plateau busters

High Intensity Interval Training has become a popular way to lose weight and a great way to improve speed and endurance. HITT workouts consist of burst of high intensity activity combined with a short period of lower intensity. When you allow your energy systems to regenerate, you continue with the high intensity activity! HIIT is a very demanding workout, but is great for producing results! HIIT also produces EPOC, Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption. This is an increase in oxygen consumption and an increase in your metabolism after strenuous activity. The body continues to require oxygen at a level that exceeds oxygen requirements when the exercise began in order to reoxygenate the blood, restore the body’s pre workout temperature, heart rate , and breathing . Therefore, it’s work to restore the body to it’s pre-exercise state; making you a fat burning machine!! We suggest that you do at least 30 minutes of High Intensity Interval Training, 3 days per week!

Beware of ‘Calorie Creep’

A key reason for a weight loss plateau is eating more than you think. It’s easy for portion sizes to creep up, and before you know it, you end up eating more than your plan prescribes. That’s why it’s important to weigh and measure your food to understand proper portions. Try cutting your daily calorie intake by 100 or 200 to move beyond the weight loss plateau. Here’s how:  

  • Eat a high-fiber breakfast that will help reduce the quantity of food eaten at lunch.
  • Use mustard or low-fat mayonnaise on your sandwich instead of regular mayonnaise.
  • Have a piece of fresh fruit instead of cookies or chips.
  • Drink diet soda instead of regular soda.
  • Choose sherbet or sorbet over super-premium ice cream.
  • Use 2 tablespoons of light whipped butter or margarine instead of regular.
  • Top your favorite pasta with a red sauce instead of a cream sauce.
  • Eat a snack-sized chocolate bar instead of a whole candy bar. And choose heart-healthy dark chocolate.
  • Order your pizza with veggies instead of high-fat meat toppings.
  • Order your sandwich on whole-grain bread instead of a croissant or bagel.
  • Try an open-faced sandwich with only one slice of bread.

Watch Restaurant Overeating

At restaurants, rich foods and supersized portions can sway even the most determined dieter. Especially if you eat out often, look at restaurant eating as a chance to practice good portion control.

According to Tallmadge, there isn’t a law that says you must order an entree every time you eat out. “Pay attention to your appetite, and order a dinner salad or appetizer instead of a main dish,” Tallmadge says, “or take half home in a doggie bag.”

Eat Low-Fat Protein to Manage Hunger Pangs

New findings show that a high protein diet can help squelch hunger. Protein foods work by suppressing ghrelin, a hormone secreted by the stomach that stimulates appetite (yes, it triggers hunger!). In a new study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, researchers found that foods high in fat actually raised levels of ghrelin and increased hunger. Carbohydrates soon made people even hungrier than they were before they had eaten. But it was the protein foods that lowered levels of ghrelin substantially, helping to keep hunger pangs in check.

Researchers concluded that the findings suggest possible mechanisms contributing to the effects of high-protein/low-carb diets to promote weight loss, and high-fat diets to promote weight gain.

Eat More Fruits and Vegetables

Fill up on produce. Eating lots of low-calorie, high-volume fruits and vegetables crowds out other foods that are higher in fat and calories. Move the meat off the center of your plate and pile on the vegetables. Or try starting lunch or dinner with a vegetable salad or bowl of broth-based soup, suggests Barbara Rolls, PhD, author of The Volumetrics Eating Plan.

The U.S. government’s dietary guidelines suggest that we get 7-13 cups of produce daily. Make sure you stock your kitchen with plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables and add a few servings at each meal. In doing so, you’ll boost your intake of healthful vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, phytochemicals, and fiber. In addition, if you fill up on low-calorie, nutrient-dense fruits and vegetables, you’ll be less likely to binge on highly processed snacks.

Push the Envelope Past That Plateau

Hitting the treadmill every day for a 30-minute walk or doing the neighborhood loop with your buddies gets your body into a groove. After a while, your muscles get used to the routine and become very efficient at doing the task at hand.

To keep your muscles guessing — and performing the ultimate calorie burn — vary your physical activity. And push the envelope to power past that plateau!

For example, during your 30-minute treadmill session, include a few intervals at higher speed or at a higher incline (climb hills if you’re walking outside). Sustain this higher intensity for a few minutes, and then return to your comfort level. After you recover, do it again — and again. This will help you burn more calories and blast through the plateau.

Also make sure your routine includes strength-training exercises (like weight lifting), which help counteract muscle loss due to aging. Building and preserving muscle mass is a key factor in reaching a healthy weight, as muscle requires more calories to maintain than fat.

Try Yoga to Avoid Stress Eating

Stress eating is bingeing on food — homemade chocolate chip cookies, salty chips, a handful of this, a fistful of that — to soothe your inner emotional turmoil, not your real hunger.  Studies show that yoga lowers levels of stress hormones and increases insulin sensitivity — a signal to your body to burn food as fuel rather than store it as fat.

Britt Berg, MS, research manager and therapist at Emory University Medical School, recommends the “child’s pose” to clients who want to avoid stress eating.

Start by kneeling on the floor on your hands and knees, making sure that your hands are under the shoulders and your knees under the hips, with toes touching. Stretch your neck forward and lengthen your spine through the tailbone. Gently rock the weight of your body back toward your feet, allowing your hips to stretch farther back as you continue to lengthen and stretch your spine.

Now, stretch your arms forward and walk your fingertips as far forward as they will go on the floor or rug, lengthening your arms fully. Extend your hips back until they come toward your heels. If you’re very flexible, you may be able to rest your hips on your heels and your forehead on the floor.

Berg recommends putting your forehead on the rug or pillow to calm your mind. Do the “child’s pose” any time you feel the urge to binge on high-calorie snacks.