6 Ways to Break Through a Weight Loss Plateau
Are You Stuck in a Weight Loss Plateau?
Your new diet was working great for a while; you were losing weight consistently, but now you seem to be stuck at a weight loss plateau. Before you quit, here are six tips that can help you break through your weight loss plateau.
1 – Look at Your Current Dietary Habits
Take a close look at what your current dietary habits consist of on a daily basis. In my experience, many of my clients have insisted they eat “healthy”; however upon closer inspection they are eating far too many calories. I always have them do a 5-day diet journal, with the understanding that they don’t change anything they are currently doing. You can’t get a clear vision of what is going on if you decrease your current consumption or stop eating the “little cheats”. It is also important to track how much water is being consumed and how much activity is being done.
Quite often people are simply eating too many calories. I have had clients who eat almonds because they are healthy, however they don’t consider 1 cup of almonds has a whopping 823 calories. Which for most people on a weight loss plan is about half of their daily intake. Once my clients hand in their diet journals, I evaluate them and review ways to decrease what they are currently eating. It is important for you to consult your personal trainer or nutritionist about your current dietary habits for an accurate appraisal of what you can do to reduce excess calories.
Many people underestimate how much food they are consuming. I ask most of my clients to start measuring how much food they are putting on their plate. This way we know they are accurately tracking how many calories they are consuming throughout the day.
Tracking food is another way to ensure you are eating in the right balance. People are quite often eating all the right food, but in the wrong quantities. Most people should be following the 40/30/30 rule if you haven’t seen a Naturopath or Nutritionist to give you other instructions. In other words, your diet should be 40% carbohydrates, 30% protein and 30% fat. The carbs should be complex, the protein from only clean organic free range animal sources or non-GMO vegetarian sources and mostly unsaturated fats although 10% can safely be saturated.
2 – Remove Processed Foods and Replace them with Whole Foods
Simple suggestions like removing processed foods goes a long way with getting back on track and breaking your weight loss plateau. Go back to the old rule of getting rid of everything white which includes white rice, white flour and white potatoes. Replace them with whole grain rice, whole grain or alternative flour and yams or sweet potatoes.
Sometimes you need to switch up your current meal strategies. For example, if you eat three large meals without snacks, try a grazing plan with six mini meals instead. On the other hand, if you’ve been eating several small meals a day and snacking often, then try skipping the snacks and replacing them with larger meals less frequently. Once you have started to break through the weight loss plateau, then go back to the plan that best suits your routine.
Choose to eat fresh food from the earth! The best plan is to grow it, then eat it and plenty of it. Vegetables have very few calories and pack a lot of nutrition. By eating large amounts of vegetables, you fill your stomach, which in turn, will shut off your hunger response. Packaged food will usually have less nutritional value and many additives and hidden sugars. Just remember, if you don’t know what an ingredient is then you shouldn’t be putting it in your body.
3 – Drink Plenty of Water
Make sure you drink plenty of water every day! Get up and start your day with at least 500mls of fresh water before you have anything else. When cells don’t have enough fluid, they shrink which will signal your body to slow your metabolism. When you are dehydrated by only 3%, it slows your metabolism by about 2 %. Depending on your weight, level of activity and even gender, the amount of fluids you require will vary. Check online for a calculator or ask your certified personal trainer to calculate it for you. Start with 8, 8 Oz glasses of water a day until you have a more accurate measure of your fluid needs.
4 – Get your Resting Metabolism Checked
Another thing to consider is the fact that as you decrease in size, you will start to burn fewer calories naturally! When your metabolism slows down, you will need to reduce the number of calories you are consuming if you want to continue to lose weight at the same rate.
How many calories you require depends on several things. In order to have an exact measure of the number of calories to consume, Infofit has their clients do a Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR) test. The RMR test tells us accurately how many calories your body needs to sustain itself, which then gives us the number of calories you should be consuming to reduce girth. Check out these free Fitness Calculators to get an idea of where you fit.
Remember you need to burn 3,500 calories more a week than you consume to lose just one pound. You need to be at a 500 calorie a day deficit to lose a pound per week.
5 – Online and Real Time Support Systems
Make sure you have a support system in place. Join an online calorie tracking program and have your friends join with you! Most of these programs allow you to add your friends into a friend community so you can share your success with one another. The tracking programs will also let your support system know if you are “falling off the wagon.” A problem shared is always less of a burden than trying to go it alone. Sometimes just a little helping hand is all you will need to get back on track!
6 – Hire a Personal Trainer
Adding more exercise into your daily routine is imperative! If you are currently sedentary or have little experience with working out, you may want to consider hiring a certified personal trainer. He/she can save you lots of wasted time and energy trying to figure it out for yourself. You could also start with daily walks, fitness classes or start swimming. The goal is just to move!
Follow these 6 tips and beak that weight loss plateau!
Cathie Glennon – BCRPA/SFL, Rehab Specialist, Pharm Tech (Level 3)