How to Beat Your Weight Loss Plateau
The experts are always ready to jump in and tell you how to shed all of those extra pounds when your on the overweight end of the spectrum, but where are they when you get close to the goal weight, your in a healthy enough weight zone, but you are no longer seeing the progress?
The heavier you are, the easier it is to lose those pounds and see results fast, but when you get down to that average weight for your height, you find that losing weight, and toning up, becomes more difficult.
So let’s talk about why. Hitting that weight loss plateau is completely normal, so don’t worry, we will get through this together. As you lose weight, you lose a little muscle along with the fat. Muscle is what burns calories, so as you lose weight, water weight, your metabolism is slowly declining. The answer is simple; to lose more weight you need to either increase your physical activity or decrease the calories you eat.
Easier said than done, right?
Here are a few useful tips to getting your body back into the weight loss game.
1. Set a distinct, realistic goal.
Imagine yourself healthy and vibrant, the You you want to be. Now set a date sometime in the future to meet that person. You may have to adjust it, or reevaluate at a later date, but don’t let your date change because you fell off the wagon. That brings us to our next tip.
2. Keep a detailed food diary.
The mistake that people looking for results tend to make is only recording the food they consume. If you truly want to see a change, you have to identify why you are not seeing results anymore. Food is an emotional experience for many people, in fact, food is an emotional crutch for more than a few. If you fall into that category, like I do, then you may also need to identify the emotional state you are in when you are cheating.
My challenge for you, is to record not only what you eat everyday, but also the time of day, and the emotional state you were in. Did you eat those Cheetos because it was the only option? Probably not.
The same goes for when you are eating healthy foods that you are proud of. Do you feel vibrant when you eat well? Write it down.
Lastly, make note in your diary of the times you feel actual hunger. It is important to understand your body, and know when you feel hunger, thirst, or recognize them as cravings.
3. Be aware of the calorie creep.
You may not even realize it, but you could be consuming up to 1000 calories more per day than your plan requires. Think of that soda you had randomly, you remember the one, you justified it by saying you hadn’t had one in a while.
It’s time to start making the real cuts to your diet. No more cooking with butter, cut out the mayo on your sandwich, eat fruit instead of dessert, get rid of the cream sauce and start adding red sauce… Try making your own sauce. The food diary really helps to keep the creep at bay, but only if you really use it.
Another important thing to keep in mind is that you my need to adjust your portion sizes again. Now that your calories are burning slower, you need to decrease your intake. 100-200 calorie decrease per day ought to do it.
4. Manage your hunger with low-fat, low-sugar protein.
Protein rich foods can help to suppress Ghrelin, a hormone which stimulates the appetite in the stomach. Researchers have recently found that foods high in fat can actually raise the levels of ghrelin and increase hunger. So if you are feeling an increase in your hunger, reach for a protein bar or a protein shake, and keep your hunger in check.
5. Drink water before every meal.
You may not know this, but your body registers hunger and thirst in the same way, by grumbling in your stomach. If you feel that pang, drink about 12 oz of water and let that sit, if you are still feeling hungry then you are probably actually hungry. Begin with low portions of high protein, and eat SLOWLY! You will be amazed by how quickly you feel full.
6. Increase the difficulty of your workout routine.
Increase your weights in the gym and add an extra 10-20 minutes of HIIT Cardio to your routine. Lifting heavy can help to jump start your metabolism, not to mention it boosts your muscles which also burn more calories. Adding a few minutes of HIIT cardio can also push your metabolism back up. High Intensity Interval Training is when you alternate between medium intensity and high intensity for a few minutes at a time. This technique has been proven to improve your metabolic rate for the rest of the day.
Try These tips diligently, and you will see results! Most of all, have realistic expectations, and do not beat yourself up if you cheat. Shaming yourself is not going to help you achieve your desired results, the kind that last. A lifestyle change takes time and attention, and being able to understand the emotional side of your weight loss is extremely important to the end result. When that date comes when you have the privilege of meeting the new you, you want to know that you got there by being good to yourself.
Good luck in your journey! We are here to help every step of the way. Leave a comment, or send a message, it’s important to us that you know how much you matter.
Wishing you the best,
Sports Nutrition Supply Team