If You Don't Manage It...
Thursday, September 03, 2009
Are you experiencing a plateau? If so, I can tell you why, without ever looking at your program. You are eating as many calories as you burn. But you already know that.
Losing weight is NOT rocket science, contrary to how difficult we may lead ourselves to believe it to be. Plain and simple, burn more calories than you eat and you lose weight. How many more calories you burn than you eat determines how fast you lose it.
Fitness Trainer Tom Venuto notes three key strategies to blast through a plateau.
1. Check your compliance and raise your accountability. Immediately after a week of stalled fat loss, he says to look back over the week and ask yourself if you REALLY followed your original plan. Well, did you?
If the answer to any piece of your plan is ‘no’, implement strategies to correct your action. This may include, but is not limited to, keeping a journal (or using your trackers), weigh and measure your food, weigh yourself and take pictures of yourself. Find an accountability partner or group (hey, how ‘bout a spark team?) to hold you to your commitments. Turn in your results weekly. Above all Venuto says, ‘stop guessing and start measuring everything you want to improve. IF YOU DON’T MEASURE IT, YOU CAN’T MANAGE IT; IF YOU DON’T MANAGE IT, YOU CAN’T IMPROVE IT.’
2. Re-establish your calorie deficit. ‘After your compliance check, if you feel that you did follow your original plan faithfully, then you must assume that what used to be a deficit for you is no longer a deficit.’.
Remember that your calorie needs will change as you lose weight and that metabolism decreases with weight loss. Venuto suggests checking your calorie needs and adjusting your deficit on a weekly basis. There are two ways to adjust your deficit. Eat less or exercise more. As I mentioned earlier, this is not rocket science.
3. Get back to work with your adjusted strategy. After you've chosen your strategy of choice to re-establish your calorie deficit, go back to work for another week, with your new accountability measures in place.
I refer to this as making tweaks and adjustments to my program. Stick to your adjusted plan and see where you are in one week. If you still are not losing, adjust your plan; tweak it, stick to it and measure your progress. Continue this process until you have broken through that plateau. Now break out the fitness calendar and get back to the menu planner!