Weight loss is more than eating less food overall..
Our bodies are miraculous. They can adapt to any stimulus we given them. If we minimise our food, then our bodies either burn our fat as a fuel source, or inhibit the loss of weight in favour of storing fat in our cells for later use. Whether we like it or not, our bodies have no idea we are on a diet. It’s main goal is to create homeostasis on all levels, in order to operate as effectively as possible. It want’s to keep you alive.
At any stage of our diet & exercise regime, we will start to experience what is called a plateau. That means, what we are currently doing is progressing a lot slower, or has halted. This can be very frustrating, especially when you have gone down the path of minimising your calories, to a point where you are constantly hungry and craving different foods.
What this may mean, is that your metabolism has slowed down considerably to conserve your bodies energy, making sure it has enough for the day to day activities. This is one of those things that will take some time and patience to breakthrough. There is a way, and I will show you how.
6 ways to break a weight loss plateau
- Change up your exercise by adding in more weight training. When adding weights to your workout routine, you will naturally add more muscle mass to your frame (and no, you won’t get huge). That means over time, you will increase your capacity to burn more calories because of the muscle you have built. It will also increase your insulin sensitivity, making it easier for your food to be shuttled to your muscles for energy use, rather than stored as fat. Your body will naturally let go of the need to store excess fat, and will allow you to once again become leaner. The magic of weight training is profound, in that it allows our bodies to work more efficiently. We were made to lift things and move around every day. The strain on our muscles also strengthens our connective tissue and bones.
- Decrease your carb intake. Opt for carbs strictly from veggies. One review of 13 studies followed up lasting at least a year, found that people who consumed 50 or fewer grams of carbs per day, lost more weight than those following traditional diets(1). Reducing carbs to this rate can help you move into the right direction against that stalled plateau. “Because you are decreasing the rate of carbs in your diet, your body will be forced to look for energy source from stored fat. Low carb diets also promote feelings of fullness and reduced cravings. That in turn makes you eat less calories over all, whist never feeling deprived.
Pick cruciferous veggies such as broccoli, kale, spinach and cabbage to add into your diet with every meal. Don’t forge to add a source of fat (such as avocado and olive oil) in order to help with the absorption of vitamins.
- Keep an eye out on your snacks by having a food journal. It’s really important to monitor what you are eating, as those mindless snacks can really have an effect on your weight loss goals.It’s also important to note, that when you eat well during the week, and completely splurge on the weekend, it can set you back immensely. That weekend could be undoing all your hard work. Whilst it’s important to create a balance, I would recommend you omit from any treats for a total of 40 days, in order to get your body back into a state of calorie deficit. Once you start losing some body fat again, then you can add in a cheat meal, and only one. The more body fat you lose, the more you can add into your diet.
Write everything down, and be completely honest with yourself. If you want to lose weight and really change your body, you have to face up to the fact that perhaps your diet isn’t as healthy as it should be. Don’t worry, this can be fixed up once you create awareness around it.
- Make sure you are getting enough protein. When we are trying to lose weight, it’s very easy to lose muscle mass as well. This means our metabolism slows down considerably, and can be a big give-away of a weight loss plateau. The trick is to make sure every single meal you have contains a source of protein. It does not have to be steak, have salmon, turkey or chicken breast instead. If you are on the run, take some eggs with you. There are several ways to prepare these meals so they are not only nutritious, but tasty and leave you feeling satisfied and crave free.Your signature amount of protein should be no bigger than the size of your palm. Make sure you eat low calorie sources of protein to really boost your fat burning potential. Don’t forget that protein is a thermogenic, and it actually burns calories in order to be digested and processed.
- Give intermittent fasting a go (this is my favourite). This is such a popular and easy way to kick start fat loss, and you don’t have to alter your diet too much (although I would stick to a healthy one). You don’t even have to fast every day in order to get the benefits. There are also a number of health benefits that go hand in hand with this kind of strategy.Alternate day fasting is a form or fasting that alternates between eating very few calories on day, and then going back to your normal eating pattern the next
This way of eating protects against loss of muscle mass more so than restricted caloric intake. It also trains your metabolism to work a lot more efficiently, reduces appetite and inhibits the signs of ageing.
- The magic of adding incidental exercise. This cannot be dismissed at all, because incidental exercises are the one thing which can help you day by day to decrease your body fat.Incidental exercise means opt to walk more, stand up more and just get moving, even though you may have already exercised. Although the impact on your metabolism can vary from another, every little thing counts and all ads up when wanting to lose body fat. Some ideas you could adapt are:-
– Walk to and from work every day, or take a longer journey
– Walk your dog every morning and evening
– Spend your lunch break walking rather than sitting
– Take the stairs or walk a longer distance to buy something
– Take public transport so you have to walk to and from destinations
– When with friends, walk and talk together by visiting a national park or strolling on the beach
I do hope these tips and tricks help to get you back into fat burning and weight loss mode if you have been experiencing a plateau. Reference to statistic: