Weight loss plateau is frustrating and discouraging, but it is a natural and mostly unavoidable part of the process of weight loss. It can be overcome. In this article I’ll share tips to show you how to break a weight loss plateau, so that you can go on with losing weight.
Perhaps you are not familiar with the term weight loss plateau, also called the diet plateau, but all you know that despite following your diet exercise plan, you are stuck and you do not seem to be able to lose weight. Perhaps you even gained some. Awful feeling, isn’t it?
You may want to read the previous article where I describe what is is weight loss plateau and why it happens to most of the dieters.
Tips To Break A Weight Loss Plateau
You can easily overcome this “dieter nemesis” by following the simple tips below. Before I’ll discuss the ways to overcome the diet plateau, I just want to make a side comment.
When you understand that this plateau is a natural and mostly unavoidable part of the process of losing weight, you are in fact accomplishing a major step toward breaking through the weight loss plateau. Once you accept it, knowing that there are easy ways to overcome this “problem”, you automatically stop stressing and obsessing about it. Because stress is one of the major obstacles for losing weight, de-stressing is a major step toward losing weight again.
- Keep a journal of all your activities and food you eat
For one to two weeks keep keep a food and activity journal. This is especially essential to find out whether you are unknowingly eating some foods that may by of higher calorie value than you thought. With respect to the activities, the journal may help you find out whether there is a stalemate in your activities as well.
Given that the journal of activities and food intake is listed as number 1 on the list of these tips, you might have guessed that the two most important steps to help you break the weight loss plateau relate to exercise and eating.
- Asses the calorie intake of foods you eat.
Eat less: Obviously if you’ll find that you are consuming more calories that your plan allows, curb them down as this may be your problem. It is common to underestimate the calories of the foods you eat. You may not even be aware that salad dressings, sauces, condiments, and many low-fat or no-fat processed foods contain substantially more calories than we think they do. Read food labels very carefully.
Stop drinking diet drinks. Many people on a diet drink diet sodas made with artificial sweeteners. Studies show that when, at plateau, you stop drinking diet drinks you will begin to lose weight again.
Eat more: A less obvious issue is under eating. Many people are under an erroneous impression that less is more when dieting. Nothing could be further from truth. Many dieters fall into this trap. You may not be consuming enough calories to sustain you basic body functions. When this happens your metabolism will significantly slow down to protect your body and you will not be losing any weight. Also make sure that you do not skip meals and eat 4-5 times per day.
Add a variety to the food you eat. Our bodies get accustomed to routines. Eating the same food day after day causes your metabolism to slow down. To keep your metabolism “in check” and in high gear you need to change your menu often. Be creative and add new foods you are not accustomed to. Add hot spices to your food as they are known to boost metabolism and keep your weight in check.
- Change your exercise routine
Exercise: If you find that your activities do not include enough exercise or that you essentially do not exercise at all, this has to change. Did you know that to lose one pound you need to lose about 3500 calories. That is equivalent to 10 hours of brisk walking. If you do not have 10 extra hours per week or if you do not like walking use another activity, just make sure you move.
Alter and boost your exercise: Like with food, our bodies will get used to and eventually will not respond to routine exercise. Whatever exercise you were doing change it and add a variety. If you only did cardio type of exercise add a bit of weight training. Also you may want to intensify your exercise. For example if you walked for 20 minutes, increase it to 25 or 30 minutes. Experiment with it and have fun.
- Drink water, water and more water
Many people underestimate the importance of drinking plenty of water. Water hydrates your cells and ads elasticity to your skin. In addition to these wonderful attributes water flushes out toxins from your body. From the point of view of weight loss, as the fat cells shrink they release toxins that need to be flushed out. If they are not they will accumulate in your liver and kidneys and will affect the mechanisms that play role in fat accumulation and/or fat burning. This may result in your inability to lose fat.
As well, people mistaken water for hunger. Often when you think you feel like having a snack, all you want is water. Have a glass of water before you take the snack and see if your hunger pangs will go away. In addition, after we eat our blood gets thicker. This often makes one feel lethargic. To avoid the lethargy, have a glass of water after a meal.
The amount of water you need to drink depends on your size. To see how much water you need to drink multiply your body weight by 0.55. That will give you the number of ounces your body requires. To determine how many cups that is divide the number by 8. If you do not want to do the calculation, an average recommended daily intake of water is 8 – 10 cups.
- Re-assess your expectations
Be patient. Losing weight is a slow process. What you may see on the Biggest Looser Show is not necessarily what you should expect. After an initial, somewhat rapid, weight loss the pounds will leave you at a much reduced speed. Under normal circumstances you will lose about one pound per week, some people may lose two pounds per week on average. That is all right. At one pound per week, you are bound to lose 52 pounds in one year. Remember you may have accumulated all that weight over much longer period than one year.
- Revitalize your motivation
After a while and especially when you hit the weight loss plateau you are ready to throw in the towel. Don’t give up. You have done an awesome job of changing your lifestyle. Many aspect of your new life you begin to love. You feel healthier and more energetic. That is an awesome accomplishment. You are more than half way there.
When you begin to have doubts and your motivation is at its lowest you need to re-charge it. Go over the reasons why you wanted to lose weight to begin with. Write them down. Those are the same reasons why you still want to lose weight. You wanted to be healthier and happier. You still do. Keep looking at your list whenever you are down. Do not berate yourself. On the contrary, pat yourself on the shoulder for the work well down. You may want to read the following motivation tips here…
Do not let the weight loss plateau defeat you. Accept it as part of the weight loss process, a sort of a pit stop for re-assessing and re-charging. If you have not read the preceding article that explains why diet plateau happens, take some time and read it. Knowing what you are dealing with, may just help you get over this hurdle and back on track.