How to Break Through a Weight Loss Plateau

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..

How to Break Through a Weight Loss Plateau

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 :P . 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.

How to Break Through a Weight Loss Plateau

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.

How to Break Through a Weight Loss Plateau

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 :P .

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 :)

If you feel that what I write can help anyone than please share these articles. You can pin these posts on pinterest or tweet them on twitter or share on facebook or hash tag as #mindntummy on instgram. I am active on all these social networks. You can also use the social media box at the starting of any post to share them on any of your social media accounts.

Thanks and love

Also Read
About Sports Injuries
How to Train Abdominal Muscles

9 thoughts on “How to Break Through a Weight Loss Plateau

  1. Ramya

    Ok, this was a brilliant article. I never ever thought about weight loss plateau from that perspective!
    “Can’t we simple ‘burn’ calories by doing other things like by sitting and shouting the whole day?” I seriously laughed out loud at that :D :D
    I have some new doubts after this: First, the breathing technique while lifting weights is, breathe out while lifting and breathe in while dropping. Is this right? I am always confused and bug my trainer everytime.
    Second: I got thinking after reading the bench press thing. If we do the 3-day-split with weights, like chest and triceps on one day, back and biceps on another, and shoulder and legs on the third, is it balancing enough?
    Third: I wanted to ask u this ever since I read Rujuta’s new book. She says not to combine aerobic and anaerobic activity. But what about circuit training?! I do burpees in between weights many times in a circuit!! I tell u, that book confused me to no end :|

    1. Nidhi

      Ramyaaa.. aaj toh sab padh daala.. I am so happy to read your comments … one little post answering all your questions on my priority now .. promise

    2. Nidhi

      1st..exhale whenever you go against gravity and inhale when you go towards gravity.

      2nd. No. Muscles pairing is done as pulling and pushing muscles together.. I will write about both in details tomorrow.. promise :)

      3rd.. did she mention any reason for that? Logically talking that means I cannot sprint after running for some distance :P ..

      1. Ramya

        1st point: Thanks. No one explained it so simply and so clearly :)
        2nd point: What does agonistic and antagonistic mean :| WIll wait for ur article. I am really interested to know how to create a proper weight training routine. Rujuta says pair the “pushing muscles” like chest and triceps together, and “pulling muscles” like back and biceps together. I always used to do a circut, I have never really done the “back day” and “chest day” thing but after reading this I wondered if I should. I always keep the core for separate days but I cannot say that I worked out *only* core without straining my shoulders or lower body at all :P
        3rd point: Lollllllzzzzz…. :D :D OMG, ya it does mean exactly that! :) I’ll read that chapter again today and get back to u.

        1. Nidhi

          Yes exactly pulling and pushing muscles around a joint. Different workouts work on different philosophy. That particularly applies to isolated it again okies :D

  2. shilpa

    Wow thanks a bunch for writing thsi article :) i really needed it . Wow i din know that breathing plays such imp role . Now i understood y they give so much of importance for breathing in yoga.
    Nidhi , i too want an answer for ramya’s question ( breathing pattern while doing weights ). I some how follow the instructions given on the m/c but i am nt sure whether those instuctions are correct or not .


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