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January 22, 2008

Top 10 Ways To Break Plateaus

By Dana Laurier

Do you ever feel as though you’re working so hard to keep up your fitness only to discover that the scale is just not budging and that you’re at a standstill? If so, there’s a good chance that you’ve hit that wall otherwise known as a plateau.

The reason we end up hitting a plateau is due to the consistency of our fitness plans; the human body quickly adapts to whatever you throw at it so you need to keep switching things up if you want to keep seeing improvements.

To break plateaus, here are the top 10 things you can do.

Break plateaus #10

Sometimes the best way to get your body back on its fat burning mission is by taking a break. Now I know that being idle sucks when you’re so accustomed to being active, but it will definitely help you in the long run.

Giving your body a rest will kick start your workouts when you head back to the gym, so take a week off and start fresh again.

Break plateaus #9
Change calorie intake
If your diet consists of 1900 calories a day, split up the calories over two days and eat 1600 one day and 2200 the next. This will throw your body’s energy burners out of whack and they’ll get kicked into overdrive.

Because your body gives you a 48-hour window for total calorie consumption, eating less one day and more the next is a smart way to ensure that your body keeps burning fat and not muscle.

Break plateaus #8
Don’t drink

If you’ve been enjoying a glass or two of wine at every meal, cut it out. Of course, I’m not suggesting that you cut alcohol out of your life forever, but it’s possible that drinking is what’s hindering your progress.

For the next couple of weeks, eliminate all alcohol from your diet and see if your efforts take on the progression that you expect. Then, when you’re back on track, enjoy a glass of wine once or twice a week, but try not to make it a daily habit.

Break plateaus #7
Move more

I know I suggested that you take a rest from the gym, but that doesn’t mean that you need to become a complete sloth, either. Get up and get moving if you want to break plateaus.

Take longer walks, go for a jog at lunch or take an evening bike ride. You are not restricted to working out at the gym, so head outside and be active.

Break plateaus #6
Change your workout
If you do the same workout at the gym, week in and week out, your body will adjust and you will no longer make any gains or losses because of it. You need to switch things up.

Whether you start doing your workouts backwards (start with your last exercise first) or develop a new workout regime altogether, changing your workout will definitely kick start your body into burning away at the fat and increasing muscle.

Break plateaus #5
Keep a diary
As vigilant as we try to be, sometimes we are unaware of what is really going on in our diets. This is where a food diary comes in handy.

Keep a log of everything you eat; you might discover that you’re ingesting too much junk food or not enough calories in the day to make it through. That way, you can adjust your diet to ensure optimal results.

Break plateaus #4
Lift heavier

Put down those blue-colored 2-pound weights and pick up weights that are heavy enough to exhaust your muscles. This is only way you’ll begin to see a difference in your muscle tone.

Heavier weights put more demand on your muscles, causing them to tear and repair themselves, which requires more calories, which leads to a leaner looking body. This definitely helps break plateaus.

Break plateaus #3
Eat more protein
Protein is essential for the human body and you should up your intake of lean protein in order to keep seeing improvements in your body.

Good sources of lean protein include nuts, lean meats, fish, chicken, and dairy. Try to incorporate protein into every meal and you will definitely see results.

Break plateaus #2
Eat smaller meals

By eating smaller meals throughout the day, you will keep your metabolism working at optimum levels and ensure consistent calorie burning throughout the day.

Break up your meals into 300 to 400 calorie increments, and eat about 5 or 6 times a day. This way, your body will get used to receiving food all the time and will keep the furnace on at all times.

Break plateaus #1
Drink more water

By far the best way to ensure health and break plateaus, ingesting water consistently throughout the day will keep you full and hydrated at all times.

Water, as well as air, is absolutely essential for life so make sure you drink at least half your body weight in ounces of water every single day, and drink more if you’re active.

Break plateaus today

It’s not easy to break plateaus if you’re used to doing things a certain way and end up in a comfort zone. But if you’re willing to make some small changes to your daily habits, you will discover that you can stay on track with your plans.

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