by Michelle Sutton-Kerchner
You’re doing the work. Where’s the progress? Here are reasons your scale may be stuck. Don’t worry. We provide solutions, too …
Add Variety to Your Life
Everything from new workouts to new recipes can help. A stalled lifestyle lacks motivation. Energize your days with fresh activities, foods, and exercises. A little excitement goes a long way to getting you off the couch. It’s good to be busy with a new purpose.
Evaluate Your Workout
When is the last time you changed your fitness routine? If it’s been about six weeks or more, you are overdue. Schedule your personal training assessment. You’ll likely find you made progress, even if it isn’t reflected in weight loss.
Set new fitness goals with new workouts to accomplish them. Muscles build memory over time. In order to consistently strengthen, our body and mind need to progressively be challenged. Be consistent with your workout. Be inconsistent with what that workout entails.
Beyond your workout: Ensure you are getting enough physical activity. Take simple measures to increase your steps per day. This improves your health while simultaneously contributing to weight-loss efforts.
During your workout: Increase the intensity. Consider interval training, which includes spurts of high-intensity exercise within slower periods. The low-intensity segments allow recovery time, which helps make the rest of the workout more effective.
You can take this approach with any workout, incorporating extra counts or double-time. Ask a personal trainer or Group Fitness instructor how to modify your favorite exercises or classes to add intensity or duration.
Let your friends, family, and coworkers know about your weight-loss journey. Accountability works! Perhaps start a mini-competition for others also interested in losing pounds. Competition works! Put your ego on the line a little. It won’t be as easy to skip your workout or eat that cheesesteak and fries. It may still happen, but at least you’ll have paused for thought.
Personal trainers can make the best workout buddies. They provide guidance and motivation, and keep you on track.
Watch What You Eat
Know how many calories you need, and how many to burn in order to lose a single pound. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides a chart of calories burned during common physical activities. Sometimes we tend to overestimate the burn power of our workout and other activities. Keep reality in check: http://www.cdc.gov/healthyweight/physical_activity/index.html.
Be mindful of sneaky calories. These come from finishing off your toddler’s fries, nibbling as you pack your lunch, taste-testing as you prepare dinner, and grabbing a donut from the break room. If you’re going to indulge, do so with awareness. Enjoy it and make it worthwhile.
Avoid processed, packaged food. Fresh fruit and veggies are healthier, cost less, often contain fewer calories, and are equally convenient. Preparation is usually simple: wash and eat.
Give It Time
In a world increasingly built on instant gratification, we have become conditioned to expect the same from our body and mind. Do not expect overnight results. Humans are complex, complicated beings. It takes time to progress, whether recovering from an injury, healing a broken heart, or losing that darn extra 20 pounds. Perhaps you just haven’t invested enough time.