Let’s get one thing straight: Weight-loss is not a destination but a journey. It doesn’t happen overnight and requires a lot of hard work and dedication, every single day. Losing those stubborn five or 10 extra pounds is indeed no easy feet. Sometimes, you may feel whatever you’re doing isn’t working and your weight will plateau, resulting in you throwing in the towel. But remember: the key is to never give up.
As compiled from The Beach Body and MyFitnessPal, here is a list of seven common reasons your scale isn’t budging and some tried-and-true nutrition solutions.
It’s time to adjust the portions
If you’ve lost a lot of weight already and would like to keep losing, you will have to adjust your portions so that you can lose more. If you keep doing the same thing over and over again, you’ll keep getting the same results. Many people need to cut back and simplify. Sporting a smaller frame requires less energy, thus lower-calorie intake and adjusting portion sizes may be the ticket to help you tip the scale in your favour. Some people need to eat more while others will have to eat less to lose weight. If you’re confused about which one applies to you, it might be a good idea to ask your doctor or see a registered dietitian.
Measure your macros
More often than not, you’re probably not eating enough of the two key nutrients that help keep weight off – fiber and protein. Boost your protein intake, especially at breakfast and as snacks (particularly a post-workout snack). Fiber helps provide fullness and meal satisfaction, so aim to eat at least two cups of non-starchy veggies at each meal to get enough. Measure and keep track of your food.
Evaluate your sweets, treats and cheats
When trying to trim, you can fall into the temptation of eating clean during the week and letting loose on the weekend. This cycle can undo all of the clean eating you have done during the week. It is important to be honest with yourself about how often and how much you are “rewarding” yourself with. Shift your focus to treating yourself to non-food rewards for the progress you’ve made. This simple measure will make it easier to stay balanced all week long and avoid binge eating.
Take your measurements regularly
The scale really isn’t the only way to measure progress. Weight is a number, but body composition tells a better story. Maybe you’re not really stuck in a weight loss plateau, and in reality, building lean muscle mass and shredding fat? This is especially common among athletes and people who work out. Take your measurements and set body composition goals that are realistic for a better approach to weight loss.
Try to eat intuitively
Maybe you’re a new mom, business owner or have a stressful job. Are you trying to shred some weight through it all? It’s easy to be distracted trying to manage it all and that stress can affect meal time.
Never eat unless you’re actually hungry
Before every meal, ask yourself just how hungry you are– with 0 being starving and 10 being stuffed. The closer you are to zero, the harder it will be to slow down and pay attention to satisfaction. Instead of polishing off all of the food on your plate, challenge yourself to stop when you arrive at 5–7 on the fullness scale. This is just one more “little secret” to successfully managing your weight and busting through that stubborn plateau.
Track your water intake
Keeping hydrated is crucial for feeling good and ensuring your body works at tip-top condition. Water also helps ensure that your hunger is real hunger and not just thirst. It’s always a good idea to do a measure of your water intake to make sure you are drinking enough and setting yourself up for weight-loss success.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 26th, 2016.