When you first start dieting, you may find that the pounds come off quickly without much effort. However, somewhere along the line, it’s normal to experience a plateau and stop losing weight. Some people may find it harder than others to shed excess weight due to various lifestyle and health factors. This can be frustrating and disappointing, but it doesn’t necessarily mean you won’t meet your goals.
If you’re not losing as much weight as you’d hoped, you first need to ask whether your expectations are too high. Healthy weight loss happens gradually (around 1-2lbs per week for most body types), so you might not see actual results for a while. However, if the scales aren’t budging and you feel like you’re doing everything right, here are some actionable tips to help you get back on track.
Meal Replacement Shakes
If you’ve hit a plateau on your weight loss journey, you might want to try meal replacement shakes to help you shift those last few pounds. Meal replacement shakes provide the body with a high protein, low-calorie supplement to a balanced diet and exercise regime, and they can be very effective. If you’re looking for a complete weight loss solution including an exercise plan, menu and weight loss shakes, the diet by Shake That Weight is easy to stick to and produces fast results.
When you’re trying to lose weight, protein should make up 25-30% of your daily calories. This is because protein helps to regulate the body’s appetite hormones, preventing metabolic slowdown, which is a common side effect of losing weight. Eating more protein will reduce cravings and make you less likely to reach for that mid-afternoon snack, which automatically means you’ll consume fewer calories. Meat, poultry, eggs, beans and soy are all excellent protein sources that will fill you up and aid weight loss.
Many people think cardio is the only form of exercise required for weight loss, but this simply isn’t the case. If you’re losing weight, you also need to incorporate resistance training (such as lifting weights, doing squats or practicing the plank) into your fitness regime. This type of exercise will not only help you slim down, but it will also preserve muscle mass, which often gets burnt along with fat if you don’t exercise.
An inability to lose weight despite a balanced diet and exercise could be a symptom of an underactive thyroid. The thyroid gland regulates the metabolism, so it can cause your body to burn fat more slowly if it doesn’t produce enough triiodothyronine and thyroxine (the thyroid hormones). Other symptoms of an underactive thyroid include fatigue, dry skin, hair loss, increased appetite and brain fog. You can get your thyroid function tested by visiting your doctor. An underactive thyroid is treating with a synthetic thyroid hormone replacement drug, as well as a healthy diet and regular exercise.
Diets that are low in carbohydrates are not only good for those with metabolic problems or type 2 diabetes; they are also highly effective for weight loss. Recent studies have shown that those following low carb diets typically lose 2-3 times more weight than those on low-fat diets, and they can also help lower cholesterol and stabilize blood sugar. If you want to follow a low-carb diet and speed up your weight loss, you should stick to eating meat, fish, eggs, vegetables, fruit, nuts, seeds, high-fat dairy and healthy oils. You should avoid sugar, wheat, seed oils, trans fats and processed foods.
Drink More Water
Staying hydrated is instrumental in weight loss, so you need to make sure you’re getting 8-10 glasses per day. Try to give up sugary drinks and milky coffees and stick to water and hydrating herbal teas instead. If you can’t give up your morning caffeine kick, take comfort in the fact that one cup of coffee per day can actually be beneficial to health. This is because coffee contains antioxidants and can work as an appetite suppressant to stop you overeating.
Don’t Skip Breakfast
Skipping meals is not the way to lose weight. If anything, it will have the opposite effect because you’re more likely to binge when you’re hungry, and your body will then cling on to the calories it gets and store them as fat. What’s more, eating breakfast helps to kick-start your metabolism in the morning and provides you with nutrients and energy needed for exercise.