We’ll we’ve already gone over the “2 Steps Back, I Step Forward” rule. But if you have not platueaed but have noticed a significant change in your weight loss 4-5 months plus into your weight loss journey – AND ARE FEELING DISCOURAGED – here are a few things to think about.
- The idea of eating less / exercising more is a good one overall, and has seen a great deal of succes. But the first question for you is “what are you eating?” Is it the traditional three meals but your’s intake is below your recommended daily caloric intake? Do you have some type of protein with each meal? Are you eating any snacks so you’re not hungry all the time – 1/4 cup of almonds, 1/2 cup of lowfat cottage cheese, a medium sized apple? You may think that less is more, but you’re depriving your body of the calories it needs to allow you to do the increased activity you’re putting it through. You’re probably tired quite a bit and it may be hard to get motivated to exercise. Get those calories in!!
- Second – what type of exercise are you doing? Walking, jogging, strength training, other types of cardio? Are you in a rut – a set pattern that you repeat weekly? For beginner’s, most fitness pros (and sports physiologists – yes, I went to one for a work over before starting my journey!) will recommend a short but regular (3-4 days a week) walking practice or swimming, because it is kind to your joints and great for cardio health. Walking can be done outside in the nice Autumn weather or on a treadmill at the gym-your choice. You can start with as little as 5 minutes, working your way up to 30-45 with intervals for a challenging workout. But the trick is to increase steadily the length of time on either activity, slowly increase your speed, and introduce intervals. This shakes up your system and helps you keep a steady weight loss.
- Incorporating some strength training, either at home with weights (many sites have basic exercises – Prevention, Sparkpeople, etc.) that you can begin to do as part of your daily routine. That way you keep the muscle you have and lose fat, as well as toning and conditioning. There are also some great DVD’s out there that have basic strength training and cardio workouts. So many choices – you can go to the library and check out a few to see what you like, make a note, check out some more, and surf the “used” area in amazon or other sales sites. And Friday is a great day for a nice yoga set to stretch out those tired muscles and relax for a bit.
- Getting exercise DVD’s from the library is free and let’s you try before you buy. Plus it gives you choices as you build endurance to get to the next level and challenge yourself. The good news is that there are many beginner and plus size oriented materials to get started.
Props out to “Fat to Fit Radio” podcast for this one! We all want the extra weight GONE NOW! But the slower and steadier you lose it, cutting a few hundred calories daily and increasing your activity gradually but steadily, the more likely you will be able to keep the weight off in the long term. 1 – 2 pounds (and anywhere in the middle) weekly weight loss and the gradual changes in the way and types of foods you eat help you go from weight loss alone to a full lifestyle choice. It allows your body to ease it’s dependence on sugary and high fat foods and for you to realize that eating healthy can be just as delicious and fulfilling as the heavy way you used to eat.
For example: one man lost 90 pounds in 50 weeks and used walking, then running as his primary exercise. He found he enjoyed the running so much he started working toward 5k’s and now he’s doing full marathons! Three years later the weight is still off, he’s in great shape, and best of all, he feel great and his doc is much happier. But that’s just one person. You may find you love salsa dancing and before you know it are out with your honey on Sat nights having a ball (a nice perk-up for the relationship, too!)!
Broken record time. If you don’t like an activity, you won’t stick with it and then the “beating yourself up” starts. You didn’t gain the weight overnight, you may have been carrying it for years, so why not take a bit of time trying out new activity options? You never know what you might discover that you either didn’t know about or couldn’t imagine yourself doing! Look into meetups and “Iam50million” as well as other free classes. But have fun, whatever you do. Life is just too short not to enjoy yourself along the way!