I need to lose weight fast was my mantra throughout the whole time I first started exercising and establishing my fitness program. I made great momentum and equally great progress, but once I got my weight down to about 190 pounds, something was amiss and my momentum, as well as my progress, declined.

It left me with a feeling of frustration.

My fitness program, it seemed, wasn’t doing anything for me and wasn’t getting me the results I wanted anymore.  I didn’t understand why.

Upon joining a fitness club, I learned that I had encountered what is known as the plateau effect. It simply states that doing the same exercise routine over and over again will yield a decline in progress after the body has recognized a pattern. In other words, the impact of my fitness program wore off when my body became accustomed to the routine of physical activity I had been following.

The human body, after all, is an amazing organism, able to survive and adapt to changes and stabilize at a certain body composition. For the body, losing fat is a sign of physical harm and triggers a defense mechanism to prevent the further loss of fat. Your body sees exercise as a potential hazard to its well-being and will try to regulate itself after a while once a pattern has been established.

The solution to this plateau effect is to keep your body from recognizing a pattern. In order to lose weight fast through exercise, you need to create a variety in your workouts to keep getting results. This continuous shifting in your workouts is widely known as muscle confusion and is the key to success.

How to Mix Up your Weight Training

1. Increase Weight by 5 or 10 Pounds

Add more weight when the previous weight training isn’t giving you your usual impact in order to rapidly build muscle tissue. More muscle tissue means a greater energy demand to maintain that muscle. So your body will have to burn that much more fat in order to maintain that muscle.

2. Do 1-4 More Reps

Increasing your reps, increases the number of workouts you can do per day, which helps to burn more calories and it can build more muscle causing more fat loss when you are not working out.

3.  Increase from Lifting 3 Days a Week to 4-5 Days a Week

Increase the number of days in a week you work out. That way, you can spend some extra time working on developing the different muscle groups each day.

4.  Go Back and Forth Between Training Programs

Remember to keep your body guessing, so employ different training programs every month or every few weeks. Look for training programs that alternate workouts with a wide variety of physical challenges. The authors of these programs may be trainers who understand how muscle confusion works.

How to Mix Up Your Cardio:

5. Add 10-15 Minutes to Your Cardio

An adequate cardio should be spent with the first 10-15 minutes burning glycogen storage, followed by another 20-30 minutes burning your reserves of body fat.

6. HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training)

Probably the fastest way to shave off the pounds — according to the “Physiology of Sport and Exercise” — you burn an additional 50-75 calories per workout after HIIT exercises. HIIT training makes you spend 30-120 seconds of high intensity aerobics succeeding 60-120 second periods of low to moderate aerobics.

7.  Go from 3 Days a Week to 4-6 Days a Week

A good regimen would include cardio in the mornings and weight training in the evening. In the morning, start your day right with some cardio. Since you have low glycogen levels at this time, your body utilizes its fat reserve instead. It also gets your metabolism level up at an early time in the day, starting your day off on a great note. Follow this up with weight training during the evening to sweat off those calories you gained after meals.

8. Go Back and Forth Between Different Types of Cardio

Experiment and alternate your regimens with different types of workouts like running, stair stepper, treadmill, recumbent bike, rowing, elliptical, etc. Not only does it keep the body guessing, preventing the plateau effect and building muscle tissue, it also helps work different muscle groups based on the exercise.

9.  Do Two-a-Day Cardio in the Morning and Evening for 30-45 Minutes Each

If you have poor stamina and easily tire out from an hour of Cardio, consider a healthy way to lose weight fast by separating your workouts. Do some cardio in the morning for about 30-45 minutes followed by another session of cardio in the evening for the about same time.

Remember that none of these options on the best ways to lose weight fast will matter unless you keep track of your progress. Know your body fat percentage, body mass index and average caloric intake. Measure them weekly. This will you give you a solid idea of where you are, what is effectual for you, and what might need further modifications. Evaluate yourself, be persistent with your exercise, and couple it with the best diet to lose weight fast. Eventually, you too will burn off those unwanted pounds.