Are you crushing your workouts, eating clean, and not seeing any results?
Reaching a weight-loss plateau is frustrating, but is surprisingly common among even active individuals. I experienced multiple plateaus during my 60+ lbs. weight loss journey, and it took an overwhelming amount of mental and physical strength to not "throw in the towel" and give up.
My weight and self-image struggle began when I was 16-years-old and my father passed away. I spiraled into a deep depression and used food as a way to cope with the grief.
It wasn't until I was in my early 20s, when I was 5'2 and weighed over 180 pounds (and was diagnosed as clinically obese), that I decided to regain control of my life. Within seven months, I lost 65 pounds and even broke the world record for earning the fastest IFBB (International Federation of Body Builders) Pro Card.
I won't sugarcoat it—it wasn't easy.
But one of the hardest hurdles I overcame didn't have to do with what I was putting in my mouth but instead with what I tolerated in my mind (more on that in just a bit).
Five years later, and I'm proud to share I've not only maintained my weight loss, but I've used what I learned to help millions of women to love themselves and lose weight, too. If it wasn't for overcoming the numerous weight loss plateaus I've experienced over the years, I wouldn't be where I am today -- both physically and mentally.
OK, now for the tactics. Here are my top five tips to overcoming your weight-loss plateau and get back to crushing your goals as soon as possible:prevnext
Limit the “little things”
Adding an extra dollop of salad dressing, barbeque sauce, or ketchup to every meal may not seem like its making an impact on your diet, but it actually is. It's also incredibly common for dressings and sauces to offer "fat-free" items, and in some areas, these products are worse for you.
For example, a (two-tablespoon) serving of Hidden Valley's The Original Ranch Fat Free dressing may only have 30 calories and zero-grams of fat, but it also has 13-percent of your daily sodium intake. Not to mention, the dressing's top five ingredients contain corn syrup, sugar, and modified food starch.
Start to limit these "little things" from your diet that could be contributing to your weight loss plateau and like all things, use them in moderation. Some of these items include olive oil, dressings, ketchup, mayo, barbeque sauce and dairy. Eating these foods in moderation can reduce your calorie intake by 200+ calories per day, 1400+ calories per week, or 5,600+ calories per month!prevnext
Switch It Up
The human body is quick to adapt, and can get used to doing the same workout repetitively.
Although, you may feel the emotional benefits after completing the same workout, your body may not receive the physical benefits because of repetition. This is one of the largest contributors to having a weight loss plateau.
If you're consistently doing the stair stepper, switch it up and hop on the elliptical. If you bike four miles every workout, try walking two miles at an incline.
Switching up your workout routine and introducing your body to new workouts and challenges will get your body out of a weight loss rut, and back on track.
Practice mindful snacking
There are two types of snacking: mindful snacking to take the edge off your hunger, boost your energy, and add nutritional value; and then there's careless snacking that often fails to solve your cravings and leaves you feeling unenergized.
Careless snacking is one of the main contributors to weight gain, and depending on what you're snacking on, can have serious implications on your health later on.
The next time you feel a rage of hunger before breakfast, lunch, or dinner, opt for a mindful snack to help boost your energy, solve your cravings, and maintain your wellness goals. Some of my favorite snacks include rice cakes with almond butter, fresh veggies and hummus, tuna packs, and protein shakes.prevnext
Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate
Studies show that drinking water has many benefits including weight loss, curbing cravings and appetite and jumpstarting fat burn. In fact, your body can sometimes get confused between being hungry and being thirsty, as the symptoms of dehydration and hunger are very similar.
I have a lot of hacks for making sure I hydrate to the max each day. It sounds simple, but it's one of the most important things you can do for your well being. I recommend one gallon of water each day. It may seem like a lot to start, but work your way up to the full gallon by adding a little bit more water every few days. Before you know it, consuming a gallon each day won't feel so hard...
Carry water with you at all times and make a daily water goal for yourself.prevnext
Get in the Zone
Push your workouts without leading to exhaustion by working out in the "fat-burn zone." This means working out within 60 to 75-percent of your max heart rate, or working out with moderate-intensity intervals.
An easy way to calculate your max heart rate is to subtract your age from 220. For example, if you're 30 years old, your max heart rate would be 190 (220-30=190). This number is the maximum number of times your heart should beat per minute while exercising
A study conducted by the University of St Thomas found that working out in the fat-burn zone burns a greater proportion of fat and calories compared to working out in the "cardio zone," or working out with high-intensity intervals.
The key to staying within the fat-burn zone is to elevate your heart rate, then bring it back down. You can do this by sprinting on a treadmill for one minute, followed by weight training for three-to-five minutes.
My advice to individuals experiencing a weight-loss plateau: just keep going, know that you're not the only one experiencing this, and don't be afraid to switch things up.
Follow these steps to break your plateau barriers and continue to crush your health and wellness goals. Visit LadyBoss.com for more information on living your best life through overall wellness!
Kaelin Poulin is the founder of LadyBoss, a global weight loss movement that has helped more than 1.3 million women learn to love themselves and lose weight.
Learn more about Kaelin's journey losing 65 pounds and her adventure to motherhood by visiting LadyBoss.com.
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