themselves more efficient (boo!). Efficient means conserving energy. Not burning it. Not losing weight.

So, wake up those lazy bones! A few ideas:

1. Add intensity, duration, frequency, or all three to your workout. If you run, try high intensity interval training. If you lift weights, change up your exercises and add weight or try something new like kettlebells. If you're in an exercise rut, sign up for a class that will be a change of scenery and pace. 

2. Cross train. Cross training means engaging in a different activity on a regular enough basis that your body doesn't easily adapt and is always kept guessing. It's what makes P90X so effective. 

3. Swap one processed food in your diet for something clean and natural. If you're already eating clean, try a few days of erratic calories. No, not a binge and fast cycle! But eat at maintenance for a few days, and then go back into a deficit. The object is to wake your body up from its nice happy comfortable nap and remind it that you were kind of working on something important before it dozed off. 

Plateaus can outstay their welcome. The rest is nice and the view can be refreshing, but we all want to get moving again before it becomes a permanent resting place. Try these tips to shake up your routine and, of course, get out there and get healthy!

1 comment:

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