When you’re not seeing progress with your fitness, it can be pretty disheartening to say the least, and can pop a hard hit to your motivation. You’ve been working out regularly, following a well-balanced and healthy diet, but you’ve noticed that you're body isn’t improving like you expected - sound familiar? It can easily happen to the best of us.
But the key to avoiding this fitness plateau is knowing exactly what your body needs in order to get you closer to those fitness goals. Whether you're trying to get leaner or gain muscle, changing your body takes much more than a simple formula - our bodies are far more complex than that.
We’re going to guide you through the three main culprits as to why you’re not seeing progress in your fitness, and we’ll show you how to get over them. Kick your fitness plateau to the curb, kick-start your fitness and get back on track with our simple tips - wave goodbye to your frustrations!
3 Reasons why you're not seeing Progress in your Fitness:
1. Your Metabolism
If you're trying to lose weight, then it's more than likely that you're following a food plan with a calorie deficit. When done properly (either by a reduction of calories, an increase in exercise, or most commonly, a mixture of both) most people will lose weight initially.
So far, so good?
However most people will find at some point the scales will just stop moving. When we intake a reduced amount of calories for a prolonged period of time our leptin levels drop which can cause our fat loss to halt.
2. You're stressed
When we are stressed, our body releases a high level of the hormone called cortisol. This is because when we experience feelings of stress or anxiety our body has evolved to release cortisol which in turn gives you a burst of adrenaline (which is taken from your energy stores), so you are able to either fight or flee. Our bodies then think that these energy stores need replenishing, even though we may actually only be sat at our desks dealing with a stressful problem at work.
What does this lead to? Hunger.
3. You're not getting enough sleep
Many of us would love an excuse to get some more shut-eye, but realistically, in our busy lives, sleep is usually the thing that gets sacrificed in favour of late night Netflix marathons, social media procrastination, a hectic work schedule or early morning gym sessions.
However, there's more to a good nights sleep than just feeling fresh - studies have found that people who enjoy 7-8 hours sleep a night have higher levels of growth hormone (which incidentally help offset that pesky cortisol we talked about in the point above!) If that wasn't enough, then there's also studies that have found a direct link between a lack of sleep and obesity.
The most interesting thing about these 3 things is that they can all easily be linked to each other. If your progress is stalling, you might get stressed out and if you get too stressed, it might start affecting your quality of sleep - before you know it your body is fighting against not 1 but 3 factors which are stopping you make any sort of progress.
So What Can I Do?
Everyone's body reacts differently, but there's a few things that you can do in order to try and fire things up.
1. Take the focus away from the scales
As we've demonstrated throughout this post - our bodies aren't always logical. There's a huge number of factors that can make weight fluctuate (especially if you're a woman) and it should never be the only factor you measure against to determine success. Find other ways to see your body changing such as taking measurements and progress photos.
2. Mix it up
One way you can try and shake your metabolism up is by changing what you're doing. Whether it's changing the food you eat or the exercise you do, small changes can help things get on the right track again.
3. Chill out
4. Get more sleep
This one is pretty simple - go to bed earlier. Ban phones and ipads in the bedroom, don't eat your dinner too late before going to bed and try a warm bath and reading a book before bed rather than the TV.
So it may not be exactly rocket science, but sometimes you need to listen to your body and give it a break. Put that phone away and be in bed by 10pm for a change, skip the scales in the morning, try not hit three cups of coffee in your 3pm slump…. Small changes can make big positive impacts! When it comes to your fitness journey, you don’t want anything to set you back, so take care of yourself and feel that energy ZING back!