11 Tips to Break Through a Plateau
Ask any dieter and you will probably find out that they, too, have experienced a weight loss plateau at some point in their weight loss journey. Here are some quick tips and questions to ask yourself to figure out what’s behind your plateau and get you back on track.
When Food is the Culprit
- Which menu are you following? The Jenny Planned Menu or Personalized Menu(Let Me Plan It)? Remember, the planned menu is already set to contain close to your weight loss calorie level and is nutritionally balanced. If you are planning your own, review your choices to make sure you have a variety of items to vary calories and nutrients.
- Portion distortion. Take a quick peek at the grocery list to make sure you are using appropriate serving sizes. For example, did you know that one whole egg counts as a Medium/High Fat Meat (1 Meat + 1 Fat)? But, if you use just the whites, two of those only count as 1 Lean Meat (1 Meat) and could save you 35 calories.
- Skipping meals or snacks? Keep hunger at bay by eating 3 meals and 2-3 snacks throughout the day. Start your day with breakfast, eat every 3-4 hours, and keep your evening snack light. Eating triggers digestion and stimulates your metabolism. Additional benefits to small frequent meals include increased energy levels, a better regulation of blood sugar and blood insulin levels, and increased absorption and utilization of nutrients.
- Review Free and Limited Free Foods. How many are you using and how often? They still contain calories and excess calories regardless of the source can cause weight gain. Remember to eat to satisfaction and measure your intake. Don’t gorge on them just because they are ‘free’.
- Try something new. Review your current fitness routine. Has it become too easy? Do you need to add some variety or kick up the intensity a notch? Try something new like a spinning class or a Pilates video at home. You’d be surprised at some of the muscles you forgot you had.
- Add strength training. Including resistance training can help rev your metabolism -- by building more muscle, you'll burn more calories, even at rest.
- Have fun with intervals. Consider increasing your intensity with intervals. Listen to your favorite music and alternate your regular pace with 1-2 minute bursts at a higher level to burn more calories. It can actually help the time pass by faster!
Time for a Wellness Check
- Sleeping enough? Are you getting the recommended 7-9 hours of sleep each night? Adequate sleep allows for the body to repair itself. Lack of sleep can affect hunger hormones and inadvertently affect your weight loss. Keep your bedroom dark, cool and quiet; and try to have a relaxing pre-bed routine such as taking a warm bath or having a cup of warm tea. You may also want to try to limit your caffeine intake after lunch.
- Feeling Stressed? Stress can cause the body to raise levels of a hormone called cortisol. Increased cortisol may make the body more likely to store abdominal fat and “crave” more calories following a stress reaction. While you can’t change or control what always happens to you in life, you can control how you react to or deal with it. If you’re feeling stressed, you can restore calmness with a combination of physical activity and life-balancing strategies.
- Planning and tracking. When is the last time you planned your menu or tracked your food? Maybe you grabbed a latte while out shopping or you barely remember going through the fast food drive thru on the way home after a stressful day. Monitoring your intake can be critical to weight loss success. Letting little things slide could create an avalanche.
- Support makes all the difference. Make a public commitment to your goal. Simply blogging or tweeting about your success (or failures) can influence your choices which may keep you in weight loss mode. Joining, or even just reading, online weight loss forums can connect you with others who are dealing with similar situations. You can often get great ideas and tips that you might have never thought of. Check out Jenny’s online community today.
A healthy lifestyle is made up of a whole collection of small, daily decisions. If you find yourself in a rut with your weight loss plan, revisit the food, activity and wellness choices you are making. You may find there are a few things that you can do differently to get the results you want.