5 Tips to Help You Overcome Your Weight Loss Plateau
Sometimes it’s hard to admit, but we’re all creatures of habit. It can be hard to break away from our old habits, even if we know that it’s in our best interest. Similarly, losing weight can sometimes leave us stuck; we’re not moving forward, we’re just stuck in a weight loss rut. This discouraging rut is what experts call a weight loss plateau. It can happen to anyone, but there are some tricks to help you overcome a plateau and get back to losing weight.
1. Reassess the number of calories you need.
According to registered dietitian Leah Kaufman, in order to get past a weight loss plateau, you’ll need to adjust the number of calories you’re consuming. The more weight you lose, the fewer calories your body is going to need in order to maintain its current weight. Try dropping your caloric intake by 100 to 200 calories per day and see if that helps you get past the plateau. Don’t try to eliminate too many calories or you run the risk of slowing your metabolism. A slow metabolism will make it even harder to lose weight.
2. Eat More Fiber
Fiber is one of the best ways to blast away fat. Recent research shows that eating foods high in fiber can help you overcome a weight loss plateau. This is true even when other methods have failed. Strive for at least 30 grams of fiber each day. You’ll get dietary fiber from whole grains as well as fresh fruits and vegetables.
3. Switch Your Caffeine
Research conducted by a team in Washington found that drinking more than 5 cups of coffee per day can lead to an increase in the accumulation of belly fat. However, another study found that people who consumed 5 cups of green tea and combined that with 3 hours of exercise each week, lost 2 more pounds than their counterparts who didn’t drink tea. Green tea is waist-friendly because it contains catechins, a compound known to blast away fat. Green tea also helps to rev up your metabolism.
4. Cheat Occasionally
When all else fails, you’ll probably be able to blast past that plateau by adding a carb rich meal. While it’s wise to keep an eye on carbs, especially when you’re trying to lose weight, an occasional indulgence might be just what you need to overcome your weight loss plateau. When you lose weight, your body also produces less leptin, a hormone produced by fat cells. This hormone is crucial to appetite control and weight loss. When leptin levels drop, they signal the brain to conserve calories. Fortunately, eating carbs will signal the brain that you are not starving and your body can continue burning calories at its normal rate.
5. Reduce Your Salt Intake
Sodium is lurking in more than just your salt shaker. The American Heart Association claims that more than 75% of the sodium in an average American diet comes from processed foods. If you’re not losing weight, the culprit might be too much sodium. Consuming sodium can lead to water retention which can tip the scales against you. To get past your weight loss plateau, limit processed foods, including canned soups and frozen dinners.