5 WAYS TO STAY MOTIVATED ONCE YOU’VE HIT A WEIGHT LOSS PLATEAU
Posted On Feb 11, 2021
By Dede Lagree, owner Lagree Fitness Studio
We all know losing weight can be hard. Most of us have had the experience of seeing quick results when we first start an exercise or diet routine, only to see our progress gradually flatline. Staying motivated when you can no longer measure your progress can be just as difficult as losing weight in the first place. So how do you stay motivated when you’ve hit a weight loss plateau? As the owner of the Lagree Fitness Studio in Los Angeles, CA, I get approached with this question on the daily. Since so many clients have confided their private frustrations with me, I’m going to share some of my answers with you. Here are my top five motivational hacks on how to push through a weight-loss plateau.
- Be A Swiss Army Knife
Our bodies are designed to maintain homeostasis. Adapting to physical activities is what enables us to track wooly mammoths across the plains and snag the last flat screen on Black Friday. Your body will also adapt to your diet or workout. That’s why the results that came quickly at first may start to fade a few weeks in. The trick is to not do the same thing all the time. Change it up. Keep your body guessing, so it has to stay sharp. Our bodies are continually trying to reach a stable norm and will adapt to a new workout every 4-6 weeks. If you’re working out every day, but you’ve hit a plateau, it may be time to ask yourself – what habits or routines have you fallen into? Are you doing cardio every day, and not building muscle? Are you a yoga addict, who doesn’t do high-impact workouts? By being a Swiss Army knife and doing lots of different kinds of exercises, your proverbial workout blade will never grow dull.
- Customize Your Playlist
Scientists have found that listening to particularly motivating or inspiring music changes our mood. Further studies prove that the music we listen to engages a wide range of neurobiological systems that affect our psychology and can even help our workouts. Let’s be honest; it’s a lot easier to push through a final round of circuit training if you’re jamming out to inspiring, motivational music. Thanks to Steve Jobs, empowering music has never been more accessible or portable. Classical Music enthusiast? Stream some Mozart. Pink fan? Rock out to “Raise your Glass” as you slip in a final round of abs and arms. Take your playlist on a walk and listen to your curated concert on a run or hike. By creating a workout playlist, you can stay positive, feel better, and burn some extra calories at the same time.
- Use the Buddy System
It’s not just for scuba diving. Motivating a partner will help you motivate yourself. Exercise partners provide a powerful combination of accountability, motivation and, in some cases, healthy competition. If you can, choose a partner who is a little better than you are with strengths you don’t have – they will push you to your limits and challenge you in new ways. Also, choose a partner that’s fun and gets you excited to hit the fitness studio! My exercise partner is Beyoncé. She doesn’t know that yet, but one day… In the meantime, I cross train a couple of times a week with two of my best gal pals. Being accountable to someone else is a great reminder that you are not alone. Together, you can celebrate each other’s victories and share each other’s hardships… and let’s face it, when it comes to hitting the gym when you don’t feel like it, there’s strength in numbers.
- Remember the Why
It’s easy to get caught up in the rules of the latest diet or workout, but after a few weeks of only following those rules, we start to plateau. Frustration sets in and we give up. Remind yourself of your original goal now and then. What are you doing this for? One way to do this is to write it down – put it on a sticky note on your mirror, or keep it in a diary. When you can’t remember why you signed up for that 8 am legs workout, you can remind yourself by reading your own words. By remembering “the Why” and keeping it top of mind, you’ll feel rewarded when you achieve your intention.
- What Gets Measured Gets Done
“What gets measured gets done,” is a trope of business boardrooms, but it’s also an important thing to keep in mind for diet and exercise. What you measure tends to get accomplished. The question is — what are you measuring? It’s easy to let the number on the scale be the only unit we’re looking at. The problem is, muscle weighs more than fat. So while our body composition is improving and we’re shedding fat, we’re gaining weight. It’s a cruel joke, but it’s important to look at the whole board to measure your comprehensive health. Instead of just measuring calories, try measuring bone density, or percentage of decreased body fat. By tracking other markers of improvement, you’ll see your health progress and be able to stay motivated to push yourself to reach your goals.
Ultimately, diet and exercise are about feeling better. When we see our progress we feel great, but when we hit a plateau, it can be discouraging. By changing it up, making a playlist, working out with a partner, reminding yourself of why you started, and measuring the soul instead of the scale, you can push through that weight-loss plateau and reach new heights.