Spring is here and the vanity-based goals are in full-swing. With goals come plateaus, especially weight loss plateaus, and below are weight loss plateau breakers that I think will assist in augmenting weight loss for many.
[Every duck looks the same! No uniqueness. This is exactly what happens with weight loss plateaus; everyone experiences them and many give in, thus, many look exactly the same. It's only those who break weight loss plateaus who will achieve that unique body they are in pursuit of.]
Too much sugar/carbohydrate, a reason for a weight loss plateau:
Excess sugar and carbohydrate will drive up insulin, priming your body for fat storage. If this process is repeated over and over again, especially with sedentary individuals, insulin resistance can occur and fat loss will be a memory of the distant past, until carbohydrate intake is normalized. Additionally, excess sugars indirectly lead to weight gain because of increased cravings and ease of consumption.
The fix is limiting carbohydrate intake to filling foods with nutrients for most of the time (80-90 percent), such as fruits, vegetables, beans, and potatoes.
Too many calories, a reason for a weight loss plateau:
The line between sufficient and excess calories is very thin when consuming foods full of chemicals and additives that make you want more. Additionally, most junk foods are void of the micro nutrients and macro nutrients(protein) that lead to satisfaction and keep you energized. This is why it’s easy to eat an entire bad of potato chips, a few thousand calories, and it’s tough to eat a few thousand calories of chicken breast.
I don’t think calorie counting is a valid solution. But understanding how many calories are in the average amount of common foods you eat is helpful in accelerating fat loss. Additionally, eating plenty of protein and nutrients will lead to satisfaction after a meal, rather than cravings. Many cravings are due to a lack of nutrients and a lack of stabilization of hormones because of diet.
I do advocate high calorie foods once in a while to accelerate fat loss, you can learn about that here.
Too few calories, a reason for a weight loss plateau:
Many people go crazy with dieting and excessively limit calories everyday of the week, which leads to the downgrade of metabolism and hormones that help you burn fat and build muscle (among other important roles).
Limiting calories is necessary for fat loss, but excessively limiting calories is dangerous and unnecessary.
Now, too few calories during certain time periods, rotated with periods of sufficient food, does have its benefits and can accelerate fat loss. Look into Eat Stop Eat for this science.
Too much exercise, a reason for a weight loss plateau:
Exercise is generally a good thing, and I would say more people get too little exercise than people who get too much.
Too much exercise is a problem though. Chronic cardio and marathon training can result in excess cortisol, which by itself, results in lower testosterone levels and a weaker capability of thyroid hormone. In English that means less muscle and more fat, especially around the midsection where many cortisol receptors are.
The fix is an intelligent exercise routine designed to maximize intensity and form, rather than time. Visual Impact Muscle Building for men and the new one, for women, is a great an example of a program that does this.
Too little exercise, a reason for a weight loss plateau:
Too little exercise is also a problem, especially in relation to weight training. I see a lot of people who train plenty, but the focus of their training is cardio, so muscle building is limited. When these individuals get sick or go on vacation and don’t exercise, they aren’t burning nearly as many calories. This results in weight gain.
The focus of training should be weight training, as to build muscle, and this can be done as little as 2-3 times a week.
Too much stress, a reason for a weight loss plateau:
Stress is one of the biggest enemies for the dieter. It comes in the form of physical stress with over training and injuries, but more-so in mental stress. Mentally stressing about which foods to eat and not eat, mentally stressing about how you look, mentally stressing about when and where to eat, ect…
The good thing about this? The dieter him or herself is responsible for the majority of stress they go through, which means they are responsible for managing it and eliminating unnecessary stress.
Following a healthy diet that allows for the occasional cheat, and exercising the right way sufficiently will help.
Too little motivation and not enough patience, a reason for a weight loss plateau:
Everything takes time, especially radically changing how your body looks. But, when your body is radically changed in a positive way, your life will also change in a positive way.
Having the motivation to continue and persist in your efforts for health is key to success. Making 80-90 percent of the choices you make healthy practically guarantees that one day you will be healthy and have the body you want. From there, it’s just a matter of time.
And it’s not like there won’t be benefits along the way, many people experience increases in energy, quality of life and confidence all while pursuing health.
Be motivated enough to make the decisions and take the actions necessary for health, and be patient enough for your body to respond to your motivation. Simple enough.