This is what you do when the fat loss stops. TFW Portland
I have definitely had my share of plateaus over the years in terms of fitness. Ideally, you would be at your GOAL when progress stalls but that is often not the case. Here is a list of common mistakes and how to avoid them.
Mistake #1: Overtraining/thinking you are not training hard enough.
This instinct comes because the numbers aren't improving in the weight room or on the scale, and also because your body doesn't feel sore and beat down like it did when you first began training. Which means you probably can and should train harder, right? WRONG!
Solution #1: Check consistency first, then frequency. Getting lean takes time. Time in the gym, on your nutrition plan... and it doesn't always look or feel like a glamorous, hi-volume, Rocky-training montage with an ever-increasing bicep pump. Examine your training calendar, and make sure that you are getting a variety of training in (LIKE SO). It really does take purposeful movement daily to continue to make progress if your goal is to get and stay lean.
Mistake #2: Doubling down and cutting calories when you are already on a clean and lean diet.
If you've been losing weight and your food choices are on point, it can be tempting to double down and cut calories even deeper. DANGER! You can't cut calories forever, but you can make yourself really tired and disinterested in fitness if you take an unsustainable approach.
Solution #2: Pivot. If you have been building muscle (bulking), cut some carbs and protein out to burn some fat. If you have been leaning out (cutting) on a clean diet, add in 150 calories for a week and see if a reverse-diet will kick your metabolism into high gear. This is akin to the coaching idea of George Costanza's "Opposite" technique you just do the opposite of your plan. I've done this many time to help me lean out, so try changing direction with your diet to see if you can get some momentum.
Mistake #3: Not taking enough measurements or only measuring one thing.
"What gets measured gets managed" -Peter Drucker. It completely makes sense that if you want to be a size X pair of pants, then you measure your waistline and the fit of your clothes. That said, as you address your nutrition and make small changes, it would also be wise to measure other variables. Energy levels, focus, body fat percentage and performance in the gym are all relevant, as they signal progress.
Solution #3: Take periodic photos, girth measurements, and document your gym work. We do this at Training for Warriors with programs that track measurements and workouts. Even things you don't think are relevant can be pretty informative. Check your numbers to make sure you are progressing on multiple fronts and you won't be discouraged if the number ONE you really want doesn't move.
Mistake #4: Thinking there is a point when the work is no longer... "work".
The definition of training is exercise with a specific goal in mind. Since the goal is something that you haven't reached yet, you'll be doing things you have not done before and might not be great at. That takes work. If you are squatting 100lbs for the first time, it will feel tough. A year later, you'll be struggling to squat 200lbs. It will be just as tough, although it is twice the weight. That's what progress feels like!
Solution #4: Get After It. If there's something you want from life, you can have it. It just takes a little discipline each day to move the ball forward. Think in small increments, add 2 1/2 lb plates to make it digestible, but take aim at steady improvement. A little + little = a lot!
Don't get bogged down, get smart and learn from other people's mistakes!
If you need help on specifics, shoot me a message or comment below. Here to help!
Yours in Strength,