Do you remember when you first started doing cardio? When you were shredding pounds, feeling SO good, and riding the wave of weight loss that cardio was bringing you… It was greeeeat.
But now, no matter how much cardio you do, it’s not working anymore! You’ve hit a weight loss plateau, but all you can think of is to keep adding MORE cardio to lose weight. You’re desperately hoping “a little mo cardio” (The Office anyone??) will do the trick, but to be honest, you’re running out of time and energy to add in more workout sessions. So what the hell are you supposed to do?! Well, grab a cup of coffee and join me! In this blog we’re talking about 3 of our favorite things: cardio, coffee, and weight loss (AND how to beat a weight loss plateau!)
If you want to read this… well, keep reading! 😉
If you’d rather watch/listen, watch the video training: Click here!!
How Coffee Is A Lot Like Cardio
Let’s take it back to the verrrry first time you ever had coffee (or too much coffee). The caffeine probably gave you quite a zing, leaving you feeling WIRED. And you probably LOVED that feeling. You would get pumped up, feel super energized, and get a shit ton done. And so you just kept drinking it. Day after day, you made that cup of coffee a part of your routine. Eventually, you started getting used to it. You no longer got that same buzz after your first cup, so you added a second (or maybe even a third) just to get that zing again.
Your body has become used to that first cup of coffee to the point that it no longer sees it as a stimulant requiring a response. Now your body needs that first cup just to bring you to neutral. You know, the don’t-talk-to-me-till-I’ve-had-my-first-cup kind of thing. And much like our bodies adapt to coffee…
They Also Adapt to Cardio.
I have so many women come to me with the mindset of “I just need to do ALL the cardio to lose weight.” And the thing is, a lot of people actually love cardio. So, they just keep piling it on even when they hit a weight loss plateau. I get it! That post-cardio high when you’re feeling great, you’re drenched in sweat like a badass… it feels SO GOOD. During it you’re like “what is this shit?” but after…. Damn it feels good. It’s addicting.
But the problem is, when you keep chasing that high, it will eventually get in the way of your weight loss goals. Just like your body has adapted to your coffee intake, it will also adapt to the amount of cardio you’re doing. It’s always paying attention. Once it sees that cardio is a normal part of your routine, it no longer sees it as a stimulus that requires a response (hence, a weight loss plateau). This is why a lot of online coaches, myself included, are trying to get people to reel in their cardio obsession a little bit. Because the entire hallmark of a successful diet is TO LOSE WEIGHT. But sometimes, excessive cardio is the very thing keeping you from accomplishing that goal.
So Here’s How to Beat a Weight Loss Plateau
Weight loss plateaus are going to happen. It’s literally biology, and it’s a good thing! It means your body is working the way it’s meant to. As crazy as this sounds, it’s really not the plateaus of weight loss that are the problem. It’s when the diet program you’re following or trainer you hired didn’t anticipate them and now you’re left paying the price. Let me explain…
If you hire a coach and right out of the gate your calories are in the gutter and you’re doing so much cardio to lose weight that you can hardly squeeze it into your schedule, that’s a problem. The right way (aka Coach Hannah’s way – shameless plug here) is to start by keeping your calories fairly high but at enough of a deficit to see weight loss. Keep the cardio fairly low so when the plateau hits you have room to adjust. The plateau is coming, don’t be surprised.
But when you approach weight loss in a smart way, you can be prepared for it. You know your body will adapt and you left room to give it a new stimulus through another drop in calories and another slight increase in cardio. You have to leave room in your calorie intake and cardio activity to make adjustments more than once. You’ll likely hit more than one weight loss plateau! Be smart about how you’re doing things. Always create your plan based on where you’re going (aka your end goal).
But what if there’s no room for any adjustments?
If your calories are already super low, and you’re working out 5+ days a week, it’s time to dial it back a notch… or three. You need to do what is called a reverse diet to enter maintenance mode to give your body a chance to reset. Your body is really good at adapting, both in how much you’re working out AND how much you slow down… so if there’s no room for adjustments, you may need to let your body reset before you can beat this weight loss plateau. If you want to learn more about being in maintenance mode, check out this blog here.
And if you want to learn more about our coaching methodology at HLB Lifestyle, you can check out our website!