Almost anyone following a weight loss program has encountered the dreaded plateau: a time when weight loss slows down or stops as the body adjusts to new exercise and eating habits. Here are some tips for dealing with a plateau without losing weight loss motivation.
Review the Reasons for Losing Weight
Keeping a list of reasons for why the dieter wants to lose weight can be a terrific tool for weight loss motivation. The reasons may be a special occasion, a health concern, general fitness, or more enjoyment of life. Dieters should keep their list handy, so they can review it easily when temptation strikes.
Food Journal to Get Back on Track for Weight Loss
Sometimes breaking through a weight loss plateau can be as simple as monitoring food intake more closely. Recording everything that is eaten for a week can give a lot of insight into what kind of changes need to be made to kick start weight loss. Using an online tracking system such as SparkPeople can also be helpful in tracking calories and providing information about daily nutritional requirements.
Measure Success Without the Scale
It’s perfectly normal to hit a plateau at some point during a weight loss journey. The important thing is to maintain a positive attitude and stick to the chosen diet and exercise program. Here are some goals that have nothing to do with the scale:
Take measurements regularly. Measuring at regular intervals will show the small but steady changes in body size that occur as the dieter becomes healthier, leaner, and more fit.
Have goals that are about overall fitness, not just the number on the scale. Working towards a goal other than a particular weight can promote a sense of accomplishment, and make tracking progress easier. Fitness goals may be a measurement of endurance, or a specific goal like completing a charity walk/run, or trying a new activity
Dieters can also track their progress through the fit of their clothes. Often clothes will begin to fit differently, even when the scale hasn’t budged.
Drink Water for Weight Loss
Drinking more water can often help break a weight loss plateau. In fact, many people do not drink enough water, whether they are trying to lose weight or not– people often confuse thirst for hunger. Drinking water improves overall health, and is very important when someone is increasing their exercise levels.
Change Up the Exercise Program
The human body is a very efficient machine– eventually it finds the most efficient way to exercise. This is why it’s important to vary any exercise routine. Keeping the body guessing keeps it burning the most calories. Rather than continuing with the same exercise routine, those hoping to defeat a weight-loss plateau should consider trying different fitness activities, or varying the length and intensity of their workouts.
Review Progress to Date
It can be hard to stay motivated when weight loss is slow, and amounts are small. However, it’s important to remember that those little numbers can really add up. Looking at totals of weight loss over a period of several months to a year can reinforce the sense of accomplishment at having achieved a healthy rate of weight loss.
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