Management: Be a Weight Loss Success Story
People are constantly trying to either lose or maintain their weight. Frequently, it is perceived as a never-ending battle to achieve a desired weight loss goal. Even when a person is counting calories, watching fat intake, and exercising regularly, it can be discouraging at times, especially when the body hits a weight
A weight loss plateau is a term that describes the common phenomenon in which you begin a diet, lose a significant amount of weight right away, and then you simply stop shedding pounds even though your caloric intake and exercise levels are consistent. This occurs because your metabolism slows down as you lose fat and lean muscle tissue; your body has essentially caught up with your diet and reached a fat-burning equilibrium. To lose more weight and get over the plateau, you need to decrease your calories or increase the amount of calories you burn through exercise. It typically takes longer to lose weight than it does to gain
weight, but that doesn't mean weight loss has to be a struggle. Part of this perceived weight loss "struggle" can be alleviated by maintaining a consistently focused and upbeat attitude, even during those periods of weight loss plateau. Continue to visualize your weight loss goalâ€”and understand that, during a plateau, the body is adjusting itself to regulate its metabolismâ€”and these thoughts will assist you in remaining positive.
It also helps to educate yourself about emotional eating, which is believed to cause 75 percent of overeating. Emotional eating occurs when you use food to satisfy an emotion instead of the physical sensation of hunger. It can mean eating pizza anytime you feel sad, or digging into a slice of cake whenever you feel happy. Maybe you eat macaroni and cheese when you're homesick, or you eat buttered popcorn when you're bored. Whether you initially gain weight as a result of emotional eating, or you find that emotional
eating is a trap you fall into during your weight loss program, perhaps during that frustrating period of the plateau, learning how to control your emotional eating habit is an important part of reaching your weight loss goal.
Signs of emotional eating include:
- "Hunger" that occurs suddenly rather than gradually
- The desire for a specific food, rather than food in general
- You don't stop eating even after you feel full
- A feeling of guilt while you're eating and after you've finished
Managing emotional eating can be difficult, but it may help to make a list of the emotions and foods that you know make you vulnerable to emotional eating. Think about alternative activities such as reading a book, painting, or jogging that you can do when an emotional "hunger" pang hits. You may also find it helpful to have healthy substitutes close on hand for your emotional comfort foods. For instance, keep whole grain pitas, fresh tomatoes, and olive oil on hand for when you get the urge for delivery pizza.
Natural Weight Loss Is Healthy & Effective
Sometimes when we hit a weight loss plateau, it is due to a very low
calorie diet, or in other words, not consuming enough food. This continued depletion of energy can cause the body to go into a survival mode. A good course of action is to allow one meal per week that could be considered a conservative "cheat."
Just as you might deal with emotional eating, find healthy alternatives for your favorite meals, such as reduced portion sizes or lower calorie side dishes, to satiate your cravings. If you're eating the correct amount of calories for your body and weight loss goals, then try to charge up your current exercise regime. If you are walking for 30 minutes a day, use some small hand weights while on your walk. Not only will you tone up your arm muscles, but your body will burn more calories as well. Above all, be patient and remain positive. You are changing your lifestyle for the better.