8 Ways to Break Through a Fitness Plateau
You’ve changed your diet, you’re working out more//harder but you haven’t seen those *results* everyone’s talking about. You start to think that something’s wrong with you — “I may never lose this weight”, “I may never get those *ABS*”, “I may never be able to lift a 25lb dumbbell”… you get discouraged + you may even fall off the wagon. A few weeks later you jump back on + the cycle begins again.
Sound like you? We’ve all been there at some point or another during our fitness journey + for me, this was all too true. Ever since I graduated high school I have been on this crazy unforgiving roller coaster ride. It wasn’t until recently that I decide to make a change + jump off.
I’ve already shared my story, but when I first got to college I was in great shape — I had played soccer for 4 years + was lovin’ life. Now, bring on that freshman 15… or 20. I was unhappy + not where I wanted to be fitness-wise. It wasn’t until my junior year that I knew it was time to make a change in my life! I ran a half marathon, became the LSU CHAARG Ambassador + was on my way to great things. But throughout my senior year of college, I never really saw those *results* I was searching for.
Personally, I needed to lose weight, not because I wanted to be *skinny* or reach an ideal *look* — but because I wanted to be leaner + at a healthy weight for my height. Throughout my senior year I was off + on that roller coaster. If I worked hard for a week or so, but didn’t see immediate results — I was off the wagon again ++ ultimately, gave up. Sure I lost a few pounds here + there, but it wasn’t until NOW [the summer after I graduated college] that I am starting to see consistent results in my strength, stamina, as well as my weight.
The great thing about CHAARG is there are girls who are at every point in their fitness journey + I know there are some of you out there that feel the same as I described. You are not the only one. Now, I’m no professional — but I wanted to share a few tips I’ve learned throughout my journey that have worked for me in achieving my goals. If you aren’t seeing those results yet, here are a eight tips to get those results… #BOOM
#1] RECORD EVERYTHING
Seriously. Keep a journal, take pictures, record your measurements, track your mileage, time yourself. Write down anything//everything that pertains to the specific result you are trying to achieve! This can even include anything on how you feel each day or any random thoughts you have. Imagine months from now [once you’ve reached those goals ; )] — you look back at how you felt + you will be SO PROUD of yourself! For my weightloss journey, I have a system — every Monday morning I weigh myself + I write it in my planner. I am so glad I did this because I am able to look back 9 weeks ago ++ see how much it’s changed! For me, this is something that has really helped!
#2] EAT EVERY 2-3 HOURS
You’ve heard this time + time again, but have you ever tried it? Multiple trainers + nutritionists I’ve spoken with say that eating every 2-3 hours is the best way to keep your body fueled throughout the day. Your body needs fuel to function at its optimum level, so if you don’t fuel it enough — your body starts to go into *starvation mode* + instead of burning fat, it holds on to it. When you feed your body every 2-3 hours — it starts to expect when it will be fed + it will use that food for fuel!
**When I interned with the LSU Sports Dietician I was able to sit in on consultations when athletes came in trying to lose weight the dietician would assess their diets and for majority of them she would actually recommend that they eat MORE throughout the day — and almost all of them lost the weight!
#3] FIND A BUDDY
LIKE YOUR FELLOW CHAARG GIRLS : ). Try to find someone who is on a similar journey with you! Maybe you are trying to get a faster mile, get those *abs*, lose some weight, or lift those 25lb DB’s ; ). Find someone who will support you through it all. Having someone you can text when you reach little goals makes the journey that much more enjoyable + you’ll have a ton more motivation!
#4] MAKE A PLAN
You see that girl on insta + you always say “*someday* I’ll look like that”, “*someday* I’ll be able to run that fast”, “*someday* I’ll be like that!”. Well, I’m here to tell ya that *someday* is NOW! We are all victims of this ++ I caught myself doing this all the time. I finally decided to sit down + write out a plan for myself. I wrote down everything — I planned my workouts, when I would take measurements, my weight, etc. Try writing your workouts in your planner. First, write in your work//class schedule — then write in when you can workout based on your *free time*. If you’re planner oriented like me, then it gives ya no choice but ta do it! ++ if you have a buddy, it makes your workout feel like a social hour ; )
#5] MAKE WORKING OUT A HABIT
Once you get on a roll, it’s hard to stop! All you girls who completed the CHAARG BOOTYCAMP are on a roll — you worked out 5 days a week, for 6 Weeks! Don’t stop there! When a FitPlan ends, make it a habit to get at least a 30 minute workout each day! It will start to become a complete habit + you’ll feel that *need* to workout!
#6] READ UP
The majority of us LOVE reading CHAARG Blog posts + online articles about fitness//nutrition! Take some time to read those inspirational books, quotes, research articles, or anything! This helps you stay engaged + focused on achieving your goals! ++ you will probably see similarities from people who have seen results — many of articles I read had studies that show that people who recorded everything during their fitness journey [like goals + daily thoughts] were more likely to achieve their goals than those who do not write things down!
#7] SET ATTAINABLE GOALS
Achieving results takes time + one reason people fall back into that crazy roller coaster of giving up//starting over is because they set too lofty of goals. Take a step back + realistically look at what you are trying to achieve. Can I really lose 15 pounds in two weeks?//Can I really get abs in a week? –probably not. Take some time to think about how much time per day//week//month you can allot to reaching your goal + plan from there. Set small goals for yourself each week — maybe that’s to lose 1lb a week, an inch off your waist in X days, or knock a minute off your mile pace by next month! Whatever *it* is — be sure to set small goals that are realistic + attainable for YOU!
#8] TAKE A BREATH + BELIEVE IN YOURSELF — IT TAKES TIME
This took me the longest to understand. It really does take time. Like they say — it doesn’t happen overnight + you won’t get those results unless you plan ++ are consistent. When you feel like all your hard work is for nothing + you aren’t seeing any results — take a step back + breathe. We all have those days where we want to give up, but reminding yourself WHY you’re doing what you’re doing will keep you going! ++ keeping a journal will allow you to look back + read how you felt when you first started ++ to see how far you’ve come!
Always know that if you are putting in the effort + working hard, you WILL achieve those goals! But remember — IT TAKES TIME. Make a plan + stick with it! It can take 4, 6 or even 9 weeks to see a true + amazing difference in yourself + it is so worth it! Believe in yourself + trust the process ; ). If you are ever feeling down, look to the girls in this community + you’ll be instantly motivated//inspired!
Now go chase those dreams!
+ Morgan [@morgsimp_inchaarg], VirtCHAARG Girl from Baton Rouge