Ok, you’ve made some lifestyle changes, drink more water, eat more salad, go for a walk a few times a week…so why does that last 20 lbs of weight hang on so stubbornly? It’s great you’ve made those changes, but there could be a few factors that thwart your health and weight loss goals:
- you may have reached a new set point, so what you burn is perfectly balanced with what you consume
- you may not be aware of how your food choices prevent you from breaking through your weight loss barrier
- you might be fatigued from lack of sleep making it harder to exercise effectively
- you might be stressed, and this can impair metabolism.
If you take a long view of your health, you can gradually make changes that stick. If you are pressed for time, with risks to your heart or impending diabetes, you might need to make changes quickly. Here are some ideas for addressing that last hurdle.
- Assess your habits. Condiments add extra fuel to a meal, and may have ingredients your body doesn’t need. Bottled sweet drinks including juice and soda add calories with less value than whole fruits or freshly pressed juices. Notice the many ways extra calories creep quietly into your day, then make clear choices.
- Get enough sleep. Being well-rested means you can exercise the next day; exercising means you’ll sleep well. If your body clock is properly adjusted, meals can also fall into a pattern which can prevent binging.
- Snack wisely. Keep veggies, nuts and fruits available to stave off hunger between meals. A small snack will keep fat cells calm, your metabolism burning properly and prevent your body from swinging between feast and famine modes. Make sure to have breakfast and eat a healthy lunch.
- Read ingredients carefully and assess your larder. Be picky! Anything that does not come from a farm or is not simply derived from a natural ingredient is worth researching. Go easy on saturated fats and avoid trans-fats completely. The more you know, the easier it will be to make healthy decisions.
- Find inner peace. Well, maybe that’s too much to ask, but find ways to unwind. High stress levels lead to fat storage, so figure out how to have fun and feel good. A mindfulness practice plus exercise can alleviate stress and help the body be resilient.