This article was originally written by Tracy Lee
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Have you ever experienced this scenario before?
“I have successfully lost 15 of the 25 pounds that I want to lose, but now I am stuck at the same weight even though I am faithfully controlling my food intake and doing my exercises. What happened? Is the diet not working anymore?”
Yes, many women over 40 start off their weight loss programs full of excitement and determination, and indeed you do see the pounds dropping off over the first few weeks.
That’s great, of course.
However, the next thing you know is that your progress has come to a dead stop…
…and you have just hit the dreaded weight loss “plateau.”
But don’t despair — you are _not_ the only one experiencing this.
Hitting a plateau is a common experience for most women over 40 on a weight loss program.
And it can be one of the most de-motivating things to happen.
Thankfully, overcoming it is easy… IF you know the simple steps you can take.
Today, I’m going to show you some very simple and specific steps you can take to overcome your plateaus:
1. Be careful of the little things: It’s easy to lapse into complacency over time, so I suggest that you keep a food diary. Writing down what you eat each day can help you to spot those times when you might be taking in more food than you realize. A little snack here and there can (and will) add up to a lot of extra calories.
2. It may not be the food: Sometimes, it’s not the food per se that is the cause of the plateau. For example, work or family stress may be the culprit instead. Stress can cause you to want to go dig into that tub of chocolate ice cream. If you are feeling stressed, it’s important to acknowledge it right now, and go find some other forms of relief other than reaching out for more (typically unhealthy) food. Go take a walk, listen to music or play with your dog instead!
3. Start off on the right foot: You got to eat something for breakfast every day. Not only will you start the day with your stomach feeling satisfied, eating breakfast actually kick starts your metabolism so that you’ll burn more calories throughout the day.
4. Eat more often: Instead of eating 3 big regular meals each day, opt to have 5 smaller meals. After you eat, your body releases the hormone insulin, which causes your body to store fat. The larger the meal, the more insulin your body releases. But smaller, more frequent meals keep insulin levels lower and more stable. The less insulin you have in your blood, the more fat you burn, and the less you store.
5. Try water first: If you’re feeling “hungry,” try drinking a glass of water first before you go grab something to much on. Sometimes we confuse thirst for hunger, and end up eating more food unnecessarily. If the water doesn’t make that hunger pang go away, you can always grab something to eat later. And the bonus is that the water would have helped you to feel fuller, so you don’t have to eat as much!
6. Avoid snacks at night: After you’ve had your dinner, do not snack or eat supper. And never ever eat just before you go to bed. Take it from Oprah — she says that one of her secrets to her successful weight loss is that she does not eat anything after 7:30pm… not even a grape.
7. Try a weekly one-day “cleanse”: Choose 1 day in the week to cleanse your system by taking only vegetable juices. And please use fresh vegetable juices if you can, and avoid the canned stuff that are chock-full of sodium or added sugars!
Apply these 7 simple steps and you too will be able to overcome those plateaus easily.
Copyright 2005 Tracy Lee