There are times on your weight loss journey when progress can come to a halt. Days or weeks can go by without you seeing movement on the scale, and it can get downright frustrating. After working with thousands of clients, I, as a Coquitlam Personal Trainer have noticed certain patterns that can cause this weight loss stoppage. Here are 3 of those patterns.
1) Eating more than you think you are.
Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, Zone Delivery Service, and other diet systems have one undeniable benefit to them – they define for the average individual how large an actual “serving” is. The majority of us underestimate the volume of food we eat (and consequently, underestimate the amount of calories we consume in a day).
By fixing in your head what a serving size or “portion” of food looks like, we can better estimate (and consequently, evaluate and calibrate) the quantity of food we eat at each meal. Bear in mind, when it comes to weight loss, you need to take in less calories than you burn each day.
Two good rules of thumb:
A portion of meat (3 oz.) is the size of a deck of cards.
A portion of carbohydrates (1 cup) is the size of a tennis ball.
Please remember to fill up on non-starchy vegetables – they are full of nutrients, have very little impact on blood sugar, and contain little in the way of calories.
2) Not eating frequently enough.
It is a social custom to eat “three square meals” a day. While this may do for social purposes, for weight reduction, you may wish to aim for more frequent feedings. It is recommended that you consume no less than 5-6 small meals each day. By doing so, your body gets the signal that food is abundant, and there is no need to conserve energy.
Additionally, frequent feedings maximize your metabolism, as your body is constantly busy, burning calories by digesting your meals. By not letting too much time pass between meals, you stabilize blood sugar since they never really get the chance to drop. By keeping your blood sugar stable, your hunger levels are minimized, decreasing the chances that you will be tempted to overeat at your next meal.
3) Choosing to drink your calories instead of eating them.
This can be a very common problem among those attempting weight loss, due to the abundance of “healthy” diet smoothies, protein concoctions, and weight loss shakes. There are 2 factors to remember when relying on these liquid meal replacements. Firstly making sure that there is not abundance of sugar in the drinks, and secondly there is less fiber. Think about it- when making major dietary changes, you want to get the most from your calories. Wouldn’t you rather fill up, rather than drink something and be hungry again soon after?