Overcoming the Weight Loss Plateau - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

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Overcoming the Weight Loss Plateau

At the beginning of the In Shape with Jack Hobbs Program, many of you made a decision to lose weight and found it quite easy to do. And now that several weeks have passed, your weight loss may be harder to achieve. Perhaps you feel like you've hit a brick wall and are not able to lose weight the way you were able to do in the beginning. This stage in weight loss is usually called a "plateau."

Weight-loss plateaus are a fact of life, so don't' get down on yourself. In fact, it is exactly the time to pat yourself on the back. Look at how far you've come. Be proud. Now, determine if this is really a plateau, or if you have simply reached your ideal weight or a weight that you need to maintain for a while.

According to our calculations, we can seem to be doing everything right, and yet nothing happens on the scale. The first step might be to check your weight less often. Many times a change in the scale just reflects the body fluid you lose and gain every day rather than how much body fat you've lost or gained. Or, you may be losing inches of body fat without losing weight on the scale because you are gaining muscle through strength-building exercise. Muscles weigh more than fat and look a lot better too.

So if you can't rely on the scale to tell you how you're doing day to day, what can you count on? Use a measuring tape as another tool to measure your success. You can record your waist circumference, your thigh measurement, and even your arms to see changes in thickness. The way your clothes fit is also a good indicator of the inches you are gaining or losing.

The science of weight loss is not a mystery - you must decrease the energy, or calories, from the food you eat and increase the energy expended through exercise.

Be Physically Active Everyday

In any weight-loss program, exercise is a crucial part of the formula. If you've stopped losing weight, it's time to start exercising more or increase your workout intensity. Here are several ways you can alter your training routine to push you past the plateau.

  • Add variety to your regimen (i.e., cycling, swimming, jogging, etc.)
  • Intensify your workouts
  • Try some strength-building types of exercise (i.e., weight training)

Watch Your Food Intake

A consistent exercise regimen is crucial in a weight-loss program, but you probably won't continue to lose weight if you're hitting the snack aisle on a regular basis. Here are simple dietary changes you can make to help you lose the excess body fat.

  • Drink a lot of water
  • Routinely inspect your eating habits
  • Enjoy small portions of your favorite foods

There are many reasons for plateaus and therefore many solutions. If you address the above issues, you'll start again to achieve the weight-loss results you desire. Enjoy your improving fitness level and better health.

For individualized meal plans and nutrition counseling, make an appointment with a Registered Dietitian.

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