4 Ways to Get Over Your Weight Loss PlateauDec 17, 2018
You Will Learn
- Why strength training is important for weight loss and maintenance.
- Why looking at food labels is so important.
- Why poor sleep and stress could be holding you back from losing weight.
1. Up Your Strength Training
Strength training can boost your metabolism because muscle can burn about 7-10 calories per pound per day, compared to 2-3 calories per pound per day for fat.
The more muscle mass you have, the more calories you will burn doing nothing. If you really want to build muscle, it is essential to:
Lift a heavy enough load. Your muscles should be pretty tired after 8-15 reps of each exercise, if you are able to perform over 15 reps (with good form) you are likely not building strength or muscle tone, just improving your endurance.
Eat enough protein. Depending on your age, gender, and fitness goals, your protein needs will vary. A good rule of thumb for women is to have at least 25-30 grams of protein at each meal/snack.
2. Watch the Added Sugars
If you want to lose fat fast, limit carbohydrates, specifically added sugars.
The American Heart Association recommends men have no more than 9 teaspoons (37.5 grams) and women have no more than 6 teaspoons (24 grams) per day.
Added sugar is easily hidden in foods you may think are ‘healthy’, many breakfast cereals and yogurts are loaded with added sugar.
Eating a diet that consists of mostly whole foods with plenty of healthy fats, protein, and non-starchy vegetables is your best bet to lose weight and keep it off.
3. Lower Your Insulin
Weight loss is way more about lowering your insulin levels than lowering your calories. When it comes to food, think replace, not reduce.
Replace the unhealthy calories you get from sugar and processed food with healthy calories from protein, fat, and fiber.
Using the Carb Manager or My Fitness Pal App makes tracking your food intake pretty easy.
Logging what you eat and how you move helps with accountability and troubleshooting when you see a plateau.
4. Relax and Get Some Sleep!
Stress can stifle your weight loss efforts for many reasons, the main ones being increased caloric intake from emotional eating and an increase in cortisol, a hormone that promotes fat storage, especially around the belly.
Lack of sleep causes the body to increase ghrelin, a hormone that makes you want to eat and decreases leptin, a hormone that tells you when you are full.
A sleep-deprived brain also shows reduced activity in your frontal lobe, the part of your brain that controls your decision-making and impulse control.
That is why when you haven’t slept well you are more likely to make poor food choices, eat more, and skip your workout.
If you are seeing a weight loss plateau, something needs to change. It may not always be related to diet and exercise, either. Sleep, stress, and certain medications can all contribute to difficulty losing weight.
It's important to identify what is actually holding you back and address those items so you don't drive yourself crazy just trying to eat less and exercise more!
- Next time you are lifting weights, check to see if you are actually lifting enough weight to gain strength. If you can do more than 15 reps with good form and you are likely working on endurance, not strength.
- Check your food labels and track for 1 day how much added sugar you are eating...you may be surprised!
- If you are stressed or sleep-deprived, try and focus a little more on self-care. Improving these two areas will help you crave less sweets.