This year sure is flying fast. I hope you are all sticking with it. I promise, the longer you stick with it the easier it gets! We’re going after lifestyle change here, not some quick fix. Have a great week everyone and don’t forget to BRING IT!
You’ve been hitting it pretty hard for a while and are seeing great results. THEN, all of a sudden…..nothing. It doesn’t matter what you do, you just can’t seem to lose anymore. What’s going on?
Well, you may have reached a weight loss plateau. What is a plateau you may ask? Its a period of time when something doesn’t change or advance any further. In this case we will be addressing weight loss, but there are many other fitness plateau such as muscle gains.
The first thing to look at is your food intake. If you aren’t properly tracking your nutrition and hitting correct macros it’s really easy to get stuck in a plateau or to even move backwards. When you first started your weight loss journey, you set a specific calorie goal and hopefully macro-nutrient goals. If you haven’t done either see HERE and HERE. To borrow a Tony Horton phrase, “How do you know what to do if you don’t know what you did!” Same goes fro tracking. How can you know how many calories you are eating if you aren’t keeping track of it? Seems pretty simple right? So if you’ve hit a plateau and aren’t tracking, use the calculator to set a caloric goal with a deficit and TRACK. I know it seems like I am a broken record, but tracking is paramount to success in both weight loss and muscle gain. And you can’t just say, “well I’m eating pretty clean so I don’t need to track.” You can still out eat your exercise with way too much “clean” food and gain weight. While we’re at it, you also can’t out-exercise a bad diet. So CLEAN IT UP and TRACK!
But what if you are tracking and hitting your macros everyday and still not getting anywhere? What changes can you make to break through that pesky plateau? Well as you have lost weight, your metabolic rate has decreased also, so you may require less calories. This means that the caloric goal and deficit you first started at may be causing you to plateau or even gain weight back. So you need to re-evaluate your caloric goals and deficit. It could be as easy as eating a few hundred less calories in a day. Set a new goal and try it out for a few weeks.
Another thing to consider is that you may have been running too high of a deficit. This may have caused you metabolism to slow down by a significant amount. I’ve seen this happen with myself. For over a year I was running a significant deficit, even as low as 1500 cals/day when I did a round of T25 last summer. Well shortly afterwards, I hit a plateau. Weight loss had almost completely stalled. I went back up to 1900 cals/day and the weight loss resumed. Recently, I ran into the same problem of plateauing. I took the advice of a fellow Beachbody Coach and upped my calories to 2400/day and what do you know…the weight loss is happening again! Making the decision to add more calories to my diet was a hard mental block to get through since I am an easy gainer. Also note that I actually gained a little weight the first week because the change in calories was a shock to my body which is why I say to stick with your new goals for at least 3 weeks.
It can be pretty difficult to figure out how to break through a weight loss plateau. Just take a step back and evaluate where you’ve been and where you want to go and TRACK everything. After all, we improve what we track. Try some of the small changes that I’ve explained above and let’s see if we can crush that plateau! Remember, once you’ve change your caloric goals, stick with it for at least 3 weeks and then re-evaluate. If you’re still having trouble determining what your caloric goals need to be, you may want to see a dietitian to get expert advice. Keep at it guys!
Double workouts seem like a great idea right? I mean, the more we do the faster we improve, right? The faster we will burn that gunk covering our abs, right? WRONG! You need to seriously be careful. Doing doubles can actually set you back in the long run.
Fat Gains = Obviously it is easy to fall into the mantra of “more is better.” We’ve all thought this at some point during our fitness journey. If one is good, two would be better right? And three, that would be just amazing. Wrong. Doing more than the number of prescribed workouts in our Beachbody programs will not equal a better body or higher level of fitness. Working out puts a ton of stress on our bodies. When our stress levels are high enough (i.e. from over-training) our bodies release cortisol, a steroid hormone that alters metabolic functions. The end result is that fat is preserved while muscle is broken down.
Time = This is the most obvious case against doing two-a-days. I run into enough people that believe that a minute workouts is too hard to fit into the daily grind (You have time, I promise. Look for it). In addition, there have been several studies that show that short, targeted workouts are much more effective for fat loss than long, endurance type exercises even while expending less energy! In the long run, we all want our time to be used as efficiently as possible. Hours upon hours of exercise leave us with no time to enjoy anything. What good is all that fitness unless you can enjoy it?
Burnout = It’s easy to get burned out on working out and eating healthy if you aren’t careful. Most times people start out all gung-ho, ready to change their lives and get ripped. And doubles looks like and attractive way to speed along the process. It’s simply not sustainable in most cases. With high intensity workouts like P90X and Insanity you are already burning through your glycogen stores and doing doubles will deplete it even further. Don’t fall victim to the infamous burnout. Heck, I’ve seen enough people give up after a week or two because they are tired and not seeing the results they want.
If you are still all set on doing doubles, you need to make sure you are eating the proper amount of calories. If you are following Beachbody nutrition guides, most of which account for an average amount of calorie burn during a workout, you need to be sure to eat the calories burned from the second workout. So go grab an extra snack. Speaking of eating, double-dipping workouts seems like a great idea especially after having a poor day of eating. Simply put, you can’t outwork an improper diet. So stick with the plan that has been laid out for you. BRING IT TEAM!