Avoiding The Dreaded Plateau
We’ve all been there; that dreaded plateau, where despite our best efforts, nothing seems to be happening. That can be difficult to accept with our”instant breakfast” mentality, and it is exactly where many decide their efforts aren’t working. Wrong! That is exactly when things are working, inside, where they count. Think day-to-day, rather than minute-to-minute. Think long-term rather than short. Keep doing what you know is working, and you’ll reap the benefits.
Best Steps to Permanent Weight Loss
Keeping a tally or score on your weekly efforts is the best way to track your progress. Just like the stock market, the line will go down, then up, then down, then down, then up, while over time, if losing weight is your goal, then you will eventually reach your goal, if you are doing the things that support your efforts on a daily basis. Tracking daily may cause insanity due to the ups and down attributed to the foods you eat, the liquids you drink, whether you sweat, etc.
I don’t generally dictate what people should eat, but there are guidelines which depending on your size, if followed, will lead to less fat, more muscle, and better health overall.
Weight Loss Guidelines
Calories: How many? That depends on many variables including your muscle mass (requires more calories to be maintained) whether you exercise, and your basic resting metabolism. I eat close to 2,000 a day, so don’t think you have to eat 1,000 calories a day to drop weight. It’s simply not true. I’m active, and the more active I get, the more I can eat and still maintain my weight. I don’t count calories so much as I’m aware. If something I want to eat has a ton of calories (cheese fries?) then I’ll decide whether it’s worth it first.
Think of Day’s Calories as Bank Account
I won’t waste my calories on crummy food choices – such as I won’t nibble a stale cookie just because I see it sitting there as I walk by. I won’t grab a handful of peanuts out of the bowl that’s on the counter, even if it beckons because until I saw it, I didn’t want it. Stop mindlessly putting things in your mouth. Everything counts – make good choices. If you want it, have it, but make sure you want it, and there isn’t something else you’d rather have. My motto? I’d rather have cheesecake. If I see something, I first think, “Do I want it more than something else I could have” If yes, okay fine, I’ll have it. If not, I’ll wait for something better, go get something better, or just let it go, this time. There’s always a next time.
Eat Your Veggies
Three to four vegetable servings can be accomplished by eating a big salad with some non-fat dressing (Don’t waste your “fat” calories on salad dressings.) Frozen vegetables are great. Nature made them sweet, no need to add sauces, etc. Learn to eat a raw carrot, freshly pulled out of the ground is really great!
Eat Plenty Protein but Don’t go Overboard
Bacon is a treat, not a staple (way too fatty). Choose lean meats, and start eating wild fish. Tuna mixed with salsa, wrapped in a tortilla. Think outside the box.
Eat Fruit Everyday
. At least one piece, more is better. I know it’s got sugar. It’s supposed to be sweet. We crave sweet, nature set it up so we’d want to eat fruit – so surprise! We want to eat sweet. Big deal. Satisfy your sweet tooth naturally, and you’re less likely to be driven to eat junk.
Drink Plenty of Water
. Make an effort to drink six to eight glasses a day. Every day. Yes, that seems like a lot. Do you drink soft drinks? Start substituting water every few soft drinks. Consider how much money you’d save, if you need an incentive.
Movement and Exercise: Track your Movement
If you get five minutes of exercise, write that down. Five minutes every day is far better than no minutes every day. Start from the beginning and you can slowly build to more minutes. Find exercise you enjoy – it’s not supposed to be torture. If you don’t like it, you won’t continue.
More often is better than less, never less than three times a day, even six is fine. Every time you eat you stoke the metabolic fires – your furnace heats up, and you burn more calories just by being alive. Fuel the fire. If you are afraid to eat, that may be the biggest problem – you aren’t fueling your fire and so the fire is burning as little fuel as it can just to get by (slow calorie burn means sluggish metabolism). Hunger is not the enemy.
Don’t be afraid that if you eat more, or exercise more, that you’ll gain weight. That’s folly. Athletes tend to eat an enormous amount, but they only get fat when they stop exercising and don’t adjust their eating accordingly.
If you eat a clean diet (mostly), move your body (exercise), and get plenty of quality sleep, you’ll be healthy, happy, and your weight will fall in line with what is healthy for you. I know you want the end result now. We all want it now, but wouldn’t it be great if you could drop some weight and know it’s gone for good? Wouldn’t you like to stop the “losing it, only to gain it back” cycle?
Start Today: Notice Quantity Of What You Eat
I eat cereal most mornings, but now I measure it, because if I use my eye to judge, I’ll eat about twice as much. Why is that? I’ve grown accustom to a certain amount of food on my plate or in my bowl, and that plate is large. I’m used to the huge portions served in restaurants – I expect it. Some people actually share a dinner -would you consider doing that? Or take some home for tomorrow’s lunch. It makes the meal out a much better value too.
Remember, skip the bread unless it’s special. Dress your salads, don’t drown them, and don’t waste money and calories on beverages (drink water instead).
Just start noticing what you’re doing every day and you may find some places where small changes can produce the results you want. Don’t fear weight loss plateaus! Embrace them instead and enjoy the view. Give it a go and post me a comment to let me know what happens for you.