Thursday, November 11, 2010


This week marks the halfway point of the twelve week program. By now, the participants have pretty much figured out how to manage their eating. They’ve also got their exercise routines down and are usually able to get their workouts in every day.

Even so, it’s right about this time that many people experience a slump in their weight loss. Where they might have lost a couple pounds a week, now they’ve only lost a half a pound or so.

This plateau in weight loss is a mystery to everyone, including trainers. A very few people never experience them, but most people do. There are a lot of reasons why it could be happening, but it’s tough to really know for sure. Here are a few things to look for.

1. Loss of focus—sometimes you just get tired and start taking things for granted. When you let your guard down, it’s easy to take your eye off the prize. You’ve got to work to get it back. Perhaps you need to start writing down your calories again.

2. Lack of effort—this one makes people mad, but usually I can tell when people just start taking it easy. They start getting comfortable and coasting in their workouts, doing the same things, and quit pushing. You’ve got to get it done.

3. Lack of consistency—this is all about what you do when life starts intruding. There are all kinds of reasons to miss a workout, but only one reason will get you there—because you have to. There’s always a way if you want it bad enough. Doing 100 pushups, 100 sit-ups, and 100 body squats at home will get the job done.

4. Not eating enough—this one sounds stupid, but it really gets a lot of people, especially women. As you get busy, if you start missing meals again (especially breakfast), it can backfire on you. You’ve got to make sure you hit your minimum number of calories every day.

5. Your body needing a change—this is similar to number two (lack of effort), but not because you weren’t trying. It’s just that as things get easier for you, you can do the same amount of work without burning as much energy, so you’ll burn fewer calories. You’ve got to keep turning it up. Take a different class. Try a different workout.

That’s why I taught them a different free-weight routine this week, and next week, we’ll do a high intensity interval workout. It’s important to keep changing it up. That keeps the body working hard and burning lots of calories.

It’s also good for your mind. That helps you keep focused on the goal and keep pushing too. It lets you get excited about your workouts, and that will keep you consistent.

In the end, it comes down to showing up, pushing hard when you get here, and changing it up enough to keep the intensity there. When you’re home, watch what you eat, but make sure you’re eating enough.

Finally, remember that one weigh-in really doesn’t matter—it’s the trend over time. Often, people will get discouraged when they gain a little bit, only to find two days later, they take it right back off. By the end of the week, things are back on track, so keep plugging!

This week’s winner was Nicole Clodfelter, who’s had a pretty good track record since she keeps pushing. She lost 1.4% of her body weight and 3.0 pounds. That brings her six week total up to 11.0 lbs.

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