It takes burning 3500 calories to shed 1 pound. You must burn that many calories (or more) over what you eat in a one week period to lose weight.
If you are not losing weight, and are burning the calories, you may be trading lost weight with new muscle. However- the more muscle you have the more calories you burn. So it's not likely this would be your only barrier.
If you eat processed foods, remember there are many hidden calories and ingredients that cause inflammation in your body, which can hinder weight loss and not let your calorie burning mechanisms work as efficiently. If you haven't already, switch to a whole foods diet. Cut out ALL packaged foods and refined sugars. You WILL see a difference almost immediately.
People plateau for a variety of reasons, the most common being they no longer burn as many calories doing the same activity because their body has adjusted and the activity is no longer as challenging. A mile run when you started might have burned you a good 500 calories, because you weighed more, and your heart and lungs was out of shape. Now running a mile for you may be a breeze, and that means you are not burning 500 calories when you run it anymore. You are burning less. To combat this, increase the level of difficulty for your activity- if you run a 10 minute mile, work to run an 8 minute mile and so on. try to increase your difficulty (which also could include your distance, time, etc.) every couple of weeks or when you can have a normal conversation during the activity. If you end on the treadmill at an incline of 2, work toward ending on a 3 or 4 (before cool down) and so on. If you weight train or do cardio, try using different movements for the same muscle groups, to give your body something new to think about and adjust to- for example, if you normally do lunges, try doing them against a wall instead of in the open (you can find countless alternatives to your current routine by doing basic google searches). If your brain is no longer thinking about the activity because it's become so routine, your weight loss will lag, too. Remember- body and mind.
Keep a food journal so you know how many calories you are eating, and use an online calorie burn calculator (most are free) to determine how many calories you burn doing the exercises and daily activities you do every day, including sleep, showering, housework, grocery shopping, playing with the kids, work, etc. This is a great way to figure out new ways to burn a few extra calories in your day, too.
There are nifty gadgets you can carry on yourself that tell you how many calories you burn through the day, like a pedometer only way more detailed and cooler! Also more pricey, but I've seen them for $20 and up.
Change your diet up. Try new foods or foods you haven't had in a while. Have a 'cheat day' once a week to trick your body into believing it can relax enough to shed extra weight again. No need to go overboard and make yourself sick, but eat out, cook your favorite meal regardless of how much oil or butter or cream it has. Sometimes a too healthy diet and lots of exercise can 'shock' our system and send it into shut down mode while you are losing weight, it might just need a jolt of comfort food to jump start it again- sounds counterintuitive but it works! Worm in France who give birth quickly shed their baby weight doing this- they eat reasonably healthy during the week, then on weekends eat WHATEVER they want. That means whatever they want. No limits. Their baby pounds melt off in a matter of weeks compared to American women.
If your body gets too comfortable and knows exactly what to expect everyday, it will slow down with the weight loss. If you normally run on Monday and cycle on Wednesday, try switching them up or instead do something completely different- like swimming or kickboxing! This includes food- if you have oatmeal every morning, salad everyday for lunch and chicken and rice for dinner every day your'e going to see better results if you switch it up- try chicken and rice for breakfast, oatmeal for dinner (with bananas it's a great bedtime food because it has all the ingredients to make you naturally sleepy!) and a veggie and fruit smoothie for lunch. It really works. Try NOT to have the same thing everyday.
May 19, 2013