Well… It happened. The dreaded weight loss plateau. Almost as inevitable as death and taxes, at some point in the journey to better health, hitting the ‘weight loss wall’ seems to afflict us all and apparently, now it’s my turn. But strangely enough, I’m OK with that!
Above: The numbers don’t lie – Since August 27th, my scale has been stuck!
For the better part of the past three weeks, despite diligent dieting, food tracking and 4 to 5 hard workouts in the gym each week, my scale seems frozen at 245 pounds. And this after starting out like a ball of fire and dropping from 257.5 to 244.5 in just the first 4 weeks!
However… Despite some mild frustration and fleeting thoughts of throwing my scale out our 15th-floor apartment window, I remain oddly at peace. Why?… Well regardless of what the scale may be saying, my clothes are telling a much different story and I am liking what I’m seeing! Shirts and pants that were tight now are hanging loose and getting looser by the day, or so it seems. Add to that the fact that my muscles feel tighter and fuller with each workout and the evidence is undeniable; The scale may be temporarily stalled, but my body is busy reinventing itself from the inside out! Plus, I just plain feel healthier than ever!
All that being said though, I still have quite a ways to go weight-wise before I reach my goal of a very fit 210 pounds on my 6′ frame, so it’s not unusual that I would be getting antsy to see the scale kick back to life and continue its downward trend. With that in mind, I have been researching ways to jumpstart my progress and bust through this weight loss plateau. Here are 5 tools I will be implementing over the next couple of weeks to hopefully do just that:
Weight Loss Plateau Busters
1.) Changing up my Macros:
As readers of my blog probably already know, I began my journey back to fitness about 8 weeks ago now following the fantastic Arbonne 30 Days to Healthy Living program. I simply cycled through it twice and the results have been great. However, while I am a die-hard convert and user now of the Arbonne Essentials Nutrition supplements and will continue to rely on them throughout my transformation, the 30 Days eating plan was always, in my mind, a ‘jumping off’ point food-wise to get me started and teach me to be more mindful of what I put into my body for fuel.
Now it is time to fine-tune my diet and to do that I will be working with a Nutritionist who specializes in a macro-based eating approach and will help me find the optimum balance between Carbohydrates, Healthy Fats and Protein based on my body type, current weight and fitness goals. I will be implementing this approach over the next week and of course, will keep you all posted on my progress!
2.) TRY INTERMITTENT FASTING:
In doing a bunch of research and reading, one approach to jumpstarting a stalled weight loss program that keeps coming up is the practice of adding Intermittent Fasting to your program. For those unfamiliar with this practice, the basic idea is you do all of your daily eating within a shortened time window thus extending the time you are in a “fasting state” which can result in boosting fat loss.
For example, one popular I.F. plan is called the 16/8 Method which involves fasting every day for 14-16 hours, and restricting your daily “eating window” to 8-10 hours.
Doing this method of fasting can actually be as simple as not eating anything after dinner, and skipping breakfast. For example, if you finish your last meal at 8 pm and then don’t eat until 12 noon the next day, then you are technically fasting for 16 hours between meals. I intend to give this a try and see if it doesn’t kickstart my progress again.
3.) Increase my Workout Intensity
Pretty simple concept here; Continue to increase the resistance load during weight training and push my muscles to work harder and continue to grow. Muscle weighs more than fat, plus, Increased muscle boosts your metabolism. This means the more muscle you have, the more calories you burn when you’re at rest. I like the sound of that!
I also will be experimenting with an occasional twice-a-day workout protocol. Simply adding an additional workout by doing, say, weight training in the morning and an additional cardio session at night can often rev up weight loss by keeping the metabolism constantly humming.
4.) Increase my Fiber Intake
According to research, including more fiber in your diet may help you break through a weight loss plateau. Fiber promotes weight loss by slowing the movement of food through your digestive tract, decreasing appetite and reducing the number of calories your body absorbs from food.
While I am now eating WAY more fibrous vegetables since following the Arbonne 30 Days to Healthy Living program, I am going to experiment by adding Arbonne’s Daily Fiber Boost to my daily regimen.
5.) Get More Sleep!
Experts seem to agree; Insufficient sleep can interfere with weight loss by reducing your metabolic rate and shifting your hormone levels to promote hunger and fat storage.
Unfortunately for me, as I am approaching my 60th birthday soon I am finding my quality of sleep is compromised on a couple of fronts. One, an increased need to urinate at night which in turn seems to keep me from falling into deep, restful REM sleep and two, I simply tend to stay up too late! The struggle to get better, more consistent sleep is, shall we say, an ongoing work in progress.
Let’s Do This!
Hopefully, if you too are struggling with weight loss plateau problems, the above rut-busting ideas might be helpful and of use to you. If you have other ideas that have worked, please feel free to add them to the comments below. I will be sure to keep everyone posted on the effectiveness of my plateau-busting plan!