If you have been trying to lose weight, then you already know that it involves a lot of hard work, determination and sweat. The one common problem that most people seem to run into while dieting is what to do when they hit that all too common “plateau”. That frustrating point when the needle on the scale just won’t budge anymore, regardless of what you do.
Know that you are not alone and that you are heading in the right direction (although it might not feel like it.) When you hit that point in your weight loss where your body is staying at the same weight, it means that it is ready for more of a challenge. Most likely you are thinking, “Oh super, another challenge.” Don’t fret, it just means it is time to mix things up a bit in your diet or fitness routine. Think about what healthy changes you have made in your diet or fitness routine that has gotten you to where you are now, and try to incorporate a few new simple habits.
- Watch The Sugars. Even if you are drinking diet or zero-calorie sodas, there is still something to note: They are still sodas. According to Harvard Medical School, research has shown that the body cannot differentiate the type of sugar in your body. These artificial sweeteners can actually make it harder to lose weight. Opt for some plain water which is hydrating and filling. If you must have bubbles, try seltzer water and squeeze in a dash of fresh lemon, orange or lime for a refreshing (and truly sugar-free) drink.
- Cut Back on Meat. Yes, lean protein is vital when increasing lean muscle and keeping energy at its peak, but dense meat is harder for the stomach to break down. Try to institute a “Meatless Monday” and make a protein-rich meal like hearty lentil soup with a side salad. It might not sound very filling, but these little legumes are rich in dietary fiber, folic acid, and antioxidants which will be sure to keep you satisfied long after you’re done with your meal. Plus, you can end up saving on groceries per week as well, as meat tends to be very pricey.
- Cook Your Own Meals. Sure those Lean Cuisines are easy to just pop in the microwave after a rough day at work; but not only are the portions very small, they are loaded with sodium and other unhealthy preservatives. All these unnecessary “extras” will add extra bloating and puffiness to your physique.Cooking your own meal is not only healthier and fresher since you are in control of what you are putting into it; you are also taking the time to make a nourishing meal for yourself. Chances are you won’t inhale the dinner you took time to prepare like that tiny box of frozen diet food. Make it an experience! Put on some fun music and sip on a glass of seltzer water with a lemon or lime slice and enjoy the process.
If work or other responsibilities are preventing you from making your meal when
you get home, utilize the slow cooker! Simply throw the ingredients in the pot in the morning before work, and come home to the delicious smell of a home cooked meal.
4. “Beef Up” Your Cardio. Try adding on an added 30 minutes of cardio after your regular workout routine. If you have been walking an hour on the treadmill for the past four months, then it is time to challenge your muscles (and your metabolism.) Try running those extra 30 minutes, or try a new exercise that you might like. Contrary to what you might be thinking, exercising should be fun! Think of it more as “play” then “work”.
Think about something you enjoy that you can do to burn calories. Do you like to dance? Sign up for a sizzling Zumba or belly dancing class. Don’t have the money to join a fitness club? Close the curtains, turn up the music and dance around the house for an hour. Maybe walking would be more fun if you looked at scenery and felt the fresh air instead of walking on a treadmill. Spice it up and make it work…for you.
Remember: there is no one secret formula, pill, diet plan or diet shake that can work for everyone. Your weight loss is as unique to you as your own fingerprint. Once you figure out what works for you, you will be on the path to steady, healthy weight loss.
- 10 Tips to Get Off the Diet Plateau (everydayhealth.com)
- Breaking Through a Weight Loss Plateau (fastslimbody.com)
- High Workout Intensity is a Top Weight Loss Plateau Buster (herfitnesshut.com)