What is a plateau?
It is a period of time in which a person does not lose weight, despite valiant efforts to diet and advance their fitness. They may be confused as to why the scale refuses to budge; however, plateaus are perfectly normal and to be expected, so freight not.
What causes plateaus?
- WATER — Your fat cells, which have been emptied through diet and exercise, may begin to fill with water instead of completely breaking down. This is the most common reason why people often lose weight in stages (or “drop big” randomly), rather than linearly.
- METABOLISM — As you lose muscle, which is common when losing weight, your metabolism slows in order for the body to reach a new equilibrium.
- OVERTRAINING — Many of the benefits of regular exercise are reaped while the body is at rest. Make sure that you are giving the body adequate time to repair itself between activities.
What are some methods to overcome a plateau?
- FITNESS PLAN — Make sure that your exercise activities are varied enough to provide a challenge. Rev it up! Including strength training and interval cardio training may be beneficial to your work out plan, if you haven’t included those already. Most importantly, increase resistance or difficulty every few weeks when things start to feel too easy or routine.
- CALORIES — Reassess your caloric intake. You may need to reduce more, temporarily eat more, or even zig-zag (For example, eat on a three-day cycle of 1200, 1500, and 1800. Be aware that your calorie needs will vary from those listed). For a month, experiment with your dietary intake and watch how your body responds.
- MACRONUTRIENTS — As a side note to caloric intake, try adjusting your macronutrient break-down. Your body responds accordingly to the amount of carbs, protein, fat, and alcohol that you consume. Experiment with a new ratio. Diets high in protein and healthy fats often work well, but ultimately it depends on what your body responds to well.
- PATIENCE — If all else fails, just keep up the good work and your body will come around eventually. The most important part is to stay determined and not get discouraged. Weight is just a number; to be healthy is a lifestyle. Even if the weight comes off slowly, it will add up at the end of the year. Don’t quit now.
How I got my splits! (click on photos to make them bigger)
Stretch 1 - Try not to let the front knee come beyond the toes. Having your toes on your back leg curled under will make it slightly easier for beginners.
Stretch 2 - Stand up with your legs apart and just get as low as you can go!
Stretch 3 - Sit back on one leg (so your foot is under your bum) with the other leg straight in front, and bend over your front leg as far as you can.
Stretch 4 - One leg bent in front and the other directly behind. This yoga pose is called One Legged Pigeon
Stretch 5 - Yoga mermaid pose, don’t stress if you can’t do this straight away, it’s a big quad stretcher, don’t force this - it’ll come with time!
Do all stretches on both legs!
- Do these AFTER you are warmed up (I suggest cardio) otherwise you may hurt yourself.
- Practise every day with one day rest and try to hold each pose for at least 30 seconds.
- It took me 1.5 months to get my right split and 2 months to get my left. Everyone is different so you could need more or less time than I did, but be patient!
- LISTEN TO YOUR BODY!! If your muscles are really hurting, light stretching only! Don’t force it!
- Take rests days!! VERY IMPORTANT. Your muscles need rest to repair otherwise you will overstretch and hurt yourself.
I track the tag #beckyfitness, I’d love to see your split progress!!
***Sexy is loving your own body. Fit or not. Thin or not. Sexy is being confident. Sexy is taking care of yourself. Sexy isn’t one body type.
I love this, someday I’ll get my head out of my rear and make the commitment :/
I really like this one, even if I might disagree on some parts, it’s the message that matters :)
What is Orthorexia?
A term created by medical specialist Steven Bratman, MD in the late 90′s, orthorexia describes an eating disorder in which individuals obsess over healthy eating to an unhealthy degree. Orthorexics may be obsessed with the cleanliness and purity of their food, and on such a regimented diet that it consumes much of their day. In extreme cases, orthorexics may succumb to malnourishment and even death because of strict food limitations.
Those who suffer from orthorexia may exhibit the following behaviors:
- a fixation on the quality of the foods they consume
- remove “unsafe” food groups from the diet to the point of malnutrition, which may include the complete avoidance of fats, grains, preservatives or man-made chemical additives, animal products to an obsessive degree
- spend all day planning or shopping for meals
- may be overly body and health-conscious
- refuse to ever eat food at restaurants or social gatherings
- spend more than 3 hours per day researching or thinking about health food
- become anxious or fearful thinking about food
- become socially isolated because they won’t eat anywhere but home or food they prepared themselves
What’s Wrong With Caring About What I Eat?
Orthorexia is NOT the same as what one might call a health food nut, nor is anyone who eliminates a food group like grains or meat (Paleo or vegan diets, for example). The difference between someone who cares about the quality of their food and orthorexia is the obsession that accompanies it, to the point of taking over their life. Where someone who is a healthy eater may occasionally eat a piece of cake that may or may not contain an artificial color, even though they know it isn’t ideal, the orthorexic may refuse even if it’s his own birthday cake. It’s an extreme form of living that can become not only mentally unhealthy because of the amount of anxiety and isolation it causes, but can also become physically unhealthy when the person’s diet becomes so restricted that they are only allowing themselves 3 or 4 foods and become malnourished.
Dr. Bratman suggests asking yourself these two questions if you think you may be suffering from orthorexia:
- Do you care more about the virtue of what you eat than the pleasure you receive from eating it?
- Does your diet socially isolate you?
For the majority of people, striving for a healthy, clean diet is completely normal when it is accompanied by a sense of balance. Food is one of the great pleasures of life and should not provoke anxiety or stress in any form. Obsessing over what you eat is a red flag and should be brought up to a professional who can help.
Staying Healthy Without Obsessing
It’s important to make the best decisions you can make for yourself. Of course if you feel better removing grains from your diet, avoiding produce treated with pesticides, or removing processed foods from your diet, there is nothing wrong with this. Striving to be healthy is a great thing, especially considering the unhealthy state of the western population right now. Make sure that your healthy choices are just that: choices, and not obsessions. I believe strongly in avoiding processed foods for my health, but every now and then I’m not going to die from a little hydrogenated oil if I eat a cookie or two.
Also, try to avoid labeling foods as “good” and “bad”. Instead, you could categorize healthier, nutrient-dense foods like fruits and vegetables as “all the time” foods, and less healthy, low nutrient ones as “every now and then” foods. This helps you to mentally avoid the trap of connecting emotions to food, and also promotes a sense of balance rather than extremism.
If you are concerned that you or someone you love may be suffering from orthorexia, please contact a professional who can help.