How to Break Through a Weight Loss Plateau. That is a question I received recently from a reader. I love my readers (yes you guys) and love, love, love your questions. It’s gives me a special connection with you guys when you email me a question. It often inspires me to write about something that is important to you. After all that’s the whole point of what I’m doing. To help you on your journey. What’s interesting is 99% of the emails I receive are weight loss related questions. Not many bloggers (in my network at least) write about weight loss.
Sometimes I go through funks with the blog and can’t think of what to write about. Life isn’t always THAT exciting -> wake up, workout, eat something healthy, go to work, go to bed. Then do it all over again the next day. Sound familiar? There are actually times when I think I’m gonna run out of things to write about. Somehow that never happens though. Everything always works out in a way that I never run out of things to say.
For those of you who have written in questions, kudos to you for being brave. Weight loss is a sensitive & personal issue. It’s easy to feel intimidated. I know I felt that way about it. Asking others for support and advice is never wrong. It’s one step further in your personal journey. I’m a firm believer that having support will make you more successful too.
Here’s a an email I received recently from a reader.
First, let’s get the low-calorie, low-fat, low-crap thing out of the way. If you are trying to lose weight & eating any of those things, STOP NOW. This was a mistake I made during my weight loss. Many of the low-calorie, low-fat foods contain processed ingredients, added sugars & sodium and have unnatural ingredients. This is one of the problems I have with Weight Watchers. While their weight loss philosophy is really good, many of the foods they support are not. Eat the real stuff even if it is more calories. In the long-run, your health will thank you for it.
Now let’s chat about plateaus. When I was losing weight, I hit a wall after losing 40 pounds or so which was the half way mark for me. I started my journey by becoming more active and changing eating habits. I walked an hour every day, ate healthier and cut calories. After awhile, my body became comfortable with those things and I stopped seeing results. I came to a crossroads. I had to shake things up to wake up my body. It still had work to do!
Stimulate Fat Burn
Kick start your body into weight loss by directing it to burn its own fat as fuel instead of the food you feed it. Eliminating sugars & carbohydrates from the diet temporarily can redirect your body to burn fat. I realize this may sound extreme. Truthfully after you stop eating these things, you no longer crave them after awhile. The first week is the when you need to be tough and hold to your plan. If you can make it through the first week, you’re home free. After that first week, your cravings will significantly decrease. This is not something you do forever. I did it 1-2 months. Then I would slowly re-introduce these foods back into my diet over another month. More on stimulating fat burn in this post -> How to Jump Start Weight Loss…I Lost 80 Pounds Doing This
Increase Strength Training
If you’re not lifting weights, you should be. If you’re a female, even more reason that you should be. Lifting weights not only helps with weight loss but protects your bones. A common misconception among women is that they will bulk up if they lift weights. This could not be further from the truth. Women do not have enough testosterone to build huge muscles like men.
Lean muscle burns more calories than fat. More muscles means more calories burnt which translates into more weight loss. Aim for 3 sessions a week.
Revamp Your Cardio
We are all creature of habit. We get really comfortable doing the same thing over and over. The problem with this is your body gets used to it & over time doesn’t have to work as hard as in the beginning when it had to think about what it was doing. Try incorporating other forms of cardio in your fitness routine to shake things up. It’s ok to continue doing the same form of cardio too. Consider increasing your resistance, distance or amount of time though to make your body work harder.
I know this sounds strange, but it really works. During my weight loss, there was a point when my body started to hoard any food I ate. As a result, the scale stopped dropping. I stalled for a long time. This is commonly referred to as starvation mode. How do you know if you’re in starvation mode? My rule of thumb is 3 consecutive weeks of no scale movement after you’ve lost significant weight (i.e. 20 or more pounds).
During most of my time losing weight, I ate 1200-1400 calories per day. When I finally realized my body was in starvation mode, I increased my calorie intake 200-400 per day. I filled my plate with healthy fats i.e. nut butter, almonds, avocado, etc. Once I made this change, the pounds literally fell off me. Sometimes eating less doesn’t always equate to weight loss.
What are your weight loss plateau tips? What are you thoughts on low-calorie & low-fat foods? Ever get in a blog funk?
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