It’s halfway through February! Are you still meeting your new years’ exercise and fitness goals?
If you are, there’s a good chance that by now, you’re experiencing what’s known as a plateau – that is to say, a point where you’re keeping up the work, but the weight is no longer coming off, or the strength gains are no longer materialising. There’s a huge amount of debate in the fitness industry about the best possible ways to avoid and break through a plateau, but there are essentially two main roads to go down – take a break, or change something up.
If you’re trying to build muscle, endurance or fitness, taking a break can be easy – but if you’re trying to lose weight, it can be hard to find a good way of doing this, you hardly want to start overeating again do you! One effective way for those trying to lose weight to get things moving again is to check back with your diet. You may have set yourself a diet plan when you started your fitness regime, but is it really optimal?
Take a look at our 10 top points to consider, and see if there’s anything you can do better – just incorporating a few of these changes (and sticking to them!) can be enough to get things moving along once again!
1 – To build muscles, you need protein.
Proteins are the building blocks of your body. Thus, you need to make sure that you eat food items that contain enough to allow your body to build more muscle. There’s plenty of debate about how much protein is enough, but at a minimum, 20% of your total calories should be coming from protein. It’s probably nearer 30 or 40% if you’re mainly working to build muscle. Check that you’re getting enough!
2- Keep a food diary
Making a meal plan is a fantastic way to start to eat a healthier diet, but since eating is such an automatic thing for some of us, its incredibly easy to make a plan, then end up deviating from it without even realising. As well as following your meal plan, keep a food diary of what you actually ate and compare the two. Most fitness apps now include this facility, so keep track!
3- Adjust your goals
There are many forms of exercise which we can incorporate into our everyday lives, which, with just a few tweaks, can really ramp up your daily calorie burn. Walking is a great example – cutting out a drive or a taxi ride can save money and burn fat. Having said this, as you lose weight, your body has to burn less energy to move you along, so if you’ve lost 5 or 10 pounds since Jan 1st, you’re burning fewer calories on that walk now than you were then. Make sure you adjust your calculations to take account of this.
4- Supplement where required
In an ideal world, we would eat a perfectly balanced diet which provided all the nutrients we need for health and growth. Having said this, in a perfect world we would all already be at our fitness goals, so we have to work with what we have! Supplements, be it a protein shake, or something as simple as a multivitamin can be a great way of meeting your fitness and nutrition goals. It’s not cheating, it’s sensible! That being said, don’t ever take anything you’re not certain of – need advice? Ask your chiropractor!
5- Eat more fruits and vegetables!
I know I probably sound like your mother, but fruits and vegetables really are loaded with nutrients that can help your body in maintaining good levels of energy, nutrients and even with ensuring good hydration. You should aim for 5 a day – and you know that, but are you really getting 5 a day?….
6 – Eat more eggs
Egg whites contain the rare protein called albumin. This type of protein can be absorbed by your body especially easily. Thus, it speeds up your muscle recovery, aside from helping your body with building muscles faster. Aside from that, the yolk of the egg also contains essential fatty acids, which can help in boosting your energy levels.
7 – Grab yourself some fast food
Wait, what?! Yes, sometimes, even when dieting, a big unhealthy meal can be your friend. Dieting for too long will eventually lead the bodies metabolism to adjust, and you’ll burn fewer calories throughout the day – you’ll probably also feel awful! The easiest and most gratifying way to avoid this is to allow yourself a cheat meal every now and then. Eating a large and satisfying junk meal can help to keep cravings at bay and ramp up your metabolism. It’s also an excellent way of giving yourself the psychological permission to enjoy life while dieting – if you’re invited out for a birthday meal, go! (just count it as your cheat meal!)
8 – Drink more, eat less
Can you tell the difference between hunger and thirst? You might think you can, but time and time again research has demonstrated that most of us simply can’t. Yes, we notice that were “thirsty” once were dehydrated, but by then you’re already too thirsty. Before you, each for food, grab yourself a glass of water and give it 5 minutes. You might be surprised how often you find your “hunger” has disappeared.
9 -Add berries
Berries, in general, are some of the most nutrient-dense foods on the planet. The vast majority are also powerful antioxidants, and all provide a healthy, short term boost of energy. Berries are an excellent pre or post-workout snack, which are satisfying and beneficial to the body.
10 – Get a chiropractic check-up
Ok, this one isn’t really a nutrition tip, but if you’ve been training hard since January, you will almost certainly have put your body through some tough times by now. This will be good for it in the long run, but its highly likely that by now you’ll be carrying some micro-injuries, postural issues or perhaps vertebral subluxation. All of these are relatively minor problems, but taken together they can add up to you feeling really sub-par. In turn, this can give you a reason to quit workouts early,or binge on food to try to feel better. Perhaps a bigger problem is the risk of injury – even a small postural imbalance can make you much more vulnerable to trips of falls, and as we all know, nothing kills a workout program like a sprained ankle.
A much better option is a quick visit to the chiropractor, which can clear up many of these common issues quicker than you can say fat loss!