There are numerous ways to structure a diet and exercise routine for weight loss. Here are some basic tips to follow in order to break plateaus & continue to make progress on your fitness journey:
WHEN SMALL THINGS COUNT
Calories are easily the single most important factor to address when someone begins to plateau during a fitness journey. When starting a weight loss transformation, the defining factor of progress to the number of calories you are eating on a daily basic (or weekly average).
Example: You may have had success up to a certain point with a new diet in order to lose weight, but suddenly the progress begins to slow. More times than not, this occurs due to the fact that you are no longer at a caloric deficit relative to your body weight. A specific number of calories is required in order to maintain a specific body weight. If you are eating more calories than is needed to maintain your goal weight then a) you're going to need to increase the amount of exercise you perform in order to burn the additional calories, b) you need to further reduce the calories you are eating, or c) you're not going to achieve your goal weight.
Cardio is one of the easiest variables to influence while dieting. Some choose to perform it as the primary form of exercise, others choose to mix it within a weight lifting routine, and others completely choose to neglect it. How much cardio is necessary to achieve your fitness goals?
Cardio is a task most commonly associated with weight loss. Even small increases in cardio over time can make a large impact of the progress you make. If your calories are held constant, increasing the time spent performing cardio will be the next necessary step in creating weight loss.
Example: You may have had success up to a certain point with a new cardio routine in order to lose weight, but suddenly the progress begins to slow. As stated before, if your calories are not continuing to be reduced, you'll need to make changes elsewhere. Adding an additional 5 minutes of cardio per workout session can be what you need in order to prevent yourself from plateauing.
Sleep & Hydration:
It's easy to look into the latest supplement on the market thinking it is what you need to continue losing weight, but so often many people forget to address the obvious issues. Are you getting enough sleep? Are you efficiently allowing your body to recover from the gym? Are you drinking enough water?
Example: You may have had success up to a certain point with your weight loss, but suddenly the progress begins to slow and you begin to find yourself overeating. Simple solutions such as drinking a glass or two before a meal, or going to bed instead of staying up late snacking. These are efficient ways to prevent yourself from eating the additional calories. Both water and sleep play an important role in how well we perform in the gym as well. You cannot expect an optimal workout when you're dead tired or dehydrated.
Simple fixes such a small decrease in your daily calories, a small increase in your cardio routine, or just making sure you are getting enough sleep and water everyday can be the missing link for additional weight loss. It is easy to overcomplicate a diet and exercise routine, but it is often the easy fixes that will provide results rather than complicated routines.