Overcoming Weight Loss Plateau
Nothing is more frustrating and demoralizing than setting a goal and getting stuck. You work your butt off week after week, just to step on the scale and see little to no change. You have hit a wall. You added cardio and weights to your workouts, cut back on sugar, and you feel like it is not making a dent.
It is so easy to get discouraged and give up, going back to old habits, but don’t! If you have hit a plateau and are not continuing to see results try any one of these tips. Don’t throw away all of your hard work. Give yourself a break, take a step back, and try something new.
Check out these tips and make a change. You can do it!
Don’t Always Trust the Scale
Just because the scale isn’t moving, it doesn’t mean that you are making zero progress toward your fitness goals and dream body. It’s easy to think you’ve hit a plateau when you don’t see additional weight loss on the scale, but that’s not always truly the case.
The scale is a poor marker of short-term progress because it doesn’t differentiate between changes in water, fat or muscle. Fluid regulation in the body is a fluid process, it is constantly changing, so one pound up or two pounds down on any given day doesn’t reflect any real changes in body composition. To avoid this false plateau, and motivation killer, make sure to track your progress through several different data points, including girth — chest, waist, arm size — and body-fat percentage. It is possible that you can be staying the same weight, but losing inches off your waist and other areas as your body tones and tightens.
Eat Low-Fat Protein to Manage Hunger Pangs
New findings show that a high protein diet can help squelch hunger. Protein foods work by suppressing ghrelin, a hormone secreted by the stomach that stimulates appetite (yes, it triggers hunger!). In a new study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, researchers found that foods high in fat actually raised levels of ghrelin and increased hunger. Carbohydrates soon made people even hungrier than they were before they had eaten. But it was the protein foods that lowered levels of ghrelin substantially, helping to keep hunger pangs in check.
Try Yoga to Avoid Stress Eating
Stress eating is binging on food — homemade chocolate chip cookies, salty chips, a handful of this, a fistful of that — to soothe your inner emotional turmoil, not your real hunger. Studies show that yoga lowers levels of stress hormones and increases insulin sensitivity — a signal to your body to burn food as fuel rather than store it as fat.
Interval training is a good way to up your calorie burn. “Interval training is exercising at high intensity for a period of time followed by low intensity exercise for a period of time,” Pillarella explains. For example, you might add sprints to your run or steep hills to your bike ride. You can get similar results with fartlek training — fartlek is Swedish for “speed play.” With fartlek, you vary your walking, running, or cycling routine at random to provide an aerobic and anaerobic workout. This method keeps your muscles and metabolism guessing!
Eat More Fruits and Veggies
A serving of fruit is about 60 to 90 calories. Vegetables are about 25 calories per serving, provided you steam or roast them plain. When you’re eating fruits and vegetables, you’re filling up on low-density, high-fiber foods that have high water content. Simply put, you’ll feel fuller faster. Eating just a little bit less can allow you to push past your weight loss plateau and start dropping pounds again.
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