You are trying your best to follow a strict diet plan and eat healthy foods, but you feel like you have hit a wall. No matter how hard you try, the weight is not budging. You are stuck at the same weight week after week. This is called the diet plateau, a very common occurrence among dieters. However, things don’t remain like that forever.
There are multiple tiny things you can do to fix this situation. Sometimes, the smallest change can make a huge difference in your fat loss journey. For example, try walking or riding your bike instead of driving to work. You'll not only burn calories, but you'll also get some fresh air and sunshine. Or, try taking the stairs instead of the elevator. Every little bit counts.
Another way to make a significant change is to switch up your diet. If you're used to eating processed foods, try adding more whole foods to your diet. Incorporate more fruits, vegetables, and lean protein into your meals. You may be surprised at how much better you feel, and how much easier it is to lose weight when eating whole foods.
As we speak of taking small steps, here are some diet plateau hacks that’ll benefit you during your fat-to-fit journey. Do follow them and thank us later!
Hacks That Can Get You In Perfect Shape
There is no one-size-fits-all solution to your problem, but you can try the following hacks to get over the diet plateau and continue your weight loss journey:
1. Reduce Carbohydrate Intake
Low-carb diets have proven to be quite beneficial for losing weight by research.
According to a review, people who consumed 50 grams or fewer carbohydrates per day lost more weight than those who followed conventional weight loss regimens.
Whenever you feel like your weight is completely stuck, cutting back on your carb intake may assist. Experts in nutrition and obesity continue to disagree on whether carb restriction results in a "metabolic edge" that increases your body's calorie burning. Low-carb diets have been reported to improve fat burning and encourage other metabolic changes that support weight loss.
On the other hand, very low-carb diets have consistently been found to suppress hunger and increase feelings of satiety. Additionally, they trigger the production of ketones in your body, which suppresses your hunger.
This suppression results in eating lesser then usual unintentionally and making it simpler for you to shedd extra weight without feeling hungry or uncomfortable.
2. Eat More Protein
Proteins are essential to any diet, but they can be beneficial for those trying to slim down. Why?
Proteins take much longer to digest than other nutrients, so they help you feel full for longer after eating. This can prevent overeating and help you stick to your weight loss goals.
Proteins also help boost your metabolism, which means you'll burn more calories throughout the day. And, since proteins are essential for building muscle, eating enough of them can help you tone up as you lose weight.
So, if you're looking to shed some weight, include plenty of protein in your diet. From chicken and fish to quinoa and tofu, there are endless ways to get the nutrient into your meals. You can also take whey protein supplement after your workout for protein replenishment.
3. Manage Stress
Stress is often cited as a barrier to weight loss. And it's true, stress can promote comfort eating and trigger food cravings. But do you know stress can also increase your body's production of cortisol? Cortisol is called the "stress hormone."
While it helps your body respond to stress, it can increase belly fat storage. Interestingly, this effect seems to be stronger in women. Therefore, producing too much cortisol can cause a hindrance in losing weight.
It may seem as though you have little control over the stress in your life, but learning to manage stress can help promote weight loss.
For that you can do multiple things, including taking stress control supplements, eating a healthy diet, and adequate sleep.
4. Sleep Well
Sleep is an important part of overall health and well-being, but it is often overlooked in favor of other healthy habits like diet and exercise. However, research has shown that getting enough sleep is essential for weight loss and maintaining a healthy weight. When we sleep, our bodies release hormones that help to regulate metabolism and appetite.
Lack of sleep can disrupt this process, leading to increased hunger and cravings for unhealthy foods. In addition, sleep deprivation can cause the body to store more fat and make it difficult to burn calories.
For these reasons, getting at least seven to eight hours of sleep every night is essential. Not only will you feel more rested and alert, but you'll also be on your way to reaching your weight loss goals.
5. Spice Up Your Food
Dieting doesn't have to be all about lettuce leaves and boiled chicken. In fact, with a bit of creativity, you can turn even the most boring diet food into something special. Just because you're watching your waistline doesn't mean you have to sacrifice flavor.
Add some herbs and spices. A little bit of garlic or ginger can go a long way in adding flavor to your food. Experiment with different flavors. Try adding some fruit or nuts to your meals for natural sweetness. Or, if you're feeling adventurous, experiment with new spices and flavors you've never tried before.
Be creative with your presentation. Instead of just eating your food plain, try dressing it up with colorful garnishes or arranging it on the plate appealingly. With a little effort, you can turn even the most boring diet food into something delicious and visually appealing.
6. Stop Starving
If you're dieting to lose weight, you may be tempted to slash your calorie intake as much as possible. However, this could be counterproductive. Research has shown that severely restricting calories can slow down your metabolism, making it harder to lose weight in the long run.
Additionally, very low-calorie diets can lead to feelings of fatigue, irritability, and hunger. Increasing your calorie intake may be the answer if you're struggling to stick to your diet because you're constantly feeling hungry. Eating a little more each day will help keep your metabolism going strong and reduce feelings of hunger.
Of course, you'll still need to be mindful of the foods you're eating and ensure that you're getting enough nutrients. But a little extra food may be just what you need to help you stick to your diet and reach your weight loss goals.
7. Try Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent fasting is an eating pattern that has become popular in recent years to lose weight. The basic idea is to eat all your meals within a specific time frame and fast for the rest of the day. For example, you can finish eating all your meals between 8 am and 4 pm and fast until 8 am the next day.
There are multiple ways to approach intermittent fasting, but one of the most popular is the 16/8 method, where you eat for 8 hours and then fast for 16 hours. Some people find that intermittent fasting helps them eat fewer overall calories, and it can also lead to health benefits like reducing inflammation and improving blood sugar control.
A review revealed that it caused weight loss of 3–8% and a reduction in waist circumference of 3–7% over 3–24 weeks. If you're interested in trying intermittent fasting for weight loss, talk to your doctor or dietitian first to ensure it's safe for you and get some tips on getting started.
8. Increase Exercise Frequency
If you're looking to lose weight, you may wonder if increasing your exercise frequency or intensity is better. Both options can be effective, but your best approach will depend on your goals and fitness level. If you're just starting, you may want to focus on increasing your exercise frequency first. This means gradually working up to exercising most days of the week.
Once you're able to do this, you can increase the intensity of your workouts. This could involve adding in some interval training or lifting weights. If you're already exercising regularly, increasing the intensity may be a better option. This could involve adding more challenging exercises or increasing the time you're working out.
Ultimately, the best approach is the one you're most likely to stick with long-term. So experiment and find what works best for you!
9. Satisfy Your Cravings
While embarking on a weight loss journey, it's common to experience cravings for foods you try to avoid. Whether it's pizza, cookies or cake, these cravings can be strong and difficult to resist. However, you can do a few things to satisfy your cravings without derailing your diet.
First, try to identify the root of your craving. Are you feeling stressed, tired or emotional? Once you know what's triggering your craving, you can find a healthier way to cope with those feelings. For example, if you're craving ice cream because you're feeling sad, try eating a bowl of fruit instead.
You can also try distracting yourself by going for a walk or calling a friend. If all else fails, allow yourself to have a small portion of the food you're craving. This will help to satisfy your cravings without ruining your diet.
10. Keep Track of Everything
Weight loss is not easy. It requires hard work, dedication, and, most importantly, a healthy lifestyle. One key component to losing weight and keeping it off is tracking everything you eat. This may seem like a daunting task, but there are plenty of apps and websites that make it easy. Not only will tracking your food intake help you make better choices, but it can also help you stay accountable.
Every time you log what you've eaten, you'll be reminded of your goals and why you're changing your diet. In addition, tracking your food intake can help you identify patterns in your eating habits. For example, you may notice that you always overeat when stressed or tend to snack more when bored.
You can make necessary changes to break the cycle by becoming aware of these patterns. So if you're serious about losing weight, start tracking everything you eat. It's a simple change that can create a big difference in your results.
The Bottom Line
If you’ve hit a diet plateau, don’t worry. Plenty of hacks help you get back on the road to becoming lean. By reducing carbohydrate intake, eating more protein, satisfying your cravings, managing stress, sleeping well, spicing up your food, and stopping starving, you can break through that pesky barrier and continue losing weight. Try these hacks and see visible results for sure!
- Barnosky, Adrienne R., et al. “Intermittent Fasting vs Daily Calorie Restriction for Type 2 Diabetes Prevention: A Review of Human Findings.” Translational Research: The Journal of Laboratory and Clinical Medicine, vol. 164, no. 4, Oct. 2014, pp. 302–11. PubMed, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.trsl.2014.05.013.
- Benton, David, and Hayley A. Young. “Reducing Calorie Intake May Not Help You Lose Body Weight.” Perspectives on Psychological Science, vol. 12, no. 5, Sept. 2017, pp. 703–14. PubMed Central, https://doi.org/10.1177/1745691617690878.
- Bueno, Nassib Bezerra, et al. “Very-Low-Carbohydrate Ketogenic Diet v. Low-Fat Diet for Long-Term Weight Loss: A Meta-Analysis of Randomised Controlled Trials.” The British Journal of Nutrition, vol. 110, no. 7, Oct. 2013, pp. 1178–87. PubMed, https://doi.org/10.1017/S0007114513000548.
- Chaput, Jean-Philippe, and Angelo Tremblay. “Adequate Sleep to Improve the Treatment of Obesity.” CMAJ : Canadian Medical Association Journal, vol. 184, no. 18, Dec. 2012, pp. 1975–76. PubMed Central, https://doi.org/10.1503/cmaj.120876.
- Hall, Kevin D., et al. “Energy Expenditure and Body Composition Changes after an Isocaloric Ketogenic Diet in Overweight and Obese Men.” The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, vol. 104, no. 2, Aug. 2016, pp. 324–33. PubMed, https://doi.org/10.3945/ajcn.116.133561.
- McClernon, F. Joseph, et al. “The Effects of a Low-Carbohydrate Ketogenic Diet and a Low-Fat Diet on Mood, Hunger, and Other Self-Reported Symptoms.” Obesity (Silver Spring, Md.), vol. 15, no. 1, Jan. 2007, pp. 182–87. PubMed, https://doi.org/10.1038/oby.2007.516.
- Warne, James P. “Shaping the Stress Response: Interplay of Palatable Food Choices, Glucocorticoids, Insulin and Abdominal Obesity.” Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology, vol. 300, no. 1–2, Mar. 2009, pp. 137–46. PubMed, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.mce.2008.09.036.