If you’ve been trying to lose weight and/or build muscle, and have been successful only for your progress to suddenly stop out of nowhere, then this post is for you. I just finished speaking to a buddy of mine (and professional New Year’s resolutioner) at the PepsiCo headquarters who has been trying to take off that holiday weight. He allegedly lost 17 lbs over the last 3-4 weeks and suddenly he can’t get any more weight off. There are a few reasons this happens but it always comes down to these two main things: you haven’t changed your training and you haven’t changed your diet.
Here are 3 solid techniques you can use to bring your metabolism back to life and keep seeing progress.
1. Change Your Workout Routine
I made this number 1 because it’s absolutely the most common mistake I see people, New Year’s Resolutioners especially, make. You prepare yourself mentally, invest in a gym membership, start going religiously, and then in 3 months you’re back to spending $20+/month on a gym you don’t use. You might as well invest that $20 in the companies stock at that point. Chances are you show up and do 30 minutes of steady-state cardio on a treadmill or elliptical, run through some of the machines (doing 3 sets of 10 reps) and then leave. That might work for 2 weeks or so but eventually your body has no reason to change because it has no more stimulus to adapt to. It can handle that workout in the condition it’s in. Change up your intensity (think High Intensity Intervals), your rep ranges, the order you perform exercises in, the exercises you’re doing, the angles you’re executing those exercises in, etc. Check out my Instagram for out-of-the-box exercises. You can even go to bodybuilding.com and get free workout plans!
2. Change How You Eat
If your diet is basically the same every day, and you keep your exercises the same then why would your body feel the need to change? Once you hit that plateau and you stop getting the results you’re after, change up your workouts. After you change up your workout routine, take a good hard look at your diet. Very simple things like cutting your portions smaller can reduce the total calories you’re taking in on a daily basis. Those calories add up to lbs and then we’re back on track. It’s as simple as having 1 slice of toast with breakfast instead of 2, or switching to cooking spray instead of oil.
3. Think About Recovery
We’re always focused on the hard work, but we never focus on how we recover. This ties into how you eat but also think about how you sleep, how you handle stress, what supplements you take, and the rest days you take. Your mentality is just as important as your physicality and you should take it equally as serious. Make sure you sleep enough so your body has time to recover physically and mentally. Make sure you eat well so you have the right nutrients to rebuild with. Make sure you take ACTIVE rest days. Don’t sit on the couch and binge watch HBO just because you have a day off from the gym. Take your dog on a long walk, take yourself on a long walk, do a 15 minute home workout, stretch or do yoga, barrel roll. Make your workout plan something along the lines of 2 days on, 1 day off. None of this 3 days off nonsense unless your body is telling you that you really need it. Chances are you’re justifying extra days off to yourself. It should come from your body, not your mind.
Check out my friends over at 6 Pack Bags and my sponsor Scivation for more healthy living tips and workouts. My buddy Rob at Heavy Metal Kettle posts badass workouts you can do to change up your routine.
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