It happens to the best of us (in fact, I’d go as far as to say it’s a weight loss rite of passage), you watch what you eat, you exercise, weight has been dropping off, then it just stagnates. All of a sudden it comes to almighty halt and you completely lose your mojo.
It’s a weird rule of weight loss that you will only be able to maintain a certain weight when you really don’t want to. Any other time and it will be the most difficult thing you do. I believe it’s called ‘sod’s law’.
The trouble is, what might have worked for you in the past can suddenly become ineffective as your body changes, causing your weight to plateau.
Here is a list of the easiest ways to help shake things up a bit and help those pounds melt away once again.
Change the Menu
It’s really easy to get into the habit of eating more or less the same diet, day in, day out. Who can blame you, if it’s been good for your weight loss, then why not?
Getting stuck in a repetitive diet routine can cause your weight loss to slow down. It could be that you need fewer calories as your size diminishes or it could be that your body gets more efficient at processing the food you give it. Either way, you need to change something.
Reduce your carb intake and increase your lean protein
Lean protein is meant to make you feel fuller for longer, so in theory you require less food and feel less hungry. Your body processes carbohydrates as sugars, causing a spike, followed by a dip in blood sugar. This can contribute to an increased appetite and cravings for the things you probably should avoid.
Ensure the protein is lean as this means it will have less fat and fewer calories.
Add some chillies
You’ve heard it before, hot chillies are linked with weight loss, it’s not a new concept. Capsaicin, a naturally occurring component of chillies, helps change the way your body burns fat. It was proven in a study, using rats. The study also found that it can lower cholesterol, so it’s an all-round health win!
Watch what you drink
I’m not just talking about alcohol here, I’m talking about all liquids you consume. For example, if you drink a lot of tea and don’t normally take into account the milk you add, now might be the time. Other things to consider are low calorie carbonated drinks (as these can make you crave sweet stuff) and so-called ‘no added sugar’ fruit juices. ‘No added sugar’ doesn’t mean ‘no sugar’, these juices still have naturally occurring sugar in them, meaning they still have calories (or Weight Watchers points, depending on what diet you’re following).
Try and stick to water where possible, and make sure you’re drinking enough too, dehydration can contribute to water retention and bloating.
Change the way you exercise
If you have a regular exercise routine, it’s time to change how you work out. If you don’t, it’s time to start one! I have been swimming quite regularly lately and I hit a 4 week plateau. Last week I started to do five minute sessions of lifting small dumbbells a couple of times a day. I also started to try and fit a few crunches too and this week I finally lost weight!
So if you normally concentrate on cardio, do that as normal but add a little weight training into the mix. It works the other way too. If you mostly do weights but no cardio, start running! If you’re not up to running, at the very least try and fit in a couple of thirty minute walks into your week.
Go back to basics
Whichever weight loss plan you’re following, it’s easy to become complacent with portion sizes. I’m a Weight Watcher and find that what my estimate of a portion size is, is vastly different to a correctly measured meal. I assure you, hungry eyes always lie! (Okay, so that sort of rhymes, perhaps it could be your mantra when you’re preparing meals?)
It’s advisable to go back to obsessively measuring everything you eat, like you did when you first started on this path. I guarantee it’ll be an eye opener and you’ll be shocked at how bad at guessing you are!
If you follow these tips, they’ll definitely contribute to a change in your weight, so let me know how you get on! If you have any tips of your own, I’d love for you to pop them in the comments box.