If you’ve ever tried losing weight in your lifetime, you’ve probably grown familiar with a plateau. A weight loss plateau is when your weight stops changing after having gone through a succession of weight losses. It’s an all too familiar scenario of hitting a certain weight and getting on the scale for several days after having done all you can and still seeing the same old number. Seeing this can be extremely discouraging and you just might throw in the towel and give up. Frustrating as it might be, plateaus are quite common but the good news is, there is a way out.
Yes, you read it right. There is a way out. You don’t have to suffer through seeing the same number and being stuck for a long time. Check out these 6 easy steps to break free from a plateau (some of them aren’t even food related)
1. Manage Stress Levels
We’ve often heard how stress levels can affect not just our mental health but our weight as well. Stress triggers cravings and promotes comfort eating along with increasing the body’s cortisol levels. Cortisol is known as the stress hormone that aids the body in stress response but stores fat as well. In today’s busy world, calming down and not stressing out can be such a challenge, but it doesn’t mean it isn’t doable.
Take charge of the stressors in your life and break free from the plateau. If you are currently dealing with stress, it helps to meditate for at least 20 minutes to help clear your mind. Working out is another great stress buster. Do at least 150 minutes of physical activity per day. It has been proven through studies that managing stress can lead to weight loss
2. Eat More Fiber
Ever since we were younger our parents would always remind us to eat our fruits and vegetables and as much as we didn’t like them back then, we can thank fruits and vegetables for aiding us in our weight loss journey right now. Eating more fiber helps ease you out of the plateau stage and continue with your weight loss goals. Soluble fiber slows down the food movement in the digestive system, making you feel fuller longer, keeping appetite and eventually weight under control.
Based on research involving fiber intake, a daily intake of around 18 to 36 grams could lead to 130 less calories absorbed during meals.
3. Avoid Alcoholic Substances
As much fun as it is grabbing a drink on a weekend, if you are seeking to lose weight, an excess of alcohol could be holding you back from your goals. Alcohol makes you more uninhibited and careless when it comes to portion control of food and drink despite the drink in itself being only a hundred calories.
According to a study involving 283 adults in a weight loss behavioral program, the less alcohol you consume, the more weight you lose. This was also observed in a group of adults with high impulsivity rates. To get a bit more technical, alcohol was found to have been responsible for suppressing fat burning, leading to fat accumulation. To push forward with your weight loss goals, drink responsibly or don’t drink at all.
4. Spread Protein Intake Throughout The Day
Never, ever skip your protein (or any food group of that matter) when on a weight loss journey. Protein helps boost your metabolic rate, increasing the thermic effect of food by a whopping 20-30%, a lot higher than that of carbohydrates or fat. Protein also stimulates the production of hormones like PYY which helps reduce appetite. We all know that protein helps with muscle building and maintaining adequate protein intake helps protect you from muscle loss that typically occurs during weight loss.
If you’re having trouble squeezing in protein into your daily diet, know that you can spread it out throughout the day. Consuming protein throughout the day increases the metabolism by way of TEF (thermic effect of food) and helps retain muscles even with weight loss.
5. Sleep, Sleep, Sleep
Just like stress, sleep or the lack thereof is another thing that is quite hard to come by nowadays as a direct effect of the bustling lives we lead. However, despite popular rumors that lack of sleep can contribute to weight loss, this is but a myth. A lack of sleep can cause the opposite to happen. A lack of sleep can contribute to weight gain by altering your metabolism and hormones that can make you feel hungrier than usual, leading you to eat more in uregulated amounts, therefore leading to weight gain.
It’s always been told to us ever since: get at least 8 hours of sleep a day. Not only will you be doing your physical and mental health great favors, if you’re seeking to lose weight, you might find yourself closer to your goals than you realize (and feel refreshed while you get there, too).
6. Stay on Track: Track Your Food Intake
Of course, who could forget being mindful of your food intake when losing weight? This is a priority since this helps you stay accountable of your eating habits and helps you ensure that you are on the right track. Since estimating intake can be quite hard, some people eat and eat and underestimate the amount of calories that they take in, which leads them feeling dumbfounded when they’ve seen they’ve gained weight or their weight hasn’t budged at all. Some research involving individuals report that they think they’ve only been eating 1,200 calories, only to have it revealed to be double once it was tracked.
Tracking helps you stay mindful of your caloric and nutritional intake and allows you to make certain modifications on your diet if need be. Apart from that, tracking your food intake can also enhance your weight loss efforts since you know the problem places and how to fix them. If you are having trouble with food tracking and technicalities, know that you can always consult a registered nutritionist dietitian.
Weight loss plateau can be extremely inconvenient and frustrating, especially if you’ve got a goal to reach. However, there is always a way out and before you know it, you find yourself reaching your target weight. Remember always to take everything in moderation and incorporate healthy habits in your daily routine as every single thing contributes to the end result.
Are you seeking to lose weight? Is gaining weight a challenge for you? Perhaps you are in need of weight loss medication? Look no further! Get in touch with a weight specialist and a registered nutritionist dietitian in order to get personalized plans that are set to help you achieve your goals.