Often times a diet plateau can occur from being on a caloric-deficient eating plan for too long. Basically, your body has become accustomed to the low calories and it has stopped burning body fat. When you don’t eat enough food to fuel workouts and muscle recovery, your body will start to feed off the protein in your muscles. In essence, your body is self-digesting.
Your muscles are metabolically active tissue, meaning they burn calories. When your body starts to feed off your muscles due to extreme low calories for an extended period of time, your ability to burn calories and fat is severely lowered.
Think about your Smart Phone. When the battery gets low your phone is smart enough to alert you in some way that you need to give the battery a recharge. If you fail to recharge your phone and continue to surf the web, watch videos, and play games, you are going to drain the battery in a matter of minutes.
Your phone battery needs juice to function, your body needs calories from food to function. If you keep eating next to nothing and working out like there’s no tomorrow it will only put you in the red and shut you down fast.
Breaking The Diet Plateau
Breaking through a diet plateau doesn’t have to be a painstaking task. In fact, it can be quite fun if you can put your mind at ease and understand that eating food of quality does not cause you to get fat. Nutrient-dense food builds muscle and burns fat.
To break through a diet plateau you need to put your body in a caloric-surplus state to recharge your metabolic battery. The amount of time you increase your calories is dependent on your goal. If you are in your off-season phase, there’s really no reason you should be on low calories, so increasing your calories will give your metabolic a fiery boost and also build muscle.
If you are on a pre-contest diet centered around low calories, then a necessary re-feed day can fit the bill just fine. However, you will have to tinker a little to determine if you need just one re-feed day, several, or a rotation re-feeds to pull you from the dieting metabolic pit.
But Keep In Mind [EXTREMELY Important…]
Increasing calories is not the only factor. You need to be getting more quality calories from whole and natural foods. Just mindlessly eating more is not the trick. Nate Miyaki at breakingmuscle.com states, “high quality food choices (real, natural, satiating foods versus refined foods) are ideal for fat loss and muscle gain.” Try more oatmeal and eggs for breakfast and don’t toss ALL those yolks. Have a baked potato or sweet potato with that grilled chicken breast. Don’t forget to eat steak. Steak is packed with good calories and nutrients for muscle building. Essential fats like nuts and seeds give you an easy caloric boost that’s nutrient-dense.
Easy Way to Find Calories Based on Your Goal and Weight
Avoid a diet plateau and keep a step ahead of the game by knowing exactly how much you should be eating based on your weight and goal. You can download my 12 Week Menu Plan, Meal Planner, and Food Catalog and know EXACTLY how much you should be eating so you can avoid a diet plateau, build muscle, and burn fat. Stop running around in circles, hoarding body fat and losing lean muscle. Click Here to get the system that works.
Karen Sessions – NSCA-CPT