You’ve probably heard of the term “weight loss plateau”. It’s when you’ve lost a lot of weight, but you haven’t seen or managed to keep off any additional weight. Sometimes this can be frustrating, especially if you’re aiming for weight loss. There are known factors that make you hit a weight loss plateau, and you may be wondering if changing your routine will help you break through it. Let’s take a closer look.
The MyPlate Guide to Weight Loss
MyPlate is the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)’s new dietary guideline for Americans. Earlier this year, they released the first food guide that focuses on both nutrient quality and quantity, putting more emphasis on food groups rather than individual foods. The guide encourages people to focus more on vegetables, fruit, and whole grains rather than processed foods, added sugar, and saturated fats. It also suggests limiting alcohol and avoiding snacks and sweets while you’re at work. Let’s take a look at how this guide can help you reach your weight loss goal.
Focus On Food Groups Rather Than Individual Foods
One of the primary ways the MyPlate guide differs from the classic food pyramid is the way it encourages you to categorize foods based on how they fit into groups rather than how they compare in terms of chemical make-up or caloric value. For example, you may eat plenty of vegetables every day, but they don’t all serve the same purpose. Certain ones are better for your health than others.
Broadly speaking, vegetables contain essential nutrients that your body needs and cannot produce itself. They also act as natural weight-loss aids by helping you feel full longer and by providing your body with nutrients that it needs to function well. Crucially, they help keep your digestive system healthy as well as prevent certain diseases. So, by eating more vegetables, you’ll fill your body with nutrients that it needs and can use to maintain a healthy weight.
On the other hand, not all fruits are created equal. Some people believe that certain fruits contain more nutrients than others, and some fruits act as natural weight-loss aids too. For example, goji berries and pomegranates contain powerful antioxidants that stimulate your body’s natural defense systems and help maintain a healthy weight. Blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries contain high amounts of antioxidants as well as vitamins C and E. These fruits also encourage normal blood circulation and improve mental acuity.
Vegetables And Fruit Can Be Monitors Of Your Health
Among vegetables, different types of lettuce and cabbage contain powerful antioxidants that protect your cells and neutralize harmful free radicals that can lead to serious health problems. For example, leafy greens prevent cancer and macular degeneration. So, by eating more vegetables, you’ll lower your risk of developing certain diseases.
Fruits contain a lot of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants too. The antioxidants in fruits act as small fighters in your body, battling and defending your cells from damage. They also help maintain a healthy complexion by shielding your skin cells from harm caused by free radicals. So, by eating more fruits, you’ll boost your body’s defense systems, resulting in healthier-looking skin.
Avoid Unhealthy Habits While You Lose Weight
If you want to lose weight and maintain a healthy weight, you’ll need to avoid some unhealthy habits and replace them with healthier alternatives. The first step is to reduce the amount of sugar and carbohydrates you take in, as these are the two largest factors that make you gain weight. You may also need to cut down on the amount of processed foods you eat, as these are the primary sources of empty calories in most people’s diets. These foods are often high in saturated fats as well, so you’re eating more than you need to in terms of calories. If you want to lose weight, reduce the amount of unhealthy foods you eat and replace them with foods that are more nutritious.
Monitor The Amount Of Weight You Lose
Just because you lose a lot of weight doesn’t mean you’ll stay at that weight. It’s important to take periodic weight checks to ensure you don’t gain back any of the weight you lost. One good thing about the MyPlate guide is it encourages you to weigh yourself regularly and report your results. This is something you may not have heard of before, but it’s an important tool for anyone aiming to lose weight. When you do this, you’ll have an indicator of how much you’ve lost and can determine whether or not you need to adjust your diet. Remember, everyone is different, and not all fats are created equal. Some are healthier than others, depending on their origin and type. For example, animal fats and fish oils are both healthy fats, but you shouldn’t eat too much of either of these foods if you want to lose weight. Instead, you should focus on eating more vegetables and fruits while avoiding foods with added sugar and carbohydrates.
When you follow the MyPlate guide and eat healthy foods, it will become easier to manage your weight. You’ll no longer have to worry about calories or what type of fat you should be eating, because it will all be taken care of for you. You’ll enjoy the process and soon find yourself saying “no thank you, I’m fine” to those things you know you shouldn’t eat.
You may have heard of the term “carbohydrate metabolism disorder” or CMD. It’s a condition that makes it difficult for your body to regulate blood sugar levels. As a result, you may experience hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) or hyperglycemia (high blood sugar) which can lead to serious health conditions. People with CMD should avoid refined carbohydrates which are typically found in white bread, pasta, and rice. Instead, they should favor complex carbohydrates which are found in whole-grain breads, brown rice, and pasta. Getting enough sleep, consuming a nutritious diet, and avoiding stress all contribute to normal blood sugar levels and help prevent CMD.
Breaking Through A Plateau
If you’ve already reached your optimal weight and you want to continue losing weight, you may need to modify your diet or exercise routines to do so. One way to break through a weight loss plateau is to try a diet with a new food group. When you do this, it forces your body to adjust and change its perception of what foods it needs and what foods it wants. Let’s say you’ve reached your goal weight and you decide you want to venture into uncharted territory and try a diet with fruits and vegetables that you’ve never tried before. When this happens, your body may get confused and think that it needs more food than usual, so it will start storing fat to make more nutrients. This is why it’s important to stay in sync with what your body needs and what it wants and allows for the flexibility to try new things once you’ve reached your goal weight.
Another important thing to keep in mind is that your body needs time to adjust to all the changes you’re making. So, don’t expect to lose lots of weight overnight or in a week. It may take a while for your body to get used to the new foods you’re eating and the additional exercise you’re doing. In some cases, it may even take a while to see results.
If you want to lose weight and keep it off, it’s important to listen to your body and ensure it’s not in starvation mode. This can be difficult, especially if you’ve reached your goal weight and want to maintain it, but feeling hungry may be your body’s way of telling you that it needs more nutrients. In this case, you may need to increase the amount of food you eat, but only in small increments. For instance, if you eat a bowl of pasta every day and notice your weight is starting to creep up, you may need to have a bowl of beans or lentils instead. Gradually increasing your food intake in this manner will help you avoid entering a starvation mode and losing a large amount of weight. This could bring on undesirable health effects, so you should only do this in consultation with a medical professional.
Managing Your Weight Is More Than Just Calories In, Calories Out
If you want to lose weight, it’s important to get right down to the root of the problem rather than simply focusing on caloric intake and expenditure. There are many factors that make you heavier than others, including your genes, your metabolism, and the type of fat you store. You may also be more vulnerable to fatty liver disease and diabetes if you’re prone to these conditions or have a family history of them. Your mental faculties matter as well, as the way you feel about yourself can impact the way you perform and, consequently, how much weight you gain or lose.