There comes a time in every diet when you stop seeing the results you want. Your weight loss slows down or even stalls, and nothing you can do pushes you through the “weight loss plateau”. It’s a very common occurrence, one that most dieters face at least once throughout the course of their eating plans. But with a few smart tricks, you can break through the weight loss plateau and continue pushing your results to the next level:
Emphasize the Veggies
When planning your diet meals, always build them around the veggies you want to eat. Vegetables are crucial for weight loss, and they can both fill you up and help to burn fat. Make sure the bulk of your daily meals are veggies, with the other foods—carbs, proteins, fiber, and fats—are added on top of the high veggie intake.
Say No to Artificial Sweeteners
Artificial sweeteners like aspartame may be “zero calorie”, but they’re far from healthy. They can actually increase your sugar cravings, which will cause you to want more snack foods—the unhealthy kind that contain a lot more sugar and carbs than you’d like. If you’re going to include sweetener in your day, stick with the “healthy” ones like natural honey, and avoid anything artificial.
Watch Your Portions
When you’ve been following a diet for any amount of time, it’s easy to start allowing yourself larger and larger portions every day. No matter how limited your food intake, eventually it’s a common problem for people to start adding extra bites, snacks, and servings here and there. If you do this, especially with calorie-dense foods, you may end up eating more calories than are recommended for weight loss. Take some time to measure your portions carefully and cut back any excess calorie intake. You may just find the weight loss kicks off nicely once more!
Be Smart with Snacks
Snacks can help to keep you full between meals, and they can do wonders to encourage weight loss. However, if you’re not careful, you could end up eating far more calories than you’d anticipated, all because of your snacking. Make sure to choose smart, low-calorie snacks that are rich in filling fiber (and some healthy fats and proteins). 100-300 calories is all you need for a snack.
Read Those Labels
Not only will you know the caloric value of everything you eat, but you’ll be able to analyze the micro and macronutrient content of your food. It’s important that you get a balanced intake of all the three main food groups, along with plenty of vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants. You also want to restrict your sodium intake and avoid anything with trans fats and hydrogenated oils. Reading the labels will help you know what’s in your food!
If you find yourself struggling with a weight loss plateau, it may be because you’re sliding back into old bad habits. This is when it’s time to break out the food journal and start tracking everything you eat. You may find a few “no-nos” have slipped into your daily habits, or you’re eating more than you realized. Tracking your food intake is critical for serious results!
Meal Prep is Vital
If you want to make sure that you’re sticking to your diet and seeing results, it helps to plan all of your meals ahead of time. Spend a weekend afternoon cooking every meal for the week, and set it aside in containers or in freezer bags—it’ll make for quick and easy cooking, and no more guesswork on what you should eat.