The human body works in difficult ways! We are born survivors and for that reason it is the body’s job to keep us in a safe place. To do this we have different hormones that work within the body, get released at different times and have many different effects on us. This makes breaking habits and controlling behaviours extremely hard to do long term.
If you have been overweight, under exercised and accustomed to bad habits for a long time, not only does it take time to change but the body actually wants to keep you in your 'comfort zone'. This can be true of many areas of life, work, relationships etc…..but for this blog we are talking about maintaining fat loss and body shape changes!!! Im not ready for relationship counselling just yet!!
I have heard probably a 1000 times, “I’ve hit a plateau”, “I can’t seem to shift the last few pounds”, the list goes on. The truth is, your body wants you to stay where you are comfortable and there are no quick fixes for this! Just don’t give up! Keep fighting it and you will get results.
I have trained many people who have had great, dramatic weight loss results (in excess of 3 stones) over a period of 6-9 months. Whilst the metabolism may change over this period of time, for weight and fat loss to occur, the body will still want to remain in its safe comfort zone of eating more and being overweight.
It takes around 18 months of maintenance for the body to re-calculate the new weight and lifestyle, so maintenance is easier. Yes, around 18 months of maintenance before your body won’t try to keep putting you back to where you were.
My best piece of advice that I give to every single person I have trained is “be consistent” and do this over time. This is the only way to get long term success and results that will keep you healthy for life.
You have to keep challenging the body in different ways to keep getting results. It normally takes around 6-8 weeks for the body to reach a plateau, so changing your routine, intensity and varying the weights will all help with this. But I’ll say it again, you have to be consistent over time. Be patient with your body, understand you will have times when it goes wrong, but having the ability to get yourself back on track is what will also help your long term success.
If the road to a perfect body, diet and lifestyle was easy – we would all be happy and content and I would not have a job. So getting your head in the right place for a lifestyle change rather than a quick fix is where you need to start. Learn to be comfortable with being uncomfortable in the gym, and grasp the art of being organised with your food. All of these things will get you going, and once they become a formed habit I promise it will be a lot easier!