Every weight loss plan is going to come across a plateau. It’s very natural for your body. What happens is, the minute you start losing weight, your body kicks in your appetite a little bit. It doesn’t really like to lose its built up fat stores. You have to fight the body to do what you want it to do. Sometimes it might be just shocking the body with a new workout routine. Your body does get used to what you are doing and if you have been doing the same exact routine for one full year, your body absolutely needs a shock. Sometimes, you have gotten lazy with your good eating habits and your portions have become a little bit bigger than they used to be. Or, your body is just fighting you with all its might to get those fat reserves back. No fear, perseverance is key! Although a plateau can be really frustrating, if you trust that doing a few key things can help get you through it and you don’t give up, you will train your body to a new set point and get past that frustrating plateau. Here are my 8 tips to hack your weight loss plateaus!
1. Kick up your workouts a notch.
Start wearing your heart rate monitor and calculate how many calories you are burning in your workout hour. If you are at 300 calories, bump it up to 500 by adding a weight class or trying a couple more spin classes a week. Or just add another day to your schedule.
2. Go back to basics.
Are you getting in your water? Maybe you started out with a gallon or 120oz. and now you are down to 32oz. Get that water in! It can be the difference between definition in your muscles and 5-7lbs on the scale of just water weight from sodium. Water is going to help you shed that water weight and shed toxins in your body.
3. Reassess your food combos
Are you combining your protein with your carb at every meal or have you slipped back into your high carb old habits? Eating protein with every meal will help you to feel more satiated without extra carbohydrates. If you just eat carbs, especially the white flour ones like crackers, pretzels and bread, you are not getting any nutritional value from them and your body will not feel satisfied. If you go to whole grains and then add a protein, you will be able to eat less of the carbohydrate and feel very satiated with great energy all day.
4. Incorporate Essential Fatty Acids that help burn fat more efficiently
Things like flaxseed oil, omega 3 oil, castor oil, cod liver oil and coconut oil all help you feel more satiated throughout the day, cut down on sugar cravings and give you the fat you need to burn fat efficiently. If you are not eating fish like Salmon every day, you really need a good omega supplement!
5. Watch your portions and calories
Maybe you are still eating the healthy food and good ratios of protein to carb, but your portions have gotten bigger and your calories are up by 200-300 more. Try to start measuring things out again and start logging your food down to see where you are at every day and regain that control. We use PFC RevUp for our clients to journal their nutrition and activities.
6. Honestly track how much alcohol you consume in a week
Are you drinking alcohol more than once a week? Maybe you need to cut back a little to get past the plateau. Alcohol is sugar and if you are drinking and eating a lot of carbs at night, you are most likely storing them as fat. If you are going to drink, cut out that pasta or brown rice with the meal and use your wine as your carb so the meal is still balanced. That will help your calorie intake as well. But if you find alcohol to be a gateway for you to eat bad food, then maybe it needs to go until you reach your goal.
7. Eat less more often
Are you eating often enough to make your metabolism rev? Maybe you have slipped back into old habits of only getting 2 square meals in a day and those meals are huge because you are starving. Remember that eating throughout the day, little mini meals every 3 hours, will help you to eat less at a sitting, get your metabolism really working hard, and will set you up for success so you won’t overeat at any one meal.
8. Mind over Matter- Attitude Check!
Throughout this journey, especially during a plateau, it is so important to keep a positive attitude. The power of the mind can do wonders. If you stay positive and know you will get through this time, you will! But if you give up and start being negative with yourself, it will be a very fast downward spiral that will only take you back to where you started from. Trust and believe in yourself and you will continue on with this healthy lifestyle for life!