Today I want to share with you my 5 most effective ways to break through a fat loss plateau.
The whole fat loss journey can be a very difficult and exhausting task.
And there is nothing worse than training your ass off in the gym, eating well, sleeping well and still not seeing that unwanted body fat decrease, but it’s important to state the difference between a fat loss plateau and simply being impatient.
One of the biggest mistakes you can make is measuring ALL fat loss progress by going off the reading on the scales. There are many different variables that can alter the reading on the scales, that’s why I use a number of tools to measure fat loss including: Progress photos, waist measurements and skin fold tests.
When using the scales as an indicator you must make sure you are taking a weekly average of your weight (the total of your body weight measured over 7 days divided by 7) as this will be the most accurate way, factoring in the variance in weigh-ins due to water retention etc.
Once you are convinced your fat loss has stalled, and you have given it enough time to be sure that it has, only then should you make further changes.
Outlined below, are 5 simple yet effective ways to make sure you break through these unwanted fat loss plateaus. It may take a week, 2 weeks, even 3-4 weeks, but stick with it and trust the process and the results WILL follow.
#1 Reduce calorie intake by the way of either carbohydrates, fats or both
Depending on whether you prefer to reduce calorie intake or add in more cardio, a very effective way to kick-start fat loss is to slightly reduce your calorie intake.
You will either reduce calories by taking carbohydrates, fats or both.
1g of carbs = 4 calories
1g of fats = 9 calories
My suggestion is that you take no more than 100 calories at a time from your current intake, sometimes even opting for just 50 calories.
100 calories = 25g of carbs OR 11g of fats
50 calories = 12.5g of carbs OR 5.5g of fats
#2 Increase your cardio
A fat loss plateau can be broken through by simply increasing your cardio. If you are currently doing 15 minutes of HIIT cardio 2 x per week, all you need to do is slightly increase it. For example, you may increase to 20 minutes of HIIT cardio 2 x per week or 15 minutes of HIIT cardio 3 x per week.
This will increase your weekly energy expenditure instantly and is also a measurable way knowing what’s working and what isn’t.
#3 Introduce a re-feed day
Re-feed days can be extremely beneficial to anyone who has been in a calorie deficit for an extended period of time and is experiencing fat loss plateaus and low energy levels. Click here to read my article ‘RE-FEEDS: How do I approach them and how are they beneficial’
#4 Sleep more, stress less
When we experience lack of sleep or stress, we raise our cortisol levels which can lead to:
-Reduced growth growth hormone and testosterone output
-Reduced muscle and increased fat around the abdominals
-Impaired memory and learning
-Reduced glucose utilization
Some ways we can limit cortisol release include:
-Aim for 6-8 hours of quality sleep every night
-Limit caffeine intake
-Increase vitamin C intake
-Meditation/relaxation techniques to reduce stress
#5 Increase your daily activity level
Walk to work, stand at your desk, play sport with your kids or friends, take the stairs instead of the lift. These are all ways of increasing your NEAT (Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis), meaning you will be expending more energy each and every day which will further increase your calorie deficit.
So there you have it, the next time you hit a plateau give one or two of these 5 steps a go to kick-start the fat loss process again!
But remember, don’t judge your fat loss by going off the reading on the scales and don’t be so quick to judge. Fat loss takes time and there are many different factors that can come into play.
Enjoy the process and most of, learn as much as you can about your body 🙂
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