Have you ever hit a weight loss plateau? For weeks you were consistently losing weight on your program, but suddenly your weight gets stuck for a few days. At that point you get discouraged and worried and are willing to try shortcuts like pills, crash diets, etc. or are willing to give up the weight loss program altogether.
A weight loss plateau is actually normal. It is a period of time during which your body weight remains at the same level. The word “weight loss” doesn’t differentiate between changes in fat, muscle and water content.
Here are some tips to follow to help you break through the plateau:
1) Avoid weighing yourself too frequently: It is recommended to weigh yourself just once a week for accurate results. Our weight fluctuates from day-to-day, sometimes several times within the same day. Checking your weight everyday can lead to discouragement and de-motivation.
2) Start exercising: When you exercise, your body flushes away toxins and excess water from your system. It also helps burn fat. It helps you build muscle that burns more calories during rest, and hence further increases your metabolic rate.
3) Keep yourself hydrated: Drinking water in the morning increases the metabolic rate and actually helps promote weight loss. It acts as an appetite suppressant. It fills you up and keeps you away from overeating. You feel less hungry with better control on your cravings.
4) Don’t starve yourself: Your body needs energy and energy comes from the food you eat. Starving yourself kills your metabolism. You will burn body fat, but in order to keep your blood sugar up, your body will turn to your muscle tissue. The body can make glucose from protein, but if you are not getting any protein, it uses your muscles. This further slows down your metabolism.
5) Keep a check on your calorie intake: Swap high-calorie foods for high-fiber and high-water foods to overcome a weight loss plateau. For eg, eating an apple that is high in fiber and water content instead of calorie-dense crackers or soda contributes to low-caloric intake and also keeps your fuller for a longer period.
6) Eat fruits and veggies: Include fruits and veggies in your diet as they are high in fiber with minerals and vitamins. They usually provide a lot of stomach-filling volume, but not a lot of calories.
7) Eat low-fat protein to manage hunger pangs: Protein takes time to digest and hence helps you control your hunger pangs. It helps build muscle and keeps you fuller for longer. The body burns more calories to maintain muscle while at rest, leading to greater fat loss.