The dreaded weight loss plateau: Most of us will experience at least one plateau on our weight loss journey. It seems we are doing everything right, but the scale just won’t budge. Our bodies are smart and extremely adaptable – for better and for worse. After every workout, your body not only becomes stronger but also a more efficient calorie-burner. And after you start to lose weight, your body adjusts again, requiring fewer calories than it did before. This means we need to make changes to our routines and diet if we want to continue losing weight, since unfortunately the same actions may not continue to give the same results.
If you’re stuck, here are six tips to get the scale moving again:
- Drink more water and less of anything else. Drinking water helps you avoid eating and drinking extra calories. You feel fuller, so you don’t eat as much. Drinking cold water can also help speed your metabolism, albeit ever so slightly.
- Change up your food. Experiment with different lean proteins and vegetables. Find a new recipe or cruise your local farmer’s market for inspiration.
- Use a very detailed food tracker for two weeks, tracking every single bite and lick. Phone apps that track calories and weight loss, such as Lose It!, can help you make sure you’re actually consuming the calories you think you are.
- Try a new fitness activity to get muscles working that maybe haven’t lately. Muscle burns calories more effectively. If you’ve been mainly walking, try swimming, or a group exercise class to kick it up a notch.
- Double your vegetable intake for two weeks and see what happens. The fiber will help you feel fuller while consuming fewer calories. In fact, one recent study suggested that for every gram of fiber we consume, we eliminate seven calories from our diets later in the day.
- Reduce your sodium intake. The recommended maximum daily allowance of sodium is just 2300 mg, or about 1 teaspoon, but the average person takes in more than twice the recommendation. It is easy to go over the limit, as sodium is in many of the foods we eat but may not think about, such as salad dressings, canned goods, cheese and bread. Too much sodium can make us retain water and bloat, which is not helpful to weight loss and can contribute to other health problems.
If your efforts to get past a weight loss plateau aren’t working, we are here to help! We are always happy to talk to you and help get you back on track. Remember that even modest weight loss can improve obesity-related health conditions and improve your overall quality of life. To discuss weight loss options, you can schedule a consultation with Dr. Misra at 800-788-1394.