I am just going to say it, plateaus suck. They just do! For those of you who have been working their tails off for the past year or so trying to drop those last few pounds, I understand the frustration more than I'd like to. I've been teetering around the same numbers on the scale for months now, which can be wearing on anyone's motivation.
Valerie and I have been discussing this for a few weeks now on our long rides. We have been analyzing where we can improve our efforts and both acknowledged that with our workout/training schedule there's not a lot of wiggle room there, but when it comes to nutrition...that's a whole other story. Here's why. The Lifetime Wellness Challenge is built to support the encouragement of healthy habits through earning points by adding good nutrition and exercise. As I'm sure many of you have realized, it's completely possible to "eat around the rules" because the rules aren't restrictive. We don't tell you (or us) exactly what to eat every meal/snack or how much you need to consume to reach your goals. We believe for the lifetime habits to become real for you, that YOU need to be in charge of finding what works best for your body and we will provide the structure for success (support system, points, rewards!). Translation? Sitting down to a bag of tortilla chips and a huge bowl of salsa isn't "restricted" but sure isn't going to do anyone any favors to get to where they really want to be.
Realizing this, I've been in search of what's going to work for my body to drop those last 5 or so pounds/inches. I REFUSE to do any fad diets, pill or quick fix crazy stuff!! Refuse, I say. I've done them in the past, they never, ever, ever work long-term and I'm depressed after every attempt. Not even an option for this girl. But, I have been at my goal weight before (right before my last pregnancy) and it took me a good 3 months to drop those last few pounds. Yes, it really did. In reflection, what got me there was not my workouts. I'm working harder today than I was then. It was ALL nutrition that helped me fit back into my favorite jeans. In hopes of encouraging myself to get it together this week, I'm going to share a list of the things I used to do (and WILL be doing this week) to help kick this really annoying plateau I'm facing.
Re-evaluate portion sizes. It's totally possible to eat too much of a good thing.
Eat on smaller sized plates...and only getting one helping.
Eat foods your grandmother would recognize. These are typically foods you might find in a grocery store with 3 ingredients or less listed.
Pack up meals right way. Dish your food up away from the table and immediately put away what's leftover. It will take a lot more explaining to yourself why you need to pull out those leftovers before dinner is over if you do.
Eat for QUALITY. Reach for foods full of nutrients rather than just filling a calorie quota.
Make small goals. Don't focus on 10 pounds from now, focus on 1 or 2 pounds down at a time.
Check with your doctor! Thyroid, adrenal glands, medications, pregnancy, breastfeeding and menopause can all be factors in stubborn weight loss.
Feel free to share anything you've found that's helped you kick a plateau. We LOVE to hear from you!! *just don't suggest shakes, pills, wacky one type of food diets or starvation. It's not gonna happen!