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9 Tips to Break the Diet Plateau Featured

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weight-loss-plateauMost people when they diet come to a point in the plan where they start losing less weight, or even stop losing weight BEFORE they make their goal, also known as a weight loss plateau. During a weight loss plateau many dieters can get dejected and revert to old eating habits and blow their progress.

If you are experiencing a weight loss plateau, don’t panic. Try these simple and easy to implement tips to get you back on track with your weight loss goals.

Tip 1. Keep a food journal so you know exactly how many calories you are currently eating. Once you know this you can adjust your calorie (food intake) and your exercise accordingly so that you can lose the amount of weight you want per week. For example...if you find by keeping your food log that you are eating 3000 calories a day, by reducing your calories to 2000 a day would result in approximately a 2 pound a week weight loss. Then if you were to increase your exercise, say cycle 30 minutes a day at moderate intensity, you would burn a additional pound  a week.  The key here is also to cycle your calories each day to average (in the example I am giving above 2000). This would be done by eating approximately 1500 day 1, 2500 day 2, 2000 day 3, 1500 day 4, 2000 day 5, 1500 day 6, 2500 day 7. 

Tip 2. Make sure you NEVER eat carbs alone. Eat carbs only with protein. This will slow down the spike in blood sugar.

Tip 3.Eat the right carbs. Avoid high glycemic carbohydrates (e.g., fruits, white rice, white potatoes, bread, and pasta). They are easily  converted to glucose too quickly spiking insulin levels and causing the excess calories to be easily stored as fat.

The glycemic Index is a ranking system for carbohydrates based on their immediate effect on blood glucose levels. It compares carbohydrates gram for gram in individual foods, providing a numerical, evidence-based index of postprandial (post-meal) glycemia. The concept was invented by Dr. David J. Jenkins and colleagues in 1981 at the University of Toronto.  Consumption of these shaould be minimized. Instead consume small amounts of low Glycemic Carbohydrates are broken down gradually to help maintain an even blood-sugar level). By properly managing carbohydrate intake this will provide many benefits, such as reducing the risk of heart attacks, decrease stored body fat, and reduce the risk of cells becoming insulin resistant.

Instead consume small amounts of low Glycemic carbohydrates which are broken down gradually to help maintain an even blood-sugar level).  My suggestion is  to eat small amounts of fibrous carbohydrates with your protein meals will also increase the protein assimilation. People involved in consistent, intense exercise require more protein intake and the muscle-building effects of weight-training can be enhanced by a high-protein diet.

By properly managing carbohydrate intake this will provide many benefits, such as reducing the risk developing Type 2 diabetes, obesity and heart disease,  decrease stored body fat, and as well as reduce your cravings to eat even more carbohydrates..

Tip 4. Eat at least 5 protein meals a day, spaced out 2 to 3 hours a part.

Tip 5. Add good fats into your diet (like medium chain triglycerides). Ban all saturated fats.

Tip 6. Cut down on the sugar. If you have cravings, consider taking a cinnamon extract. Cinnamon is more than just a simple spice. It has the ability to control hunger, zip up your metabolism a bit and helps diabetics process insulin more efficiently. Research has shown that cinnamon can cut blood sugar levels by as much as 20 to 30 percent. Further, it has a natural appetite suppressant quality and may help increase your body’s production of muscle mass. There’s more … cinnamon may help lower your cholesterol levels anywhere from 10 to 30 percent. Studies found that half a teaspoon of cinnamon a day significantly reduces blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes. Cinnamon's other benefits include:

  • Supporting digestive function
  • Relieving congestion
  • Relieving pain and stiffness of muscles and joints
  • Anti-inflammatory compounds that may relieve arthritis
  • Helping to prevent urinary tract infections, tooth decay and gum disease
  • It's a powerful anti-microbial agent that can kill E. coli and other bacteria

Cinnamon is an incredibly inexpensive and, not to mention, great tasting tool for diabetics and the likelihood of this food causing any long-term complications is very small.

Tip 7. Increase your water intake to at least 16 glasses a day. Few people realize at first just how essential water is to the success of their weight-loss program. Water is essential whether you want to lose weight, gain weight or stay the same weight! We can't live without water. However, while trying to lose weight your water intake is even more important.  Apart from 60-70% of your body being composed of water, water has an extensive range of functions essential to your well being. These functions include:

  • The human brain is composed of 95% water; blood is 82% water; the lungs are nearly 90% water. As one can imagine water is also the single most critical nutrient for health, growth, and development. It is not only the most important nutrient in the body, but also the most abundant. Water is critical to the balance of all the body's systems, including the brain, heart, lungs, kidneys and muscles. How important is this balance? A 2% drop in body water can cause a small but critical shrinkage of the brain, which can impair neuromuscular coordination, decrease concentration, and slow thinking. Dehydration can also reduce endurance, decrease strength, cause cramping and slow muscular response.
  • Your blood is 92% water. This is your body's transport system distributing nutrients around the body
  • Water assists digestion, absorption and assimilation of food. If you don't drink enough water you can't get the full benefit of nutrients in the food you eat.
  • Water Assists excretion of waste from bowel and kidneys. If you don't drink enough water you get constipated and put your kidneys under stress.
  • Water regulates body temperature. If you don't drink enough water you compromise the evaporation process you skin uses to keep you cool.Also important as you increase your exercising.

Why should you drink water when you want to lose weight?

Water is a natural appetite suppressant. Do NOT underestimate the power of this statement. Lack of water can lead to over eating. You brain does not differentiate between hunger and thirst. So, when you think you are feeling hungry, your body may in fact be signaling to you that you are thirsty! If you are not consuming enough water each day and you feel hunger pains, chances are, your body really is crying out for water. In many instances people will find what they thought were hunger pangs were in fact, satisfied by water. Try it! You have nothing to lose, except some weight. Water can suppress the appetite naturally and increases the body's ability to metabolize stored fat.

Also studies have shown that a decrease in water intake will cause fat deposits to increase, while an increase in water intake can actually reduce fat deposits. This is thought to occur because a reduction in water decreases the efficiency of the kidney's, which results in some of the kidney's functions being shunted to the liver. Since one of the liver's primary functions is to metabolize stored fat into usable energy for the body, it metabolizes less fat while performing functions normally performed by the kidney's. This results in less stored fat burned, and a reduction in weight loss.

When you are trying to lose weight your aim should be to drink water consistently throughout the day. If you drink too much all at once or too fast, it will simply pass through you, with little or no benefit to your body.

If you are someone who enjoys the 'taste' of water, then perhaps you could fill a 1 liter empty soft drink container with water the drink through it twice during the day. Room temperature or cold water, even warm as some people like - whatever you prefer. Place it on the desk at work in front of you as a constant reminder to sip continuously throughout the day. Other people find they need a 'plan'' to help them keep on track. So for you, here is a program easily followed to ensure you are well hydrated every single day.

  • When you wake up you will often be thirsty because your body loses water while you are sleeping through breathing and perspiration. Drink a large glass of water immediately upon waking.
  • Drink another glass of water with breakfast.
  • Drink another glass before your mid morning snack/meal.
  • Drink a large glass before each of the 5 small meals you will eat throughout the day.
  • Drink  a large glass before and after your daily exercise regime.
  • Drink water while exercising (minimum 16 ounces per hour)
  • Drink 16 ounces after dinner.
  • Before bedtime drink your final glass of water and sleep well!

Note: Drink water cold when possible. Cold water absorbs into the system more quickly than warm water. Additionally, some limited evidence suggests that drinking cold water can actually help burn calories.

There is absolutely is no doubt about it. When you start drinking enough water regularly, there are great benefits. You may notice your skin significantly improve and even tired muscles will thank you. Many people find their energy is increased and constipation and headaches are reduced, as well as hunger pains. Now here's the really exciting part. . . many people notice a reduction in weight and inches, as their body's water store become redundant and so decrease (meaning the more water you drink, the less your body holds onto). If your diet has been one that did not provide you with adequate water, your body will have developed a pattern of storing water. It's part of the body's in-built survival mechanism - to store up the essential nutrients in short supply. . . just in case they aren't available in the future. So if you don't drink enough water, you are 'conditioning' your body to store water. And water is bulk and unwanted inches.

Tip 8. Add resistance (weight training) into the mix. Muscle burns fat and will stop your metabolism from slowing as you drop weight, Too many people lose muscle while dieting which is one of the reasons people will gain weight back. less muscle, less Basal Metabolic Rate. More lean muscle on your body, means you will burn more calories even while you sleep.

Tip 9. 30 to 45 minutes of brisk walking will keep you metabolism moving, while your body wants to slow it down while you are dieting. If you can do a session in the am and pm you can burn even more since your body will burn more calories for a few hours after each session.

These quick and simple 9 basic tips should jump start your diet, break any plateau and get you back on track to obtaining the physique you always dreamed of!

Last modified on Monday, 12 November 2012 18:44
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