By Ronny Marie Tucker
Have you lost some weight but now find yourself frustrated because the scale will no longer budge? You have hit a plateau. But take heart. Plateaus do not mean defeat. Instead they signify a need for change. Here are five ways to revamp your routine and help you reach your weight loss goals.
Cross-training is a great way to get your body burning calories again. If you usually run, try biking. Swimmers might try hiking or skating. Choose an activity that is completely different from your normal routine. If you run five days a week, bike for one or two of those days. Not only will your body be forced to use muscles you do not usually use, but this also will help keep you from getting bored. Consider learning a new activity such as yoga, Pilates, martial arts, or dancing. No matter what exercise you choose, eventually your body will adapt. Keep changing it up until you have reached your desired results.
Recalculate Your Diet:
Cutting your diet to 1800 calories when you’ve been consuming 2000 will result in weight loss for only a matter of time. You may lose 10 pounds and then suddenly stop losing weight. Your calories have caught up with you and it is time to recalculate them. Sometimes your schedule may not allow an extra hour of exercise. So instead, you need to cut more calories. Lowering your caloric intake to 1500 will break your plateau and result in weight loss. But be aware! The American College of Sports Medicine recommends no less than 1200 calories per day to maintain a healthy diet.
Interval training means alternating from low-intensity to high-intensity throughout your routine. You can do speed interval training (SIT) such as alternating jogging and sprinting 100 meters ten times. Introducing timed intervals, such as walking five minutes and jogging two minutes, is also an option. You can also interval train using distance. For example, bike two miles at a comfortable pace, and then pick up the pace for three miles until you reach 15 miles. Changing your incline during any interval training will also help break a plateau: Run hard up hill and jog downhill. Interval training can be used with any mode of exercise–swimming, running, skating, cycling and more.
Fine-Tune Your Diet:
There is always something you can add or delete from your diet. Cut chips, add fruit. Substitute one can of soda with three cups of water. Use fresh vegetables as opposed to canned vegetables–less sodium. Remove excess fat or skin from meats. Add a salad to any meal. The list is endless, so be creative!
Adding a weight lifting or resistance training routine to your regimen two to three days per week will definitely break a plateau. Cardiovascular exercises produce weight loss; however you only burn calories while you are performing the exercise. On the other hand, weight training will help you burn calories even while you sleep! Muscle burns calories all day long even after you put down the dumbbell.
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