You work out five days a week. You’ve followed the dietary guidelines of your favorite nutrition guru religiously. Maybe you felt great about your new habits for a while. Maybe there were signs of progress at first, weeks when you rejoiced as the numbers on the scale crept lower. But eventually, the day arrived when you had to accept the truth: you had reached a plateau, one far from your goal weight. When you take stock of your weight-loss and muscle-building efforts only to find that the results are falling short, is it time to give up and resign yourself to never achieving the body of your dreams?
Here are some considerations to keep in mind when you feel like you’re not seeing the results you’re after, despite working hard to improve your physical fitness:
-Know which forms of exercise result in the body type you want. Yoga can be meditative and improve your flexibility, but it’s not the strongest fat burner. Long-distance running will help your cardiovascular wellness and assist your quest to drop weight, but it won’t build upper body strength. With a bit of research, you can feel sure that the workout plan you’ve designed is the best track to your goal.
-Rethink the scale. What if you could prove that you’re still making great progress even with the chocolate bars you added to your regimen of kale,smoothies, and grass-fed beef? Maybe you’re not as far off track as you think. You know you can run faster and farther, and lift much more now than when you first decided to get serious about training. If you’re not already doing so, try tracking measurements other than just your weight and the statistics from your workouts. Remember, the scale measures just one thing: your overall body weight. A single three-digit number is only part of the big picture when it comes to gauging your progress. Try using a body tape measure to track your arms, chest, thighs, calves, waist, and/or hips. Even something as simple as weekly photos can help you gauge how your body is changing as you continue to refine your healthy lifestyle. And don’t forget the tried-and-true standard of attempting to fit into your own old pieces of clothing. You might be surprised by how much closer you’ve gotten to being able to button your high school jeans.
-Try nutritional supplements. You can add a seemingly endless variety of supplements to help you with your fitness goals. From Acetyl-L-Carnitine for increasing fat metabolism to ZMA to optimize recovery from exercise, there are supplements available to boost nearly every aspect of your diet and exercise regimen.
-Plan fun, healthy rewards. Lots of us grow up thinking of unhealthy food as the primary way to treat ourselves. Sure, buying an ice cream sundae is quick and easy, but with a little ingenuity, you can find ways to reward yourself that actually support your fitness goals rather than negating them. Here’s one: make a list of fun physical activities that you’ve never tried. Next, do an internet search to find nearby opportunities to explore them. Here are just a few options you might not have considered: archery, rock-climbing, kayaking, horseback riding, scuba-diving, ice skating, fencing. Are you feeling inspired yet?
-Keep it simple. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by all the advice out there. Don’t try to go in too many directions at once. You might decide to choose just one or two changes to implement at a time. For instance, you might decide that this month, you’ll takeyou can find, and schedule an introductory session at your local boxing gym.
By taking all of these tips into consideration, you will find yourself one step closer to success on your fitness goals.