You’ve been doing a great job of sticking to your workout routine and nutrition plan, the scales have been steadily going down and your jeans have been getting looser.
Then, suddenly, things grind to a halt and you find the things which were working have ceased to do so!
Instead of declaring yourself ‘beyond help’ and settling down to an afternoon of eating junk (I’ve never worked out why this feels so logical in the heat of the moment!), let’s take a second to look at what is likely going on and work out how to get back on course.
Most likely, the ‘issue’ is simply that you’ve lost weight!
Your body is smaller and therefore needs less calories to maintain itself than it did before. At some point, you will need to readjust your intakes to account for this – what was once a calorie deficit will become what you need to maintain.
You don’t need to count every bit of food you eat, instead, have a scan through what you’ve eaten the last few days – are there extra servings of high calorie, low nutrient foods you could trim out?
I write this as I have (accidentally, of course) ‘slipped’ with the jug of cream I poured into my coffee and have probably more than doubled the usual calories in my coffee. Once will make no difference at all, but if I do these small things every day, any deficit I had created could very easily be cancelled out.
It’s not about starvation. No matter how much sense it makes in theory to cut your intake as low as possible, do not allow your quest to lose weight to become a competition to see how few calories you can eat. This will lead to a fight against your willpower, which you will lose sooner or later; and if you persevere, it will slow your metabolism, mess around with your hormones and generally make it difficult to lose weight long term.
It is crucial to fill yourself up with nutrient dense foods – these are the foods which give you the most nutrients for their calories. A great example of this is magnesium in almonds vs spinach – you can get the same amount of magnesium in 300g (90 calories) of spinach or in 100g (600 calories) of almonds. Both are good food choices, but if you’re trying to lose weight, get your nutrients from the lower calorie source! You will be amazed how positively this affects your hunger, cravings and overall satisfaction from your meals.
If you are already eating very little and not seeing changes, check you really are getting enough of all the right things (the most common culprit here is low protein) – this may well be enough to get things going again without cutting your diet any further. If not, you will likely find that reverse dieting is something which really helps you; I will write about this in my next newsletter.
The intricacies of working out what you should eat can get very confusing. I can help you clear the confusion and understand exactly where to make changes in order to get the results you want.
Get in touch to arrange a chat, and we can discuss how your ideal nutrition plan might look.