A common complaint from those who are either trying to lose weight or become more fit is the complaint of being stuck in a plateau. Here are 5 ways to get over the hump of a plateau:
- Intermittent Fasting (IM) – studies show intermittent fasting helps with both weight loss and longevity. One way to practice intermittent fasting is to restrict calories significantly (less than 500) for a period of 24 hours. My IM regimen involves low calorie fasting 2 days per week (I like to fast on Mondays and Thursdays). On those days, I have a smoothie for breakfast and lunch and my fat-flushing soup for dinner, with lots of unsweetened green tea and water through the day. If I am hungry at bedtime, I will have a spoonful of almond butter. I have found that this regimen helps many people to lose weight slowly and steadily and leads to long-term weight loss over time.
- Interval training (IT) promotes fat loss, increase in lean body mass, higher metabolism, more calorie burn, and increase in cardiovascular fitness. Interval training is simply alternating short bursts of intense aerobic exercise with slower paced exercise in a 1:3 ratio. For example, alternate 1 minute of sprints with 3 minutes at a slower pace. You can do this with any aerobic exercise – walking, bicycling, swimming, or on an elliptical or stairclimber. You can calculate your target maximum heart rate for the sprint intervals by subtracting your age from 220. Always check with your doctor before performing IT.
- Do aerobic exercise after your strength training: Start with a 5-minute aerobic warm-up followed by a strength training routine then a longer aerobic workout. This approach may promote fat loss by depleting your anaerobic energy stores first, so that you will use fat stores as energy during your cardio training.
- Exercise in the morning on an empty stomach – studies show that twice as much fat is lost when exercise takes place in a fasting state. Make sure to have lots of water before your workout. It is important to eat a balanced meal within 30 minutes after exercise. This should consist of high quality protein, complex carbohydrates and healthy fats.
- Drink a high quality protein drink during exercise (20 grams whey protein, 6 ounces fresh squeezed orange juice, and 1 tablespoon of raw honey) starting 10 minutes into your workout. This provides the building blocks for muscle recovery. Or consider trying our made-to-order Fitness Fuel to increase endurance, improve recovery and reduce soreness. Call us for more information on Fitness Fuel at (727) 329-8859.