Hitting Plateaus and Progressing
What I mean by that is that scales can be a real asshole. Your weight can one day be down and the next day be up!
Scales can have you turn your face from a smile to a frown in a matter of minutes. And for females in particular, we need to stop measuring our self-worth on them.
Sometimes no matter how perfect you are, you will have Plateaus. Everyone plateaus.
You’ll have some weeks where you’ll have a plateau. It’s not often that you did something wrong or your diet wasn’t right for you. It’s just sometimes your body gets used to certain processes and/or hits a comfortable place.
It’s often the same with start of the dieting process or the end of it. I’ve seen it before with myself and my clients. Dieting starts, and for the first few weeks, barely anything shifts. Frustration happens, but you keep trusting in the process, and now things are starting to come together nicely.
Often when you have been in a long time of caloric surplus, hormones such as leptin and ghrelin (which affect metabolism and hunger signalling) are affected and takes a little time for the process of fat loss to occur. Much like plateaus. Your body is always trying to get to homeostasis.
Your body wants to be in energy balance and homeostasis. So often, what happens is your body becomes more efficient at running on less calories = metabolic downregulation. This is not optimal in the long term, but it does occur in all caloric deficits and is very hard to avoid. They key thing here is to understand methods for boosting the metabolism when these plateaus occur such as
- Carb cycling
- Diet breaks
- High-calorie days
- Adjusting macronutrient splits
- Nutrient partitioning and more…
Another big factor is patience. A lot of people don’t want to wait for results, they want them yesterday!
It’s important to have a realistic goal in mind. If your goal is 5 kilos in 5 weeks, you may be expecting results a touch too fast. Not only is this probably unhealthy and going to downregulate your metabolic rate faster to get you there, also it’s realistic and can be disheartening when you don’t achieve it. We have to remember that when your goal is a transformation, often, the scales are a bullshit measurements of progress.
When you resistance train, you’re gaining lean muscle mass often and reducing body fat.
FACT: Muscle weighs more than fats so often. The scales won’t represent what’s in the mirror. Your old 60 kg may look very different to your 60 kg a year later. I get my clients to focus on transformation photos and measurements on waist and hip circumference, etc, rather than scales or accurate body fat readings.
We also have to remember that as a female, other factors such as hormones, water, sleep, electrolytes, food choices, etc also affect weekly fluctuations. So don’t freak out if sometimes your check-ins may not reflect how much hard work you have felt you did that week. More often than not, it will show on the measurements the following week or in the mirror. Just take time with it.
Nobody cares what the scales say, focus on the physical change.
Because above all else… a scale does NOT define YOU.
A scale is just a number.
It means jack sh*t about who you are as a human being, so focus on:
- Realistic Goals
- Accurate methods of tracking progress
- Being kind to yourself
- Trusting in the process
- Learning how to drive your metabolism
So have fun smashing your scales!!!
Your head coach,