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Have I reached a weight loss plateau?
What is weight loss plateau?
The human body is incredibly adaptive, and will do its level best to maintain equilibrium. It is generally seen that our body loses weight in the first few weeks.
Weight loss plateau is a stage where your body no longer loses weight despite following a healthy diet and exercise regime. Weight loss plateau is experienced by all individuals who are trying to lose weight.
Most individual believe that they should continue to lose weight if they maintain a low calorie diet however the reality is that even well planned weight loss drill can be stalled.
What causes weight loss plateau?
- Your exercise may be inadequate or routine one.
- Your calorie intake is in balance with calorie burn out.
- You are eating more calories than you realize.
- When you lose weight you lose both fat and lean tissue (muscle). As you lose lean tissue the process of burning calories for energy slows down. This means in order to lose weight you need to increase activity or decrease the calories you eat.
What You Must Do Now?
The best single word of advice is to make a Change!!! and have a little self control and discipline.
Here are seven tips to combat weight loss plateau.
Trick your body.
Change up your routine. If you’re hitting the exercise bike or the elliptical, do something different. If you are doing the same exercises over and over again, your body “knows” what to expect. It’s called “specificity of training”.
If you work out at a gym, change your cardio routine by jumping on a stair-climber, a treadmill, or a rowing machine. Try ten minutes of intense cardio workout on a machine and jump on another and repeat. If you are walking daily change it to some kind of sport or swimming. Mix up your routine so it’s not a routine.
Resistance / Strength / Weight training.
It is important to incorporate resistance training such as weight lifting into your regime as it will continue burning calories even after you have finished exercises. It will also help to strengthen bone tissue and increase the body’s metabolic rate at the same time.
Increase your protein intake.
Protein is excellent supplement when you cut on your carbohydrates. It promotes strong lean muscle tissue which is beneficial to fat burning. Protein fills you up better than a heavy carbohydrate meal. This is an added benefit to help cut your caloric intake. Protein boots metabolism by 35 percent.
It is advisable to consume protein from natural sources for example egg-white, soya, whey protein, chicken, fish, sprouts, dals, roasted whole bengal gram, cottage cheese, green peas.
Eat six small meals a day.
Eating small portions throughout the day will help keep your metabolism going. This is an extremely useful tactic in breaking your weight-loss plateau.
Eat something when you wake up in the morning, perhaps a small egg white omelet or a high fiber breakfast cereal with low fat milk. And as you continue throughout the day, snack on some raisins or figs or some other natural, unprocessed food.
Stick to your meal timing; breakfast, lunch and dinner with a meal in between each. Try to analyze and find out what works best for you. What can you eat that is small and will curb your hunger for the next 2 and a half hour before your next small meal?
Keep it higher in protein, small in calories, and nutritious.
Be patient & BE POSITIVE.
It is important to remember that all individuals who follow a weight loss regime pass through this phase of weight loss plateau where their weight loss does get stalled. All individuals who are passing through this phase should be patient & positive as it will take at least a few weeks for the weight loss plateau to disappear as it allow your body to adjust to the weight loss and stabilize.
Eat More Fruits and Vegetables.
Eating lots of low-calorie, high-volume fruits & vegetables crowds out other foods that are higher in fat and calories. Move the red meat off the center of your plate and pile on the vegetables. Half of your plate should be fruits and vegetables.
A 6 to 8 hours night’s sleep is vital to losing body fat because it resets your hormones. Even a little sleep deprivation can lead to increased cortisol, a stress hormone. Elevated cortisol levels can lead to body fat accumulation also lack of sleep slows down the metabolic activity.
You know the drill when it comes to losing weight: take in fewer calories, burn more calories. But you also know that most diets and quick weight-loss plans DON’T work as promised.
If you’re trying to drop a few pounds fast, these tips will make it easy for you to lose the weight in a healthy way.
- Eat within the first hour of rising
Eating early will help keep your insulin and blood sugar levels regulated while kick-starting your metabolism. If you wait too long to eat in the morning, you may more likely choose high-calorie, low-nutrient foods out of hunger. The ideal time for breakfast is within an hour of waking. You are much more likely to over eat later in the day if you don’t have something within the first hours of daily activity. Eating breakfast can even help improve mood and cognition.
- Eat cereal for breakfast five days a week
Research shows that people who eat cereal for breakfast every day are significantly less likely to be obese and have diabetes than those who don’t. They also consume more fiber and calcium—and less fat—than those who eat other breakfast foods. Oatmeal, wheat flakes, corn flakes,flavored flakes like muesli, ragi porridge or pour out a high-fiber, low-sugar cereal. Seven grain paratha is a great choice.
- Eat fruit instead of drinking fruit juice
For the calories in one kid-size box of apple juice, you can enjoy an apple, orange, and a slice of watermelon. These whole fruits will keep you satisfied much longer as it has good amount of fiber than fruit juice, so you’ll eat less overall.
- Eat in front of mirrors and you’ll lose weight
It’s found that eating in front of mirrors slashed the amount people ate by nearly one-third. Having to look yourself in the eye reflects back some of your own inner standards and goals, and reminds you of why you’re trying to lose weight in the first place.
- Eat three fewer bites of your meal
One less treat a day, or one glass less of orange juice or fewer bites of fried foods. Doing any of these can save you about 100 calories a day and that alone is enough to prevent you from gaining the two pounds most people mindlessly pack on each year.
- Sniff an apple or a peppermint when you feel hungry
You might feel silly, but it works. When Alan R. Hirsch, M.D., neurological director of the Smell & Taste Treatment and Research Foundation in Chicago, tried this with 3,000 volunteers, he found that the more frequently people sniffed, the less hungry they were and the more weight they lost—an average of 30 pounds each. One theory is that sniffing the food tricks the brain into thinking you’re actually eating it.
- Eat 90 percent of your meals at home
You’re more likely to eat more—and eat more high-fat, high-calorie foods—when you eat out than when you eat at home.
- Eat water-rich foods and you’ll eat fewer calories overall
A body of research out of Pennsylvania State University finds that eating water-rich foods such as tomatoes and cucumbers during meals reduces your overall calorie consumption. Other water-rich foods include soups and salads. You won’t get the same benefits by just drinking your water, though. Because the body processes hunger and thirst through different mechanisms, it simply doesn’t register a sense of fullness with water (or soda, tea, coffee, or juice).
- Snack on a small handful of nuts
Studies have found that overweight people who ate a moderate-fat diet containing almonds lost more weight than a control group that didn’t eat nuts. Snacking once or twice a day helps stave off hunger and keeps your metabolism stoked. You can also pack up baby carrots or your own trail mix with nuts, raisins, seeds, and dried fruit.
- Get most of your calories before noon
Studies find that the more you eat in the morning, the less you’ll eat in the evening. And you have more opportunities to burn off those early-day calories than you do to burn off dinner calories.
- Eat 4 main balanced meals a day and a small snack every 2 hours in between these meals
Helps speed up your metabolism, improves energy levels and prevents muscle loss.
- Hydrate yourself well, 1 glass of water every hour
It is important to drink plenty of water to prevent dehydration. The body uses water to transport glucose to the cells and to remove waste from the cells. Being hydrated means your body will be able to maintain the physical activity.
With the mercury levels rising to new highs everyday, summer seems to completely drain us out. Temperatures have been scorching high and humidity levels have escalated to between 70 and 80 percent. One feels drained out, there is lack of energy and loss of appetite. The side effects of this would be severe acidity, diarrhea, headache & dehydration. It has become very crucial for humans to rehydrate themselves.
Dehydration in summers can have serious health problems and can become life threating resulting in seizures, brain damage or even death.
Some tips on what foods and liquids one should have to rehydrate your body.
- Gulkand/ Rose petal jam
Gulkand is said to pacify excess of pitta in the body, thus keeping body cool. It is a powerful antioxidant and a good rejuvenator. Helps to reduce excessive perspiration and foul body odor. Every morning eat 2 teaspoon of Gulkand on empty stomach.
- Sabja seeds /Sweet Basil seeds
Usually sabja seeds are consumed during the summer time, as it is one of the best body coolant. The addition of Rose petal jam/Gulkand along with sabja seeds also help to cool the body.
- Lime water
The simple lime water or nimboo pani is not only refreshing, it also has health benefits for you. You can have it sweet, salted or add a dash of black salt and cumin powder to it. Have it chilled and beat the heat.
- Tender Coconut water
Tender Coconut water is full of health benefits and has wonderful cooling properties. It is laden with simple sugars, electrolytes and essential minerals which help keep the body well hydrated.
- Curd/ Yogurt
Curd is a delicious coolant. You can make delicious – chilled spicy buttermilk, a glass of lassi and raita. You can also add fruits to the curds to make wholesome dessert or prepare dips during the summer season.
A cob of corn comes with a number of antioxidants, which prevent some harmful sun rays from affecting your skin. Not just that, these antioxidants also lower the risk of age-related problems.
This crunchy vegetable has lots of fibre that can help keep constipation at bay. It has Vitamin C and plenty of minerals including calcium, potassium, magnesium and sodium which can prevent dehydration and help you stay cool as a cucumber!
This is another fruit which is nearly 90% water. Have lots of it in summers to stay cool and well hydrated.
Onions have amazing cooling properties. You can add it to your curries, dips, raitas, salads and chutneys to help keep you cool. The red onions, in particular, are very rich in quercetin, which is a natural anti-allergen. Having lots of onions can provide you protection against sunstroke.
These veggies might be seen as a salad item, but tomatoes act as a natural sunscreen protecting you against sunburn.