Breaking a stall is an art. I had many stalls during my weight loss journey. However I followed these general rules below and I lost 120 pounds from a high of 240 pounds! What is a stall ? A stall is a weight loss plateau that can last for weeks or months if it isn’t properly address. Sadly it happens to most after losing a substantial amount of weight. There is a lot of science behind why this happens. However I believe that if you have been overweight for along period of time your body may become resistant to losing weight and for most people as you get down to those last few pounds you are really fighting for every pound lost. Here are some tips that helped me break through my stalls (I had several) and I hope they can help someone you too!
- TALE OF THE TAPE-If you began your weight loss journey by writing down your weight on the scale but also your measurements, good for you! Sometimes if you are not seeing pounds lost on the scale you may still be losing inches. Pay special attention to how your clothes fit. You may actually be losing it just isn’t showing up on the scale yet! If you didn’t measure to start your weight loss journey …move onto the next.
- TELL THE TRUTH-If you are keeping track of the calories/carbs you consume (and I hope you are it will make your journey that much more successful), really be honest about how much you are eating. Are you accounting for every table-spoon of salad dressing or every extra bit of butter you added to what you were cooking. If you are using olive oil to cook your meals you need to account for that too and olive oil packs a caloric punch so you want to use it sparingly. If you are following a low carb diet have you succumb to “carb creep”? Carb creep is where you have slowly let carbs creep back into your diet. It could be something as simple as adding ketchup to your bun-less burger (a no-no because of the sugar), adding some extra cheese or maybe you have been eating a whole can of almonds thinking they are healthy and low carb so what is the harm. All of these things could be contributing to your stall. A weight loss plateau would also be the perfect time to start measuring your food if you haven’t been doing that already.
- PROCESS OF ELIMINATION-If you have checked and measured all your food and all is well with no carb/calorie creep to be seen. Then you may want to start eliminating some common items in your diet that tend to stall most people eventually. Artificial sweeteners are repeat offenders when it comes to stalling dieters especially if you are using them in excess (more than 2-3 a day). Dairy can also cause dieters to stall and may be something you try to eliminate from your diet for a short time to see if there is a difference on the scale. This should be a no brainer but Alcohol can also be very detrimental to your weight loss due to most people don’t stop at one drink and are usually mixing something high calorie with their alcohol (even if it is just on the weekends). Frankenfoods should also be eliminated. Any food that is overly processed or has 100 ingredients that you could even begin to pronounce or understand should be eliminated during a stall. Any prepackaged diet food should be tossed until the stall is broken. Fresh and clean food is always going to best. Also look to anything in your diet that may be irritating to your gut. Gut irritation can cause inflammation which can lead to holding onto excessive water weight.
- YOU GOTTA MOVE-Add exercise if you haven’t already. If you have you may need to mix it up with some strength training or HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training). Don’t let your workouts become stale because then your effort wont be as great. HIIT keeps your body burning calories and fat long after your workout is over.
- SHOCK YOUR SYSTEM-If you have been doing a particular diet for a long period of time you may need to try something new such as carb cycling or replacing two meals a day with a protein shake. Nothing dramatic just something to shock your system/metabolism to get the scale moving again. This is something that worked very well for me. Results may vary.
- STAY HYDRATED-Drink your water. It is so important because being sufficently hydrated helps your body metabolize fat which can lead to weightloss. Drink up!
- SLEEP OF THE STRESS FREE-Try not to stress. Stress can cause you to feel hungrier and can lead to overeating or mindless snacking. Lack of sleep promotes weight gain by increasing cortisol in the body and impacting your metabolism negatively. Don’t stress over the scale. Your weight WILL move again. If you are going through a stall or plateau you have most likely already lost a substantial amount of weight. Remain patient and don’t give up on living a healthier life!