Workout plateaus are inevitable. In fact, they are part of the process of making gains at the gym. If your muscle gains and/or weight loss at the gym have ceased, you need to be sure that are experiencing a true plateau—that your body is genuinely working through a shift in its basal metabolic rate.
There is no test to measure if a true plateau is occurring. In fact, more often than not, your diet is what’s causing your workout gains to cease—not a workout plateau.
In order to make sure that you are fueling your body properly to make the gains you wish to see occur, you need to take a close look at your diet. Here are five reasons your diet may be preventing you from experiencing the most success from your workouts.
You are Not Eating the Right Food
The easiest way to ensure that you are getting the proper nutrition to build the lean muscle mass you wish to build is to look at your food ratio. You want to have a balanced intake of protein, carbohydrates, and fat. Many people call this the P/C/F ratio. Ideally, your caloric intake should be 30% protein, 50% carbohydrates, and 20% fat.
When your diet is balanced, you give your body the right fuel to create lean muscle mass. When you are not properly fueling your body, you cannot expect peak performance. If your gains have stopped, check your diet and begin adjusting your ratio. Predator Nutrition has a great guide to different protein sources which will help keep your diet balanced and give it varity.
You are Not Eating Enough Food
You may be eating all the right foods, but if your gains have stopped, there’s a chance that you are not consuming enough food. Calorie counters become obsessed with intake, and often times they will reduce their caloric intake in hopes of reducing body fat. This can be counterproductive.
The easiest way to determine the right amount of food to eat is to determine your basal metabolic rate. From there, you can adjust your calories accordingly. Add more calories if you are looking to build muscle and gain weight and reduce if you are looking to lose weight.
You are Doing Low Carb the Wrong Way
Low carb is all the craze. But, low carb and building lean muscle mass doesn’t always mesh well. If you’ve committed yourself to a low carb lifestyle, you need to adjust your workout to compensate.
If you are a low carb eater, you need to lift heavy weights immediately after warming up, and you need to practice the art of brief cardio workouts. These few adjustments can easily help you jumpstart the development of more lean muscle mass.
You are Not Monitoring the Food You Consume
One of the best and easiest ways to monitor your food intake is to use an app. There are several apps that can help you keep track of what you eat, and you can customize many of them to suit you. The information becomes crucial to assuring continuous gains.
There are a variety of app options that your gym may use that can use to help you as well. The key is determining what app is best for your goals. With the assistance of technology, you can stay on top of monitoring your gains and adjust accordingly when they begin to plateau.
Your Diet and Your Training Are Not in Sync
Meticulously monitoring your diet (“Yoli diet”) and your workout routine is an excellent practice. But, if you are monitoring simply to keep the information on paper, you are not fully utilizing the information you are tracking. You need to make sure that your diet and your workout are complimenting each other.
Of course, everybody is different. It’s important to make sure that you are aware of your body and how it responds to your diet and exercise program. Without a doubt, you can make sure that you are reaching your milestones by paying close attention to your diet and exercise program. By simply taking a minute to look at what you are eating, you will learn quite a bit. It will certainly go a long way in helping you make the gains you wish to make.
Phil Slater is a blogger and fitness expert who writes about all things relating to health and fitness. Over the years, Phil has helped many of his personal coaching clients live happier lives by helping them achieve their fitness goals.