Sooner or later, we all find ourselves in a plateau with our weight loss. There are several factors that can come into play. Some are easy to fix, others, not so much. This article will help you tweak your diet and nutrition so that you can keep progressing through your weight loss journey and seeing results. You don’t need to do them all at the same time.
Instead, implement one and see if your weight loss kickstarts again, and if not, throw another one in the mix.
1. Drink more water
It’s easy to consume a surplus of food if you are hungry and sit down with an assortment of food in front of you. An easy fix to prevent yourself from eating too much or not feeling satiated would be to drink a glass of water before the meal even begins. This will temporarily make the stomach feel as if it’s already somewhat full so that you can trick yourself into thinking you’re full.
Start off with one glass of water. If you still feel hungry after that one glass, then you know the next meal to consume a glass and a half or even two full glasses. Assess your hunger again and adjust accordingly.
2. Consume more fiber
Fiber is a great way to feel satiated throughout the day and minimize cravings that sometimes make you eat something you usually wouldn’t based on your current nutrition plan. Try to have a source of fiber in all of your meals. Some fibrous foods include broccoli, peas, almonds, apples, pears, lima beans, brown rice, lentils, kidney beans, avocado, carrots, sweet potatoes, and many others. You can even use fibrous foods as snacks as well.
3. Make cuts where necessary
If you are trying to have dessert at each meal while losing weight, it might be time to give that up. Look at what you eat during the day and figure out what you can cut back on. Maybe you are having a snack late in the day or at night that you can cut out if you fill yourself up with more fibrous foods? And if you’re eating out a lot (such as fast food), that would be an easy thing to cut out and start preparing all of your own meals (which you should be doing anyway).
4. Adjust your calories
If you aren’t seeing any results, try reducing your calories by 250 or 500 each day and see if after a week you lose a half to one pound of weight. As a reference, 3500 calories equates to one pound. If you lost weight, stick with that plan until you start to plateau again and stop seeing results. Then, again, lower your daily caloric intake by 250 to 500 and assess your weight after a week.
5. Track your calories
Are you tracking your calories? No? Then how do you know you should be losing weight? And telling me that you “eat clean” isn’t going to cut it. If you aren’t hitting your numbers, you aren’t going to lose weight — it’s that simple. An easy way to make sure you’re hitting your numbers is to use the MyFitnessPal app. It’s for Android and iPhone, so you have no reason not to download this free app. The app allows you to see how many calories you need to hit in order to lose weight, as well as track your meals so you can see how many calories as well as macros you are at, any time of the day.
6. Eat more protein
Protein is your friend. Rather than filling up on carbohydrates (which has the same number of calories per gram as protein), simply swap some of them out for protein. If you are an athlete, keep the carbohydrates in your diet and reduce a little bit of your overall fat intake. But, if you’re not an athlete, lowering your carbohydrates every day will help you drop some weight and body fat.
7. Eliminate empty calories
You know what I’m talking about — alcohol. I know there are times where you want to kick back and drink a cold one or have a mixed drink, but those calories add up quickly, and they really provide no purpose in your diet other than being used as a “social drink.” Eliminate them from your diet and only drink one for special occasions or holidays with friends and family. Substitute that beer for water — I know I’m the fun police, but you’ll thank me when you hit your weight loss goal.