January 27, 2013

So you've lost a good amount of weight, anywhere from 15-30 pounds, and people are starting to notice. However, when you step on the scale, no matter how hard you try, you keep breaking even! It's a let-down almost as colossal as Sisyphus felt every time he saw his ginourmous boulder roll back down the hill, after every time he's push it back to the top.  But you won't have to keep feeling let down like Sisyphus, you CAN get over your plateau! Here's four tips on how to cope with this painful milestone in dropping poundage.

1: Don't freak out!
Plateaus come at the most inconvenient part of your weight loss journey - right? Everyone is finally congratulating you on how great you look, and now you seem stuck in a sisyphus situation of no return. However, you need to realize that plateaus are totally normal and a natural part of your journey. It's actually a good thing, because it means that your body is getting used to your new healthy habits and smaller waistline. Think of it as shedding your old, unhealthy skin and cozying up with your new, probably smoother and more moisturized, skin! (figuratively, of course.) Embrace the NEW you and take on some NEW new habits!

2: Sometimes all we need is a little change.
Now that your body is used to your new habits, introduce it to even newer ones! Think of it, that's how you did it in the first place. The easiest thing to do is change up your work out routine. Do you skimp out on abs? Focus on your abs more instead of lifting as much. Do you stick to the treadmill? Try the bike, or even run and bike outside! OR try a cardio kick box, Zumba, or hot yoga class. As you can see, the possibilities are endless. If you need to switch up your eating habits, try proportioning your meals differently. For example, eat smaller meals, but snacks in between. Once your body doesn't get food for four hours, it goes into "famine mode" and everything eaten after is transferred straight to sugars. So, eating healthy, raw snacks between meals is better for you than fasting, then overindulging.

3:  Cutting carbs out?
It's a proven fact, with my experience as well, that people that eat less calories naturally crave carbohydrates more. It makes sense. However, if you want to descend off of this plateau and hit the ground running again, turn those carb cravings aside. Of course I don't mean totally cut carbs out, that would be torturous. There are many ways to cut carbs out and incorporate fresh veggies or fruits into your food. If you want noodles or rice, give yourself half the service of the pasta/rice/noodles and double up on the meat or vegetables you're putting in it. If you're going out to froyo, skip the cap'n crunch as a topping and top it with fresh pineapples, kiwis, mangos, strawberries, etc. Doesn't that sounds mouthwatering? You're already treating yourself to froyo, anyway! If you're good with these rules for 5-6 days a week, you can have one week where you go carb-o-load if you want, you earned it!

4: Track your meals like a GPS.
The best thing to do when you're watching what you eat is literally watch what you eat. There are several calorie-counting app such as "Lose It!" or "Myfitnesspal" that calculate the precise amount of calories you should eat a day considering how much weight you want to lose and in what amount of time. Just put in the food you eat, and what exercise you do. There are many encouragements such as badges for exercising consistently and hitting weight loss goals. If B.F. Skinner's idea of positive reinforcement works on you, this is a path for you! Another great app I was recommended by YouTube beauty guru clothesenounters ( is The Eatery. You literally just upload a picture of your meal, and people can rate how healthy it is. However, you can look back at your gallery any time and see how good or bad you're doing. If the last time you had a cupcake was two weeks ago, you can have another one!

I hope you take these tips into consideration when you think you've hit a dead end and see a Sisyphus future for yourself. Don't worry - it's all natural. Good luck, and work it girl!

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