One thing that is inevitable during your weight loss journey is a weight loss plateau. This is very frustrating and often results in a setback or response such as “Why am I working so hard when I am not seeing progress?” If you don’t understand how to manage a plateau and actually believe this statement, it can be a recipe for disaster! You must not take an expected plateau and turn it into a big relapse or an excuse to abandon all weight loss efforts! Instead, follow these suggestions to keep you moving in the right direction- towards the health goals you desire and deserve.
First, if you haven’t been exercising – START! If you aren’t sure how to start, there are many resources available to you – contact one of our experts at CMH to set up a program that is safe and will work for you, start a walking program with a friend or join an exercise program at a local gym. If you have incorporated exercise into your daily routine – GREAT JOB – it’s just a matter of shaking it up a bit. Follow the FITT Principle. You can change the Frequency (i.e. exercise 4 times a week instead of 3), Intensity (i.e. add some hills to your walking program), Time (increase your current routine by 5 or 10 minutes) or Type (add resistance training or swim instead of walk) of workout you perform. All of these will challenge your muscles and potentially increase your lean body mass and improve your metabolism.
Second, modify your eating. Change your meal frequency, make sure you are getting in enough calories and make sure you are eating enough lean protein and controlling your carbohydrate intake. Journaling is a great way to track what you are eating in order to identify key areas that require modification. A weight loss coach can be key in identifying areas of concern and developing a realistic plan to keep your weight moving in the right direction.
Finally, don’t forget your weight loss personality and how it may affect how you handle a plateau. If you tend to be impulsive, you might see a tempting food and grab it so it is important for you to remove temptations. You may eat mindlessly. In this instance, you need to set limitations for availability of food while reading or watching TV. Decide only to eat at the table and limit snacks. Some of us eat because we are anxious, nervous or depressed. Recognize your emotions and find something you enjoy doing such as listening to music or reading a good book. Keep your weight loss goals in mind and have a vision of success. Your mind is a very powerful tool so you need to use it to achieve success.