10 Ways to Move Beyond a Weight Loss Plateau
Experts share tips on how to get your weight loss program back on track.
4. Beware of 'Calorie Creep'
A key reason for a weight loss plateau is eating more than you think. It's
easy for portion sizes to creep up, and before you know it, you end up eating
more than your plan prescribes. That's why it's important to weigh and measure
your food to understand proper portions. Try cutting your daily calorie intake
by 100 or 200 to move beyond the weight loss plateau. Here's how:
- Eat a high-fiber breakfast that will help reduce the quantity of food
eaten at lunch.
- Use mustard or low-fat mayonnaise on your sandwich instead of regular
- Have a piece of fresh fruit instead of cookies or chips.
- Drink diet soda instead of regular soda.
- Choose sherbet or sorbet over super-premium ice cream.
- Use 2 tablespoons of light whipped butter or margarine instead of
- Top your favorite pasta with a red sauce instead of a cream sauce.
- Eat a snack-sized chocolate bar instead of a whole candy bar. And choose
heart-healthy dark chocolate.
- Order your pizza with veggies instead of high-fat meat toppings.
- Order your sandwich on whole-grain bread instead of a croissant or
- Try an open-faced sandwich with only one slice of bread.
5. Watch Restaurant Overeating
At restaurants, rich foods and supersized portions can sway even the most
determined dieter. Especially if you eat out often, look at restaurant eating
as a chance to practice good portion control.
According to Tallmadge, there isn't a law that says you must order an entree
every time you eat out. "Pay attention to your appetite, and order a dinner
salad or appetizer instead of a main dish," Tallmadge says, "or take
half home in a doggie bag."
6. Eat Low-Fat Protein to Manage Hunger Pangs
New findings show that a high protein diet can help squelch hunger. Protein
foods work by suppressing ghrelin, a hormone secreted by the stomach that
stimulates appetite (yes, it triggers hunger!). In a new study published in the
Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, researchers found that
foods high in fat actually raised levels of ghrelin and increased hunger.
Carbohydrates soon made people even hungrier than they were before they had
eaten. But it was the protein foods that lowered levels of ghrelin
substantially, helping to keep hunger pangs in check.
Researchers concluded that the findings suggest possible mechanisms
contributing to the effects of high-protein/low-carb diets to promote weight
loss, and high-fat diets to promote weight gain.
7. Eat More Fruits and Vegetables
Fill up on produce. Eating lots of low-calorie, high-volume fruits and vegetables crowds out other foods that are
higher in fat and calories. Move the meat off the center of your plate and pile
on the vegetables. Or try starting lunch or dinner with a vegetable salad or
bowl of broth-based soup, suggests Barbara Rolls, PhD, author of The
Volumetrics Eating Plan.
The U.S. government's dietary guidelines suggest that we get 7-13
cups of produce daily. Make sure you stock your kitchen with plenty of
fresh fruits and vegetables and add a few servings at each meal. In doing so,
you'll boost your intake of healthful vitamins, minerals, antioxidants,
phytochemicals, and fiber. In addition, if you fill up on low-calorie,
nutrient-dense fruits and vegetables, you'll be less likely to binge on highly