When you’ve been losing weight steadily and suddenly hit a plateau, it can be really discouraging. Feeling like your progress is stalled is frustrating, but it doesn’t need to be a temptation to give up or turn to extreme measures. Instead, try these six healthy and effective means for getting back on a straight path towards your weight loss goals.
Get Back on Track with Tracking
It feels great when our eating habits start to feel so second nature that we can stick to them without a plan or tracking. Sometimes, we let little things slip without noticing when we neglect to track.
If you are one of the many who are experiencing a weight-loss stall, I recommend revisiting tracking and food journaling. The goal of tracking is to be sure your calorie intake and macro distribution are on point. With consistent food journaling, you just might notice that little changes in your eating are having an impact on your progress, which will allow you to adjust course and get back on track.
Take Note of Portion Sizes
As you keep your food journal or record in an app, it’s a good time to take note of your portion sizes. Even if you’re eating all the right things, too much could keep you from dropping weight.
More specifically, there are a few foods that require a little extra care that are still super healthy for your body. Healthy fats like nuts, olive oil, coconut oil, and avocado should be a part of your balanced diet, but they should be consumed in their recommended portion size. Without careful monitoring, you might be eating more than you intended!
One way to control your portions, especially if you’re busy with work, school, or taking care of a family, is to portion out snacks in advance.
Be Mindful of Your Hunger
Eating at certain times of the day can become a ritual as much as it can be about hunger. If you’re not losing weight, mindfulness might help you spot the problem.
Mindful eating takes the time to note your hunger, your cravings, and the emotions you are experiencing before moving ahead with a meal or snack. Sometimes, we reach for a snack because we’re bored, nervous, lonely, or tired. If you find that to be the case, honor those emotions by accepting them for what they are instead of trying to mask them with food.
Eat More of the Right Foods
How’s your veggie intake lately? Sometimes life is busy, and that keeps us reaching for convenience foods. Even if those foods still meet your calorie goals, your body needs a well-balanced diet to perform at its very best.
Get back to the basics as you plan your meals, focusing on plenty of variety in the foods you eat—starting with a ton of vegetables. And don’t forget to drink plenty of water.
And Less of the Wrong Foods
Artificial sweeteners might be calorie-free, but that doesn’t mean they’re a good choice, especially when you’re trying to make lasting changes to your health and your body.
What we know about sweeteners is that they can actually create cravings, even though they’re sugar-free. This is because the brain responds to sweet tastes the same way, even if that sweet taste comes from a sweetener instead of real sugar. Cravings are hard to manage and might have you reaching for treats and snacks that aren’t a part of your plan. The same less-is-more approach should be applied to alcohol, even low-calorie or low-carb cocktails can stand in your way of reaching your weight loss goals.
A big part of the healthy living battle can be won with preparation. By prepping your meals and snacks before your busy week begins, you can eliminate the pressure of decision making on the go. Your decision to eat good foods has already been made, all you need to do is reach in the fridge and grab what you’ve prepped.
The same goes for working out. If you’re having a hard time getting to the gym, do everything you can to prepare the night before. Layout your clothes, get the coffee pot programmed and set your alarm.