Seeing positive weight-loss results after you’ve been exercising regularly can feel highly motivating and rewarding. But when you suddenly stop losing weight, you may feel confused, frustrated, and ready to give up — especially when you’ve been consistent with exercise and healthy eating. When you’ve reached a certain fitness level, you may need to change your fitness routine to get back on track with weight loss, and to overcome your weight-loss plateau.
Have you suddenly stopped losing weight and aren’t sure why? Here are six fitness mistakes that may be hindering your weight-loss progress.
1. Allowing yourself to get distracted during workouts
Distractions can cause you to feel disconnected from your workout sessions, and prevent you from focusing on movements, reps, and breaks. To start seeing progress and to lower your risk for injury, you must be focused entirely on your workouts. Try eliminating distractions by putting away your phone or tablet, wearing headphones to drown out any outside noise, or exercising alone in a quiet environment. If you tend to watch TV at the gym, try listening to music instead. Studies have shown that exercise is more efficient when done in tempo with music.
2. Not tracking your workouts
Tracking your workouts helps you stay accountable for your progress, and helps you determine when it’s time to increase the intensity level of your routine. Write down your exercises, distances, reps, etc., on a wall calendar so you can visually see your progress every day, or download an app that stores your workout data and sends you notifications. Tracking workouts also helps you create and meet personal fitness goals.
3. Dreading your workouts
If you’ve stopped enjoying and looking forward to your workouts, it’s possible your enthusiasm is directly affecting your energy level whether you like it or not. Take a moment to ask yourself why you no longer enjoy your workouts, and make changes as necessary to enhance your experience. For instance, start a new exercise class, try a new sport, or download new music to make your workouts fun and exciting again.
4. Not challenging yourself enough
Your body will eventually adapt to your fitness routine and you’ll stop seeing weight-loss progress if you’re doing the exact same workout every day. But once you start pushing yourself and working harder, you’ll start seeing positive results. Try new exercises that challenge your body, or find new ways to intensify your current favorite routine. For instance, if you love running, challenge yourself by running faster or for a longer distance.
5. Leaving out strength training
You may stop losing weight if your workouts are strictly cardio and you’re losing muscle mass. Too much cardio on its own without strength training can cause you to burn through muscle instead of fat — especially if you’re not consuming enough protein. Consider adding strength training to your current fitness routine so you can build and retain muscle mass, and so you can burn more calories around the clock.
6. Not drinking enough water
Water delivers oxygen to your muscles, which prevents cramping and lowers the risk of injuries that could result in major setbacks. Plus, if you’re not drinking enough water, you may end up overeating later on due to dehydration — which can cancel out the effects of your workout. Drink plenty of water and stay hydrated during your routine to avoid hitting a weight-loss plateau.
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