You have started a diet, and it worked very well for the first months. You were losing weight the way you were expecting. Suddenly, you were working hard, eating less and less, and not losing weight anymore. This inability to lose weight is also called weight loss plateau. Why does it happen?
There are different reasons. It could be the types of foods you are eating, your lifestyle choices, inflammation in your body, hormonal imbalances and so on. First of all, forget about crazy diets, changing habits is the key to effective weight management. Then, if you are willing to improve your health while working on achieving your goal weight, there are several strategies that may help you begin to lose weight again.
Low-glycemic load foods can be your ally on losing weight. What is its? Glycemic load or GL is a ranking system for carbohydrate-rich foods that measures the amount of carbohydrates in a serving of food. Low-GL foods release their glucose more slowly into your blood, helping you to maintain stable the energy levels. They have low effect on your blood sugar balance. When we eat foods with high-GL, like refined carbohydrate foods, the glucose excess goes to the liver where it’s turned into fat and stored, causing weight gain. On the other hand, if we choose foods rich in fiber, combined with a good source of proteins and good fat, we are encouraging our body to burn fat. So, what should we eat? Plenty of vegetables, raw and cooked, beans, lentils that are sources of protein, brown rice, whole grains, avocado, seeds, nuts, then meat, eggs, cheese and so on.
Another strategy is write down everything that you eat and measure the portion size. Keeping a diet journal help you to make adjustments. Maybe you are eating more carbohydrates than we thought, or maybe it is the wrong type of carbohydrate. Maybe there is a hidden source of sugar in your salad dressing, tomato sauce, yogurt and so on.
Additionally, physical activities play a key role in weight loss. Diet alone won’t help you to overcome this weight loss plateau. Studies have shown that when we lose weight our metabolic rate slows as well. And exercise can change it. If you are not exercising regularly, find something that you love and can keep you moving. If you are exercising, but not losing weight, work out one or two extra days per week. Choose resistance exercises – like squats, push ups, crunches, planks, weight lifting. These exercises strengthen your muscles and help you burn calories, which can lead to a fat loss, especially if you are burning more calories than you consume. Do resistance exercises no less than twice a week.
Managing stress levels is also important. You may work well on your diet and exercises, but get no results for weight loss if you are stressed. Besides triggering food cravings, stress increases your body’s production of cortisol that can also increase belly fat storage. Include in your routine some relaxation techniques. Try meditation or just go for a walk. Find something that you love, take some time for yourself.
Consider your overall health, your environment and differents areas of your life to overcome the weight loss plateau.
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