How to Break Through a Weight Loss Plateau
How to Break Through a Weight Loss Plateau?.. This question is asked from me consistently. I can think of two reasons for this consistency with this question.
1. People who ask it are the ones who are not consistent with their efforts.
2. People who ask it are consistent with the efforts but their efforts are not moving in the right direction.
For the point 1 type of people, I have this to say..
Whereas, point 2 type of people. You know it is very normal to feel frustrated when you put in enough efforts on something and still you don’t get it. But the point is frustration too won’t get us anywhere. So to hell with frustration. Let us today look at weight loss plateau from a different perspective. I thought of these things last night when Mister Husband asked me a certain questions.
In this perspective, I will emphasize on the role of breath and spine in improving the overall working of our bodies. And hence their role in improving the metabolism and hence fat burning as well. This perspective applies alike to a person who trains with weights or does body weight workouts like yoga or pilates. Let us begin…
1. You must have noticed that when we cover a burning candle with a glass then the flame of the candle goes off after sometime. Science tells us that this phenomenon happens as everything in this world needs oxygen for burning. It is the work of oxygen to oxidize. So nothing can burn in the absence of oxygen. Similarly when there is no proper oxygen available to the cells of our body then no proper burning will take place. Burning, neither of the food nor of the fat!
This got me thinking that why at first, Are we always asked to do some physical activity or pranayams to ‘burn’ calories? can’t we simple ‘burn’ calories by doing other things like by sitting and shouting the whole day? We know there is no option like that . The thing is that when we do any physical activity beyond our normal day to day physical activity then we put some load on our heart. This load encourages our heart to pump the blood faster through the body so as to encourage more oxygen supply to the cells of the body. Which in turn will promote fat burning. Huhh! Again this comes down to letting enough oxygen into the system. Same thing with pranayams. . You can make out by now. I guess
2. This point occurred to me because of the two instances that I thought from the past.
A. My weight training or crossfit or pilates or yoga or running or antigravity coaches etc. All of them always encourages me to take proper inhales and exhales while doing my workouts. So even if I did a simple bicep curls they made sure that I sync my motion with deep breaths. That means whatever workout we do, the correct way is to do it in a way so that a lot of fresh oxygen is inhaled in and carbon dioxide is exhaled out.
B. My teachers always emphasized on maintaing a correct posture of the spine. Btw, the correct posture of the spine is not a straight line. It is as shown in the figure.
A hunched or a straight spine never feels energetic or peaceful or can never meditate. As all our of energy centers (chakras) lie along our spine. So unless a spine is in its natural S curve it cannot feel that flow of energy through these centers. And unless there is proper energy flow there won’t be any feeling of fitness.
Whatever you be doing, please take a moment and do this. Take your hands behind and track the shape of your spine from lumbar to cervical.. Is it a S curve? Fit spine is a lot of energy. And a lot of energy is fitness.
Now how is weight loss plateau related to proper posture?
Of all the workout mistakes, the one that is the most hurting is to workout only one particular muscle around a joint. For example there are 4 muscles around a shoulder joint as shown in the figure.
I know people who have some special love for bench presses especially boys. They swear by n number of bench press reps with some exorbitantly heavy weight. This way, they work just their front muscles on the shoulders. And comparatively, if not totally ignore the other muscles surrounding the shoulder joint. This makes only one muscle strong around the shoulder joint strong and rest of the muscles weak. With time, that strong muscle starts to pull the joint towards itself.. Boys with a hunched gorilla type of front body are a product of too many bench presses .
Anyways the point is that once the joint is dislocated, the spine is bound to lose its posture. And the person is bound to complain of back pains and joint pains. There your workout to the drain for lifetime. Forgive your body from such workout approaches. This is the reason I always encourage people to workout under a coach and not in front of youtube.
A good workout is planned in a way to work on all the muscles around a joint. So for example if it is lower body day then hip, knee and ankle joint and all the muscles around them need our equal attention. This applies specially if we decide to do isometric exercises. Compound exercises work in a different way. I will write about isometric and compound exercises in a separate post.
Huhh.. So 2 take aways.
1. Breathe!! Not just in your workouts but all the time. Breathing burns a lot of ‘burnable’ things like toxins, extra body fat, food etc inside the body and release it out as energy or excreta(sweat). Do pranayams. They are very very effective fat burners.
2. take care of your spine. Believe me it is our spine, rather than any number that determines our age. If our spine is flexible and upright then the energy flow and hence the glow can make us look and feel young at any age and vice versa
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