Stuck at weight loss plateau? Here’s how you deal with it!
Weight plateau can be quite distressing for individuals who seem to be doing everything right and still don’t see results. It's not about calories –in and calories –out. A holistic approach considering the individual and the factors affecting their environment is essential for change. There are important strategies to consider for tackling weight plateau which help a person lose & maintain a healthy body weight.
Water retention : Your body weight need not be all fat! Quite often food intolerances go unnoticed. Just eating the wrong food can cause water retention. Oats, wheat or dairy products which appear harmless might not be the RIGHT food for you .Elimination diets and some lab tests can help diagnose this issue.
Sugar cravings : Sugar cravings flare up during weight loss program. Vitamin B complex, Magnesium, Manganese, Chromium can manifest strong sugar cravings which often make people lose control and eat the sinful dessert / pastry / cookies .Vegetarians are often under risk if meals are not well planned .Consider glutamine supplements to fix sugar cravings.
Good fats : Going on a zero fat can disrupt normal physiological functions and impact the outcome of a weight loss program. The ratio of omega 3 : Omega 6 is 1:1 or 4:1 for enjoying normal health. With excess use of PUFA rich oils, low fat products and a no ghee, no butter, low fat cheese/ dairy diet plan, we tend to miss essential fats in the daily meals. Grass fed cow’s milk have CLA which helps build lean muscle mass, raw nuts are good sources of OG 3 fats besides our desi ghee or butter in small amounts .
Gut health :A healthy gut is essential for good health and immunity. The gut is like the engine of a vehicle and nutrient absorption can be compromised. Inadequate fibre, frequent use of antibiotics, stress, food intolerance can play havoc to your gut . Watch out for “leaky gut syndrome” which can result due to excessive alcohol, long term use of pharmaceutical products, lactose, gluten, environmental toxins, yeast, parasite, pathogenic bacteria etc . Address this issues with the help of a physician right away.
Sleep cycle : Sleep is the best rejuvenator and helps the body to recover from intense workouts. Disturbing the sleep –wake cycle has a big impact on the immunity, hormonal balance and outcome of a weight loss program. For physical and psychogenic repair, getting to bed at 10pm is the best .
Vitamin D3 :This vitamin is essential as it improve muscle strength, lean mass, lose fat , enhance immunity. Low Vit D is associated with decreased pancreatic cell function , affects insulin sensitivity puts one at risk for fat gain. With studies emerging on the impact of Vitamin D on various health issues. Screening for Vit D3 and supplementation helps in weight reduction.
Exercise: Only on cardio workouts do not help in weight reduction. Weight training under the guidance of a qualified fitness professional makes a big impact on increasing lean muscle which in turn boosts metabolic rate. The choice of workouts, progression in intensity, duration of exercise help in fat loss. Checking body composition (lean vs body fat) is more
important than focussing only on body weight . Use a skin fold calliper or DEXA for monitoring body composition.
Other factors :
Managing stress is of utmost importance. High cortisol levels leads to the expanding of waist line and the best way to handle is meditation, Tai chi, yoga .Emotional eating is another factor for weight gain. The role of a psychologist is immense in handling such situations.