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6 Ways to Bust Through Your Weight Loss Plateau
It happens to all of us at some point – the dreaded plateau!
Trust me when I say I know what it’s like. I remember thinking, “I’m NEVER going to lose this weight!” I was so fixated on the number on the scale and that only kept me frustrated, discouraged, and worst of all STUCK. I finally took a step back and realized I needed to change my mindset and my focus if I ever wanted to move forward.
YES, I wanted to lose the weight I had gained, but the most important thing for me was to be healthier and feel better. I knew a quick fix was not the answer because I didn’t just want to lose the weight – I wanted to keep it off so I didn’t have to focus on losing the weight ever again!! I knew it needed to be a lifestyle change. I wanted to look and feel healthier, not just be thinner.
There are many reasons for hitting a weight loss plateau or getting off to a slower start than we’d like. Everyone is different at the rate they lose weight and where they lose it, and it’s really easy to get discouraged.
The bottom line is that if you continue to keep your new healthy habits in place, you WILL see results. Most people get discouraged and give up too soon – before they ever have a chance to see the results they want. “I just can’t lose weight” or “I’ll never reach my goal weight” are things you tell yourself. But it’s not true – you just tend to give up when it doesn’t happen within your desired time frame.
If you can change your focus to getting healthier, making better food choices and exercising smarter you will do more for yourself than obsessing over the number on the scale. For example, if you aren’t getting enough sleep, have a high level of stress and you’re eating a fair share of processed or high glycemic foods, you’re going to have an uphill battle losing weight.
By addressing it from a ‘taking better care of yourself’ and a ‘lifestyle’ perspective, the rest tends to fall into place. Focus on how you feel and how your clothes fit, not the scale. Fitting into that dress you’ve been wanting to wear again or wearing those rocking cool jeans hiding in your dresser will do everything for your confidence and keep the results for the long term.
6 Ways to Bust The Weight Loss Plateau:
- Don’t skip meals.This is a biggie, numero uno, #1! Clients of mine that skip breakfast and/or eat a small portion for lunch actually find that they start losing weight when they start eating regularly. This balance makes perfect sense because our bodies keep track – so if by late afternoon you haven’t had enough to eat, you’re going to be really hungry and make less healthy choices. This is what happens when you ‘diet’ and you feel like you’ve done great until around 3:00pm and then you’re starving, eat everything in sight and don’t understand why you can’t control your appetite. Your body needs real food on a regular basis. Eat every 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 hours and don’t wait until you’re too hungry to have something to eat.
- Focus on eating the healthiest, most nutrient-dense foods you can. Think ‘REAL’ food here, not foods with a list of ingredients you can’t pronounce. The more healthy whole foods you eat, the less room you’ll have for higher calorie processed foods. Focus on balancing protein, low glycemic carbs mostly from veggies and healthy fats. When you give your body what it truly needs, you’ll have fewer cravings for empty calories, sweets and junk food.
- Reduce stress and get enough sleep. This is a big deal! When you’re under stress and/or you’re not getting enough sleep, the stress hormone cortisol is elevated and this can hinder weight loss. When you’re tired, you’re also more likely to eat more (studies show people consume up to 25% more calories when they’re tired). Do you notice how you reach for a quick energy fix when you’re tired? This usually comes in the form of sugary snacks and drinks and/or processed foods.
- Mix up your workouts. Adding resistance training is key if your goals involve reshaping your body. Avoid doing the same routine week after week. Our bodies adapt rather quickly to new stresses put on it, so by switching things up you will see results quicker. Doing cardio-only exercise is not going to work long term and can actually stall your weight loss efforts.
- Food Journal or tracking. While I don’t focus a lot on calorie counting, it can be helpful to have an approximate calorie goal range. This also helps us see if our balance of foods needs to be adjusted. If you’re stuck with your weight loss progress, this is a good time to evaluate your food intake and choices. It’s not always that your calories need to be lower – if you’ve been eating too few calories, weight loss can stall too. Try playing with the numbers and see what works. If you go too low, you’re going to lose muscle, which is NOT what you want as that will affect your metabolism negatively.
- Hydrate! Be sure you’re drinking plenty of water every day. Water helps with digestion and elimination. Water intake is an important element of our overall health and it can be helpful for weight loss too. Drinking 1/2 your body weight in ounces is a great goal.
BONUS TIP: Supplement your diet with nutritionals. Science has proven we can’t get everything we need from what we eat, even if we were eating healthy, all organic foods.Taking a high-quality multi-vitamin to support your healthy eating plus a probiotic for gut health so your system works properly to eliminate toxins that could be keeping weight & fat stuck is a good thing to add for weight loss and overall health. Here’s where I get mine at a discount. Need help chosing what you need? I can help.
If you’re feeling a little discouraged, focus on the positive and how you’re making better choices. Do the best you can for your health each day and you WILL see and feel changes. Be patient and just keep moving forward, one healthy choice at a time. Slow and steady is the way to go for long-term success.
Promise yourself you are not going to give up…you are in this for the long haul and you’re worth it! 🙂
Which of one of these are you struggling with?
Please know you’re not alone!! There are so many who are stuck too!
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