There comes a time in every change where you get to a plateau or a place where it feels like it’s just not working anymore. Sometimes it feels like this phase goes on and on and on. It becomes defeating, exhausting, boring, and it’s easy to wonder if your weeks and months of hard work were worth it at all. This happens often with dieting, but it also happens with exercise and career and just about any area of your life where you’re striving to improve.
Without getting too technical, there are many reasons why plateaus happen. Your body may have reached homeostasis, you may not be practicing or putting forth the same level of effort, or it may be a drop in performance before the big improvement.
Regardless, there are some steps that you can take to get back to the path of achieving results and enjoying the process.
- Take a Step Back. If you’ve reached a plateau or a sticking point in your lifestyle change, consider pulling back a bit. Maybe you’re pushing too hard and it has simply stopped feeling good. Changing your eating habits is one perfect example. Maybe you were perfectly 100% Paleo for two months and now you’re no longer losing weight — and being perfectly Paleo sucks. Okay, so stop being perfect every day. Allow an imperfect day. Become 90% Paleo every day. Find a space where you can continue to improve while also finding a bit of balance. Life isn’t black and white. Find a space that fits improvement and supports you to succeed.
- Honestly Assess. Hey, maybe your efforts suck right now. Maybe you’re not seeing results because you haven’t really made the changes that you think or say you’re making. If you’re eating 80% Primal every day but you’re going to China Panda for a lunch for your 20% then you’re probably not really 80% Primal. Get it? Sometimes the only true way to know if you’re actually following through on your plans and goals is to measure and track your efforts. It keeps you honest and then you can start taking realistic steps to move forward.
- Try Something New. Maybe you’ve been Keto for months now and you’re f-ing tired of fat bombs and Primal Ranch dressing. Before you ditch the whole thing and go back to biscuits and cookies, maybe you want to tweak what you’re doing. Maybe Keto isn’t right for you anymore but you don’t have to let go of it entirely. You can cycle Keto or you can bump your carbs up by 10 grams and see how that fits your life.
Honestly, this is one of the areas where a coach can be helpful. They can see the big picture when maybe you’re mired in the details. Before you give up, consider your options and what you want for your future. Lifestyle change — including losing weight and improving your fitness — is a process. There will be successes and there will be stalls and setbacks. Getting clear on what you want will help you move forward, and when you’re stuck you have options.