When the scale won’t budge! Getting beyond the plateau.

So you’re still on your low calorie diet, but that number on the scale has stopped moving down. It could be time for an adjustment to your program. Try some or all of these tips:

Physical Activity

If you have been doing the same exercise program for a while, it’s probably time to change it up. Your muscles can get used to any routine. Add a few higher speed intervals during your walk. Include new strength training to build muscle. Keep your body guessing so you burn more calories. You could also weave in extra activity during the day: park further away from the store, take the stairs instead of the elevator, or get off the bus two stops early, etc.

Are you eating more than you think?

It’s common to underestimate how much you are eating. Always measure or weigh your portions. Reducing portion sizes even slightly could cut 100-200 calories a day which might help. If you are still hungry, fill up your plate with healthy vegetables. Keep track – use a daily food journal and write down absolutely everything you eat, even those tiny snacks. Identify when you give in to cravings. If you struggle to avoid cravings, keep cut veggies handy. If you have a weakness for chocolate, keep half of a Life Brand Rich Chocolate Brownie Flavour Meal Replacement Bar ready - just include it in your daily calorie count.

Eating out

Sometimes you cannot avoid eating out. Restaurant entrees are usually too large and can contain thousands of calories on a single plate. Instead, choose an appetizer or a salad, or just eat half of the entrée. Ask for no sauce or dressing. And bring the rest home in a doggie bag - for someone else to eat.

Water intake

Unless you are drinking at least 2 litres of water a day, you aren’t giving your digestive system enough fluids to burn stored fat and process what you do eat. Keep track and up your water intake if you are too low.

Sleep and Stress

Not getting enough sleep (8 hours) or being stressed can affect your hormone levels, which can slow weight loss and reduce your ability to resist food cravings. Make a good night’s sleep a priority: turn the TV off early and go to bed, keep the room dark, minimize noise or wear ear plugs. Life Brand has multiple sizes and shapes of ear plugs you could try. To minimize your stress try exercise, watching a comedy or meditating. Some people find that taking a Life Brand Stress Relief vitamin supplement can also temporarily relive their stress.

How is your motivation?

Yes, dieting gets boring and is tougher when you are not getting results. Visualizing the new healthier you can help you stay motivated. Take some time every day to visualize how reaching your new weight will help you achieve your goals of better health, more energy to play with your kids, and less stress for an overall happier life. And don’t always be so concerned about weight loss - as you gain lean muscle and lose body fat you are getting healthier and could be losing inches even when the scale is not moving.

Above all, keep going! Plateaus happen, but make a few tweaks and stick to your diet and physical activity program for a healthier, leaner you.