There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them.
Training and dieting plateaus are normal to an extent, but they can cripple your results if they are too frequent.
Being able to assess your training in an objective manner and to identify why you’ve plateaued, is going to be essential to chart a path out of your current funk and to create a preventative strategy for the future.
This article breaks down the following common reasons for a plateau and the troubleshooting approach to each one:
Start with the reason that seems most likely, apply the suggestions for that alone, then wait at least four to six weeks before re-evaluating whether you’re still “stuck”.
Why not try all of these solutions at once?
Though it might seem slower to produce results, this trial-and-error approach is the most effective in the long run. Altering too many variables at once will make it challenging, if not impossible, to figure out which change was the most helpful.
Now, let’s tackle the first reason:
What’s wrong with extreme dieting and hard-core fitness plans is that they don’t take into account the rest of your life.
95% of diets fail, so diets don’t work.
… Or do they?
If you take a look at the scientific literature, there’s actually plenty of evidence to the contrary. For example, we know that diets inducing a caloric deficit are effective for fat loss regardless of whether they’re high in fats, carbohydrates, or protein.
In other words, any diet can work as long as it involves a caloric deficit.
The real problem is maintaining the resulting weight loss.
For instance, a review of nearly 30 long-term studies on weight loss and maintenance in the American population showed that more than half of the weight lost was regained within two years, and 80% was regained within five.
For this reason, experts consider maintenance of 5 to 10% of your weight loss “a great achievement”.
But why is it so hard not to put weight back on?
When a new client signs up for online coaching to lose fat, what often stands out to me is their mindset: In their experience, a diet is a short-term, excruciating “eat chicken breast and a green leaf for every meal” endeavour, not an attempt to change their lifestyle for the better in the long run.
After a few weeks or months of this torture, they go back to the same way they were eating before, regain weight, start another diet, and so on.
This vicious cycle is unfortunately common because most diets give you rules to stick to, whether you like them or not, instead of habits that you can incorporate into your long-term lifestyle.
This article is perfect if you haven’t had much luck maintaining fat loss after your previous diets, because it does exactly what those diets didn’t do: It teaches you five habits you need to have in place not only to lose fat, but to keep it off, too.
If you’ve been spinning your wheels with countless diets for as long as you can remember, you don’t want to miss this one.
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