If you have hit a weight loss plateau, it may be difficult to understand why all of your weight loss efforts have all of a sudden stopped working. However, it is important to know that, according to the Mayo Clinic, weight loss plateaus are normal. It doesn’t matter how meticulous you are with your regimen of good health, eventually, you will hit a plateau. Here are four ways to move past the plateau and continue on with your weight loss journey.
1) Write Everything Down
Record every bite you take, whether you are eating, sampling, or tasting. Underestimating the amount of food you are consuming is a common mistake with people who are trying to lose weight. It can easily lead to a weight loss plateau. Keeping a diary of everything you eat can help you see where your problem lies. It may also keep you from reaching for that next cookie, because you know you will have to record it.
When keeping a food diary, write down the time of day and your feelings to figure out your problem times and certain emotions that may cause you to overeat. Recognize what your eating triggers are and replace them with healthier foods to keep your full. Monitor your progress, and reward yourself for your hard work, but not with food.
2) Be Careful at Restaurants
According to the New York Times, some restaurant meals have enough calories to fulfill three meals’ worth of food. Restaurant portions can sway even the strictest dieter. It is important to remember to practice portion control, even if you are dining out.
Try ordering a dinner salad or an appetizer as an entree. You do not need to order an entree that comes with a salad and then get a dessert to fill yourself up. Pay attention to how you feel and stop when you are full.
3) Load Up on Fruits and Vegetables
Eat a lot of low calorie fruits and vegetables rather than other foods that are high in fat and calories. Put your vegetables in the center of the plate so they fill most of the plate up. Alternatively, start every meal with a salad to fill you up a bit before moving on to your main course.
The U.S. government’s dietary guidelines suggest we consume 7-13 cups of fruits and vegetables each day. Make sure your kitchen is full of plenty of fresh produce and eat a little at each meal. This will boost your intake of vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Also, if you fill up on nutrient-dense produce, you’ll be less likely to eat foods that are highly processed.
4) Practice Yoga
While people often turn to food for stress relief, a healthier option is to turn to yoga. Yoga not only lowers your levels of stress hormones, but it also increases insulin sensitivity. This helps the body to know to burn food rather than store it as fat.