If you are like most people, right about now, as we head toward summer, you’ve probably been exercising and dieting for several weeks in order to get your beach body back into shape. But there always comes a point when you reach a plateau and you simply can’t seem to lose any more weight. Yep, it happens to the best of us – it’s natural, but annoying! If this sounds like you, read these tips for getting over the hump so you can lose those last few pounds.
Eat Enough Calories More Often
Are you skipping meals in order to keep your calorie count down? The problem with this approach is that when your body starves for a period of time, your metabolism slows down in response to blood sugar levels getting low and it stores fat in response to not getting enough calories. Rather than waiting to eat a big meal until midday or night, try eating several small meals a day or at least including a healthy snack between meals. Keeping your blood sugar steady prevents a slowdown of metabolism. And rather than starving yourself by consuming far too few calories (usually less than 1,200 a day for women or 1,500 for men), eat sensibly and you’ll see the fat start to melt away.
Eat the Right Foods with the Right Amount of Calories
So, you shouldn’t eat too few calories, but you shouldn’t eat too many, either. For the average person (is there such a thing?), a good amount is 1,200 per day, give or take. If you’d like to calculate the amount of calories you need to consume to reach a target weight, check out this weight loss calorie calculator.
The problem is that even knowing our target caloric intake, we often underestimate how many calories we eat in a day. For instance, did you remember to include that mouthful of food you tasted while making dinner or that handful of nuts you had during the office meeting? If you have a hard time remembering to keep track of these extra calories, start a food journal in your phone or tablet, since you are likely to have these with you at all times.
And while you’re at it, eating out is not a good idea while you’re trying to lose weight. It’s nearly impossible to calculate how many calories you are getting when you order a restaurant meal – plus, you may snack on bread or chips and salsa while waiting for your dinner. It’s best to prepare your own food so you can weigh it and keep yourself honest.
For links to specific smartphone apps that help you track calories consumed and calculate restaurant food calories, check out this Forbes health and fitness apps article.
Mix Up Your Exercise Routine
If you do the same type of exercise every day, your body gets used to the movements and doesn’t work quite as hard. This results in a plateau of both weight loss and muscle strength. It’s best to change things up by combining aerobic exercise with strength training and stretching.
Another you can do to mix things up a bit is add a FIT Bodywrap© session to your workout routine. Using a bodywrap at least one day a week not only detoxifies your body (a great way to jump start fitness), it allows you to effortlessly shed a few pounds – and that helps keep you motivated! To learn more about how FIT Bodywrap© sessions help you lose inches and pounds, read this science of weight loss article.
If you’ve hit a plateau and you are desperate to lose those last few pounds in time for the beach, try these tips to get back on track so you can enjoy a bikini-perfect body!