Struggling with a Weight Loss Plateau? Here is How You Can Break Through
Anyone who has ever tried to lose weight has likely experienced the dreaded plateau. While the weight generally comes off easy during the first few weeks of the effort, this progress eventually stalls out over time. The good news is that there are a number of things that you can do to push through this plateau so that you keep shedding the pounds. Here are six tips to help you to move past the plateau so that you achieve your weight loss goals.
Keep a Food Journal
Some people see a plateau because they simply get complacent about how much they are truly eating. It is easy to lose track of how many calories you are eating a day and inadvertently eat too much to support your weight loss efforts. Keeping a food journal will hold you accountable for everything that you put into your stomach. There are a variety of apps that make it convenient to track your food intake. You can then see how much you are eating on a daily and a weekly basis.
Cut Calories or Carbs
You may have reached a plateau because you are taking in too many calories each day. As long as you are still above the recommended minimum of 1,200 calories per day, you can consider cutting out a few hundred more to see if that will push you through the plateau.
If you do not think it is an excessive amount of calories that is keeping you from losing more weight, it may be that you need to cut back specifically on your carb intake. A significant amount of research has proven that a low-carb diet is highly effective at jumpstarting your weight loss efforts because it helps to keep you feeling full longer.
Boost Exercise Frequency and Intensity
No weight loss plan is complete without an element of exercise. If you find yourself struggling with a plateau, it may be that you need to boost the frequency or intensity of your workouts. As you lose weight, your metabolism naturally begins to slow. You can counteract this natural slowdown by boosting your sweat sessions.
If you are already working out five times per week, you might want to simply increase the intensity of your existing workouts. Adding strength-training exercises may also be beneficial in fighting through the plateau. This is because muscle burns more calories than fat when at rest, giving you an increased metabolic production.
Your stress levels may be interfering with your ability to lose weight. As your body deals with stress, it also boosts cortisol production. The hormone cortisol has been shown to hinder weight loss efforts. In addition, too much stress leads to more binge eating. Thus, it is in your best interest to manage stress levels if you are dealing with a weight loss plateau. Practicing stress-reduction strategies such as exercise and meditation can help you to get your weight loss efforts back on track.
Increase Water Intake
It may be that you need to simply increase your daily water intake to get through the plateau. Plain water has been demonstrated to increase metabolism, making it an easy way to keep on track with your weight loss goals. Drinking a big glass of water before sitting down to a meal will also fill you up so that you do not overeat.
In addition to water, many people find that drinking more coffee or tea can also fight through the plateau. This is largely attributed to the caffeine in these drinks. Caffeine has been shown to boost fat burning and raise the body's natural resting metabolic rate.
Work in More Activity
Not all of your physical activity needs to be strenuous exercise. Working more short bouts of activity into your day can really add up over time. For example, try taking the stairs instead of the elevator. Or park in the farthest spot from the door when running errands. Standing when you can be sitting is another easy way to burn calories and battle against the plateau.
These six strategies will all work together to help you to break through that plateau so that you can continue your weight loss journey.
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