Weight-Loss Plateaus: 7 ways to break through
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2. Boost your metabolism
A sluggish metabolism can mean slow weight loss. Speeding your metabolism up is one way to burn those waist-expanding calories faster. Although genetics plays a part in determining your metabolism, you can give yours a kick-start by changing the way you eat. If you're usually a 'three meals a day' kind of person, try Boris' recommendation of eating four to five small meals and snacks per day instead.
"Eating regularly keeps your metabolism fired up and helps to stabilise your blood sugar throughout the day," says Boris.
Keeping your blood sugar levels stable also means that you're less likely to suffer those diet-wrecking sugar cravings. And keeping on track with your healthy eating is good news for beating your plateau!
Of course, four to five meals per day doesn't mean eating four or five times the amount of food. You still need to stick within the same calorie limits, but replace those super-sized, snooze-inducing main meals with a series of smaller dishes.
3. Protein packs a punch
If hunger pains are constantly gnawing at your insides, it can be very hard to stick to your planned healthy meals. And if you're not making good food choices, a plateau can be hard to overcome.
Letting yourself get hungry is like dangling a piece of raw meat in front of a crocodile - downright dangerous! Well, maybe not quite that dangerous, but hunger can make your willpower and resolve disappear faster than you can stuff three iced doughnuts into your mouth.
However, if you're determined to beat your plateau by sticking to your calorie limits for the day, but you're constantly hungry, you're in a spot of bother.
Boris suggests combating this hunger by including a larger serve of protein in your meals, such as lean meat, skinless chicken, fish, legumes or tofu. Protein works wonders to fill you up - and keeps you feeling full for longer. By making sure that each of your meals (and that includes breakfast!) contains some protein, you just might find that you really don't need that doughnut after all.
Including protein in your snacks is also wise. For a filling snack, try low-fat yoghurt, low-fat cheese or cottage cheese, a small can of tuna in spring water, or a fruit smoothie made with low-fat milk and your choice of fresh fruit.
Don't forget to balance out your meals with whole-grain carbohydrates, healthy fats, and plenty of fruits and vegetables.
4. Stop the mind games
Calling a friend can make you feel better
Pay special attention to your emotional connections to food. Start keeping a journal and write down how you feel and what you ate. Do you notice any patterns? Maybe you always eat chocolate cake after you've had an argument with your boss, or maybe at the end of the day you only feel relaxed if you've had a glass of wine (or three!) and some cheese and crackers.
If you're regularly making bad food choices in an effort to make yourself feel better, weight plateau, or even weight gain, is bound to happen. Knowing when and why you eat can help you eliminate emotional eating habits.
Make a list of alternative activities that you can do instead of eating, such as taking a walk, having a bath, calling a friend, or gardening. Find out what works for you, and learn to relieve your feelings without eating.
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