Sunday, October 6, 2013

How Do I Break Through a Weight Plateau?

Now that we're in the middle of our third

        Turbulence Training Transformation Contest at Gordon Studio,  some of my students have been asking how to deal with a fat loss stall.

First, we have to consider whether your basic fat loss/body transformation  strategy is dialed in.

Here is that basic strategy:

1. Choose a nutritious whole food plan that satisfies your appetite, while allowing for a moderate energy deficit.

2. Perform transformative exercise consisting of a full body warmup, resistance training, and intervals to shape the body, stimulate fat burning through increased metabolism, and moderate appetite.  

30 minutes three times a week is optimal: This has been demonstrated through research, and in my experience at Gordon Studio.

3. Get at least 7 hours of sleep a night, ideally in a dark room.


I know, I know, in our busy modern world those three elements can be a challenge to bring together, but I trust my clients when they tell me that they are following those three strategies, but  fat loss still appears to have stopped.

It may be possible, even likely, that muscle growth is masking fat loss when it comes to the numbers on the scale, but if frustration is occurring because the scale hasn't moved in over two weeks (the absolute minimum amount of time that must pass before you even start thinking plateau) here are some strategies you can add to your program that do not include additional calorie cutting.

(Note: nothing is more likely to backfire than further restriction of nutrition, especially if you are doing 

        Turbulence Training. In my experience, trying to get off a plateau by further restricting food intake leads to overeating blowouts.  Then you're not just stuck- you gain weight.)

1. Drink and record 8 eight ounce glasses of water a day. 

 Go ahead and argue, but I've seen it time and time again- busy people get dehydrated, and I really don't know any one who can metabolize fat in a state of dehydration.  I drink the juice of up to half a lemon in water every day.

 Here is the entry from Web MD explaining lemon's use as a dietary supplement:

"Lemon is a plant. The fruit, juice, and peel are used to make medicine.

Lemon is used to treat scurvy, a condition caused by not having enough vitamin C. Lemon is also used for the common cold and fluH1N1 (swine) flu, ringing in the ears(tinnitus), Meniere's disease, and kidney stones. It is also used to aid digestion, reduce pain and swelling (inflammation), improve the function of blood vessels, and increase urination to reduce fluid retention.

In foods, lemon is used as a food and flavoring ingredient.

How does it work?

Lemon contains antioxidants called bioflavonoids. Researchers think these bioflavonoids are responsible for the health benefits of lemon."

2. Add 30 minutes of restorative movement 3 times a week. 
Restorative movement is walking, yoga, flexibility practice, or any movement that doesn't go much above a 4 on a scale of 1 to 10 on the rating of perceived exertion scale.  
This recommendation is based on my personal experience.  We do have proof that this very low intensity movement uses fat and preserves muscle, but I think it works because it provides pleasurable movement.
To explain further, I believe that, very often,  we over-eat as a pleasure seeking behavior.  If you can get that same enjoyment out of movement, that's a genuine win/win situation.

3. Meditiate.
I can hear you now, 
"Who has time to meditate?" 
"How do I learn to meditate with out wanting to jump out of my skin?"
"Will meditation interfere with my beliefs?"
I would never recommend any practice that would give you an uneasy conscience, but when I added daily meditation back in 2009, my body and my life went to the next level of transformation.  20 minutes a day with a guided meditation program on my iPod was incredibly effective, and I continue to love this practice to this very day.
Here is an affiliate link to the program I use:
I'm actually going to Kelly Howell's site today to get the Ultra Weight Loss download.

Finally, I think that we need to find more and more ways to get enjoyment from our healthy transformative habits.  I wanted to lose weight and fat in order to live a more fulfilling life, and my students want the same thing.
Very often, pleasurable non-food behaviors help fill the empty space we used to fill with food.
Hydration, restoration, and meditation might just be the three keys to getting off of that weight loss plateau for good.