“Did I work my butt off yesterday to see THIS?”
The number on the scale. Same as yesterday. And the same as previous days. Plateau again…
There is nothing worse for me than entering the plateau stage. I hated that period from the very bottom of my soul.
Right now as I write this and remember those periods my blood starts to boil and steam is slowly starting to come out from my ears… Like, for real, they are so annoying!
If you are new in the weight loss world, the plateau stage is the time frame in your life when you give your blood sweat, and tears to lose one more pound, and nothing changes. For days!
Interestingly the plateau was longer as I cut more weight down. In the beginning, it would last for about 2 days, and I was like “no big deal, I’ll just keep it up and it will be better”. And it was.
But then they came more often and they were longer.
It becomes stressful to lose weight for 3 days and then work your ass off for the next 7 just for nothing to happen. When I hit my last and longest plateau I decided to tackle it down and educate myself.
So I sat for the computer and remained there for the next 5 hours.
I knew I have to understand it in order to defeat it. I have to know what is going on while I’m in that stage, what can I do to prevent it, and if it happens how to exit it as soon as possible. I wanted to make a perfect strategy and never stress about it again.
And I did.
Let's be real for a second and break this right away. There is a HUGE difference between being in the plateau and being not dedicated!
So if you are not sticking with your plan no matter what the scale says, you definitely should. I heard so many times how my clients whine about the plateau, and when I go with them through the plan result is 90% of the time the same. They were not sticking to the original plan.
So please, make sure that you are doing everything right before you “diagnose” yourself with plateau-positive!
Plateaus come as your body answer. You and your body are two different worlds. Therefore, you don’t speak the same language and often you have a different opinion about something.
Let me explain this as simple as possible.
The more you attack your body and surprise him in order to make him change something per your request, the more it will fight you back. And that fighting back is a plateau.
In the beginning, every change affects your body, and you get the desired effect. As time passes, your body adapts to a new regime and create a comfort zone inside. So basically you think you are doing everything right, but you are not, because your body has no problem with it!
Let’s say for instance you are doing wide stance bodyweight squats.
Your body: “Wait, what, what is this?? Hey, stop! Oh darn, that hurts… Errm… Ugh… What to do now, I’ve not used to this damn it!”
And you get muscle inflammation and cramps. After you rest for a couple of days, you decide it’s time for the same thing in order to have butt, hamstrings, and quadriceps grow. You start doing wide stance bodyweight squats again, but then…
Your body: “Ahh, this again… I don’t like it… But hey, at least I saw it coming”.
You finish it, and you feel the muscles grow. You see it has a smaller impact, but you don’t see it has a smaller effect. By the time of fifth or sixth training, these squats will have no impact on you, and it will have no desired effect. You will start working and your body won't mind it at all.
See what am I talking about?
And that’s how you hit the plateau!
It doesn’t matter is it a workout or diet, plateau comes from a pattern your body recognized!
When I realized this I almost immediately spotted mistakes I was making that led me to plateau.
Getting out of the plateau
I tried all the methods out there for exiting plateau and to be honest with you most of them were helpful. I discovered some on my own but I have no guarantee it will work for you. Understand that everybody is different and not all are to be treated the same.
First trick – Breaking a diet
This worked the best for me when I was on a ketogenic diet, which is, by the way, one of the most effective diets for sure.
I always tried to stay in deep ketosis, and things were pretty much going fine, but when plateau takes its swing I would start to feel depressed. The ketogenic diet is extremely hard and not losing weight on that regime can be very discouraging.
So I figured this trick out. I lose weight, and all a sudden I stop. I wake up one morning, step on the scale and I see the same number as yesterday, not even a pound down. I do my A keto game for that day, and if I wake up the next morning and see the same number on the scale, you can hear the sound of shotgun repetition (chk-shk!). Time for calorie bombs.
I would have 2 cheat meals that day (like pizza or pancakes with Nutella) that would kick me out of ketosis, and tomorrow I would again play my A keto game. So basically I broke the plateau in a day.
Please beware that breaking your diet doesn’t mean you can eat all day long whatever you want, and binge eat.
It’s simply 2 normal meals of the “forbidden fruits”, which were carbs in my case. That way you will confuse your body and buy some time until it adapts again.
Second trick – Fasting
Fasting is a very powerful tool and you can use it in this case because I found it very effective. Fasting has ginormous health benefits and it confuses your body very fast.
Your body starts regenerating certain cells in your digestive tract within just 24h of fast and those cells will help you a lot in weight loss journey.
Also, the best food you can break your fast with is fruit. Fruit flushes all bad toxins and supplies you with vitamins and minerals. After that, you can go back to your diet and you will be on track again.
If you are not strong enough to fast 24h-48h, try to practice intermittent fasting and you can do it by the guide for dummies we made. It will have a great effect too!
The third and final trick is changing the tactics of your diet AND workout
Switch the diet and workout for a few days, and you will have a great effect. For instance, if you are classic weight lifting (bench press, dumbbells, barbell weight squats, etc.) and cardio (treadmill, bike, etc.) try to switch a couple of training to aerobic or swimming.
It will engage different muscle groups, which may end up with light muscle inflammation and breaking plateau.
Switching to another diet is similar to breaking the diet. The difference is, you remain in a caloric deficit. There is a slight chance that this won’t work because your body adapted to a caloric deficit, and in that case, I would suggest breaking everything and having 2 cheat meals.
Do you want to increase the efficiency of these tricks? Combine them!
- You enter a plateau.
- Fast for 24h
- Break the fast with a fruit meal
- Break the diet and caloric deficit with 2 cheat meals
- Next day, change the diet and training for a few days.
- After 2-3 days, get your old regime.
A little known way to break a plateau
Plateau often can come due to vitamin and mineral deficiencies.
I had one situation where I tried all these tricks and they did work but the plateau came back quickly. I figured since I was on the Ketogenic diet it may be due to my not eating a lot of veggies and fruits.
Fruits are not allowed in the Keto diet because they contain sugar. Yes, it's the healthy sugar, but still, it will drop you out of ketosis.
It doesn't matter if you are in ketosis or not, simply not eating enough fruits and veggies will cause your metabolism to slow down and you may end up with a leaky gut. You can speed up your metabolism in 7 days but your digestive system needs fibers and minerals without which it cannot function properly.
The best option is definitely buying a multivitamin supplement because you don't want to track calories with fruits, but you need those vitamins. When I went to buy some I got soooo frustrated because there was like a thousand of them, and of course, they all said they're the best on market.
Luckily I did good research after a while and found this awesome and inexpensive multivitamin on Amazon which did the job perfectly. I truly recommend that you check it out. If you are woman, they have a specially designed formula for you – Opti-Women.
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On the other hand if you a guy, there's also an option specially designed for our bodies – Opti-Men.
It's high potency, multivitamin for active men, with 75+ ingredients in 4 performance blends.
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So whenever you hit those same numbers a few days in a row, you now know what to do!
And remember! It’s always you versus your body!
Founder at Extreme Loser