Hi Claudia!! It’s going to be really hard to tell exactly what’s going on with you because I don’t know what your food intake is like or what your work-outs are but remember…calories in need to be lower than calories out. If you don’t now, then I suggest you start a food journal for a couple weeks so you can see exactly what you are eating and you can make changes from there. Most people, me included, don’t always remember or underestimate what they eat in a day. Try out MyFitnessPal. It’s an online journal that will keep track of your calories and how much carb/fat/protein you are taking in…cool huh?
Try to eat whole natural foods most of the time and be aware of liquid calories too…juices, soda etc. all have calories and because they don’t really fill you up, they add calories without giving you the feeling of fullness. Don’t restrict carbs thinking that carbs are bad for you…veggies and fruit and whole grains are awesome!! and we use carbs for most of our energy needs…we NEED them. A good guide is to get 45-65% of your calories from carbs, 10-35% from protein and 20-35% from fat.
To see how much you should be eating you can use a general formula to see how many calories you should be taking in. Take your weight and multiply it by 10. Take that number and multilply it by your “Activity Factor” If your workouts are light…such as going for a walk at night then multiply the number by 1.5 to 1.6. If your workouts are fairly vigorous then multiply it by 1.7. For instance if you weigh 150 pounds….150 x 10 = 1500. Multiply it by say 1.7 and you get 2550. That means you need 2550 calories just to maintain the weight you are at now. try decreasing your intake by 300-500 calories per day to start seeing a healthy weight loss. Again, this is just a general formula so use it as a guide not as a definitive fact.
As far as your workouts, I don’t know what you are doing now…or how much progress you have made before hitting this plateau. If you are going just cardio, try adding resistance training. If your cardio is just steady moving at a single pace try adding intervals. For instance on a treadmill go 5-8 mph…then for 1 minute go 10-12mph. After that minute is up go back down to 5-8 for 3 minutes. Repeat this 1 minute-3 minute routine for 20 to 30 miutes…or whatever you feel comfortable with.
If you add resistance training, try to incorporate full body moves such as burpies, squat-to-press, lunge-to-curls. You get more bang for your buck as opposed to just doing simple curls or shoulder presses. If you are already doing all this and you have reached a plateau then change things up. Increase your reps, sets, weight, tempo….something…just change. If you use light weights, try heavier weights. If you use heavy weights, try light weights for more reps.
Don’t forget to schedule rest too…perhaps 1 day a week add some flexibility training or yoga. Plateaus aren’t fun but they can be broken. There’s lots of help on this site so you’ve done awesome to post your question. Good luck Claudia!!! I’m rooting for you