This is apart of a series of articles written by Jackson Trout. To read previous instalments,
click here: Part 1 – Introduction , Part 2 – Getting Started, Part 3 – The Bike, Part 4 – Diet and Nutrition, and Part 5 – Metabolism
My body was getting bored and had started plateauing… but what does that actually mean?
After learning and understanding the science and mechanisms of metabolism, I continued onwards with my exercise routine. As the weeks went by, I went down from 109kgs, to 108kgs to 107kgs. Everything was on the up and up for me. It was only a matter of time before I finally dropped down to that desired 103.
As I continued to lose weight, I began noticing others complimenting my weight loss and how I was looking better than I ever had before. However, the opinion I was most concerned with, was my Aunt Sue, who is not one to spare my feelings and sugar-coat anything. When she told me that even she was noticing my weight loss, that’s when I knew I was really making a difference.
Everything was going as planned, until one day when I weighed myself and noticed that I hadn’t lost any weight. I was confused. I could have sworn I would have lost another kilo just as I had every other week prior. I retraced my steps to try and figure out why. Did I overeat the night before? Did I not exercise like I had been? It didn’t help when I weighed myself a few days later and saw that I had still not lost any weight. I didn’t understand.
I kept my exercise routine, I went for seven kilometre walks, did a vigorous thirty mins on the exercise bike, and I ate appropriately, and yet I was still failing to lose any more weight. I wondered if I even could lose anymore weight. Before, I was worried about losing too much weight when I wasn’t exercising and now, I was worried about not losing any weight, even when I was exercising.
I was getting discouraged, and fast. However, much like last time, I decided that if anyone were to know what was going on, it would be my brother. He explained to me the concept of ‘plateauing.’
“Simply put, our bodies are adapting machines. It’s how as a species we’ve been able to survive so long. If you do things to your body consistently, it starts to prepare for it. If you were to eat dinner every night at the same time, it wouldn’t be long before you are salivating and hungry five minutes beforehand. It’s the same with exercise. If you were to exercise straight after waking up – it might be tough to being with, but before long your body will be waking up with more energy. Why? It’s adapting. However, sometimes your body can get too good at this and you may find it harder to break down the muscle or push your cardiovascular system – resulting in a plateau of performance. It’s for this reason you need to make sure that you regularly (but not too often) mix up and change your exercise regimen. By doing so, you will be challenging your body in new ways, targeting different muscles or the same muscles in a different way.”
My body was getting too bored with the usual exercise routine. It wasn’t burning fat at the rate I was used too. In order to break the plateau, I had to start doing more than what I was doing.
I decided to expand my existing exercise program by, instead of doing thirty minutes on the bike, some days I would do a full hour. I didn’t find this arduous, or difficult, it just meant I got a bit sweatier on some days.
Eventually, I was able to break my plateauing. I went from 107kgs, down to 106kg! By staying consistent and adapting, I would be ready to face the dreaded plateauing when it popped up again.
Everything was looking bright, until one day when I fell off the wagon…
To be continued…