During any weight loss journey there will be weeks and even months where the scale does not budge. This is often called a weight-loss plateau. It can be very discouraging. Sometimes this frustration can lead to emotional eating and even giving up on healthy living entirely. The important thing to remember is that first of all, weight loss is not a destination it is a journey towards eating healthy and being healthy with weight loss as a side effect for overweight individuals. Fortunately, there are some ways to overcome weight loss plateaus.
Appropriate Mindset – As mentioned above, it is important to realize and accept that eating right is not something you do for just a short time until you reach your "goal weight," but instead, is something that needs to be done for the rest of your life. Having a lifetime mindset instead of a short-term mindset is your first step to being successful.
Eating healthy needs to be accomplished either or not one is trying to lose weight. Remember, that there are plenty of unhealthy skinny people. Doctors are starting to identify so-called, "fat, skinny people" who are not obese but who have illness associated with the obese such as type II diabetes, high blood pressure, and other physical issues that overweight people have. These people just happen to have a metabolism that does not show their health state on the outside.
Therefore realize, that you're one of the lucky ones, you can use vanity to drive yourself to eat healthy! But, do have a long-term mindset instead of short-term because eventually your weight will normalize, and then you will need to eat for health without having weight loss as your goal.
Intentional exercise – To be healthy everyone needs to do some sort of intentional exercise. The good news is that you do not have to do much exercise to reap the benefits. Studies have shown that 200 to 300 minutes of moderate intensity exercise per week is enough to improve weight loss results. This equates to less than an hour a day.
To determine if you're exercising at a moderate intensity you should be able to carry on a conversation but you can not sing during the activity. Another way is to monitor your heart rate. Your heart rate should be at about 70 to 80 percent of your maximum heart rate. This can be figured out by doing a calculation using this formula. 206.9 – (0.67 x age). Simply walking at a brisk pace four to seven times a week can meet the requirements of intentional exercise for weight loss. Other examples of intentional exercise:
- Ballroom Dancing
- Bicycling at 11 miles an hour or slower
- Brisk Walking at about 3 to 4 MPH 3 to 5 times a week
- Hour-long Aerobics class 3 to 5 times a week
- Playing Tennis
- Swimming laps 30 minutes a day
Mindful eating – The next way to jump-start weight loss during a weight loss plateau is to practice mindful eating. Sometimes when a person has been practicing eating right for months and even years they lose their way due to eating too large of serving sizes. We start adding larger servings of the wrong kind of food, start snacking more often, and kind of lose sight of what we are really eating.
Start measuring food serving sizes to ensure that you really are eating what you think you're eating. Eat at the table using a normal sized rather than a super sized plate. Use serving spoons in which you know what quantity they serve up. In this way you can monitor how much you are eating realistically. Our minds will often tell us we're not eating much when in reality we are eating sometimes two and three times the food that we really require to keep our bodies healthy.
Fill your plate with vegetables first, protein next, and give yourself half-servings of starches like rice, potatoes, corn, and exports. Eat plain fruit for dessert instead of sugary cakes and fat laden cobblers and ice-cream. Substitution is your friend when it comes to eating healthy, losing weight, and coming off a weight loss plateau. Avoid foods absolutely that have chemicals and are simply just "fake" foods. No one needs a to eat Twinkies. Be realistic about what you really need to be satisfied and healthy.
Be aware of not only what and how much you are eating but also when and where. Practice eating at the dinner table each evening. Set the table, make eating a special event in your life instead of something you do standing in front of the fridge, or sitting in front of the TV. If you're eating at the table, setting a beautiful plate, and celebrating the food you serve eating will become an enjoyable experience, as it should be, without any guilt associated with it. When you're eating notice how the food looks, notice what is in the food, and notice how it tastes too. When you pay really close attention to all these aspects of food, you'll quickly realize how much better healthy whole foods look and taste in comparison to the fake foods prevalent in our diets today.