Dieters dread the plateau. You're on a roll, losing weight steadily and happily for weeks. Your confidence is high and your goal is in sight. Then suddenly your scale freezes. No matter how hard you try, those extra pounds just refuse to budge. You've hit a wall and you know the frustration of seeing no progress could easily lead you to gain back what you've lost. So how do you break through the plateau?It's perfectly normal for a dieter to reach a plateau. The trick is to use it as an opportunity to double up your efforts and get really clear on your strategy to carry you through to the finish line. Below you'll find suggestions that can help you recommit to your program and re-ignite the weight-loss process when you feel challenged.1. Get clear on your ultimate weight-loss goal.Be sure that your weight-loss goal is realistic and that your expected rate of weight loss is reasonable. If you are on a heath enhancing, nutritionally rich weight loss program you can expect to loss one to two pounds a week. Each body has its own ideal weight and size. Don't compare yourself to anyone else, but listen to your body and notice what feels best for you. A simple way to approximate your ideal weight is by referring to a Body Mass Index chart.2. Go high-protein, low carbs.Unless you are eating enough protein to maintain your lean muscle mass, you are likely to have lost weight already from both your fat stores and muscle. Women need to eat approximately 100grams of protein a day and men 150 grams in order to preserve their muscle tissue during a weight loss program. If you have lost some muscle during your weight loss program so far you will need to focus on protein so your body can build muscle, which requires more calories to sustain, which will in turn, kick start your weight loss again. Needless to say, any weight loss program you choose should be one that preserves your body's muscle and this does not happen!3. Add resistance training to your program.A wonderful way to boost your metabolism and break through to the next level of weight loss is by incorporating aerobic exercise into your program, such as 30 minutes of walking three to four times a week. (If you are 35 years or older, or haven't exercised regularly, begin with 10 to 15 minutes two to three times a week.) In addition, weight training with free weights or machines several times a week can help increase muscle mass, which in turn allows you to burn more calories faster. Studies show that weight training can increase your metabolism overnight by five to 10 percent. Working out can increase your metabolism for up to 21 hours after an intense workout.4. Look out for hidden carbohydrates.If your weight loss progress seems slow, look out for carbohydrates that might be sneaking their way unnoticed into your diet. Sugar can lurk in the most unexpected places such as ketchup, salad dressings, teriyaki and barbecue sauces. Watch out too for cornstarch, sugar or milk solids in many processed foods such as gravies, or sauces on frozen vegetables. Be especially careful about "low-fat" foods where flavor is enhanced by sugar and other carbohydrates. Try keeping a diet journal for a couple of days of EVERYTHING you eat and drink. You may quickly discover the hidden carbs that are keeping your weight-loss progress stuck and be able to eliminate them and move past your plateau.5. Take the "refinement" out of your diet.Try eliminating all refined sugar and refined grains from your diet. This includes white bread, pastries, pasta, white rice, white flour crackers, sugar-coated breakfast cereals, cookies and cake. This simple step can encourage a huge weight-loss breakthrough and leave you feeling more healthy and energized in the process.6. Don't go hungry.Cutting back on how often you eat can have a negative impact on your diet plateau. Many studies show that small, frequent meals are more satisfying and produce better weight-loss results than the same number of calories consumed in three large meals. Take advantage of healthy snacking and crunch on fresh slices of raw vegetables like celery, peppers, cucumber and jicama when you're hungry.7. Drink to burn up.It's vitally important to replenish your fluids by drinking plenty of water on your weight loss program. An inadequate supply of water in itself can slow down your weight-loss. Carry water with you wherever you go throughout the day. For additional weight-management benefits, add a high quality aloe concentrate to your water to help keep your digestion in top shape. Also, a probiotic supplement can help us maintain a healthy intestinal flora. Keeping well hydrated not only helps you burn fat efficiently, it also helps control hunger.8. Keep your incentive strong.Remember the determination you felt when you first began your weight-loss program? Remember the excitement of watching the pounds drop one by one? Go back to whatever your initial motivation was and see whether it still works for you. It may have been the desire to lose weight for a particular event or to regain your figure after pregnancy. You may have been motivated by poor health or by the shock of just how much weight you had gained. See whether the same motivation still has juice for you. If not, choose a new one. Keep a picture of yourself looking great (or bad!) on your refrigerator as a daily reminder of where you are heading.(c) Kim Beardsmore
Days 29 thru 36.Wonderful news on my weigh in on Friday March 10; my weight is down by another 2 pounds (900 grams) in just a week. That is double my target figure and it seems to get easier each week. My weight is now 188 pounds (93 kilograms). That means that the seventeen-week program that was going to shed 17 pounds (8.5 kilos)will now end in around 10 weeks.This week the biggest plus has been that my stomach is now becoming used to smaller portions and it is easier than ever to accept smaller servings. This may seem a long way off for some that are following the program; just trust me for now, this will happen for you too in the very near future.Serving sizes are the cause of most instances of overweight and were I asked for a single specific goal for all overweight people it would be to slowly reduce the size of servings. Get your daily calorie intake down to 3000 or less. An adult body requires 2000 calories each day to function properly, three thousand a day is still considered high by more than half the population of the world.The best part of this program is reclaiming my aerobic physical fitness. In the past five weeks I have witnessed the return of my leg muscles, my stamina levels have increased and finally my lungs are responding to the extra (deep-breathing) exercise they receive. I am now able to take a deep breath over the count of 8, hold it for the count of 12, and exhale over the count of 8. This is 35% better than it was at the start. (The counts I refer to above are slow counts, each figure taking at least one-second.) In fact I now enjoy stepping out up the final hill of my morning walk to lose my breath because each time I lose my breath my lungs are being exercised and my heart is pumping solidly.Note: As I said in the first article of this diary, and repeat in the exercise program Never start a physical exercise program until you have discussed it with your doctor, just in case you have health problems that preclude this type of exercise.Over the weekend I didnt eat any chocolate or cake. But today I look forward to a serving of chocolate cake. - Honestly, Id never stick to a weight loss program if I had to give up anything that I like to eat.This article is copyright David McCarthy 2006.
Today is Tuesday February 7 2006, the third day of my weight loss program. Today I am nominating dairy products as the food item that I will not touch. This means that I give up dairy products for today only and will leave a space on my plate where dairy products would go. You may recall that yesterday I decided not to eat any bread.Overnight the first problem was detected and it concerned my arthritic left ankle becoming extremely painful. So painful that even after taking a fairly strong pain killer I slept for only two to three hours. While I lay awake my mind went over the previous day and I think the problem was self-inflicted. Because I have zero sideways movement on that ankle I have been advised not to walk on uneven surfaces. Where I live, in the Blue Mountains National Park west of Sydney, there are few sidewalks and the ground is very uneven. I think I created the problem by walking on uneven surfaces. But that is no reason to give up, the exercise program requires amending to suit conditions.- Today started with a much slower walk to pick up my daily paper. I added around and extra quarter mile by walking only where there are sidewalks.- Breakfast is a glass of orange juice, a toasted bacon sandwich using whole grain bread. Yes, you read correctly, I had a bacon sandwich followed by a banana and a cup of lemon green tea. The great thing about this diet is that you only give up the food that you love one day at a time. - I didnt feel hungry during the morning and managed to get through to lunch, at 1pm, without thought of food.- For lunch I had a sandwich of chili chicken, fresh beet (beetroot) and lettuce. Beside it I had about six cherry tomatoes halved and sprinkled with olive oil and chopped basil. A glass of water with a Tablespoon of apple cider vinegar followed because I could feel indigestion starting.- 3.30pm A cup of lemon green tea and a piece of cake.- 5pm I started my amended exercise program as follows: First check pulse rate before starting. 2 minutes of stretching exercises until I can comfortably touch the floor with my fingertips without straining hamstrings. 2 minutes of sit-ups. 20 push ups done in groups of five with stretching between. Jogging on the spot on the flat surface of my patio until my pulse increased by 50% from normal.- 6pm. Dinner is pasta (Penne) in a tomato and vegetable sauce with chunky cut bell peppers (capsicum), zucchini (courgettes), mushrooms and broccoli, with a glass of red wine and a glass of water. Followed by grapes and peach (fresh) for dessert.- 7pm. About 4 ounces (110 grams) of peanuts because Im greedy.- 8.30pm another walk. It has cooled down now and I take a steady ten-minute walk.Today has been a very easy day, but for those that are doing this with me be aware of serving sizes. Serving too much is the biggest enemy of any "weight loss" or control program.This article is copyright David McCarthy 2006.
Katie, a 33-year-old mother of two, has been on her share of diets over the years. From Weight Watchers to the Zone to Sugar Busters, she feels as if she has tried them all. While she has had moderate success in losing weight from time to time, she has never found a long-term weight loss solution. Her weight is a point of contention in her marriage; her husbandwho also happens to be obesewishes she were thin, but says he loves her anyway. The two have been separated a number of times, and even filed for divorce once. The stress has caused Katie to begin binge eating again. There is hope for Katie and others like her who feel as if theyre trapped on the diet carousel. The key to long-term "weight loss" success may not be the body, but the mind. Research indicates that those who have a positive outlook on life are more likely to lose weightand stay thin. But how can you have a positive outlook when youve been burned so many times before? Is it possible to will your way to losing weight? One technique that has been proven effective in sports training is something called visualization. For instance, a baseball player might visualize his bat connecting with a ball, leading to a homerun. A soccer player might visualize kicking the winning goal in a soccer match. And a golfer might visualize sinking the winning putt in the Masters Tournament. The same technique can be used by dieters. Visualize yourself as thin. Picture yourself in that dress that is now two sizes too small. Imagine stepping onto the scale and being pleased with the result. Visualize yourself saying no to that piece of chocolate cake or that plate of Fettucini Alfredo. These mind exercises can help to spur you onto weight loss. When people learn they are suffering from cancer, they are encouraged to imagine their cancer cells being destroyed by healthy cells. You can follow the same technique in order to lose weight. That means imagining your fat cells being destroyed by thin cells. Through such a method, you can think your way to a healthy weight. In addition, it is critically important that you maintain a positive attitude. Be forgiving of yourself. If you veer off your diet plan, simply get back on course with your next meal. Dont spend precious time beating yourself up over your failures. Instead, celebrate your successesin a non-fattening way. For instance, when you reach a milestonesay youve lost ten poundsreward yourself with a trip to an art museum or to your favorite coffee shop (but skip the cream and sugar). Marking milestones will give you a sense of accomplishment, a sense that you are triumphing over food. Another helpful technique can be prayer or meditation. Some support groups even offer Bible-based weight loss programs that use scripture verses to help inspire. Taking stock of your life and handing your weight loss problems over to a higher power can be cathartic and may give you a sense of peace about your weight difficulties. It has been said that a clear head leads to a healthy body. Try praying or meditating ten minutes at the start of your day. Chances are you will feel refreshed and ready to tackle the weight challenges that come your way. Yet another technique you might consider is role-playing. Grab your spouse or a friend and ask him or her to act out a situation in which you might be tempted to overeat. Youll be forced to come up with strategies to fight temptation. This rehearsal could prove to be quite helpful when a real life diet dilemma comes your way. If role-playing works for job interviews, it should be beneficial for your weight as well. Mind over matter is not just a clever saying. It can actually be the solution to your weight loss problems. By using your brain power, you can develop the techniques needed to make healthy food choices. When your mind and your body are both healthy, you have the best of both worlds.
First of all, you need to understand, that your body needs a proper Balanced Nutrition Diet, with a proper daily amount of: vitamins, proteins, minerals and carbohydrates. Get into a habit of eating exactly 3 Meals a day. 1. Eat breakfast within one hour of rising. Breakfast provides at least 30 percent of the total energy and nutrition needed to sustain the human body during the whole day. And therefore it is very important to have a proper breakfast and not to skip it. 2. Have a healthy low-fat lunch snack. Have a healthy snack in your lunch time, low fat yogurt for example, to keep your energy running. 3. Have your dinner three hours before your bedtime. Have a Proper dinner three hours before your bedtime; never go to bed on a full stomach. Drink at least 2 liters of water a day. 2 liters of water a day would help your body to burn calories more effectively and to get rid of toxins. Exercising is a KEY. By exercising, your body gets an advantage of many physiological benefits such as: - Weight Control by elevating your metabolism so that you burn more calories daily. - The Boost in your energy level - Strengthening of your heart and lungs - Improvement in your self-image and self-confidence. So, dont forget to exercise at least 10 minutes a day. Try to avoid using fats. Try to keep the fat level in your cooking as low as possible. Make Calcium your friend. Include as much calcium as you can in your daily diet by eating: - Oranges - Broccoli - Soybeans - Tofu - Sunflower Seeds - Papaya And other sources of calcium. Calcium is a crucial element for bone metabolism. Calcium deficiency is very common. The "Average" American diet does not even come close to meeting the normal calcium requirements: 425 mg. a day for Men 450 mg. a day for Women So, to sum it up: 1. Have exactly 3 meals a day 2. Drink at least 2 liters of water a day 3. Exercise at least 10 minutes a day 4. Avoid fats 5. Make calcium your friend By following these 5 simple rules, you will be losing weight in no time.