It’s not as hard you think…
I am sure you have heard this before…the best time to lose weight is when you are young. But it can be difficult for those of us who are middle-aged to break through a weight loss plateau. And, when you get older, it’s also easier to pack on the pounds and even harder to figure out how to break the weight loss plateau.
As an actor, I’ve always been aware of my body and how it looks. But, there was a point a few years ago when I didn’t realize my body was changing. I had recently stepped into my 40s. I was so busy being a mom and juggling all the things that come with it. I forgot to take care of myself. One day, my youngest daughter told me that I looked “funny” in one of my dresses. The comment cut through what had been going on in my head for a while…I had gained weight.
It’s always hard when somebody says they don’t think you look your best. This time hit home because I knew deep down inside she was right. The comment was innocent, but so painfully honest. It felt like someone had punched me in the stomach, and there wasn’t anything else left to do but cry. The truth is I had only gained 10 pounds, but 10 pounds on a 5’1 person looks like more than 10 pounds.
And so, my weight loss journey began! The first few pounds came off quickly, but I hit a weight loss plateau. It is not so hard to lose pounds when you are young because your body still has a faster metabolism and lower fat content. But after 40 years old, losing more than two or three pounds at a time becomes more challenging.
I would almost be willing to bet that you’ve experienced this at some point in your life. The weight loss plateau is real!
Plateaus are typical during weight loss.
A weight-loss plateau can happen to almost anyone. Research shows that weight loss plateaus often occur at the six-month mark of a reduced-calorie diet.
How do you know when your weight loss plateaus?
You’ll notice that you’ve stopped losing weight, even though your behavior hasn’t changed. The pounds may have come off quickly at the beginning of your wellness journey, but they have stalled.
What causes a weight loss plateau?
Here are some reasons why you may hit a weight loss plateau:
You might experience stress and aren’t getting enough sleep. Weight loss can be difficult if we don’t take care of ourselves and get enough sleep.
No matter the reasons, you must know that weight loss plateaus are normal. So don’t blame yourself.
How long does it take to get over your weight loss plateau?
One common question people ask about weight loss plateaus is, “How long does it take?” Unfortunately, there is no set time. Some people lose weight quickly, while others may take months. The good news is that if you try the tips in this article, your chances of meeting your goal are very high.
Try not to compare yourself to other people or think it will take too much time to reach your goals.
How do I overcome a weight loss plateau?
There are several ways to break through a weight loss plateau. If you give some of these strategies a try, you might start losing weight again!
The best thing you can do now is stay motivated. You have come a long way already in this weight loss journey.
Try some of the following strategies to see if they help you break through your weight loss plateau:
Top Strategies for Breaking Through the Plateau
Reduce salt intake.
For example, you may want to cut back on your salt intake. Salt causes water retention, which can lead to bloating and weight gain. By reducing the amount of salt in your diet, you may see a drop in water weight.
According to this Scientific American article, a high salt diet may cause you to retain more body fat.
Try a new fitness routine.
Change up your routine to prevent weight loss plateaus. For example, instead of only doing cardio, you could also do weight training. Strength training will cause muscle mass to increase and fat decrease. Increasing muscle mass has been my biggest game-changer in keeping off the pounds. The more muscle density you have, the more calories you will burn.
Or, perhaps you have been doing strength training every day, and you can introduce a different type of exercise. For example, try high-intensity interval training instead. Not only will high-intensity interval training help your muscles, but it will also help you burn more calories.
The most important thing is to find a workout you like. This way, it won’t be just another chore you do every day. You will enjoy your activity, and it will help motivate you to lose weight when things get tough.
Increase your fiber intake.
Fiber is another nutrient that you could be missing in your diet. Fiber can help you lose weight.
You can eat fiber-rich foods before meals. Eating healthy high-fiber foods helps us feel full. When our stomachs feel full, we are less likely to give in to cravings. Eating more vegetables is a great way to increase your fiber intake. For strategies to eat more veggies, read this article.
Reexamine your calorie requirements.
Sometimes, the best way to break out of a plateau is by lowering your calorie intake.
If you’ve been eating a set number of calories every day and aren’t losing weight, consider reducing your calorie intake. As you lose weight, you don’t need as many calories as you needed at the beginning of your journey.
Track your food.
Are you underestimating how many calories you are eating? Did you stop tracking your intake? If you haven’t been tracking your food, you might not be aware of how much or how little food is in your diet.
Start tracking again and see what it does for weight loss! It may help break through a weight loss plateau so that you can lose more pounds.
Ditch the alcohol.
When you want to lose weight, alcohol is detrimental. Alcoholic beverages have a lot of empty calories. Plus, alcohol lowers inhibitions making us more likely to eat junk food and consume more calories than we intended.
If you want to lose more weight, cut back on drinking alcohol for a while. Eliminating alcohol can help boost your weight loss efforts and get you back on track.
Find a buddy who also wants to get fit or has been there before.
One of the best ways to stay motivated for weight loss is having a support system. Your buddy system can be your significant other or someone else who will hold you accountable.
Enlist the aid of a friend or family member who has previously traveled down the road you’re on. Or, you can find someone currently on a weight loss journey. Their support or experience can help you reach your goals. Having a buddy can help you stay motivated during tough times and plateaus.
Carry your water everywhere you go.
One common mistake people make when losing weight is not drinking enough water. If your body isn’t hydrated, you are more likely to have cravings. Drinking water can also help us feel full, making it easier to eat fewer calories.
Some people say drinking cold water all day can help boost your metabolism. But there isn’t any science to prove this yet. But, if it works for you, give it a shot. What’s the worst that can happen?
Don’t wait until you feel thirsty before drinking water. A common rule of thumb is to drink half of your body weight in ounces. For example, if you weighed 200 pounds, you would try to drink 100 ounces.
Consider buying an infuser bottle. These make drinking water more fun. You can flavor your water with lemons, limes, mint leaves, or cucumbers.
Carry your bottle with you so that you will remember! For more tips on drinking water, read this.
Make sure you are eating enough.
One of the mistakes women make when trying to lose weight is not eating enough.
If you don’t eat enough, your body will keep the weight, since it doesn’t know when you will eat again. Metabolism might slow down, making weight loss that much more difficult for you.
Eat a salad before meals.
Eating a salad before a meal is good for weight loss, and it makes you feel full. Plus, salads have fiber, which helps digestion. Eating salads will keep you from getting hungry, and give your body the vitamins and nutrients it needs to work better.
Keep your eyes on the prize.
It is hard to lose weight, and it can be tough to stay motivated and inspired over time. If you don’t have a strong enough reason for losing fat, how can you expect to keep going when things get tough? What is your “why” with this? Do you want to lose some weight and get stronger, or do you want to feel better about yourself?
Make a list of all the important reasons to keep going. Write them down so they serve as motivation. Once you’ve identified your “why” to continue, you can remind yourself daily.
Don’t obsess about your weight loss.
Make sure you aren’t constantly looking at your weight. Obsessing about the scale can be counterproductive, and it will only lead to negative thoughts about yourself. Look at the progress you have made, instead of what is still left to do! Your goal should focus on how far you’ve come, not where you are now.
Weight loss is about mind over matter. If you don’t think you can lose fat, your body will not let it happen! The more positive thinking and self-talk you engage in, the easier things become.
Don’t forget why this matters to you or what keeps motivating you along the way!
Eat more soups
Soups and chilies are filling and typically lower in calories, fat, and carbs than other entrees.
Soups are versatile, and you can make soup out of any protein and vegetables you have in your fridge. Soups are also great for batch cooking which can be a big timesaver.
You can make a massive pot of soup or chili on the weekend, so there’s plenty for lunch throughout the week. Batch-cooking will save more time than making individual meals each day at work/school.
More weight loss with less effort!
Take some time to find some favorite soup and chili recipes!
Eat foods that contain a lot of water.
Water-rich foods are typically lower in calories, fat, and carbs than other foods.
Water-rich foods are high in volume, which means you get plenty of food without consuming too many calories at once. If you aim for foods with high water content, you will eat fewer calories and be fuller quicker.
You can fill up on water-containing vegetables without worrying about consuming too many calories! Plus, eating veggies increases your intake of essential nutrients and vitamins. Not only will this help your body function optimally, but it’ll also give you plenty of energy each day.
Reduce stress levels.
Your body fat isn’t the only thing that contributes to your weight. Stress can also significantly impact our health and wellbeing. When you find yourself stressed out all the time, cortisol and other stress hormones in your body will go up and lead to weight gain.
There are many ways to reduce stress, and the best way is to find what works for you. When you feel stressed, find a relaxation strategy that helps. Your stress-relieving plan could be taking a hot bath, going for a quick walk, or reading your favorite book.
When you find things that work for you, focus on relieving your stress daily. Make stress reduction part of your weight loss strategy.
Getting enough sleep is vital for everyone, and is especially important if you are going through a weight loss plateau. If you’re not sleeping well, your body will struggle to function at its best. Lack of sleep can lead to fatigue at work/school etc., which doesn’t help you lose fat!
A lack of sleep can also contribute to more cravings and a slower metabolism. Studies show that lack of sleep can mess with our hormones causing us to either gain weight or make it difficult to lose it.
Most people should aim to get 7–9 hours of sleep per night. If you’re not sure how much sleep is right for you, experiment with different amounts! You can track how you feel after certain amounts.
Make getting enough rest part of your weight loss strategy. It’ll have a positive impact on your health and wellbeing.
Hire a health coach.
One of the most effective ways to get over a weight loss plateau is to hire a health coach. A coach can help you find the problems keeping you from losing weight, and a coach will give you advice and show you how to overcome these challenges.
A health coach will keep in touch with you regularly, and they will help you reach your goals and answer any questions you have. You will get support from someone who understands your situation, as well as tips and tricks to help you make long-lasting changes.
A coach can bring a fresh perspective on things and help you stay focused on your weight loss goals.
While hiring a coach may seem like an added cost, it’s not as expensive as you might think. Many coaches offer a wide variety of affordable packages. To learn more about my coaching programs, check this out.
The time has come to break through your plateau. It’s not easy, but it is doable if you try some of the above strategies.
Do you want even more strategies?
Download the guide “Break Through Your Plateau.”
I created this guide for people who want to get past their plateaus.
This ebook will show you how to get past those pesky plateaus so that your body starts changing again.I cover everything from food, exercise, and even some hidden factors that could be sabotaging your efforts! If you have been struggling with breaking through a plateau, then this book is definitely for YOU!
Click here right now to download our free guide on how to break through any weight loss plateau today!
Disclaimer: I am not a medical doctor, therapist, Registered Dietitian, or financial advisor. The information presented is purely for informational purposes. Check with a doctor or other professional before making any nutritional, fitness, lifestyle, or financial changes. The author and blog disclaim liability for any damage, mishap, or injury that may occur from engaging in any suggestions or ideas from this site.