You exercise regularly. You watch what you eat. And, still you can’t seem to lose those last few extra pounds. Is it hopeless? Is there no solution to the weight plateau problem?
Don’t get discouraged. I, too, have found myself in this predicament in the past. And, it is possible to overcome. But, there are a few things that need to be considered.
First of all, are you constantly stepping on your scales to see if you’ve lost any more weight? If so, STOP! Avoid weighing yourself too frequently, or you may find yourself feeling a bit despondent. Even if you lose several pounds rather quickly in the beginning of your weight-loss program, the closer you get to achieving your weight-loss goal, the slower the weight tends to fall off. This is partly due to the fact that your body likely hasn’t as much fat to lose! It now has more lean tissue.
Also, as you work out, the muscles in your body become more developed. And, as most of us know, muscle weighs more than fat! Then, there are days when you simply retain fluids and weigh a pound or two more than you did the day before! Let’s face it! The scales can be deceptive. I try my best to stay away from them!
A better way to judge whether you’re slimming down is by monitoring the way your clothes fit. If a pair of pants fits looser now than it did a couple weeks ago, then, chances are that you’re making progress towards your goal! Something else to consider, too, is whether your weight-loss goal is reasonable for your body type. Are you trying to lose more weight than your body can afford to lose?
Keep Track of What You Eat
Secondly, keep track of what you eat, and be sure to exercise. To lose weight, you need to burn more calories than you consume! In fact, to lose just one pound of fat, you need to burn approximately 3,500 calories! This generally takes from 3 days to one week. You may try to control your weight by merely controlling your food intake. Ideally, however, you should both watch what you consume and burn calories through exercise, if you really want to drop those last few pounds.
By tracking what you eat, you may discover that you’re actually consuming a great deal more calories than you had imagined. Stay away from those potato chips and soft drinks! But don’t starve yourself, either! If you eat too few calories, your body will try to protect itself by slowing down its metabolism and hanging onto its fat for survival.
If you continue to exercise regularly and maintain a healthy diet, but those last few pounds still won’t fall off, perhaps, you need to give your metabolism a little boost by increasing the amount of exercise you get or by increasing the intensity of your workouts. If you usually walk for 30 minutes, why not try to add another 15 minutes to your walks? Or, instead of walking, how about giving jogging a chance?
Add weight training to your workouts, as well, if you haven’t already done so. Lifting weights helps build muscle mass, which, in turn, burns more calories than does fat. Sometimes, simply by changing up your exercise routine a bit, the weight-loss will start again.
If you seem to be stuck on a weight-loss plateau, don’t give up hope! Just remember:
- Avoid weighing yourself everyday! Once a week, or even less, is often enough!
- Pay attention to your diet! Eat healthy, balanced meals. Avoid too much fat and too many calories. Don’t under-eat!
- Drink plenty of water! Water helps speed up the metabolism. Additionally, if you drink a glass before each meal, it will help to decrease your appetite, and encourage you to eat less.
- Get plenty of exercise. If necessary, increase the length of your workouts and/or the intensity of your workouts. Vary the types of exercise you incorporate into your workouts, as well.
Good luck on your weight-loss endeavors!