There’s Nothing Wrong with a Plateau


I read an article on the way a Sherpa leads a hiking group up mountains, so of course, I related it back to goal-setting and weight loss, because that’s what I do!

But the theory can also be applied to every other aspect of your life (relationships, business, spiritual growth, etc.).

When you climb a mountain with a Sherpa, he will take you up to a certain point and then bring you back down to base camp.

The next day, you go higher than you were the previous day, and then you go all the way back down to base camp.

You keep going up and coming back down so your body can adjust to the extreme altitude and climate changes.

Create Your Own Base Camp

Conceptually, I started thinking about the benefits of a plateau. Whether you experience a plateau with eating better, losing weight, or pursuing a goal, it’s okay to run really fast and then slow down. It’s okay to pause and regroup before you start running really fast again.

The Sherpa leads his group back down to the base camp to rest, rejuvenate and mentally and physically prepare for the next day. Why not establish your own base camp in life?

Let’s say you’re on a weight loss program. Why not push for four weeks, and then have a week or two of maintenance? You can learn the ease of maintenance and take the pressure off yourself during that rest time – that “base camp” time.

Plateaus Are Great

I see clients drive themselves crazy when they step on the scale every day. When they hit a plateau, they freak out a little bit because they really want to lose the weight. I tell them, “This plateau is awesome. You’re getting a picture of maintenance.”

When it comes to exercise, I’m adamant that people take a rest day. It must be one FULL day of rest per week. Depending on your fitness level, this could be active recovery (such as hopping on your bike and cruising to your favorite spot for chow), but it shouldn’t be anything strenuous. Rest day is your time – your mini-plateau – to rest and restore.

Embrace The Plateau

Who says that you have to go from A to Z directly at full speed? Why not adopt a pace that feels better to you? There’s nothing wrong with taking a break! In fact, oftentimes, after you’ve given yourself a break, you’ll come back stronger, smarter, and more motivated.

My friend did this during knee surgery recovery.  She would walk a block, stop and sit down for a few minutes, and then turn around and walk back home.  And you know what? The amount of exercise and steps are the same. She still made it home; only she was a little less stressed!


  • Irina says:

    I think I hit my Plato in weight. It’s not changing at all. But I still keep pushing in my workouts 6 days week! Sunday is off!

    • hitthefloor says:

      Health is more than what we see on a scale. You are doing great! Keep up the good work!

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