Gaining weight is easy to do, and it can happen to anyone if people are not careful and although we step on the scale and easily see the pounds increasing, but unfortunately, we don’t allow the eyes to see the body changing. Weight gain is subtle; a few pound here and a few pounds there, and before you know it, your clothes are too snug and you are searching madly for clothes that fit. For many people, this is a pattern that will continue until the person is significantly overweight and wondering what happened and how they got there.
Well, at least you have hit the stop button by recognizing you are overweight, and need to begin to do something, and that something is lose weight. We all know how to lose weight and get into shape, it is through diet and exercise. But knowing is the easy part. A proper diet, staying away from high fat food, and bad foods, along with a regular exercise routine will spring your body into weight loss mode and you will begin to see the weight shed off quickly. Once the pound starts to go, there is an eagerness to lose more weight faster.
However, one of the reasons many abandon their weight loss path is because over time, the weight that was once rapidly being lost suddenly slows down. Instead of losing pounds week after week, it becomes ounces, and then, the weight loss just stops. A plateau has been reached and the eager enthusiasm of a diet has been replaced with frustration, and for many people, complete abandon of their diet.
A plateau happens because after dieting and exercising for awhile, the metabolism begins to slow down. Although you are still working hard, and watching your food intake and output of calories through exercises equals out and the plateau begins.
The plateau is the biggest reason why people fall off the diet wagon and return to their old habits. Unfortunately, these dieters have given up too soon because a plateau does not have to last and you can spring back into weight loss success. You just have to make some changes in your daily routines.
The options are, increase your workouts or decrease your calories, and for most people, who have been dieting for a longer period of time, their caloric intake is already pretty low. However, if it isn’t, you may want to cut back some calories but in addition to that, or instead of that, you may want to try the following.
1) Make some changes in your exercise program because change is good. If you are doing the same exercises or routines on a regular basis, your body expects it. If you have been riding a bike, then try running. If you have been running, and enjoy running, you can mix it up with hills or sprints. If you have been swimming or doing aerobics, try P90X3 workouts. Change is good, and that will be confirmed when you see your plateau being broken.
2) Incorporate weight training into your workout and if you are already lifting, rearrange your daily programs. Although weight lifting is not a high cardio workout, it will help to reignite the plateaued metabolism. A pound of muscle can burn up to 20 calories a day but a pound of fat can only burn 5 calories a day so turning fat into muscle will increase your metabolism and help to burn fat. There are many weight training workouts available online if you’re not sure what to do or try videos like Les Mills Body Pump.
3) Although you may be counting calories, it is really easy to exceed your caloric intake. Dieters need to remember to stay in their calorie limits. In addition, make sure you are proper portion sizes and a healthy balance of carbs, protein and fats and make healthy substitutions.
4) Make sure to eat a high fiber breakfast so you will be full and not indulge in snacks, or eat a large lunch.
5) If you are already eating 1200 calories a day, then you should not reduce your caloric intake, however, if your daily caloric intake is over 1200 calories, then reduce your intake by a 100 or 200 calories, or more to reignite the stalled metabolism.
6) Increase the amount of protein you are consuming by eating more lean meat, fish and poultry. The reason protein should be a main part of your caloric intake is because it takes more energy to burn protein and complete the digestive process. Remember, protein first!
Remember, a successful diet is one that is done right, not a fad diet where you lose large amounts of weight extremely fast. Every dieter will hit plateaus but you have to be disciplined to work through them. The main way to overcome a weight loss plateau is to keep your eyes on the prize, and that is, a thinner, healthier, and better you.
If you need help overcoming a weight loss plateau, feel free to contact me. We can look at your regular routine and make some changes to get you going again!
Do you have any other advice for those trying to overcome a plateau?
***If you have 50+ lbs to lose, you’re invited to join my accountability group. This is a long-term group losing weight with exercise and real food. If you’d like more information, please email me!**