A few days ago, a customer asked me this question:
"I eat healthfully, and exercise at least an hour every day, but I've been stuck at 146-150 for a while now. How can I get over this plateau and keep losing?"
The older I get, I like to tell myself that I'm becoming smarter - or I may be just becoming lazier. In any case, I definitely don't work out that much. You can get great results without training that much. I was able to tolerate 1-hour workouts every day when I was 20 - but not anymore. I don't know you but there is a possibility that you are overtraining. The fact that you train for one hour a day tells me that you have a lot of zeal. Here are the questions you need to ask yourself so you get over the plateau:
1) What type of exercise do you do each day? Is it only aerobic or do you do resistance training as well? If you are not doing resistance training, replace some of your exercise time (at least half) with resistance training. I'm convinced that "normal people" can achieve almost any weight management goal they have by training properly with weights for 40 minutes every other day. Get in there, do your exercises and then get out. You don't need to train more. You need to train smart. Get your weight training down. THEN you can add the aerobics if you want.
2) If you ARE doing resistance training, are you getting stronger every workout? Yes or no? Can you lift more weight or do more reps with the same weight? Yes or no? If no, then you may be overtrained or maybe you are not eating enough protein or sleeping and resting properly.
3) Did you measure your weight AND fat percentage before starting exercising? Where are you now? Did you lose weight? Was that fat? Or did you lose muscle? You can't improve what you can't measure. If you are losing muscle, you will just continue spinning your wheels.
4) Exercising can get boring. And the body adjusts to the "same ol', same ol'" after a while. Try changing up your workout routine so you don't get bored.
Remember to keep track of your progress. Measure your weight, fat and muscle once a week on an empty stomach in the morning. Know how you are progressing and "fail fast" if need be. If you see a week that you gained fat and lost muscle (it happens even in th
e best families) try to readjust your plan. Don't make the mistake that many people make and that's following a plan that doesn't work FOR YEARS. This is called "failing in slow motion". You want fast results? Measure your progress then.
If you keep an ultra strict diet for several days, then you can reward yourself by having a "free day" where you eat some of your favorites foods like pizza, cheesecake etc. Don't eat 10,000 calories, ok? But taking a break every now and then can really help you stay on track for the long term.
You have much more control over your life that others would have you believe. Right now, you are overweight because of some very specific habits you have. Focus on those habits. As soon as you correct them, you will be able to start losing weight and fat and looking great.
Forget who you have been all your life. Saying things like "I'm a fat boy" or "I look like a barrel" don't help you. Stay away from the victim mentality. Decide who you are going to be from this point on.
Before you go to bed each night, spend just 5 minutes to plan the next day. What are you going to do at 8:00 AM? What at 10:25 AM? Note down your program. What will you eat? When will you exercise? This will allow you to "fly" through the next day much easier. Don't just wait for the next day to come and then just "react" to whatever comes your way. Remember: Failing to plan is planning to fail.
Many people say "I can't do weight training (or exercise at all) because I'm in no physical condition to do so".
This is one of the best examples of the "problem" being the ultimate solution. START working out now. Take it slowly. Start gently. Soon you'll be in such unbelievable shape you'll wonder how you ever lived without eating right and exercising. Nothing feels like being in great shape does.
Starting a weight loss program can be challenging or even scary for some people. We all have fear in at least one sector of our lives. But you need to realize that the next step in your personal growth (and weight loss), is feeling "uncomfortable". Only when you step out of your comfort zone will you start to improve. Take it one step at a time and give it your best shot. Be bold...