Are you stuck in a weight-loss plateau? Don't fret, you're in good company. It happens to many people after a certain period of time and can last a few weeks or longer. During this time, try to assess your situation and see if there is anything you can do about it beyond an unhealthy and drastic calorie-restriction diet. Here are 10 ideas for you to explore.
1. Not counting calories. Ask any business expert and you'll hear the same mantra - you can't improve what you don't measure. The same logic applies to the business of weight loss. The people who have had the most success losing weight and keeping it off are those who counted their calories on a daily basis. With smartphone apps, it's easier than ever to discover your daily calorie needs and then to count them.
2. Too many healthy calories. Some people think that if they eat only whole foods, they won't gain weight. While whole foods tend to leave you fuller for a longer duration, it's definitely possible to overeat, especially if you are consuming healthy high-fat foods in large quantities - avocado, nuts, seeds, olive oil, etc.
3. Exercise. This seems counter-intuitive, but exercise may stop your weight loss because after a work-out, we tend to be hungry and overcompensate for the calories burned.
4. Lack of sleep. Tired people have less willpower and are more susceptible to poor food choices. Get enough shut-eye to wake up ready to take on the world, one meal at a time.
5. Stress. Whether you're starting a new job, studying for finals, or have children, there is stress in almost everyone's life. Prolonged periods of stress lead to the production of cortisol, a hormone that increases appetite. Chill out!
6. Drinking sugar water. One of the most impactful changes you can make on your health journey is to switch from sweetened beverages to water. Sugary drinks not only add calories, they spike your blood glucose and increase your chances for diabetes.
7. Zero calorie beverages. Artificial and low-calorie sweeteners are likely tricking your body and messing with your metabolism in other ways. Stay away from them.
8. Alcohol. For some reason, people forget that cocktails, wine, and beer are also sources of calories. If the 7 calories per milliliter of alcohol weren't bad enough, alcohol also drastically reduces willpower and can lead to overeating.
9. Too much processed food. There's a difference between a 250-calorie candy bar and a 250-calorie salad. Highly refined carbs are not nourishing and will leave you hungry before your next mealtime is up. Many so-called healthy snacks are nothing more than glorified candy bars, so don't be fooled by fancy marketing.
10. You're done. If you can't seem to lose any more weight, maybe you've reached your body's "happy point". This is a state of equilibrium where you're not losing or gaining, and have adopted an eating regimen that you can adhere to for years. It's not overly taxing on your taste buds and lifestyle, but won't let you lose any more weight. This is not necessarily bad. Not everyone can have the lean body of a Victoria's Secret model. Social and media expectations aside, there is nothing wrong with a fuller body.
What's holding you back?