Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Weekly Weigh In

Hi peeps! 

Robyn is taking a week off from the Weekly Weigh In so today you've just got me. Don't worry, I have plenty to say! But what else is new?

So...a picture is worth a thousand words, right? Well, I could sum up this week…hell, the past few weeks in one photo, it would be this one:

That’s right people. I am on a plateau…in so many areas of my life and I gotta tell ya…being stuck SUCKS! But, this post is about weight loss so let’s stick with that.  I have been hanging out at the same weight for a few weeks now and I don’t know why. I’ve been staying within my points (even with weekend indulgences) and I’ve been exercising at least 4 days a week for a minimum of an hour each session.

Ash put me in check a little yesterday after weigh in by mentioning my pants were much looser than they were in January. He’s a big proponent of ignoring the scale as long as there are visible results. The idea is you can be the same weight and have a totally new body because you’ve built muscle and shed fat in equal measure. I know the science and I can accept that on its face. That said, I’ve got some fat on top of that muscle that’s GOT TO GO!

So what’s a girl to do? Well, that finally brings me to the subject of today’s post.  In short, doing the same thing and expecting different results is the definition of insanity. So, I’ve got to shake it up a bit. Here are some tips I’ve curated. (Disclaimer: Obviously, I’m not a doctor.  Check with yours before starting any workout routine.)

1. Add new workouts to your routine each week. If you do the same moves/routines every week, your body gets used to it and won’t respond as much as it did when you started. For me, Zumba and Yoga have become regular parts of my routine.  I will continue doing them because I enjoy both classes. I just know I’m going to have to add a second part to my routine by doing high intensity intervals and going back to the torture that is Spin (I’m being dramatic but whoo! Spin is a killer. It’s much harder than I remember it being in my early 20s.)

2. Add more reps or heavier weight to your strength training or 15-20 more minutes of cardio to your routine (or both!). Ash often tells me to “go to failure” and I roll my eyes at him. Seriously, last week, we were training together and he was pushing me beyond where I was comfortable/easy. Deep inside, I knew he was right to push (he could see I was going lighter than what I'm capable of lifting). That knowledge didn't stop me from walking away from him and going to do my own thing. It was that or throw a dumbell at him. Kidding! Anyway, I don’t have to fall out on the floor at the end of a workout to see results but I know when I haven’t worked hard enough. When I'm being lazy, I let that ride. I may be on the treadmill for 30 minutes but if I haven’t truly broken a sweat and I only walked at 3 mph with a 1 inch incline, I haven’t done much in the way of burning calories. It’s about the push. I've got to remember that when I want to take the easy route.

3. Activate the afterburn. One of the adults in my house says this all the time…and it isn’t me. It’s a joke between us now but Ash really means something when he says that. Our bodies will usually continue burning calories for a couple of hours after intense exercise. The Cross Fit set usually experiences this in great measure but for those of us that aren’t there yet, afterburn is still a thing. It depends on what’s intense for your body. Go for maximum intensity. Also know as you build muscle, your body will burn more calories—even at rest—just to maintain.


4. Incorporate more metabolism boosting foods into your diet. Here are a few: egg whites, lean meat, chili peppers, coffee, green tea, milk, cheese (including cottage cheese), whole grains, avocado, lentils, tempeh, asparagus, greek yogurt, walnuts, almonds, edamame, whey protein, spinach, tofu, fish, shellfish, quinoa, buckwheat, poultry, and hemp seeds. Make sure to eat proper portions. Also, stay hydrated. Dehydration can slow down your metabolism. Keep cold water on deck. Your body will burn calories to warm you up.

5. Plan your meals and prep in advance if possible. I find that when I eat on the random and log my meals later, I consumed more calories/points than I thought. This usually happens on the weekend. Almost every restaurant has a website with a full menu. If you’re going out, pull the menu for the restaurant you’re visiting, pick a meal and journal it so you know what you’re consuming and can plan your drinks, etc. accordingly.

I’m sure there are a ton more tips to break through a plateau. These are just the ones I thought would be effective for most people. What have you done to break through a plateau?

For this week’s recipe, I’m went simple. This weekend, I needed something quick and decided to go for a light but filling meal that used to be a staple for me: Chickpea salad. Find the recipe here.

As for this week's workout, I feel like I need to stick with the spirit of this post and share the only high intensity (for me) workout I did. I did head to the gym to do the workout because I feel it motivates me a bit more. I will admit to skipping the burpees because I straight up CANNOT do them (yet). I did squat jumps instead. Maybe if I do a HIIT (high intensity interval training) video two or three times this week, I'll see better results. Here's to getting off the plateau!! 


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