Successfully reaching your weight loss goals incorporates a number of small, daily changes. However, if you experience a challenge, such as a weight loss plateau, to reaching your goal it can be quite frustrating. While weight loss plateaus are common, they are also challenging and set up the potential to deter your ultimate success. However, a weight loss plateau does not have to hinder your progress. Below are 5 strategies to overcome your weight loss plateau and remain on track with your goals.
- Begin to track what you eat. If you are already tracking your food intake, observe more closely if you have become more relaxed about tracking your actual consumption. Be honest with yourself when you evaluate your food intake. Honestly ask yourself if there are there areas where you can make minor adjustments to your food or beverage intake. It is so enlightening how minor adjustments to your food intake can make significant progress towards your goals. For example, have you started eating larger portions, have you stopped measuring your portions, have you begun to allow yourself more indulgences, or does your intake lack variety so you went back to some of your favorite comfort foods? Objectively evaluate your intake after you track it, then identify one area to make a small change this week. You may consider incorporating more fruit or vegetables each day to increase your fiber intake or cut back on the amount of refined grains by replacing them with whole grains.
- Adjust your activity regimen. Do you incorporate the same activities each week at the same level of frequency and intensity? Consider finding a new enjoyable activity to keep your body guessing. Think about ways to adjust your current activity regimen, such as increasing the number of workouts you are incorporating each week or even the intensity of certain workouts. Find alternative ways to work out the same muscle group with the guidance of an Exercise Physiologist or Certified Personal Trainer. Be sure to discuss any activity changes with your doctor before implementing them.
- Incorporate stress management protocols into your day or your week. If you find that you are more stressed, brainstorm strategies to minimize your daily stress. For example, consider incorporating better time management into your day. You may even consider limiting temptations or people that do not show you support which may hinder your success. Try relaxation techniques such as meditation or yoga, limit caffeine, aim for more sleep, or talk with a loved one or mental health professional.
- Drink more fluids. Have you noticed that you feel hungry when you are simply inadequately hydrated? Select calorie free to low calorie beverages, such as water, unsweetened tea, or green tea. Consider replacing one of your favorite higher calorie beverages with something that is lower in calories. There are a number of products on the market today that are excellent replacements for high calorie beverages, it is just a matter of finding something that you like.
- Enlist local support. Discuss your weight loss plateau concerns with a loved one or a medical health professional for additional support and increased accountability. Creating a local support network with friends and family can help to set you up for success. It could be as simple as establishing a weekly phone call to a loved one for a quick check in or having a shoulder to lean on. You may even consider joining a new activity group such as a hiking group or, local exercise class, or even a community organization. Find an accountability partner who is in the same stage of life as you where you can brainstorm new healthful meal ideas or go on walks together.
Jump start your weight loss today with a strategy above. Consider where you began compared to where you are now to keep motivated and reach your goals.