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You know how when you really get going on a health binge, and you’re staying motivated and feeling freaking fantastic, even though it’s a lot of work (so much), but good work + change. And then you step on the scale and are totally deflated? Cause your weight hasn’t had to common courtesy to budge one ounce. Honestly, nearly every mom I’ve ever talked with about weight loss has her own personal frustrating story about the dreaded weight loss plateaus. But TBH-it usually goes along with having kids.
One of the things that sends so many women into a spiral of binge eating and negative emotions is the disappointment of trying so hard to lead a healthy lifestyle. Eating all of the right things, and doing lots of activity, only to find that the scales have not moved a single point. Weight loss plateaus are so frustrating for us Moms, because when we do take the time to focus on ourselves, but don’t see the benefits, it can feel like it’s not worth it.
For emotional eaters, especially, this lack of progress is often enough to send us running right back to the chocolates, cookies, and chips. This is such a bummer when we’ve put in so much effort. Because weight loss plateaus are pretty common and not necessarily representative of the whole picture.
But the thing is, just because the scales have not moved doesn’t mean that no progress has been made. Inches may have been lost, muscle built, and health improved. But if those scales don’t move, trust me, I know it can be totally devastating!
It’s always a good idea to weigh only once a week and to look at the downward trend over weeks and months, rather than days so that you don’t fall prey to this kind of thinking that will set you back and make the problem much larger. That being said, if you have hit a true weight loss plateaus and it’s causing you to feel demoralized there are several tricks to try to break through and see some movement again.
1.Cut Down on the Carbs
There’s nothing wrong with having good complex carbs in your diet, whether you’re trying to lose weight or not – they can be very healthy. However, if you aren’t seeing much movement on the scales, it may be time to cut these a bit.
Replacing some of the carbs you’ve been eating with more leafy greens or other brightly colored veggies is a sure-fire way to get things moving in the right direction again. They’re lower in calories but full of vitamins and minerals that your body needs to function optimally, and they’ll fill you up just as well if you eat enough of them.
Make a list of all the veggies you love and like, and add them to your grocery list. Cook them during your regular meals, then when you sit down to eat, only get 1/2 the carbs (grains or potatoes) you normally would and replace that other 1/2 with your extra servings of veggies. The bonus is that nearly every diet plan (if you’re following one) gives the green light to veggies. *Just be cautious of adding oils or butter if you’re counting calories.
2. Eat Plenty of Protein
If you’ve hit a weight loss plateau look at your protein intake. If you aren’t eating at least 30 percent of your calories in protein, up that amount. An adequate amount of protein in your diet can increase your metabolism so that you’re burning as much as 30 percent more calories than when you eat fat or carbs.
It also helps you to build more muscle (providing you’re doing strength training, of course) and since muscle burns calories too, it’s win-win for you.
Count your macros for a few days and see what your ratios are (carbs/protein/fat). Try bumping up the protein–which may mean cutting calories elsewhere if you’re calorie-counting. Quick ways to add more protein are plant-based protein powders you can make a quick shake with for breakfast or snacks. I use the Tone It Up brand, and it’s so good!
3. Try SAFE Fat Burners
There are lots of things, preferably natural, including green tea, caffeine, and even supplements like garcinia cambogia that can help your body to burn fat more efficiently.
If you’re struggling with the numbers you see on the scales, adding them into your diet and exercise regime may be helpful. But if you go down the supplement route, you should always speak with your doctor first to ensure that it’s safe for you to take them.
Research supplements for quality and to make sure they don’t interfere with any conditions you have or meds you take, and then talk to your doctor before starting the supplements!
4. Up the Intensity
Increasing the intensity that you exercise is a usually awesome way to get yourself over weight loss plateaus. If you exercise at the same intensity for a long time, your body gets used to the effort you’re putting in and it doesn’t work as hard as it could or should eventually.
By running faster and further or cutting down your exercise time significantly but working out at maximum capacity, you can fire it up again and make your body burn those calories like there’s no tomorrow.
HIIT is a fantastic way to do that as well. You’re using maximum effort in a smaller amount of time. But it kickstarts what could be stalling in your metabolism.
Are you currently doing strength training? If not, add it in 2x/week and see if that helps. If you already do, bump up your weights! And in either scenario, add HIIT!
5. Measure and Write it Down
Often, especially after we have been watching our intake for a while, we can slip into bad habits and start eating more calories than is ideal for the results we want. We don’t necessarily start eating junk food again, but our portions may get a bit bigger, or we may add a little more oil to the pan than is ideal.
One thing that can help to reign this in is both measuring everything we eat and writing down all of the things that pass our lips. You don’t have to do this forever – a week or two should be enough to get you back on track- but it can be a very effective tool.
A great way to do this is with the Health + Fitness Planner for the Health-Motivated Mom. It helps you set goals for yourself, evaluate your current health and size, and then record your progress. Check it out by clicking the image below!
The Bottom Line
Keep in mind that the scales are not always accurate when it comes to how well you’re doing on your journey to weight loss and better health. And you should definitely measure yourself regularly to check for inch losses. But if you aren’t seeing any losses on the scales, there are lots of simple things you can do to get over the weight loss plateau and keep moving forward. So don’t give up just yet and fall into old patterns, try something new!
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