Overcoming Weight Loss Plateaus

Why does it seem like when you are trying to lose weight, the last few pounds are always the hardest to get rid of? Weight loss plateaus are quite common during weight loss and can be very frustrating. Though weight loss plateaus may occur for a variety of reasons, losing weight results in a decreased metabolic rate, which means your body burns fewer calories at your lower weight than it did at your higher weight. The key to keeping the scale moving in the right direction is to make sure that you are burning more calories than you are taking in. So if you are fighting those last few stubborn pounds, here are some tips:

1)      Move more- Make sure to get at least 30-60 minutes of physical activity each day. If you have been doing the same exercise routine for a while, try changing it up to keep your body challenged. Also add more activity to your day by taking the stairs instead of the elevator, parking farther away when shopping, etc.

2)      Keep a food diary- Write down everything that goes into your mouth so you can keep track of calories from foods and beverages. This can help keep you accountable and also identify areas where you can improve or may be getting more calories than you realized.

3)      Re-assess your weight goals- If you have been successful at losing weight and are stressing out about the last few pounds, it may be time to reassess your weight goals and focus on maintaining the weight you have already lost. Even modest amounts of weight loss can result in improved health so make sure to celebrate how far you have come.

4)      Avoid portion distortion- Food labels are very helpful but it is important to pay attention to the serving sizes and account for how many servings you eat. Consider measuring out your portions for a few days to help you see how many servings you are actually eating and help you to more accurately eyeball portion sizes in the future. Also use these serving size tricks: 3 ounces of cooked meat= a deck of cards, 1 cup = baseball, 1 tablespoon= poker chip.

5)      Pump some iron- To increase muscle mass and boost your metabolism, make sure that your workouts include muscle-strengthening activities, such as weight training.

For a great recipe that is low in calories and fat try this recipe for Chicken Fried Rice.

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