You are frustrated. In tears, even.
You’ve been hungry for weeks and working your butt off.
For the past two weeks, that scale hasn’t budged.
You’ve gone from posting weekly celebration posts on Instagram and shopping new clothing to nothing. Nada. Zilch.
Heck, it almost seems like a couple of pounds crept back on. Is it possible?
Welcome to the mortal enemy of dieters, everywhere:
- The Dreaded Plateau
- #9 Team Up with Family
- #10 Eat Slower
- #11 Eat Fat
- #12 Go Insane With The Veggies
- #13 Intermittent Fasting
- #14 Cut Dairy
- #15 Cut Carbs
- #16 Avoid Alcohol
- #17 Weigh Correctly
- #18 Buy A New Scale
- #19 Buy A Water Bottle
- #20 Eat More Fiber
- #21 Cut The Vitamins
- #22 Change How You Caffeinate
- #23 Get Nutty
- #24 Kim Kardashian Eats 7 Times A Day
- #25 Get More Sleep
- #26 Pre-Game Your Dinner
- #27 Eat More Protein
- #28 Don’t Eat Your Workout
- #29 Give Up “Sugar-Free.”
- #30 Move More
- #31 Squash Stress
- #32 Learn A New Workout
- #33 Get Short
- #34 Get Long
- #35 Get Harder
- #36 Get Free
- #37 Find A Fit Friend
- #38 Put The Weight Back On
- #39 Beat Yourself
- #40 Do Yoga
- #41 Take A Rest Day
- #42 Use A Tape Measure
- #43 Do You Have The Correct Goal Weight?
- #44 Quit Pretending
- #45 Vision
- #46 Remove Temptations
- #47 Get Cold
- #48 Balance Your Hormones
- #49 Blame The Meds
The Dreaded Plateau
What Is a Weight Loss Plateau?
Simply speaking, a plateau is where the scale stops moving down. You are doing everything right: still dieting, still exercising, but the weight isn’t coming off.
What Causes A Plateau?
I want to talk about two things, here:
1. Water Weight
When you start your weight loss journey, the initial drop is surprisingly fast. You are breaking records everywhere as the pounds fly off.
This is due to your body using up Glycogen stores. Glycogen is the “quick energy” your body stores for those cases when you run out of food.
When you enter a calorie restriction, those stores get used up immediately, releasing water… and weight.
However, after a few weeks, your body becomes accustomed to the lower levels of calories and begins to once again store glycogen.. and weight.
In this case, it is an extremely temporary setback and a good reset for your body.
2. Lowered Metabolism
A heavier body uses more energy to move. As you lose weight, your workouts and day-to-day living will use less energy.
Compounding that, you will have by this point also lost some of your muscle mass. It is an unfortunate but necessary side-effect of any weight loss plan.
As that muscle tissue decreases, your resting metabolic rate also lowers. Now, your body is not burning as many calories and you’ may need to adjust your caloric intake even lower (we’ll talk about that more, below).
During one of my recent weight loss endeavors, I had this problem. I lost 20 pounds with P90x over four weeks. However, much of that weight loss was muscle. The result was that my body fat ratios increased from a 17% bodyfat to a 22% body fat.
When I “fell off the P90X bandwagon”, that weight came back on with a flourish since I had lowered my resting energy expenditure.
I was in a worse situation than if I had never lost the weight.
Plateaus are frustrating, but now is not the time to give up.
Further lowering your metabolism is the fact that you are consuming fewer calories. your body will decrease its need for energy to more closely match your calorie intake, leaving you feeling sluggish and fighting thoughts about quitting your diet.
You Are One Tweak Away From Breaking The Plateau
Back when I was racing bicycles, I had one year where it was important for me to take the off-season and drop ten pounds of fat to improve my hill-climbing abilities.
For an already-skinny racer, this was a challenge, and I hit several plateaus along the way.
What I learned, is that you are only one small tweak away from losing that weight and shattering your plateau.
Here are 49 such ideas that you can try. Space them out over the next few weeks. I’m sure one of them will get you going again.
All it takes is the right tweak to get restarted.
#1 Weight Loss Is Not Linear
We want weight loss to be consistent. “If I lose 2 pounds per week, I’ll be able to fit into my dress by my wedding day.”
This notion can be dangerous to your goals. After two weeks of being stuck, we realize our math is out of whack and the pressure to lose weight mounts. The resulting stress encourages our brains to eat more (see # __ ).
As you go on this journey, your body is fighting against you to maintain homeostasis. It WANTS to store fat and glycogen.
A recent study shows that as you lose weight, your parasympathetic nervous system starts to increase in activity, trying to control your body and force you to store more weight again. This was extremely measurable at the 10% weight loss level (also see point #2)
In short, your body thinks unhealthy is the correct normal. It wants to stay there.
It is your job to help your body move towards better health in spite of its programming to store, store, store!
Recognize that even if you have a 100% perfect week, the amount of weight your body releases will vary by a pound or two each week.
#2 Plateaus Are Predictable
Laval University did a study on the psychobiological effects of weight loss. One of the fascinating side points they discovered is that their group of individuals typically hit their weight loss plateau after losing 11.2 percent of their initial body weight.
In forums, you often hear people talking about struggling as they approach those “big numbers” 190, 180, 170…
I’ve often notice that folks struggle immediately AFTER hitting a goal. And while some of that may be mental, it does mirror the fact that our caloric adjustments tend to be done in 100’s and the weight loss plateaus occur at the 11% mark.
Maybe there is a correlation?
Just know that it is normal, happens to most dieters and will get to you sooner or later.
You can use these tips to get past it. Don’t let it play mind games with you.
#3 Calorie Creep
When you first started the diet, all of those veggies were pretty blasé.
It is much easier to maintain lower caloric intake when you hate the food you are eating.
Now, as your taste buds adapt, it is tempting to go overboard on the healthy foods. We start eating more again, because of our new-found enjoyment in health food.
And that Calorie intake creeps stealthily upward.
There also many Calories that can sneak by us. We used to carefully measure a tablespoon of dressing. After six weeks of dieting we “eyeball” it.
Enough mistakes like that in a week and it adds up (especially when combined with the lowered metabolism).
Time to pull out those measuring spoons and double check.
#4 Journal Everything
We hate journals.
Until your track it, you are simply guessing. And the longer you spend guessing, the longer it will take you to get back on track.
One of the big areas for calorie creep is in calories we forget to record. That extra piece of cheese on the sandwich. That tiny piece of candy.
It all adds up.
A food journal is essential for measuring our intake. Every morsel we look at. Every lick. It needs to go into this journal.
Furthermore, it has been proven that the act keeping of a food journal doubles weight loss.
One of the best cases I heard of was the gentleman who enjoyed a glass of wine every night and forgot to journal it. Switching wine out for herbal tea got him back on track to his goals.
I am a fan of MyFitnessPal
#5 Eat Less
“But I’m ALREADY DIETING”
I hear you.
Weight loss is 80% diet. If you don’t get this part right, you are in for a fight.
After several weeks of dieting, your body is lighter and now has lower caloric needs (not to mention the metabolism drops as much as possible to meet your lower calorie intake). It may be time to reassess your calorie needs.
Use one of these handy calculators to determine your body’s resting daily caloric needs, based on your new weight. You can then start decreasing calories below that to get to the next level.
One of the best tricks for me has been an arbitrary calorie reduction of 100 calories per day. I keep reducing day by day until I find the point where the body begins to let go of the weight again.
Then I maintain that new level.
This can work especially well following a day spent doing step #6.
#6 Eat More
Here I go, contradicting myself.
Some of you are so good at dieting that you’ve put your body into starvation mode. Every biological system is down-regulated and trying to hang on to every ounce of fat.
This why so many bodybuilders use calorie cycling. You may have heard of a “cheat day.”
I like to take one day per week where I am allowed to eat about 300 calories more than my estimated daily requirements (your basal metabolic rate + exercise energy use estimates).
Now, don’t go heavy on the ice cream and spike your blood sugar levels. Choose healthy or moderately healthy foods (I like to do a big greasy hamburger. High in protein but also shockingly high in carbs and calories).
Often I find that within 48 hours, the weight loss has returned and we’re back on track.
#7 The Dirty Plate Diet
Overeating at restaurants is easy. Great depression causing obesity
And, thanks to World War 1, we Americans are pushed from a young age to “finish our plates.” (There was an even a clean plate club).
This terminology was reiterated during World War II and is a dogma that has been passed from generation to generation.
Today, you can join a movement of people willing to walk away from unfinished plates, guilt-free.
Get your hashtags ready, people. #dirtyplatediet is breaking plateaus left and right!
Take a pic. Hashtag it. And send the uneaten food back to the kitchen. Your waist will thank you.
#8 “Crazy App Causes Insane Weight Loss.”
As you lower your metabolism, moving more become imperative (see Tip #30).
There is a gentleman in our office who lost 30 pounds by doing nothing more than walking 10,000 steps a day. He’s healthier and happier than he’s ever been.
Sure, walking takes time, but if buys you back several years of health, it is well worth the investment. And walking is one of those easy-to-do exercises that shows phenomenal benefits for both the body and the brain.
And a Pedometer makes hitting your goals more like a game.
#9 Team Up with Family
By this point, your family is convinced that you are serious about your weight loss.
It’s time to double down.
The other week I went on a rampage and threw away all of the sugar and cakes and candy we had in the house.
Sure, the wife and kids complained. But we needed a purge.
The battle for good health isn’t fought in your kitchen. It is fought in your shopping cart.
Getting the family on board with supporting your journey can help you eliminate those little calories that are holding you back from your next weight breakthrough.
#10 Eat Slower
We all know that eating more slowly helps you not overeat and empowers you to stop when you start feeling full.
Here’s the next step: mindful eating.
As you chew, pay 100% attention to your bite. How it feels. How it tastes.
I find that when I am 100% mindful of my food choices I make better choices. And I’m not the only one. Mindful eating has been proven to prove as an effective weight loss strategy.
A couple of days of mindful eating might be exactly what you need to break through.
#11 Eat Fat
It ‘s hard to burn fat without introducing new fat.
Dietary fat fires up the PPAR-alpha and fat-burning pathways in the liver and provides a “doorway” for the liver to process your body’s fat.
Plus, choosing the low-fat options work against you as extra sugars and salt are used in the ingredients to compensate for the lack of fat.
Ensuring there is fat in the diet can keep also help stabilize your blood sugars throughout the day.
For a bonus, make sure to choose healthy, unsaturated fats, like those found in Olive Oil, Fish, Walnuts and Avocado. It’s been proven that a diet high in Omega 3 Fatty acids help lead to more satiety 2 hours after a meal.
Fat keeps you full.
#12 Go Insane With The Veggies
We rarely eat enough vegetables.
In a way, vegetables are everything. They are our fiber. Our vitamins.
In days gone by, sailors used to deal with this all the time. They could have meat, beans, and bread, but without fresh fruits or vegetables, they developed scurvy.
Now, there is little risk of that today. However, filling up with 4-5 servings of vegetables can help decrease your hunger for more fleeting calories.
I tend to overeat at night, so my policy is that I can have ass many frozen vegetables as I want. I’ll throw bowl after bowl of them in the microwave until the cravings stop.
It’s a lower calorie way to ensure my body is getting what it needs.
If you try my method, just watch out for the corn, peas, beans, and potatoes. Those high-calorie options can work against you.
#13 Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent fasting — or IF as we refer to it in shorthand — is my favorite tactic.
I tend to overeat after 8 pm. With IF, I only eat between the hours of 3 pm and 9 pm.
For me, it is a mind-tick that shortens my eating window to 6 hours and gives me less room to overeat.
There may be other benefits to eating on a schedule. Studies have pointed to the benefits of fasting on the brain and the cardiovascular system.
Fasting has also proven to help boost growth hormone. Growth hormone can boost muscle growth, and ultimately, boost your metabolism.
While IF isn’t a cure-all, it works for me and is my secret weight-loss weapon.
#14 Cut Dairy
Several studies have linked dairy to weight loss, not weight gain.
That said, I’ve noticed that as I cut calories and carbs, I sometimes begin to increase my dairy intake.
And dairy is full of calories.
Khloe Kardashian is one of many who swears by cutting dairy for weight loss.
I’ve had family members experience the same thing.
Now whether it is dairy that is the culprit or simply the calories that come along with dairy, this ubiquitous food might be the perfect one to cut for a week and see if it kick-starts your loss.
#15 Cut Carbs
We’ve all seen the Atkins diet and its hundreds of success stories.
Low carb is glorified for it’s ability to increase your insulin sensitivity and improve your blood glucose profiles.
However, like most elimination diets, it has a poor adherence rate. Once you lose the weight you revert to your high-carb habits, and the weight comes back.
So we’re not advocating low carb. But, as a tactic to get the ball rolling, it might be worthwhile to spend a week at fewer than 40g of carbohydrates a fay and see how your body responds.
A hidden benefit is that most folks who go low carb, naturally increase their protein intake.
That might just be what your body needs.
#16 Avoid Alcohol
Sacred ground, here. I know I’m going to step on some toes.
Alcohol has so many empty calories. (5 ounces of wine is 120 calories. One glass of wine per night is 840 calories in a week.)
Cut it until your weight loss gets rolling again.
Then, enjoy in moderation.
It’s scary how often a glass of wine or a can of beer holds folks back from reaching their next weight target.
#17 Weigh Correctly
Make sure you are weighing at the same time each day.
Your body will swing in weight by as much as 5 pounds throughout a day.
Having a consistent time of day to weigh helps you better assess your progress.
I always weigh in the morning. However, during intermittent fasting, I find my lowest — and most consistent weight — is right before I begin eating again (especially since I almost always drink the same amount of fluids every day).
So figure out your “weight window” and stick with it.
#18 Buy A New Scale
I’ve seen folks think they are making progress or losing ground… and it just turns out they had a dying scale.
I spot-check myself on the gym scale all the time, just to make sure my weight is within reasonable rang of my home scale.
Not something you would think of, but you might have lost 6 pounds in the last three weeks, and your scale just hasn’t caught up.
Even worse is when your scale says you are losing weight, but you aren’t.
To make the correct progress, you need the correct tools.
#19 Buy A Water Bottle
You are not hydrating enough.
It has been estimated that 3 out of 4 Americans are not drinking enough water every day.
The Institute of Medicine recommends 10 cups of water a day.
With us drinking soda, coffee, tea… everything but water, it is impossible for us to get there.
Then, our brain, desperate for water, will try to get it anyway it can. Even if it has to beg us for food.
The University of Michigan has found that staying hydrated becomes even more important for those of us with a BMI over 25 as hydration correlated directly to blood volume.
Furthermore, there is a clear correlation between those who are well-hydrated and those who weigh less.
Finally, water counts towards that full feeling. Hungry? I like to drink 20 ounces at once and see if I still hunger 30 minutes later.
Carrying ample water helps with the availability bias and makes you more likely to drink as your body requires.
#20 Eat More Fiber
We all know that fiber is important and helps us feel more full.
Now, I need to correct an error that other sites (like Shape.com) like to propagate.
Fiber does NOT cancel out carbohydrates or calories.
Despite what your weight-watchers coach says, you can’t sprinkle fiber on your ice cream and magically convert it into a low-calorie food.
But what is neat is that a study in Brazil demonstrated that for every additional gram of fiber consumed dieters lost an extra quarter pound of weight over a six-month span.
#21 Cut The Vitamins
I should do a full article on this point.
Here’s the thing, when you workout free radicals — or reactive oxygen species — are generated.
Vitamins C and E are well-known free radical scavengers and are a proven ally in protecting your cells.
For weight loss, however, this works against you.
You see, when Reactive Oxygen Species are generated, the body works to remove them from the body. And that effort requires — you guessed it — using more calories.
Vitamin C eliminates your body’s need to do the extra work.
A study done by the University of Liverpool uncovered that not only does a body burn fewer calories when mega doses of vitamin C and E are consumed, but that these test subjects also had lowered insulin sensitivity… which can lead to more fat storage.
I doubt this will be a problem for most of us, but it might be something to test for a week.
#22 Change How You Caffeinate
We all know that caffeine is a stellar hunger suppressant.
It also stimulates thermogenesis (increases your metabolism), so your body burns more.
Most weight loss pills include caffeine as one of the main ingredients.
Load that coffee down, however, with milk and sugar, and suddenly your low-cal-appetite-suppressant is working against you.
Additionally, Coffee takes 8 to 14 hours to metabolize. Drinking caffeine in the early afternoon (or later) can interfere with your quality of sleep as your body is still processing it. (see point #25 )
Finally, Caffeine boosts your body’s production of cortisol. And, as we all know, Cortisol is the stress hormone that weight insulin and encourages your body to hang onto that fat.
Reducing the amount of coffee you drink every day can help ensure that your body is getting the rest it needs and that you aren’t masking high cortisone levels.
#23 Get Nutty
As we discussed in #11, eating fat helps open up the fat-burning pathways and leads to more fat burning.
Increasing your diet of healthy nuts is an easy hack to help cut the cravings and keep the protein and fat intake high.
Working out on a reduced calorie diet is always a dangerous time where your diet might end up losing out to the hunger pangs.
Loading up on almonds before your workout is a perfect way to deliver the energy your body needs, open the fat-burning pathways so your body can unlock even more power and still deliver ample protein to protect the lean muscle.
Try getting nutty. Almonds and cashews are my favorites for this.
#24 Kim Kardashian Eats 7 Times A Day
I saw the above headline this week.
All of the meal prep that goes into creating 5-7 meals and snacks is not my forte.
However, studies have shown that afternoon snackers tend to make better food choices.
It is proven that willpower requires energy — specifically glucose — to maintain.
It’s scientific: Resisting the candy makes your body need it more.
Crashing into a Snickers bar — even a few times a week — is enough to derail any weight loss goals.
You can outsmart your body by keeping fruits, vegetables, and nuts handy.
Pre-planning your snacks and incorporating more, smaller, portions of healthy food into your day might be just what you need to push out the calorie creep.
#25 Get More Sleep
This is a biggie. Study after study has demonstrated that a lack of sleep will correlate with increased weight.
Sleep apnea gives us a lot of opportunities to research the effects of sleep deprivation. One of the big things we’ve discovered is that those who don’t get enough sleep, experience increased levels of the hormone leptin the following day.
Leptin AKA the “hunger hormone” is what triggers your brain to eat.
You feel hungrier after a night of poor sleep.
Additionally, a lack of sleep increases your levels of cortisol making it more likely that your body will hang onto those additional calories.
Of course, increased cortisol can also interfere with your ability to sleep.
It’s a deadly one-two-three combo that can only be beaten by establishing a healthy sleep routine.
Forgo sleep and the waist will swell. It is almost guaranteed.
#26 Pre-Game Your Dinner
It’s easy to make fun of those folks who prepare a week’s worth of food every Sunday afternoon.
You succeed when you prepare to succeed.
There is the same principle Jenny Craig offers: It is EASY to make the right food choices when your next meal is ready to go.
Give it a try. Take two hours, kick on some good tunes, and have a fun session preparing some lean meats and veggies for the upcoming week.
#27 Eat More Protein
It takes energy to digest food.
For example, it takes more energy for your body to digest a chicken leg than it does to eat a snickers bar.
In fact, if you significantly boost your protein, you can burn an added 80-100 calories per day. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11838888
Protein is easy. We already talked about eating nuts. You can also work in beans, eggs, cheeses, and protein shakes for other sources of grab-n-go protein.
A protein boost might just be what your body needs to get to the next level.
#28 Don’t Eat Your Workout
As a cyclist, I am very familiar with how easy it is to eat my weight in sandwiches following a hard ride.
But even weightlifting I struggle with hunger after a good session.
In addition to eating a few handfuls of almonds (and sometimes a BCAA drink) before working out, I use a routine of drinking a protein shake immediately after and then following it up with copious amounts of water for two hours.
For me, the trick is to not workout near mealtime. If I can force myself to wait 2 hours before eating, I find that I am better able to stay in control of my calorie count.
Finally, don’t forget that on longer cardio sessions, you will be less likely to overdose on calories following the session if you use some carbs during the workout to supplement your glycogen needs.
Just keep in mind that eating too many carbs post-session can work against your muscle-building efforts.
#29 Give Up “Sugar-Free.”
We all know the danger of drinking “empty” calories found in sugary drinks.
Well, I’m back with some bad news.
Our bodies can’t tell the difference between real sugar and artificial, sugar-free sweeteners, with one study discovering that those who drink sugar-free drinks gained three times the weight of those who didn’t.
#30 Move More
Movement = metabolism
Those of us with desk jobs are hurting ourselves three ways:
1. We are on a hypocaloric weight loss diet which pushes our metabolism down.
2. We have lost some muscle mass, which decreases our metabolism.
3. We sit around all day, letting our body move solidly into starvation mode.
We know the rules: take the stairs, park in the back of the parking lot…
But now it is time to take it to the next level. I set a timer and make sure that I do jumping jacks, climb the stairs, go for a walk or do squats or pushups every hour.
Sure, my coworkers think I’m crazy, but I’ll tell you what is crazy is accepting the fact that my job forces me to be fat.
Movement is your secret weapon for getting past Plateaus.
#31 Squash Stress
Stress = Cortisol = Fat storage
As we discussed under tip #25, cortisol can interfere with your quality of sleep.
Well, cortisol and fat have a similar loop. You get stressed, which raises your cortisol.
The cortisol causes you to put on weight, which also raises your cortisol.
Interrupting these cortisol loops are key to reaching your weight loss breakthroughs.
My favorite weapon is Gratitude. Gratitude has been linked with a 23 percent reduction in cortisol.
I do a small gratitude exercises three times a day. For one minute, I try to name as many things as I can think of that I am grateful for.
#32 Learn A New Workout
Cross-Training is a well-known tactic to keep you engaged with your workout routine.
It can be uncomfortable to try something new, but I’ve always found that every time I do, I hurt in new areas.
Your body will adapt to the requirements of your lifestyle.
Changing your workout means that your body must adapt to new things, exercise new muscles, build new neural pathways and burn new calories.
#33 Get Short
Do you find yourself missing workouts?
I am bad about that.
The idea of working out for an hour every day is overwhelming.
And while exercise is only 20% of our weight loss goals (diet is 80%), there are days that I shorten my workout to 15 minutes.
Sure, it seems weird to the only workout for 15 minutes. Somedays it takes me longer to drive to the gym.
But this guarantees that I am moving forward.
And often I find that I am having so much fun that it is easy to do an extra 10 minutes.
Five, consistent, 15-minute workouts each week is better than a 1-hour workout that you rarely complete.
Plus, these shorter workouts are a perfect excuse to turn up the intensity!
#34 Get Long
In cycling, it is common to have “long days” where we go 3 or 4 times the distance of a standard workout.
Sometimes these events can help push your body past hurdles.
Don’t overdo it to the point of injury, but you might try scheduling one day where you do back-to-back gym classes.
Or sign up for a local charity ride.
According to one study, the reason is that workouts are not more effective is that we don’t do enough of the exercise. A long day at the gym, or on the bike, or on the rock climbing wall or hiking in the woods, might just be what your body is asking for.
The trick is finding crazy friends who want to go the distance with you.
#35 Get Harder
This goes along with #32, but it is easy to shortchange ourselves in the gym.
Whether it is turning up the resistance on the stationary bike or stacking extra plates on the bench press, cranking the weight up — even for one rep — can stimulate more muscle growth.
You aren’t going to bulk up doing this, but you might be surprised at how well it pushes your body to the next level.
I incorporate one super-heavy rep at the end of every workout session to get this in.
Working out with a coach or in a class are other handy hacks for turning up the heat and forcing you to go further than you would otherwise.
#36 Get Free
I enjoy working out with the machines. It’s important for me to not injure myself in the gym, and with machines, I gain a peace of mind I don’t get curling barbells with the meatheads.
However, it is a pretty well-known fact that you get a better workout with the free weights. In fact, in one study, there was a 43% greater muscle activation with free weights.
Not to mention, free weights help create “functional” strength that mimics how we use our muscles in the real world.
So don’t be afraid to grab some dumbbells for your next workout session. If you experienced a 43% increase in difficulty, it would almost be like an extra half-session!
#37 Find A Fit Friend
A common adage is “you are the sum of the 5 people you associate with the most”.
I’ve found this to be true in my career. When I was ready to become a manager, I made an effort to start making friends with people who were managers.
While replacing friends sounds like sacrilege, I find the actual process to be much easier. Using platforms like Meetup and Facebook you can find local groups that want to run, hike, canoe, swim and bike.
From there the right friendships happen naturally.
“Misery loves company” and working out with a “fit friend” is more fun than suffering alone.
#38 Put The Weight Back On
That morning walk you’ve been going on for 6 weeks? Well now that you are 12 pounds lighter, you are burning fewer calories during that session.
Adding a weight vest can be a handy cheat to recreate your heavier self and step back into those higher calorie burns.
Soldiers do this by piling weight and gear into their rucksacks. It’s a painful way to push the body to new heights.
Just be aware of your joints while wearing the added weight and modify your workout, so you don’t injure yourself (i.e., running in a weight vest is not always a good idea for some folks).
#39 Beat Yourself
You are your own biggest enemy.
While I don’t like the sentiment (after all, would your enemy be trying to help you lose weight?), I do believe that sometimes I make the best competition.
A workout journal is an excellent way to track your progress. And then make sure you improve a tiny bit every day.
A few seconds faster here, a few extra pounds there. It’s those little motivations that push us to be better.
This is one reason why I enjoy having workout apps. It makes it easy to check my progress and figure out what goals to beat before beginning the day’s workout.
#40 Do Yoga
This supports both tip #31 and #32.
Yoga — and the mindfulness it teaches — is excellent for lowering stress.
It also can be a challenging cross-training exercise.
Personally, I find that it helps with all of those nagging aches and pains I’ve accumulated throughout the week. The result is that I can workout harder, with less pain when I hit the weight room again.
Not to mention it is something I look forward to doing several times a week. Youtube is an excellent choice for finding simple yoga workouts. And consistent yoga practice has been demonstrated to decrease weight gain in populations
#41 Take A Rest Day
This goes along with tip #6.
Your body must recover. And if you’ve been busting it out every day for a month, you might not be getting the rest your body needs.
Take a night and sleep in. Go for a leisurely walk. Or do some yoga.
I am a big fan of finding ways to recharge out-of-doors and away from computer screens, whenever possible. Rest days are an excellent time to take 30 minutes away from media and allow you mind and body to reset in nature.
Let the body take the rest you need.
Your friends and family will appreciate the decrease in irritability as well.
#42 Use A Tape Measure
The scale is one number.
Your body could be packing on pounds of muscle every week and canceling out the fat loss.
You might not be plateaued at all. You might be simply getting stronger.
It might be time to break out the tape measure and check that waist. You can also use fat calipers or the new devices that measure your percent of body fat via resistance.
This is a time when inches are being lost.
It is a good thing to lose inches.
Even if the scale doesn’t believe you.
#43 Do You Have The Correct Goal Weight?
I would love to be 140 pounds. At 140 pounds I could be an extremely fast, lightweight cyclist.
However, once I started dipping below 150 pounds, I struggled with my performance.
You might not have dreams of being a professional bicycle racer, but that doesn’t mean you can’t set unrealistic weight loss goals.
Once your body is within a healthy BMI range, weight loss will become more challenging. And there may be a point where further weight loss is damaging to your body.
Don’t hesitate to work with your fitness team to evaluate whether you have set healthy goals.
#44 Quit Pretending
I should have put this higher on the list. If you’ve skimmed this far in the list, then you can pat yourself on the back for being serious about your weight loss.
It’s time to get focused.
For a lot of us, we need to be posting fewer gym selfies. Shorten the “Facebook breaks” we take between sets. And quit giving ourselves license to eat like shit.
The fact is when researchers consider different models on why we hit plateaus, the type that most closely matches the stagnation dieters face with plateaus is inconsistency.
Being inconsistent is the #1 that causes plateaus.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4864054/
Losing weight goes against everything your body was programmed to do.
It’s time to access your inner beast mode and find a new level of consistency.
The Bible has the quote “where there is no vision, the people perish.”
I keep the next size down pants on hand when I’m trying to lose weight. Trying them on once a week is one of the most motivating things I can do.
Nothing says “you need to lose weight” as being unable to fit into the right clothes.
Setting a vision is different for each of us. For some of us, it is gaining a level of health that lets us play with the kids. For others, it is our promise that we will be able to walk them down the aisle.
The clearer the vision, the easier it will be to see the result.
For myself, it is a picture of myself a few years ago at my healthiest (not lowest!) weight. It is a daily reminder for me to stay on track with my goals of reaching my best.
#46 Remove Temptations
Don’t put ice cream in the freezer.
Weight loss is hard enough without you sabotaging it every time you go shopping.
You win when you set your cupboard up to win.
#47 Get Cold
We have “good fat” and “bad fat.”
The good fat is a brown fat that uses calories to produce heat when you get cold.
Most Americans live plush lives that cause us to lose all of the good fat by the time we are middle age.
Losing this brown fat lowers your body’s metabolism.
To recreate this brown fat you’ve got to get cold. Cold showers and time in the lap pool are two excellent ways to recreate this brown fat.
#48 Balance Your Hormones
I hope you’ve read this far because this is a biggie.
I have too many friends right now bouncing from diet to diet.
They are the epitome of “stuck” when it comes to their weight loss goals.
It is likely that their bodies are producing the wrong hormones and will not let them lose weight.
This is particularly the case when a thyroid is out of balance.
Finding a doctor who can help you establish the correct hormone levels can make a night and day difference in weight loss.
Don’t struggle needlessly. Get checked.
#49 Blame The Meds
Depression meds are well-known contributors to weight gain.
You might need to speak with your care provider about medication alternatives and diets that are effective for working around your medications.
While we don’t want you to give up, certain medications may force you to be a little more creative and persistent in order to reach your weight loss goals.
And that’s ok. Your body will still benefit from a healthy diet and consistent workout schedule. In fact, over time, a healthy, active lifestyle may enable your physician to decrease your medication as the body finds its own balance.