If I had my time over again I would have made smaller mini goals so I could have more achievements to celebrate along the way. I, quite honestly, didn't expect it to take this long. I might do that for the next 11 kgs seeing as it's quite possible it could take me up until Christmas to reach my goal weight.
One thing I have noticed on this journey is that, when you lose weight, your body fights back. You may be able to lose quite a lot of weight at first, without much effort. But the weight loss seems to slow down, and sometimes, stop altogether for a while. So I looked into it and discovered some tips on how to break through the plateau and get things moving again.
It is incredibly common for the scale not to budge for a few days (or weeks) at a time. This does not necessarily mean that you aren't losing fat. Body weight tends to fluctuate by a few kgs. It depends on the foods we are eating, and hormones can also have a major effect on how much water our body holds on to. Also, it is possible to gain muscle at the same time as you lose fat. This is particularly common if you just recently started exercising (true for many on this forum). This is actually a good thing because what we really want to lose is body fat, not just weight. Unless your weight has been stuck at the same point for at least 1-2 weeks, then you might want to consider Skinnymee's top ten tips to get you back on track:
1. Are you eating enough protein?
Protein is the single most important nutrient for losing weight. Eating protein at 25-30% of calories can boost metabolism by 80-100 calories per day and make you automatically eat several hundred fewer calories per day. It can also drastically reduce cravings and desire for snacking. If you eat breakfast, then this is the most important meal to load up on the protein to sustain you throughout the day.
2 Are you eating whole foods?
Food quality is just as important as quantity. Eating healthy food can improve your health and help regulate your appetite. These foods tend to be much more filling than their processed counterparts. Keep in mind that many processed foods labeled as "health foods" usually aren't really that healthy. Stick to whole, single-ingredient foods as much as possible. If it grows, it's good to go.
3. Are you lifting weights?
One of the most important things we can do when losing weight is to do some form of resistance training, like lifting weights. This can help us hold on to your precious muscle mass, which is often burned along with body fat if we are not exercising. Lifting weights can also help prevent metabolic slowdown, and make sure that what is beneath the fat looks good. We don't want to lose a bunch of weight just to look "skinny-fat" underneath. If you don't own a kettlebell, pick up a toddler a dozen or so times a couple of times a day - that totally counts!
4. Are you drinking sugar?
Sugary beverages are the most fattening items in the food supply. Our brains don't compensate for the calories in them by making us eat less of other foods. This isn't only true of soft drinks like Coke and Pepsi; it also applies to "healthier" beverages like Vitaminwater and fruit juices - which are also loaded with sugar. When you consume sugar, your body releases insulin. The most significant factor in fat storage is the level of insulin in the blood. Insulin has many effects on the body. With respect to fat storage, insulin increases the storage of fat in fat cells and prevents fat cells from releasing fat for energy. This is such a key point for people to understand that I’ll repeat it: Insulin increases the storage of fat in fat cells and prevents the cells from releasing it for energy.
5. Are you getting enough sleep?
Good sleep is one of the most important things to consider for your physical and mental health, as well as your weight. Studies show that poor sleep is one of the single biggest risk factors for obesity. Adults and children with poor sleep have a 55% and 89% greater risk of becoming obese, respectively. If Duromine is keeping you awake into the wee hours, consider investing in some Epsom salts and including a magnesium bath into your nightly routine. Aromatherapy, reducing screen time (including TV) and dimming the lights right down low are also great ways to prepare your body for a good nights sleep. If these suggestions don't work for you, consider setting an extra alarm for 4am and taking your tablet then, or even taking it every other day.
6. Are you drinking enough water?
We all know that drinking water can have huge benefits for weight loss. In one 12-week weight loss study, people who drank half a litre of water 30 minutes before meals lost 44% more weight. Soooo a couple of glasses while you're preparing the kids meals should set you up nicely to be one of those amazing statistics!
7. Are you eating mindfully?
A technique called mindful eating may be one of the world's most powerful weight loss tools - especially for those of us who are emotional eaters. It involves slowing down, eating without distraction, savoring and enjoying each bite, while listening for the natural signals that tell your brain when it has had enough. Numerous studies have shown that mindful eating can cause significant weight loss and reduce the frequency of binge eating. Here are some tips to eat more mindfully:
- Eat with zero distractions, just you and your food — sitting down at a table.
- Eat slowly and chew your food thoroughly. Try to be aware of the colours, smells, flavors and textures.
- When you feel the satiety signals kick in, drink some water or brush their teeth and stop eating.
It may not be a good idea to "diet" for too long. If you've been losing weight for many months and you've hit a plateau, then perhaps you just need to take a break. Up your calorie intake by a few hundred calories per day, sleep more and lift some weights with the goal of getting stronger and gaining a bit of muscle. Aim to maintain your body fat levels for 1-2 months before you start trying to lose again.
9. Are your expectations really that realistic?
Weight loss is generally a much slower process than most people want. Even with Duromine we often have unrealistic expectations of what is achievable with a healthy diet and exercise. The truth is, not everyone can look like an insta fitness model - not even the insta fitness models! The photos we see in magazines and other places are often enhanced using Photoshop - literally, no one actually looks like this.
If you have already lost some weight and you feel good about yourself, but the scale doesn't seem to want to budge any further, then perhaps you could start working on accepting your body the way it is. At some point, your weight is going to reach a healthy set point where your body feels comfortable. Any progress you can make toward accepting yourself as you are - fat, skinny or otherwise - can only be a good thing.
10. Are you obsessed with dieting?
"Diets" almost never work in the long term. If anything, studies actually show that people who "diet" gain more weight over time. Instead of approaching this from a dieting mindset, make it your primary goal to become a happier, healthier and fitter person. Focus on nourishing your body instead of depriving it, and let weight loss follow as a natural side effect.
While we dream of miraculous overnight transformations and buy millions of dollars of shakes and supplements that promise we can eat whatever we want and still lose weight. There are NO shortcuts when it comes to losing weight; at least if you want to be one of those who loses weight and KEEPS it off! When we lose weight slowly, ideally at a rate that averages 1kg a week, we can be sure we are changing our lifestyle and is losing fat rather than muscle or water weight.
Give it time. Be kind to you. Don't be in too much of a rush and trust that real change brings real results...over time.
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