Weight Loss Plateau
Weight loss plateau…has it ever happened to you? Nearly everyone who has dieted has started out with great enthusiasm, wonderful commitment and intention…only to be derailed by the dreaded weight loss plateau.
Why in the world do we plateau when we’re trying to lose weight? The answers are several and are actually pretty interesting. The first answer is that early on in your diet, you’re most likely not losing fat yet, you’re losing water weight! Especially if you’re on a diet that means you’re consuming lesser amounts of sodium than usual, you are probably losing water weight. Entwined with this water weight dilemma is the fact that depending on several variables, your weight can vary by as much as three pounds a day. One of these variables is hydration. Are you drinking more water than you usually do? Don’t misunderstand me; you don’t want to restrict your hydration so you think you’re losing weight. You simply want to be mindful that your water consumption may be contributing to your perceived “plateau”.
Another factor or variable for women may be that hormonal changes can cause them to retain water during their menstrual cycle. One way to deal with the ups and downs so you don’t get discouraged is to take your “best weight” during the week and compare it with your “best weight” the next week. This assumes you are getting on the scale every day. There’s no merit in weighing yourself everyday and becoming discouraged to the point that you give up when it very well may be water weight fluctuation.
Another factor in the dilemma of the diet plateau is that as your body loses weight, it requires fewer calories to function. If your intake remains the same, and your body no longer needs that much fuel, you will experience a plateau or even a weight gain.
The fact is that weight loss needs to be a long term commitment with an eating regimen that then becomes a life style to maintain a healthy weight. You shouldn’t expect to healthily lose more than one to two pounds of fat per week. Please note, I said “fat”, not weight as weight would include water weight. What you want to leave behind is the excess fat. With that said, if you want to lose twenty pounds, it can easily take you ten to twenty weeks to lose twenty pounds of fat.
To be successful at this, you must have your calorie intake be lower than your calories used by your body. You can plan a meal, whether it’s at home or out so it helps you to feel fuller on less fattening foods. For instance, if you have soup or a salad or for that matter, any food with a high water content before you begin to eat your main course, you will feel fuller sooner and will be less likely to eat more of the foods that will sabotage your weight loss efforts. Key along with this approach is to maintain vigilance and commitment regarding portion control!
There are a number of hunger suppressing foods you can eat that will keep you from being so hungry and can help you make it to the next real meal or healthy snack without reaching for that bagel! Some of them are:
- Apples – the pectin prevents blood sugar spikes; it’s a soluble fiber helps you feel full; a fruit that will help you avoid a blood sugar crash; the pectin in an apple can help you feel satisfied for 1-2 hours!…go for organic apples
- Rice Bran – an insoluble fiber; contains zero calories; 1 -2 TBSPS in a glass of water stops the release of ghrelin for about an hour; avoid wheat bran (wheat sensitivity is common and so much wheat is GMO)
- Green Tea – Contains EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate) which calms your ghrelin and creates a feeling of fullness; EGCG stimulates thermogenesis which stimulates your metabolism and helps your cells burn fat…Think it’s boring? Add a little xylitol (sweetener) & coconut or almond milk… Here’s a link to my absolutely favorite organic green tea!
- Avocado – Contains protein as well as healthy fat and fiber
- Green Leafy Vegetables – contain Phytonutrients
You can keep a weight loss plateau from derailing your weight loss goals. Understanding what is happening during this plateau is one of the keys to staying on track and achieving your perfect weight!
Helping You Achieve Major Wellness!
Cheryl A Major, CNWC
Certified Nutrition & Wellness Consultant