I have to believe that you read this stuff because you want to get fit and are already working at it. So you have been doing resistance training and cardio, and watching your diet. You can't do those things without your weight dropping and your body getting harder. But suddenly you can find yourself no longer losing weight.
You hit a plateau, which happens to everybody from time to time. But the first time is the worst because it seems like your weight just won't budge no matter what you do.
A plateau means your body is bored and wants you to change something. It's not a reason for panic.
Don't panic - analyze
A plateau is a signal that your body has gotten used to what you're doing. This is common, and you can count on it for the rest of your life.
You simply need to make some changes. True, some times it's not so easy to figure out what to change. But you can always get through it, and you want to continue doing your fitness thing as you work through the plateau.
One thing for sure -- if you continue doing what you've been doing, you aren't going to suddenly turn into a fatso. So don't sweat it.
Women have two good options
I don't know what you've been doing training-wise, but if you were fat when you started chances are you have been doing more cardio than weight-training. That's my guess, but it's okay if you have been doing exactly the opposite.
In either case you just try one of the following options.
First you can keep doing what you are doing and see if at some point you just get unstuck all by yourself. This is a viable option if your weight, your inches, and your body fat are staying level -- not getting bigger. If that's your scenario, you are simply and temporarily stuck. If you continue on your current plan you will eventually try something different on your own, or figure out that you need to consider the second option. I explain as I just did because you need to know you are in control. This is important because some people don't like change. Just humor me.
Second if not all your numbers are plateaued (some are still improving) you still should consider taking this option, because something is off. The fix should be as simple as flipping the formula you've been using (percentage of weight training versus percentage of cardio training). For most women this means you will now begin to do more weight-training and less cardio. That's what I suggest you try first; it's an easy change and in one week your body should be back on track and all your numbers falling together.
Keep in mind that your numbers don't always fall in perfect unison. So don't let that bother you. They just need to be progressing even if some of them are doing it slightly ahead of the others.
Even if the above training split example is just the opposite for you, you will still flip it. I simply made the assumption that you, like most women, do more cardio than weight training. That's due to many women having an unfounded belief about weight training.
Weight training spook story
Many women believe they should not train with weights. And if they do use weights they keep the poundage low. Usually because they think they'll get big and bulky like a man.
A female won't get muscles like a man unless they train crazy-heavy AND start jacking around their hormones including Testosterone. Please don't try that.
Sans hormones, the typical female that trains really hard usually gets hard and defined, and lean rather than bulky. Some women want to be model-thin, which is generally easy to do if once they get fit they do tons of cardio.
Worrying about training too hard making you look like a man is a spook story that isn't going to happen. I'm sure you are not one of them, but there are women that use getting manly as an excuse for not going to the gym.
Weight training caveat
It is common that six months into their fitness quest a woman is still doing essentially the same weight training program they started with -- same poundage, exercises, sets and reps. That usually means they are lifting too lightly, because as their body gets used to the starting poundage (which always happens) they are not working their body hard enough for it to want to get stronger or harder. Muscles are actually the key to burning fat 24 hours a day.
There are women in any gym that put in the time, but don't get the results. True, they generally look better than average, but they are soft and jiggly. They have no real physique, and if you watch them lift you'll see that they fan the weights -- that is the weights are no effort for them and they can just go and go and go without even thinking about what they are doing.
Always aim for more weight or more reps, even if it is just a tiny bit every couple weeks.
If you do the fitness lifestyle you always will max out and need another adjustment in your training. It's not a big deal, you just hit a plateau so you know it's time to try something different. It's because your body gets bored.
And remember this
Along with lifting wisely you also need to eat wisely. You will never be able to train your way around a crummy diet. Bad nutrition always trumps exercise and your hard work in the gym loses.
People coming from years and years of terrible eating habits retain fond memories of that lifestyle. Many of them think they want to eat the stuff that got them into fat-prison in the first place. It's like quitting cigarettes or drugs.
It's okay to splurge or eat like the rest of the world now and then. I think it helps remind you how terrible it makes you feel so it serves a purpose.
People who do contests will splurge the day after the show, but most of them will tell you that by the time they look good enough to be in a show they really don't see the point of eating garbage, and they don't have the desire. But we all have to learn for ourselves.
Another waste of effort
Some people spend a long time trying to be the exception to the rules and get fit without training and eating like they mean it. It doesn't work. It won't ever work.
You don't see many obese old people, because not many of them live to become old.
Getting fit responds to working smarter instead of harder. You don't have to kill yourself, you just need to know a few things and have some faith in yourself. Don't fret if something seems too easy or simple. It's not that hard !
Fitness secret of all time
The sought after fitness secret is being able to burn calories all day and night even when you're not training. All fit people reach this point and I'll give you the formula next time.
Meanwhile, get off that plateau. And if you're not on a plateau just remember what we said here today, because sooner or later you will be. Plateaus are just part of the fitness lifestyle. Long live the lifestyle, and us.
Remember to have an annual physical. Thomas Amshay articles are not meant to take the place of your doctor or health care team. Talk to them before starting any exercise program, diet, or supplement.