You're exercising, eating well, and steadily losing pounds.
Then all of a sudden...
The scale seems stuck, week after week.
Yes, the dreaded plateau.
Don't think you're the only person this happens to (although most people
DO believe this only happens to them) - nearly everyone trying to lose
weight experiences a phase when the scale won't budge and there's still
pounds to go.
So, when this happens, you've got a choice to make.
You can either call your diet a success, or keep plugging away. If you've
lost quite a bit of weight - even though you still have pounds to go and
you're sleeping better, feeling good about yourself,
have lots more energy, feeling good about how you look, then maybe you've
already achieved your goal.
But, if you REALLY have some more pounds to go, here are ten strategies
you can use - try one or any combination - to melt the next 10 pounds.
1. *ADD Calories*
Not a typo. Adding calories may be just what your body needs to take
OFF those last stubborn pounds. When you drastically reduce the amount
of food you consume (like when you're on a very restricted diet), your
body goes into starvation mode.
Your body doesn't know it's trying to lose weight, so it starts burning
the calories you're taking in more efficiently to MINIMIZE weight loss.
If you're eating at the low end of your points range each day, you're asking for low
energy, deprivation followed by overeating, and a weight-gain rebound,
most of it fat. Try increasing your points to the higher to top end of the range a
day, and see what happens.
2. *Lift Pounds To Drop Pounds*
Too many people are cardio-happy, and they skip strength training - the
absolute KEY for long term weight loss, vibrant health, and a great
looking body. I can't stress this enough: muscle is your most
metabolically active tissue, so it uses more calories to sustain itself. So for every
pound of muscle you put on, you automatically burn an extra 40-50 calories
If you're too pooped to stay on the treadmill, strength training allows
you to continue working out. Compound movements - moves that involve
more than one joint, such as squats, lunges, bench presses - with free
weights (dumbbells & barbells) is best. And since compound exercises
use so much muscle to perform the exercise, you burn more calories than
if you were to do, say, machines. Get stronger, faster too.
3. *Take A Walk Before Dinner*
Or lunch, or breakfast. A pre-meal workout is a great appetite suppresser.
Even a brisk walk around the block can do the trick. It's hard to be
hungry when your metabolism is up.
4. *Go Back To The Drawing Board*
When I got closer to my goal weight, I started
slacking off. If you want to get those last or next 10 lb. off for good, now
would be a good time to record everything you put in your mouth over the
course of a few days. Let me ask you this: WHY WOULD YOU WANT TO BLOW
YOUR HARD-EARNED EFFORTS ANYWAY?
5. *ADD Fat*
This isn't a typo, either. This may fly against everything you've ever
read, heard, or seen, but fat is a NECESSITY. It's a concentrated source
of energy, and it helps you feel fuller longer. A slice or two of avocado
on your sandwich or a small handful of nuts may keep you from overeating
at your next meal - and keep the weight coming off. In 2003 we will look back
at the 1990's and laugh over the fat free/low fat scams of the last century!
CAUTION: Don't fall for the "fat-free" processed food fraud. Most products
are actually higher in calories than their full-fat counterparts - they
replace the fat with gobs of sugars - and you might wolf down 2-3 times
the serving size to be satisfied.
6. *Go For The Calorie Burn*
Have you been heeding the advice that longer, lower-intensity exercise
sessions burn more fat? That may be why the scale isn't moving for you.
When you're trying to lose weight, YOU'RE TRYING TO BURN CALORIES, AND
THE MOST YOU POSSIBLY CAN AT THAT. If you double your exercise intensity,
you double the rate at which you burn calories. Add an incline to your
treadmill workouts, and make it a point to pump iron.
7. *Eat Smaller Meals More Often*
Eating at regular intervals keeps your blood sugar levels stable.
8. *Become A Calorie Nibbler*
Burning calories goes beyond what you do in athletic shoes and sweats.
New research shows that people who fidget, move around, and change position
more often burn hundreds of extra calories a day. You've heard it before:
take the stairs, park far away, etc.
9. *Don't Cut Calories, Re-Distribute Them*
When do you eat the most calories? Most people eat them at dinner time.
But why do you want to fuel up when you're slowing down for the day?
Eat the same amount of calories, but take in more calories earlier in
the day and taper off at night. Chances are, by eating more calories
early on, you'll feel more energetic and you'll move more - burning
more calories - during the day.
10. *Quit Sabotaging Yourself*
Arguably the biggest obstacle to losing those next pounds is US.
We blame all kinds of things for our excess weight. Truth is,
some people wouldn't know what to do if that excuse wasn't there. I talked
with a WW Member who can see herself already at her goal weight,
happy, confident, energetic, and beautiful. As if she were there NOW.
Always keep this mental picture in your mind, and you will achieve your
Winning Outcome. See you at class. Come and speak with me!