You have checked your weight today and for the 5th consecutive day your weight is roughly the same. You now think, “I have hit a plateau. I must now cut down calories, manipulate my macros, increase my cardio, or my strength training”. You now think you have two ways to go about it - “Do one of these” or “Do all of these”
Not many people know that there is a 3rd option “Don't do any of these”. This is probably one of the best plateau breakers of all because it makes your long term weight loss journey sustainable.
Knowing when you have hit a plateau in your fitness journey is tricky. Knowing what to do when you have hit a plateau is trickier.
Let’s first start by understanding a plateau. First of there is no formal definition of a plateau. A working definition of a plateau I like to use is no change for more than two weeks in 3 or more of the following data points
2. Body fat %
3. Clothes fitting
4. How you see yourself in the mirror
5. Feedback our family /friends/ trainer gives
6. Training performance
If you’ve been consistent in your training, diet, and your sleep and you are on a deficit, it rarely happens that you don’t see improvements in atleast 3 of these data points.
But if there are no improvements in more than 3 of these data points for more than two weeks and you have been super consistent with your training, diet and sleep and you are on a deficit, that is when you should enquire further into the possibility of having hit a plateau. (More than 3 weeks for women, considering their monthly cycle)
Until that happens,
1. Do not change anything and monitor your training, nutrition and sleep to see if you have missed anything
2. Keep reminding yourself that bodyweight is not the only indicator of progress/plateau.
3. Get the best results out of the deficit you have already created before you create a further deficit.