Is your scale broken? It has to be. You have been busting your butt week after week. You are making BetterChoices. You are eating right. You are exercising at least 4 times a week. You are drinking water and to your surprise, the scale is not moving! …WHHHHHYYYYYYYYY??????
First of all, we have all been there. It’s a pain in the “you know what” when you hit that weight loss plateau. It can be so frustrating because you believe you are doing everything right and can’t understand why nothing is changing…or so you think.
Here’s the deal. Your body is simply not working as hard as it used to. Yes, you are putting forth the same effort but think about this–your body has to work twice as hard to burn calories at 300lbs then it has to work at 150lbs. As you lose weight, your body will burn fewer calories because it doesn’t have to work as hard.
What you have accomplished up to this point is simply amazing! Now is not the time to get discouraged! With some simple changes, you can increase your metabolism and burn more calories to shed those pounds.
Here are 8 tips to help you break through your weight loss plateau:
1. Add Interval Training To Your Workout Regimen: You are probably doing at least 30 min of cardio 4-5 times a week. Add interval training to your work regimen 2-3 times per week. While cardio is great at burning calories, intensity matters. Try alternating your moderate effort with a 60-sec vigorous effort while walking, jogging, or using the elliptical machine. (More info on HITT (High Intensity Interval Training)
2. Lift Weights: Muscle weighs more than fat. It also uses more energy. While cardio burns calories immediately, strength training increases your metabolism over time. Muscles help you burn more calories even at rest. On your next commercial break, get your hand weights and do a few lifting circuits. Add a 60-second cardio exercise, like jumping jacks, in between your sets. You will be surprise how those 5 minute work-out sessions add up!
3. Eat More Veggies & Some Fruit: We already know you can eat fruit all day! While fruit is a healthy snack, it is also high in sugar. Be mindful of the amount of fruit you are consuming on a daily basis. Try swapping one of your fruit snacks for an opportunity to have more vegetables. Veggies will not only help you cut additional calories, their high fiber content will keep you feeling full.
4. Hydrate! Hydrate! Hydrate!: Drinking water is essential. It’s not an option & it doesn’t count that you made your tea with water! Research suggests even if you are slightly dehydrated, it can affect your athletic performance. Drinking water will not only help to BOOST your metabolism, it helps to curb your appetite. Most times when you think you are hungry, you are actually thirsty.
5. Don’t SKIP Meals: Think about this: If your body NEEDS FUEL to PROPERLY FUNCTION and FOOD is your body’s fuel source..then how does depriving your body of fuel a good thing for you to CHOOSE to do?
No matter what you tell yourself about skipping meals, your body is telling you something different. Whether it’s a headache, feeling tired, you are just cranky or struggling to focus, there are a number of ways your body will let you know it is in need of GOOD FUEL! Skipping meals also SLOWS DOWN your metabolism! When your blood sugar drops, you will find yourself starving & ready to eat a HORSE by your next meal. Remember, your body needs fuel. You should be eating 5-6 times a day – 3 meals / 2 snacks. #NoExcuses
6. Everything is Activity: We advocate for increasing your daily activity by any means necessary. Sometimes, you may not have time to get to the gym or get in a full workout routine at home. However, by finding easy ways to get in activity, you will be surprised how those calories add up! Try parking towards the back of the parking lot when you go shopping. Of course, SAFETY FIRST! This is an easy way to get in additional steps daily. Instead of taking the elevator or escalator, take the steps. Bring your grocery bags in the house one by one. Take a walk on your lunch break. Do jumping jacks during commercial breaks. Find ways, within your daily routine, where you can take 5 minutes of your time & do something! The calories will add up & you will break through that scale rut!
7. Friday Saturday & Sunday Are Week Days Too: How many more times will you start again…on Monday? It’s easy to stay on a diet regimen Monday-Thursday because that is routine. The weekend, beginning with Friday, usually gets most people in trouble because they are no longer following that weekly regimen. This is why you have to extend your regimen to include the weekend.
Are you eating out every weekend? Are you maintaining your meal/snack schedule on the weekend–even if attending birthday parties or other social type events? Are you staying hydrated? Are you getting in activity on the weekend?
Remember, this is a LIFEstyle. Which means this is what you do every day…not just work days.
8. Reward Yourself: You may not be where you want to be but you are damn sure not where you were! Celebrate your progress–both large & small. Most times, you are the last person to truly see the new you. So a good way to stay motivated is to set up a reward system for yourself. As you reach certain goals or weight loss milestones, you could buy yourself a new shirt, outfit, belt, or pair of pants. Wearing clothes that actually fit helps you to see your amazing progress. It is hard to shift how you see your new self if you continue to wear your old clothes.
As always, thank you for time, love & support. We hope what we have shared has helped you. Be sure to share this info with family & friends.
-Eric & Maleka Beal
DID YOU FIND THIS INFORMATION HELPFUL? Receive more great tips and resources direct to your inbox when you sign up for our weekly newsletter below. Of course, we would love to hear from you! Be sure to leave us a comment & share it!!!
Eric and Maleka Beal are health coaches and co-founders of BetterChoices, a health & wellness company and social community focused on educating, advocating, and promoting better health and wellness through lifestyle, nutrition, and fitness education.