I’m sure you’ve heard it before and maybe you have even experienced it before; you’ve committed to your wellness, optimizing your health and shifting your trajectory towards chronic illness, and then suddenly nothing seems to be shifting. You’re feeling more fatigued and with little energy. Your blood work stops improving or your weight loss hits a plateau. It happens more often than not. Here are some reasons for it: the body adapts to the training/changes, people stop following their nutrition or fitness plans after a few months, and/or the metabolism slows down if a person loses weight quickly. Here are a few ways you can kickstart things again:
- Log your food – Tedious? Yes, but necessary for mindful eating. Just do it. 🙂
- Increase exercise frequency or intensity – If you’ve been stuck on a cardio kick, implement some weight training. If you’ve been performing only weight training, implement 15-30 minutes per day of cardiovascular exercise that you enjoy. Consider increasing the number of repetitions, increasing the weight or increasing the number of exercises completed in a given timeframe.
- Assess your sleep – Sleep is KEY when it comes to our health. Sleep keeps our heart healthy, reduces our risk for obesity, and strengthens our immune system. The goal is 7-9 hours per night, with the same bedtime and wakeup time each day.
- Manage your stress – Consider deep breathing, meditation, music or any other stress management interventions that you can implement to calm you down when you’re revving up. Being in a state of chronic stress can impact hormonal changes that lead to an increased appetite. Stress can stimulate gherlin, an appetite enhancer and reduce the sensitivity of leptin, an appetite suppressant. Stress can literally shut of the signals to your brain about when to stop eating.
- Bring on the fiber – Research shows that many people in the United States eat only half of the daily recommended amount of fiber. Implement small changes: add an additional fruit or vegetable each day for benefits such as: reduced inflammation, lower cholesterol, blood sugar control, plus bowel regularity!
Any lull in progress can be discouraging. However, it can also be an opportunity for continued growth, adaptation and progression. Barriers will come and go – choose to see them as opportunities vs. obstacles.