Are you experiencing a weight loss plateau?
You started this weight loss journey knowing it would be tough, but you didn’t realize how tough it would be. In the beginning, the weight seemed to just slide off. You reduced your calories, stuck with your diet, and began exercising and the extra pounds came off with no problem.
After a couple of weeks, or maybe even months, you began to notice that the weight loss stopped. You were doing all the same things but couldn’t seem to break the weight loss plateau.
A weight-loss plateau is very common, as our bodies like to take the path of least resistance.
Let’s break down some of my top tips to help you lose weight. Here are seven tips to help you break a weight loss plateau:
1. Fill your plate with different foods
Try exchanging your main carbohydrates sources with veggies to help you decrease your calorie intake and increase the amount of fiber in your diet. Fiber will help you feel fuller and decrease your hunger pains.
2. Watch your mindless munching
Portion out your servings of snacks and meals to make sure you are not mindlessly munching on snacks. Measuring cups, food scales, and portioning foods can help you enjoy the foods you love without going overboard on your diet. If you aren’t tracking your food, download a food tracking app like MyFitnessPal and try tracking all meals and snacks for a week to see what you typically eat.
3. Change up your fitness routine
Maybe you’ve been doing the same routine for a while; it’s time to change it up! Try increasing the length of your workout, pump up the intensity, or change up the type of training. For example, if you always perform a stretch workout on Monday, try mixing it up and adding a cardio or strength workout to help build lean muscle and burn calories. Check out the Sworkit Lose Weight challenge for a guided 8-week program to help you get back on track.
4. Try a refeed day
If you’ve felt like you’ve been grinding away at your diet, it might be time for a refeed day. A refeed day is when you increase your calories by 500-700 calories if you have been in a steep deficit for longer than 2 weeks. This will provide nutrients for your body and help your mind prepare for the next week of dieting. This mental and physical break might help you stick to your plan better throughout the week and keep you on track towards your goals.
5. Check your sleep habits
Aim for 8 hours of sleep every night. Plan each night to try and fall asleep at a time that allows you to reach 8 hours of sleep. Practice good sleep hygiene by shutting off phones and avoiding screens (TV, phone, tablet, etc.) for one hour prior to going to sleep, sleeping in a cool and dark room, falling asleep at the same time each night, and practicing relaxation/meditation techniques prior to sleeping to help your body wind down so you can get to sleep faster. Lack of sleep will increase stress levels and prevent your body from losing extra body fat.
6. Check your water levels
Feeling hungry? You might just be thirsty. Try increasing your water intake to fill your stomach and help your body systems run optimally. Try drinking approximately half your body weight in fluid ounces every day.
7. Journal daily
Use a daily journal to identify triggers for falling off your diet and exercise plan. You might find that there are triggers and stressors that you never thought about that are derailing your progress and causing a plateau in your weight loss. There might be factors that you can change to help you stay on track. For example, you could avoid driving by your favorite fast-food restaurant on your way home from a stressful day at work. Or bring snacks with you while shopping to help you resist the temptation of buying treats. Or set out your workout clothes in the evening so when you wake up they are ready for you when your workout willpower is low.
If your weight loss has stalled, try one of the above tips to help break the plateau. Sworkit Members can also connect directly with our Sworkit Trainers to ask for advice and get personalized guidance on how best to make changes to see positive results.