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You’ve been working out, eating right and have been making gains towards your fitness goals! Then all of the sudden, it stops. You’re weight loss has gone stagnant and you have no idea how to get the pounds dropping again.
You’re experiencing a plateau, a part in your fitness journey where you can’t seem to lose any more weight or build any more muscle tone. A plateau comes about when your body has gotten used to the workouts and foods you’ve been eating and doesn’t have to work as hard to burn off those calories. You may be eating the same oatmeal and banana for breakfast every morning or putting your body on autopilot when you jump on the elliptical and your body has gotten bored.
To give your body a jump start, check out these four ways you can bust through your plateau and reach your ultimate goals!
1. HIIT It!- With high intensity interval training, a type of cardio that makes you work out very intensely for a short amount of time followed by a quick break, you’ll raise your at rest metabolic rate and your caloric burn will be even greater! If you’ve gotten into the same cardio habits, try this: sprint as fast as you can for 3 minutes on the treadmill, elliptical, or stairmill followed by 2 minutes of a cool down. Repeat 5 times!
2. Switch it Up- Don’t let your body get bored with the same yoga or aerobics class. Try taking a new class like Barre Method or Pilates to work muscles groups you didn’t even know you had. If you like to run on a treadmill, give your joints a break and try swimming or biking.
3. Cheat a Little- If you’ve been consistently eating clean, it’s okay to have occasional indulgence every once in a a while. Sometimes our bodies get in the habit of digesting certain types of food so a slice of pizza or an ice cream cone on occasion will keep it guessing. Remember to make it a cheat meal and not a cheat day!
4. Keep the Faith- Don’t get discouraged! This plateau means you are so close to reaching your fitness and weight loss goals. If you stick with your clean eating, water drinking, and workouts through this transition period you’ll end up with the body and health you always dreamed.
It seems as if the old adage “less is more” has been lost in the daily chaos of our lives. Learn how to get back to basics by following some or all of these 12 strategies for simplifying your life:
1. Make Your Home Minimalist. When your house is minimalist, it makes it easier to clean while also saving money since you aren’t always adding more “stuff” to your décor. You don’t have to fill every little space when you have a minimalist house since it is just the opposite. A minimalist design has what is necessary, and it can be very peaceful.
2. Savor Your Slow Cooker: This cooking essential allows you to spend less time in the kitchen and more time doing the other things you really enjoy. Just pop your favorite ingredients into the slow cooker first thing in the morning, and by the time you get home—voila, dinner is served! Not only will your house smell amazing, but you’ll also get full-flavored dishes that can also be used as leftovers for tomorrow’s lunch. Check out one of my favorite recipes, Slow Cooker Light and Creamy Black Bean Chicken.
3. Use One Credit Card: Put all of your spending onto one credit card to help manage your budget and make everyday spending easier. One excellent option is the Amex EveryDay Credit Card since it rewards you for daily purchases like groceries where you can earn 2x the points. By using The Amex EveryDay Credit Card for everyday spending, you can earn 20% more points if you use the Card 20 times or more in a billing period.
4. Learn to Say “No”: This is a key to simplifying your life. Of course you don’t always need to say “no,” nor should you but you do want to make sure that when you commit, you will do a good job. Resist the urge to say you are sorry when you need to say no, because that assumes you are wrong. You are not wrong and simply saying, “No, I can’t commit to that right now” will work.
5. Learn to Delegate: There’s no need for you to do it all! Ask your kids and spouse to help out around the house. One of my personal favorites is teaching your kids how to do their own laundry. Work together to prepare meals, set the table, and clean the dishes. Responsibility builds character, and this will free up time for you to be able to help your kids with other important activities like homework or going for a family walk together after dinner.
6. Streamline Your Schedule: Are your kids playing, soccer, volleyball, basketball, softball, involved in cheer, dance, and Girl Scouts and then you have PTA, other volunteer groups, a tennis team, etc.? Take a minute to assess each of your activities. Which ones make you happy and which ones only cause you additional stress? Would your kid benefit from some regular play time without constantly being shuttled off to practice? Gracefully bow out of some activities.
7. Clear Out Your ‘Everything’ Drawer: We all have it. That dreaded drawer that holds our car keys, bills, coupons, take-out menus….you name it. It may seem like an intimidating task but you’ll be amazed at how much better you feel once you’ve de-cluttered the “black hole” so you can find what you need quickly and efficiently.
8. Create a Simple Weekly Meal Plan for Dinners: Take the guesswork out of “what’s for dinner?” every night. Write down simple dinners that only take 10-30 minutes to prepare for each night of the week and go shopping for your ingredients. For example: Tuesday is Taco Night, Wednesday is White Bean Chicken Chili Night and Thursday is Spaghetti night.
9. Take a Technology Time-Out: We spend way too much time glued to our phones. Set a time to tune out from technology each night, and tune into your family and friends. You’ll be amazed at how much more connected you’ll feel to the non-virtual aspects of your life.
10. Schedule Down-Time: Whether it’s sitting outside, going for a walk, or reading a book for 30 minutes or just taking a power nap during the day, make sure to give yourself the time you need to recharge and stay in balance. Start by scheduling these me-time appointments each day into your calendar, even if it is only 10 minutes.
11. Keep Your Space Clean: When our surroundings are a mess, it can sometimes feel like our lives are that way too. Whether it’s your office, bedroom or the kitchen counter, keeping things relatively organized can bring clarity and focus to other areas of your life.
12. Live in a Place of Gratitude: Enjoy each moment and appreciate the simple pleasures in life – whether it’s a beautiful sunset, a kind gesture, or time shared with those you love. Be grateful for all of the gifts in your life, as the simple pleasures are the ones worth celebrating.
I was selected by American Express to help educate consumers about the Amex EveryDay Credit Card. As such, I was paid for my services, but tips and opinions shared about American Express and the Amex EveryDay Credit Card are my own.
My last energy ball recipe was a hit and I’ve had requests for more recipes. Here is a simple 6-ingredient recipe that is the perfect before or after a workout. It can also gives a great energy boost for those afternoon energy slumps! Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Energy Balls Makes 2 dozen 1...