Friday, October 13, 2017

How to Overcome Weight-Loss Plateau?

You are what you eat. That's a saying that often neglected. I, too, is guilty. Most of the times I don't mind what I eat as long I satisfied my cravings. Hence, I am overweight. 

Actually, I have been overweight all my life, although I am not obese. I grew eating what I want and didn't mind if I will gain weight. I am not that conscious when it comes with my physical appearance until we planned our wedding day. 

I had my lowest weight, closest to my ideal weight, few months before our wedding day. Here's a photo taken 9 years ago. 

That's my thinnest body already. But after 9 years of being happily married and having one boy, I again gained weight.

I think I am 10 kilos over my ideal weight now. Losing weight is really a struggle for me. I have lost 5 kilos just this year but after few months, I gained it back after reaching what they called weight-loss plateau. 

What is weight-loss plateau?

Weight-loss plateau is a period of time during which your body weight remains at the same level. You may notice that weight tends to come off fairly rapidly at first. Then at some point it seems as though your weight won't budge. This is because as the body lose weight, you are not just shedding fat but lean muscle as well. As the muscle mass declines, so does the metabolism.

How to overcome weight-loss plateau?

I know like me you want to overcome that weigh-loss plateau too. Good news is that we can overcome that dreaded weight-loss plateau by making tweaks to your routine. That means, we need to modify our weight-loss plan to reach our weight goal (ideal weight) . How? Let's enumerate.

1. Cut down carbs intake.

As the body lose weight, it's not only harder to lose but the metabolism also decreases and that's normal. So it's very important to reevaluate your calorie intake, every 10-15 lb weight loss, to ensure that calorie burning is higher than what you eat.

2. Track down calorie intake.

Sometimes we tend to have mindless eating or we eat at restaurants with huge food servings. Thus we eat more calories than what we think we are eating. Tracking your calories, as well as macronutrients - protein, fat and carbs, will give you information on how much you're taking in and will allow you to modify your diet plan as needed.

3. Increase protein intake.

Protein boost metabolic rate more than fat or carbs. That's because protein digestion can boost calorie burning by 20-30%, which is more than twice as much as fat or carbs. Also, protein stimulates the production of Peptide YY (PYY) hormones. PYY is a hormone concerned with hunger and the lack of hunger or appetite. PYY helps reduce appetite and make you feel full. In addition, maintaining a high protein diet can reduce muscle mass loss and metabolic rate drop, which is happening during weight loss.

4. Increase exercise frequency or intensity

Increase exercise frequency or intensity to burn more calories. Increase your exercise time by 15 to minutes and if possible, the intensity of your exercise. Add strength exercise like weightlifting to promote the retention of muscle mass. This will help offset the drop in metabolic rate that normally occurs during weight loss. 

However, I think increasing time may be a problem for a working mom like me. Time is always a constraint for me. And I must confess that not being able to keep track on my daily exercise is a big factor in not losing weight and worst gaining back the pounds I already lost! 

I should be back with my morning exercise regime and convince Daddy A to buy me more active wears from Fabletics. Haha, just kidding. But seriously, I would love to be as comfortable as Kate Hudson wearing those pair of leggings while doing my daily exercise.

Fabletics, active wear, affordable athleisure brand, Kate Hudson

5. Manage stress

Did you know that stress can contribute to weight-loss plateau? Stress can promote comfort eating and triggers food cravings, and also increase the body's cortisol production. Cortisol is a stress hormone that helps the body to respond to stress. However it can increase belly fat storage that has greater effect in women. Research has shown that learning to manage stress can help promote weight loss.

Those are ways to overcome weight-loss plateau. It can really be frustrating especially when you are sacrificing not to eat what you crave for and yet you are not losing any pound. However, weight-loss plateau is a normal part of the weight loss process. 

Following above suggestions may help reach our ideal weight but most especially, it's more of self-discipline. It's also important to make time and get inspiration for losing weight. Keep in mind that losing weight is not just for physical appearance but most especially for our healthy body and well-being.
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