Here's What You Should Do When You Hit A Workout Plateau

After a few weeks of working out and eating a healthy balanced diet, you are bound to notice changes in how you feel and how you look. From weight loss to added energy, your body adapts to your lifestyle. Months into your routine, you may realize that the results have slowed or stopped all together, which is known as a plateau. This stagnancy happens when your body has fully acclimated to the changes you have made. 

Verywell Fit reports that a plateau can occur when your body recognizes your workout routine as the "new normal," and no longer feels challenged. Fitness expert Christine Bullock tells Byrdie, "If you're consistently doing the same workout, you will stop seeing results as the body needs variety to challenge it to a new plateau." She goes on to say that, "The body can adjust to repetition and the workout will no longer challenge it."

Interestingly, you can also plateau if you overtrain, according to Peloton instructor Emma Lovewell, who tells Byrdie, "Your body needs time to repair in between workouts. When you overtrain, you might stop seeing results because your muscles need that rest time to repair and build."

Switch up your routine to break out of a plateau

If you find yourself in the midst of a plateau, the best way to overcome it is to change your workout routine. Verywell Fit suggests making the body work harder, rather than longer, by lifting heavier weights. If you are currently lifting 10-12 reps for three sets, switch it up by adding more weight and reducing the number of reps.

The experts at Byrdie recommend shocking the body by switching up your workout routine entirely. If you have been spinning on your Peloton for months, try weight lifting, and if you have been active in Crossfit, give yoga a try. Fitness guru Emma Lovewell tells Byrdie, "Your body acclimates easily and needs to be shocked every once in a while so it doesn't get too comfortable."

Verywell Fit also suggests pausing the exercise you have outgrown. Take a few weeks or even months off of certain movements that have become too easy and replace them with new ones — you can always introduce them back in at a later time.

Nutrition and rest are important too

Changing your diet can help break you out of a plateau. Eating the same foods that have supported your weight and body changes might be a hard habit to break, but experts agree, changing up your daily menu can help with breaking out of the plateau. Christine Bullock recommends reducing carb and sugar intake, and ensuring you are getting enough nutrients in before and after your workouts (via Byrdie).

Getting enough protein is essential, as protein helps build muscle. Eat This, Not That! reports that, although the Recommended Daily Intake (RDI) for protein is 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight, this is not nearly enough to help you build muscle. You may be in a plateau if you are only consuming the RDI for protein. The American College of Sports Medicine suggests 1.2 to 2.0 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight will assist with putting on more muscle.

Another reason to increase your protein, according to Healthline, is because it is an important factor for weight loss. When your daily caloric intake consists of 25–30% from protein, you can see a metabolism boost of up to 100 calories per day. If you find your weight has plateaued, try increasing your protein intake.