Sooner or later, everyone trying to lose weight hits a plateau, defined as a period or state of little or no growth or decline. In dieting, a plateau means that you’ve stopped losing weight. Getting on the scale weekly shows little to no change, and it can be frustrating to expend the effort with no visible reward. Take heart, though! There are several ways to bust through this.
- Most importantly, make sure that you haven’t slid back into poor eating habits. Are you underestimating your caloric intake? For one week, go back to the beginning and keep a food journal recording everything you eat. Odds are, you are eating some extra calories that you might not even fully acknowledge. Maybe you got back into the habit of sampling as you are cooking, or finishing the leftovers on your kid’s plate. Write it all down, take a solid look at it, and see if there’s an area you need to address.
- Is your water intake adequate? You should be drinking a minimum of eight 8-ounce glasses, equal to about two quarts of water. If you’re overweight, you should drink another eight ounces for every 25 pounds of excess weight you carry. That sounds like a lot of water, but if you get into the habit of carrying around a water bottle with you, you’ll be surprised at how often you have to fill it.
- Cut out processed food, high fructose corn syrup, white flours and sugars and make certain that the foods you eat are as pure and natural as possible. I know that, personally, when I cut HFCS out of my diet it helped me break through that last 20 pound roadblock.
- Keep an eye on your sodium intake as well and try to keep it below 2,000 mgs. a day. Salt forces the body to retain water and holding on to fluid, as you know, keeps the weight on.
- One last idea: are you exercising enough? Have you slacked off on your exercise habits? Do you need to ramp it up? If your exercise habits have gotten stale and boring, try a different form of fitness – boxing, swimming, spin class, Zumba. Help your body be at it’s peak and have fun at the same time.
If you take the time to look for it, you can find the plateau and in no time, you’ll be over it and on your way to your best body ever!