Keeping up with consistent training in order to achieve your goals can be tough. However, when you are seeing the results you want – improved performance, greater strength, longer endurance, or even weight loss – it can make it all worthwhile. On the other hand, when you feel as though all your progress has ground to a halt, it can cause your motivation levels to plummet. After all, what’s the point in continuing to work so hard if it’s not working anymore?
Plateaus can be extremely frustrating and they can be tough to shake. This is particularly true because of the damage they can do to your self confidence and your motivation. The longer you feel stuck in a plateau, the harder it can feel to keep going and the worse you feel overall.
The best way to stop a plateau from getting you stuck is to recognize the signs that one is coming and stop it before it happens. Keep watchful for these signs and find out how to change directions as early as possible before you get caught in the trap.
Fatigue – If you find that you’re feeling fatigued more often than not, it could be a sign that your body is working its way toward a plateau. When pursuing a goal, people frequently boost their physical activity to a point that isn’t easy to maintain. This can bring short term results, but can level off and can make it very difficult to progress after a while. The key is not to overdo it. Do a reasonable workout suited to your current fitness level and don’t move ahead until your body is truly ready to do so.
Hunger – Another sign of a plateau is that you feel noticeably hungrier than you used to. This has to do with the change in your body composition. That said, if you eat according to your hunger, you could end up throwing things off balance and setting yourself back. Instead, recognize your cravings and eat healthy foods that will help to satisfy them. It’s also a good idea to eat before you reach the point that you’re starving and less likely to make smart food choices.
Crankiness – If you’re grouchy all the time, this is a good sign that a plateau is on its way. If you feel angry at everyone and you have a short fuse, your body may have started releasing the stress hormone called cortisol, which makes you want to eat more and makes you irritable at the same time. To avoid letting this set you back, focus on stress management. Eat well, drink water, avoid excessive caffeine and alcohol and try practices such as yoga or meditation.