How to Overcome The Weight Loss Plateau


scaleA weight loss plateau is a frustrating experience that can bring your body image goals to a screeching halt.

It occurs when -- after several weeks of positive, steady weight loss -- your weight loss stops.

This can leave you feeling hopeless especially if you continued to follow the exercise and diet plan that caused you to lose the weight. When you experience a weight loss plateau, it is important to stay highly motivated and re-design your regimen to jump-start your body back into weight loss.

Exercise

When you have hit a weight loss plateau, try changing your exercise routine and increase the resistance and weights you are using.

Your body can become accustomed to the weights you are lifting and by switching to a heavier weight, your muscles will begin working harder.

Another option is to forgo your old exercise routine and try something new. For example, instead of jogging try playing squash or swimming. This can challenge your body and jolt it back into the weight loss process.

Remember to always consult with your primary care physician before beginning an exercise program.

Calories

It takes a loss of 3,500 calories to lose 1 pound of fat and many individuals count calories daily to reduce the amount of calories they are consuming.

However, if you’re not eating enough calories to fit your level of activity, your body could go into starvation mode and your metabolism slows down. This can be detrimental to your weight loss goals.

Most nutritionist recommends eating five small meals a day so your body is constantly receiving new energy. This will help keep your body burning calories and fat.

Fiber and Protein

Dietary fiber is an important asset when trying to lose weight and it can help nudge your weight loss plateau. Fiber promotes proper bowel movements and leaves you feeling fuller for a longer period of time.

The National Fiver Council recommends gradually increasing your fiber intact to 25 to 30 grams a day. Dietary fiber can be found in various foods -- such as grains and legumes -- and supplements, which are readily available at grocery stores and health food centers.

As your body digests protein, your metabolism increases and your weight loss plateau can get a much needed jump. Protein can be found in a wide array of foods but the best source is from animals since it contains essential amino acids. Choose turkey breast and egg whites for a low fat protein choice.

Water and Green Teaglass of water

Dehydration is a common occurrence that -- if not severe -- can go unnoticed and even a little dehydration can negatively affect your metabolism.

Your body requires water to burn fat and if you’re drinking caffeinated beverages instead of water, you’re dehydrating your cells. Instead, choose water over other beverages.

Green tea is another beverage you can drink to help aid in your weight loss goals. Green tea contains natural compounds that can aid in fat burning and raise metabolism.

However, you must drink at a minimum of four cups a day to receive these benefits.

Make Smart Choices

Snacking is something that we all do not matter how hard we try. A cookie here a cookie there will quickly add up and stale your weight loss process. Instead, choose vegetables, fruits or a few almonds when you need a quick snack, and avoid nutrient-deficient foods that are high in calories.

No matter how steadfast you are about your diet, there may come a time when you find yourself in a fast food restaurant trying to find the healthiest option among their menu filled with greasy burgers. When this occurs, chose a burger with a single patty no cheese or mayo and only tomato and lettuce.

Avoiding Foods

There are many foods that will throw a wrench in your weight loss plan and leave you feeling worse off than before. Foods filled with saturated and trans fats should be avoided and instead choose good fats such as olive oil.

Olive oil is full of oleic acid and fish oil, which contains omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids have been linked to lower body weight, which is great news for people trying to overcome their weight loss plateau. Furthermore, consider trading starchy carbohydrates for non-starchy vegetables.

Another weight loss killer is surgery drinks such as soft drinks and fruit drinks that contain little to no actual fruit juice. These beverages contain empty calories and zero nutrition. Instead, drink purified water or a sugar-drink alternative that is filled with nutrients.

Remember that your success should be gauged by measurements and not weight. Muscle weighs more than fat so if you’re gaining muscle and losing inches, you will see a gain on the scale. That is why it’s important to use a tape measure once a week as well as a scale to track your body’s changes.

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