• Motivate Fitness

“Cheating” To avoid Diet Plateaus and Keep Your Bodyfat Furnace Burning

How often have you started a new diet, seen great result during the first few weeks and/or months, only to hit a plateau that you can’t seem to break through??

We’ve all been there…..

So, why does this happen?

The reason we see plateau’s when we diet is because our bodies’ physiological system is highly adaptable, which means that over time we adjust to the calorie reduction.

When we first decrease calories, at the beginning of a new diet, our body compensates for the loss by burning more fat for fuel. However, over time our metabolism recalibrates by slowing down to accommodate the lower caloric intake. – which is our body’s natural defense against starvation.

When we hit a plateau or stop seeing results reducing calories will only slow our metabolism further. So, when we return to old eating patterns, we gain more weight than when we originally started. As the calories increase, and our metabolism is still slow, the body stores the excess calories as fat.

So how do we break through the plateau?

One way is to fluctuate your calorie intake over a certain number of days . Rather than sticking to a certain number of calories per day, try taking an average of calories over three or four days.

So, for example, let’s say you should be consuming 2,000 calories per day. Instead of doing 2,000/day for 4 days – totaling 8,000. You could spread it out differently over 4 days perhaps like this:

  • Day 1 = 1,500 calories

  • Day 2 = 2,000 calories

  • Day 3 = 2,500 calories

  • Day 4 = 2,000 calories

The average is still 2,000 calories but you altered your daily consumption to prevent your body from adapting to the same amount of calories everyday.

One other example would be to be a bit more extreme with the fluctuations like this:

  • Day 1 = 1,000 calories

  • Day 2 = 2,000 calories

  • Day 3 = 3,000 calories.

  • Day 4 = 2,000 calories

Day three is considered a “cheat day” where you can add more carbohydrate calories to your diet to increase the total amount of calories for the day. This may also help with keeping you motivated to stay on the diet if there is some flexibility.

In addition, the variability in the caloric intake will help prevent fat loss plateaus and will keep the body from adapting as fast as it would if you consumed the same amount of calories each day.

How many calories should I consume per day?

Beginning any new diet or exercise program must always begin with consulting your physician. Anytime you start a diet or exercise program you want to get a clean bill of health from your doctor. This is critical for several reasons.

First, it informs your physician should adverse symptoms or changes in your overall health arise as a result of the change to your diet or exercise program. Your physician can be helpful in encouraging what foods or forms of exercise are most beneficial for you, given your health state and background.

Second, it gives you a reason to schedule a yearly physical. By doing this it gives your doctor a chance to take baseline readings on your heart, your cholesterol, etc and to make the necessary recommendations based on the results of your check-up.

Your physician should be the primary resource for determining the most optimal number of calories for you to consume. Secondary resources include a number of reputable websites and apps that can provide information on calorie consumption and healthy eating.

An App that I’ve used previously, and recommend, myfitnesspal. Easy access and lines up perfectly exercise apps.

Another recommendation of mine is to look into our FIT IN 42 program we off here at Motivate Fitness. Not only do we spend time teaching about building a healthy Nutrition plan we also provide you with all the tools and essentials you need in order to stick with it! For more information Click Here, or stop on in and visit me Monday- Friday 6-12 p.m. or 5-8 p.m.

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