What now? You don’t know where to go, since you’ve been eating healthy and exercising already.
It’s what we normally refer to as the dreaded “plateau”. But a plateau is actually a good thing. It’s what makes us so hardy, adaptable, and allows us to survive even in the most dire of situations.
Great. Tell that to the swim suit that has a date with you on the beach this summer.
All a plateau does is provide feedback that behavioral change is needed in order to continue to have physical change.
Not that your behavior is destructive – remember, you’re already eating healthy and exercising regularly.
Rather, it’s a question of what to do to move the needle while continuing the same basic behavior of eating healthy and exercising.
Here are three (maybe a bit unconventional?) ways to examine your diet so you can ramp up your fatloss once again.
Take Inventory of Your Fat Sources
By now you should be at least occasionally journaling your intake (we can only change what we monitor and are aware of!). So when you look back over a few average days, pick out your fat sources.
You may likely find that by comparison, you’re overly skewed toward animal fats and nuts or nut butters – leaving the precious monounsaturated-focused fats like organic, first-cold-pressed olive oil in the dust.
It typically happens because of a few things.
- Convenience. It’s easy to over do it with nuts, seeds, and cheeses because they’re portable.
- Volume. Eating fatty meats too often so they “take up” your daily fat intake, leaving less room for things like olive oil or avocados.
- Deliciousness. Yes, nut butters. C’mon. Need I say more?
Typically a conscious shift toward increasing monounsatured fats so there’s a more balanced ratio (monounsaturated, polyunsaturated, and saturated), can shift things into gear.
Look for Hidden Fat-Promoting Ingredients
If you’re on my blog, you already know about artificial colors, artificial flavors, and chemicals in your food. You also know to steer clear of them whenever possible.
But what about “natural flavors”?
“Natural” conjurs up the notion of something not yet touched by human hands. Not altered. Not . . . messed up. And that’s exactly what marketers want you to think.
That way, they can add autolyzed yeast and hydrolyzed yeast to your goodies and call them “natural seasoning”, even though they are cheap forms of MSG. (All the more reason to not make “goodies” a staple in your diet, eh?) MSG for example, is an excitotoxin that stimulates the brain, making foods taste better so you eat more of them than you normally would.
You see where that train is headed.
See how many foods in your diet come from packages – and how many of them use the words “natural flavors” in the ingredient list (not to mention other ingredients you might consider avoiding!).
Then, cut back on them and see what happens.
Check In On Your Protein Intake
You’re nutrition-savvy enough to know that protein is satiating. But you know what else?
If you’re not getting enough protein in your diet, you may not have adequate precursors to make neurotransmitters – those tiny molecules that regulate mood. Poor mood can set the stage for poor behavior (among other things!).
Plus, there may not be enough protein to go ’round when it comes to repairing the muscles and tissues you break down during exercise. That leads to inflammation and poor recovery: two things that send fat loss packing.
How much you ask? Well, first, see what your intake looks like in estimated grams . . . see if it falls into the range of 0.75 – 1.0 gram per pound of body weight per day. If you’re significantly lower, try increasing it a bit and see how your body responds.
Feeling inspired to play Sherlock Holmes with your food journal for a few days?
Great! Get to work!
D’oh! Wait . . . first, if you found my take cool, then SHARE it below 😉
P.S. Next week we’ll go into Part 2, with the same approach to exercise!