6 Things to Try If You’re in a Weight Loss Plateau
Losing weight is no easy feat — and some days can feel harder than others. If you’re stuck on a weight-loss plateau, try these six tips to get out of the rut in a healthy way.
1. Record Your Food
Keeping a food journal is one of the simplest ways to get back on track with weight loss. This is because we often don’t realize everything we are consuming throughout the day. Even little bites of foods can add up, so recording everything after you eat it can help you realize if you’re eating too much of something — or too little of other things, like vegetables.
2. Increase Your Water
Frequently, feelings of hunger are actually signs of dehydration. Make sure you’re filling up on 8 to 10 cups of water per day — this can also help crowd out some unhealthier drinks, like soda, sugary juices, or alcohol.
3. Eat More Protein
Protein is the most satiating macronutrient, as it stimulates hormones that tell your body you’re getting full. Even better is eating protein at breakfast because this will help you to stay fueled and satisfied without adding extra morning snacks (like that donut in the break room.) Aim for 20-25 grams of protein per meal.
4. Don’t Over-Restrict
Over-restricting calories can backfire when it comes to weight loss. Our bodies don’t like to be under-fueled (can you blame them?). So when we don’t eat enough, it sends signals to hold onto fat — in case more food isn’t coming in soon, your body wants to be prepared for times of “starvation.” This “starvation mode” lowers your metabolic rate and makes it harder to lose weight.
5. Fill Up On Fiber
Like protein, fiber-filled foods are also highly satiating because fiber is not fully digested or absorbed by our guts. Because we don’t absorb the calories from fiber-rich foods — like fruit, vegetables, beans, and legumes — they can help you get out of a weight-loss rut.
6. Don’t Skimp on Sleep
Sleep is an under-rated part of the weight loss puzzle. Both sleeping too little and too much are linked to weight gain and obesity — the sweet spot tends to be 7 to 8 hours per night. Having trouble sleeping? Get off all electronics at least one hour before bed, avoid caffeine and alcohol, and try implementing a calming wind-down routine.