Seven Strategies to help you break your Weight Loss Plateau
When we start on a weight loss journey, the first few weeks are said to be the easiest. We see an immediate drop in the weight on the scales by simply starting a new training regime and adjusting lifestyle behaviours.
But when weight-loss stalls, it can be extremely frustrating. After weeks of little change, you become disheartened and succumb to a belief that maybe you are a rare individual who simply ‘cannot lose weight’.
This is simply not the case. From losing a large amount of weight to the last 5 kilograms, these strategies may help you to break through the weight loss plateau.
Track you Calories
We all have a tendency to underestimate the amount of calories we consume in food. Tracking and measuring every bite of food will give you powerful information on your calorie and macronutrient intake and increase accountability. I highly recommend the use of MyFitnessPal to count calories.
Strategy One: Track your food intake over a 3 day period and make some evaluations. I also highly recommend eating the same or similar foods throughout the week, which reduces the need to track every day.
Increase your Protein Intake
Protein boosts your metabolic rate as it has a higher thermic effect than carbs or fats. This essentially is because your body needs to work harder to metabolise these foods. Protein can also help to reduce hunger and prevent muscle mass loss that occurs naturally when you are in a caloric deficit, helping you to drop excess body fat more readily.
Strategy Two: Consider how many palm sized protein serves you have per day. Aim to increase this by another 1-2 serves.
Decrease your carbohydrate intake
Decreasing your carbohydrate intake by 50g or more per day can be an effective method to help get your weight moving in the right direction again. A low carbohydrate diet can increase your fat burning potential as your body releases less insulin and make fats more available to burn as a fuel source.
Strategy Three: Cycle your carbohydrate intake by having 3-4 lower carb days. On a low carbohydrate day, be sure to include healthy fats and protein which will help control your hunger, increase feelings of fullness and promote long-term weight loss.
Eat your Veggies
Most vegetables are low in calories and carbs, high in fibre and loaded with vitamins and minerals. Eating a diet loaded with veggies, helps to promote a flourishing gut biome, which promotes the absorption of nutrients and overall good health and vitality.
Strategy Four: Increase your vegetable intake by 1-2 cups. Consider meals that are typically low in vegetables (like breakfast) and think of ways to add more colour and variety in the way of fresh vegetables.
Increase your Calories/ Eat at a 10-15% Deficit of Recommended Caloric Intake
If you have dropped your calories too low, or only have the last few kilograms to lose, it is a survival mechanism that your body is reluctant to shed any more body fat. Instead of further reducing calories and increasing training, which will only act to slow the metabolism and release fat storing hormones, increase your food intake.
Strategy Five: Up your calories over the course of a week by 10% until you are at a 200-500 calories below your recommended caloric intake.
Stress can often put the brakes on weight loss, as it increases cortisol production, which can interfere with weight loss.
Strategy Six: Incorporate daily meditation and get plenty of sleep each day. This will boost your mindfulness, reduce hunger hormones and decrease your cortisol, placing you in the best position for weight loss.
Change up your Training
Changing up your training regime can be incredibility beneficial in helping to offset your drop in metabolic rate that occurs when you decrease your calories. Your body will adapt to whatever training load you expose it too.
Strategy Seven: Think of ways to mix up your training. Increase your overload, alternate your weights, reps and sets, change the type, or try to simply get more steps in your day.
Don’t let a weight loss plateau stop you from getting the body and results you are after. Sometimes it is the smallest changes that can yield the biggest results. Trying to make too many lifestyle adjustments all at once, can also be too overwhelming. Read through the list of strategies and pick one or two that you think will give you the biggest return. Good luck.
Ange Drake is an personal trainer, women’s empowerment coach and fitness blogger in the northern suburbs of Melbourne. She is the director of one of the few womens’ only strength training gyms in Melbourne, 23W. Ange helps women to learn how to use strength based training, nutritional strategies and a positive mindset to transform their bodies, relationship with food and mind.
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