Five Weight-Loss Strategies to Break Thru a Plateau
Ever step on the scale and notice the number doesn’t seem to budge? It’s frustrating. Especially if you’ve made the effort to change your diet, exercise, and make smart lifestyle choices.
So what happens when you hit a weight-loss plateau, and what can you do about it?
1. Don’t panic
You might be tempted to give up on eating clean, throw in the towel, and binge-eat whatever you want. Don’t do that, OK. It’s just your body’s way of saying, it’s time for something different. Not dramatically different, just an adjustment to tip the scale in the right direction.
2. Make a small change to your diet
If you started your journey significantly overweight and out of shape, it’s easier to lose weight in the beginning. But then your metabolism adapts, and it gets harder to lose weight. Every 4 to 8 weeks, or every 10 pounds of weight loss, take a closer look at your diet. It may be time to change your daily calorie and macronutrient (proteins, fats, and carbs) goals.
3. HIIT your workouts with a little more hustle
Most workouts are effective for 4 to 8 weeks to build muscle strength and endurance, and burn body fat. But after that, the body starts to adapt. And if you want to keep making progress, you need to change one variable of your workout (frequency, intensity, time, or type). High-intensity interval training or HIIT is a proven way to burn calories and fat in shorter exercise sessions than slow and steady walking or jogging. Strength training and resistance exercise can also help you burn calories, improve body composition and lose weight.
4. Track everything you eat
Been using the eye-ball method to eat healthy? It works for weight loss, until it doesn’t. When the scale seems to hit a sticking point, take a closer look at your diet. Tracking everything you eat is a good place to start. You’ll get a clear picture of how many calories you’re consuming, and what your macronutrients (protein, fats, and carbs) look like. You might be surprised by what you find when you do this. Usually, it’s too many calories, and too many carbs, that put the brakes on weight loss.
5. Get your Zzzs
How well are you sleeping? It has a lot more to do with weight loss than you might think. Research suggests that sleep alters hormone levels of ghrelin, leptin and cortisol linked to stress, weight gain, hunger and appetite. When you don’t get enough sleep (7-8 hours is ideal), it’s a recipe for weight gain and other health problems.
Get your Zzzs and learn to manage stress in healthy ways, like reading a book, taking a walk, meditating, writing, chatting with a friend, or watching a funny movie.
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