Tips for getting off a weight loss plateau
Have you been trying this primal, low carb, high fat thing for a while and not getting the results you were hoping for? I have. Are you ready to throw the bathroom scale out the window? I am. It can be very demotivating and frustrating when your weight just doesn’t want to budge. I have come to realize that everyone’s body is different and what works effortlessly for some takes a bit more hard work for others. Getting over plateaus is something I am passionately reading up on at the moment so I thought I would share my findings. Maybe it can help you too.
Things that could be sabotaging your efforts to slim down:
Dairy contains a milk sugar called lactose. Lactose can destabilize blood sugar levels. Milk also contains IGF1 which can cause rapid spikes in insulin (the fat storing hormone). This is particularly problematic for people who are insulin resistant. Dairy also contains a protein called casein, which can cause weight gain (and other side effects like a stuffy nose or a tight chest), if you happen to be intolerant. Try cutting out ALL dairy (especially cream, milk and yoghurt) and see if weight loss gets going again. Butter is still fine to consume, as it is pure fat.
(2) Too much protein
People often think that this diet is a high protein diet. It is not. If your piece of chicken, fish or steak is any bigger than the size of your palm then this could be where you are going wrong. Protein, if eaten in excess of your body’s requirements, will be converted to glucose and stored as fat. So take a critical look at how much, fish, meat, chicken and eggs you are having each day. Try to fill your plate with more salad and green leafy veg instead of half a cow.
(3) Snacking too often
Eating often throughout the day will keep insulin levels high. Remember, high insulin means fat storage. Try and stick to 2 or 3 solid meals and don’t eat in-between. Yes, this approach definitely flies in the face of the “eat small meals every two hours philosophy”. However, snacking prevents your body from going into fat-burning mode. Give your body a chance to burn stored fat for fuel instead of your last snack. If you are eating enough fat you should easily be able to go 5 to 7 hours without food.
(4) Eating too many carbs
Carbs add up very quickly and this becomes a real problem for many. Carbs are not just your starchy foods like bread, pasta, cereals, rice and potatoes (which you shouldn’t be eating anyway). There are also lots of carbs in fruit, yoghurt, milk and tuber veggies for example. Fruit can be a real culprit in hindering weight-loss as it is very high in sugar. Just one banana or nectarine a day could make the difference between weight lost or not. Try cutting out fruit completely or just sticking to berries as an experiment. It might be the strategy that works for you.
This is the one that nobody really wants to know about. Unfortunately, it can make a huge difference! Alcohol can be full of carbs and calories. It also weakens your resolve to avoid foods that are not good for you. Alcohol hinders fat-burning as your body has to work extra hard to eliminate this toxin from your system. Try to limit your intake to a couple of drinks on the weekend or go a step further and do a Feb Fast for the rest of the month and see if that helps.
(6) Artificial sweeteners
Are you still drinking diet sodas or sugar-free products loaded with artificial sweeteners? These have been shown to increase appetite and cravings for sweet foods. You just can’t trick the body. If you need to sweeten your food, stick with stevia (the best choice) and xylitol. Start to train your taste-buds to be OK with less sweetness by using less and less. You would be amazed how sweet a blueberry or cherry tomato starts to taste.
Be honest. Has your 80/20 principle become more like 60/40? Many have the mindset that if I have been good all week I can indulge over the weekend. This can create a vicious cycle with no real progress towards losing weight. The LCHF approach to eating works best with a full-time commitment. Save the “cheats” for something really special or perhaps unavoidable. If you have hit a plateau eliminate all cheats until weight loss starts again, even those few blocks of dark chocolate and paleo baked goods.
(8) Eating too much
It does still matter how many calories you are consuming, even if you are eating the right kinds of calories. Eating way more than your body actually needs is going to be a problem. Let’s be honest, it is easy to overeat when food is delicious. Try and listen to what your body is telling you and stop eating when you are no longer hungry. Use a smaller plate and avoid seconds. Rather put away that second helping and have it for lunch the next day.
So, give these a try and see if you find success. I would love to hear about any other tips and strategies you might have found to get off a weight loss plataeu – so please comment and share with all of us.