While they can be discouraging and destructive to your goals, a weight loss plateau is actually a really good thing, even if they last for a few weeks! Read on to find out why, plus learn four realistic ways to bust through your plateau.
Weight Loss Plateau Defined
A weight loss plateau is simply your body’s way of recognizing that you are now a smaller version of yourself. Your body needs to pause and take a moment to reassess how many calories it needs to maintain itself at a lower weight. This recalibration is extremely important because if your body never took the time to recognize weight changes, you would more easily return to the higher weight. Without recognizing itself at a lower weight, your body will not be able to identify where it is most stable. If you hit this plateau, remember not to get frustrated. There are more ways to measure weight loss than just numbers. Your body is taking notice of your weight loss and is adjusting to a slimmer you. This is a time to feel proud of what you have accomplished so far, not a time to become discouraged and frustrated with stagnant numbers.
Ways to Bust Through the Plateau
Now that you have changed your attitude regarding your weight loss plateau, here are four helpful ways to push through it as well!
1. Eat More Veggies
This one is simple folks. The easiest way to eat more food without increasing your caloric intake is to fill up on vegetables. Make sure to consume a wide variety of veggies. Watch out for dips, toppings, and sauces that can accompany vegetables, as these tend to add more unnecessary calories.
2. Sip on Infused Water
Who wouldn’t love a day at the spa? The fruit- and veggie-infused water you usually find at spa locations are great for many reasons beyond simply hydration. Fruit- and veggie-infused water helps to decrease bloating, flush wastes, and can flood your body with important vitamins and antioxidants. These antioxidants help to rid the body of harmful free radicals.
3. Change Up Your Workout Routine with HIIT Training
Much like with a fitness plateau, progress is in variety. The body will eventually get used to the same exercise routine and will benefit from a stray from the normal. A great way to change up your workout routine is with High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). HIIT training involves periods of intense exercise followed by periods of less intense, recovery exercise. These sessions can burn serious calories and boost your metabolism in a shorter amount of time.
4. Leave 3 Bites Uneaten
This may seem silly and unimportant, however, over the course of the day, if you leave three bites of each meal uneaten, this is equivalent to a couple hundred calories. Over the course of a month, these bites are equivalent to at least 2 pounds or greater! If you eat all of your food at every meal, try to make a conscious effort to leave three bites on your plate. Otherwise, try to eat three fewer bites per meal if you generally don’t eat all of your food.
If you follow these four simple, realistic tips to push through your weight loss plateau, you will find a renewed sense of encouragement and your new weight will be even easier to maintain. For a meal plan or suggestions that will help you push through your weight loss plateau, contact me for a free nutrition consultation. Until then, good luck on your journey!
Written by Sarah Brunner, RDN, CD; Elite Sports Clubs Registered Dietitian
Sarah is certified in food allergies/intolerances and nutritional counseling, Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics; has a certificate in Dietetics from Mount Mary University; and a BA in Education and Mathematics from the University of Wisconsin – La Crosse.
This information is not intended to treat, diagnose, cure, or prevent any disease. All material in this article is provided for educational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you have regarding a medical condition, and before undertaking any diet, exercise, or other health program.