Adding activities such as yard work helps boost calorie burning.
It happens to even the most careful eaters and dedicated exercisers, the dreaded weight loss plateau. While you may be frustrated with your stalled weight loss, it is normal. As you lose weight your body actually needs fewer calories to maintain your weight, and hitting the plateau means you are now eating enough calories to maintain your current weight. To break the weight loss plateau, women need to alter the calorie equation by further decreasing their calorie intake or by increasing calorie expenditure. Talk to your doctor before making any changes to your diet or exercise routine.
Further decreasing your daily calorie intake is one way you can get yourself off the weight loss plateau and begin losing again. You can start by decreasing your daily intake by 200 calories. The only downside to this is that you may already be eating a low-calorie diet and cutting back even further can put you at risk for nutritional deficiencies. Plus, it can leave you feeling too hungry and cause you to overeat. Women can safely lose weight eating 1,000 to 1,200 calories a day, but should not eat less than that unless instructed to do so by their doctor.
Increase Workout Intensity or Length
You can also alter the calorie equation by increasing the amount of time you spend exercising or increasing the intensity. So if you've been walking 30 minutes most days of the week, try increasing your time to 45 to 60 minutes. Or, bump your walk up to a jog. If you haven't already, you should also add strength-training exercises to your workout routine. Building muscle helps you burn more calories, even at rest. If you're intimidated by the bodybuilders at the gym, work your muscles at home using free weights, exercise resistance bands or body weight resistance exercises such as lunges, squats, situps and pushups.
Another way to boost calorie burning and break the weight loss plateau is by adding activity throughout the day. For example, taking the stairs instead of the elevator or parking your car at the far end of the parking lot. You also burn more calories when you stand, so make it a point to stand when talking on the phone or set up your computer on a counter so you can stand and type. Vacuuming, washing floors and yard work are also good ways to burn extra calories.
High-Intensity Interval Training
If you're feeling energetic and really want to break through your plateau, you may want to consider high-intensity interval training, or HIIT. HIIT is a type of exercise that breaks your workout into periods of high-intensity and rest. For example, you alternate between 60 seconds of sprinting and 60 seconds of walking for a 25-minute workout. HIIT causes your body to consume more oxygen, which increases your post-exercise metabolism for up to 24 hours, according to the American College of Sports Medicine.