When you’ve been making all the right food choices, you’ve been exercising religiously, and you’re so close to your goal weight that you can almost (almost!) zip up your skinny jeans, it can be disheartening when those last 5 kilograms just won’t budge.
Don’t take that as a sign to give up – take it as an opportunity to really step up your efforts and challenge what your body can do. Here are a couple of tips:
Cut your portion sizes
Revisit your portion sizes. Portions can gradually creep up over time without us even realising. Get back to the basics with some kitchen scales and a set of measuring cups. And make sure you write down everything you eat – creating awareness around your diet will help prevent little extras that can have a big impact on our waistline from sneaking in.
Drink more water
It’s easy to mistake thirst for hunger and overeat, especially when we’re training hard. If you work at an office, fill up a jug of water at the start of the day and aim to finish it before you clock off. Keeping a water chart can help you keep track of your hydration, too.
Mix up your workouts
Our bodies are clever things. Keep doing something for long enough and your body will adapt. You’ve probably figured out what kinds of exercise you like doing, and you’re probably favouring certain activities. Here’s a thought: start doing everything you DON’T like as much. By continuing to mix it up, you’ll challenge muscles you haven’t used as much, and build muscle in areas you’re yet to discover.
If you’re not eating enough to support your energy requirements your body will go into starvation mode. This means your body will do what it takes to preserve energy – you’ll start to feel lethargic and won’t be able to give 100 per cent in your workouts. Take a week off training; allow your body time to recover so you can re-energise and give 100 per cent in your workouts again.
Keep a positive mindset
When you’ve hit a plateau, the most important thing to do is keep a positive mindset. When you’re giving your workouts everything you’ve got, sticking to a stringent eating plan and not seeing results, your attitude can easily start to become negative and hold you back. You may feel like you’re giving your workouts 100 per cent, but there’s a little voice in your subconscious mind saying, ‘What’s the point?’ that could be holding you back from giving it your all.
The Fernwood 12 Week ‘Get Foxy’ Challenge will help you change your mind and body to achieve life changing results. Starting March 10, the challenge combines weekly training sessions and food coaching, along with fun group fitness classes and challenges so you can work out with like-minded women and support each other towards your share in over $40,000 worth of prizes!
Julia has lived and worked in London, Amsterdam, and New York, and is obsessed with food. She's either cooking or thinking about what to eat next. Follow Julia on Twitter.