Every bodybuilder knows that to keep getting muscle gains when lifting weights then they need to change up their exercise routine every now and then. So they might do one exercise for their pecs for 4 weeks and then they change it to another exercise for their pecs for another 4-6 weeks and then change it again eventually coming back to the first one after a while. The reason for this is that the human body is an amazing machine of adaptation and efficiency. It doesn’t want to waste energy so it adapts quickly and becomes more efficient at activities that are done repeatedly. So bodybuilders will get great muscle gains for 4 weeks or so but then the benefits slow down because that body part has now become more efficient at that exercise. So we have to rechallenge it, change it up, and then it grows again because it is not efficient at that new exercise.
So when it comes to what you are doing in weight loss – I have found in my clinical experience that a similar principle applies. In respect to the way you are eating, moving, or thinking – is the body getting used to that and so is using fewer calories and hence your weight plateaus or even increases? Hence do you have to change up the style of your eating and movement? Do you need to challenge the body in a different way?
Now I cannot find much evidence to support my theory because I simply cannot find many studies actually done on it, so we don’t know either way. So this is more based on understanding human physiology and my experience that this does work.
And it is not just because of these reasons that it works. We have to accept we are dealing with human beings. Most of us like our creature comforts but we also like variety. No one wants to eat the same thing every day or move the same way or think the same way or hang around with the same people every day. So if we change it up, whether it be every 1 month or every 6 months. We can make it work for us and we can have a variety of styles.
If your weight loss journey plateaus- that is a sign you need to change it up. An example might be to go from a Mediterranean diet for 3 months, then to a low carb diet for one month, or perhaps a low calorie fast a day a week, or using meal replacements for 3-4 weeks, then back to a whole food diet.
But remember our principles – think holistic and remember it is about more than just your weight. You don’t have to just change food, you can change your sleep, your movement, work on your emotions and self-confidence, reduce your stress, find a new meaning to get up in the morning. Now you know all the ways to do it you can pick and mix. Enjoy the experience and the process.