When starting out on Trim Healthy Mama, a lot of us see success fairly quickly once we start losing weight and as a result we are in the “honeymoon phase” of our weight loss journey. Finally, we have found food freedom, it’s working, the food tastes great & it’s so fun! However, most of us, find ourselves not as excited as when we first started seeing results once the weight loss slows or even plateaus for awhile.
In my coaching practice, I have seen several things that have helped my clients get past these stalls. Today, I’m going to share the top 5 that I have seen make the biggest difference.
1. Drink Water! Drinking water is one of those things that you know is good for you, but you don’t realize how good it is for you until you notice that when you do drink enough water you have more energy, clearer skin, a clearer mind, and see more weight loss! Most of the advice you hear says we should drink 1/2 our body weight in ounces. I love Serene & Pearl’s approach to water- in the plan book they simply state “common sense is a good approach to water” (THM plan book p.101). For me, I feel best when I get in at least 8 glasses of water- it’s easy to do- just have 1 before and after each meal and snack and you’ve got your 8! A word of warning, if you drink too close to bedtime then you may interrupt your sleep by having to get up to pee, so don’t make that mistake!
2. Speaking of sleep, that is next on my list. When we don’t get enough sleep, our cortisol levels are up (or our stress hormones). When we don’t take the time to go to bed on time and wake up on time, then our cortisol levels can be through the roof. It is hard enough to lose weight when we have high cortisol levels, but what’s even worse is when this happens, our body’s automatic response is to turn to food to make us feel better. Our bodies tell us we are hungry when we are actually just tired. So the next time you start getting the late night munchies, assess yourself, is it because you are genuinely hungry or are you just tired and need to head to bed? It’s a good idea to create a bedtime routine for yourself to help you wind down. I enjoy epsom salt and lavendar baths, reading, & just chatting with my hubby about our day.
3. Exercise. Exercise doesn’t have to be a dirty word. Simply find something you like to do to move your body and do it. If going to the gym and sweating with people all around is your jam, go for it. Going to the gym is not my scene at all, so I like to stay home and do online workouts. Beachbody is my favorite but I have also done free programs like Bikini Body Mommy and Popsugar Fitness. I love the convenience of doing it at home and I have a routine to help me get it in. When my preschooler is at school, my other kiddos are in school, and my toddler is down for her nap, then I have some time to myself and I workout. I usually put on a show in the background (always one I’ve seen so I don’t have to pay real close attention), but it gives me something to look forward to & becomes a way for me to have some “me” time. When the weather is nice, I like to find time to jog or take a walk. I often listen to podcasts when I do this. Whatever workout you choose, I recommend adding in some cardio and strength training to really help your metabolism. Even adding some light weights while you walk will help give your metabolism a boost as you start building some muscle. You will also notice that your clothes fit better because when you build muscle your body gets more lean and toned.
4. Juggling fuels. It’s easy for most of us to get stuck in a fuel rut (can we say S meals?) THM is not a low carb diet so we shouldn’t be stuck in S mode. Eventually our adrenals will burn out and we will be stalled and low on energy. The more we can juggle fuels the better. Serene and Pearl even mention in the Turtle Loser chapter of the Plan book that some women have to eat a few crossovers a week to get over a stall. Extreme food juggling that includes different varieties of S meals, FP meals, E meals, and even some XO’s are sure to keep your body & metabolism guessing. If you’d like a bit of structure to help you do this, you can always try out a fuel cycle, but that’s only if you’ve done THM for more than a few months. There is an awesome fuel cycle Facebook group and they have plenty of recipes you can use on your fuel cycle. You can do it for just one week or try two if you’re up for it. I personally see the most success the first week but I always get results when I do it and I’ve seen this to be true for my clients who have done a fuel cycle.
5. Not eating after dinner. This seems simple enough, but if the one tweak you make is to not eat after your dinner, this may help you see the scale move again. This will ensure your body has plenty of time to burn your dinner calories and it actually helps you get more restful sleep. I have seen this work time and time again with my clients. This is always the first tweak I encourage them to make because it is easy and they almost always see results. If you are genuinely hungry at night, however, it’s ok to have an FP snack, but you do want to avoid those heavy S desserts that so many of us are fond of (as a general rule it’s best to eat them in the afternoon so your body has plenty of time to burn off the calories). However, if you can end your eating window between 6:30 and 7:00 that is the sweet spot. Honestly, it’s nice to not have to think food after dinner and find other things to do. My mom used to say “The kitchen is closed” when we were growing up and that’s a great way to enforce this rule in your household. When we tell our minds that we are done eating for the day, it’s much easier to avoid those heavy S desserts & snacky foods. If you can do this at least 5 out of 7 days of the week, I can almost guarantee that you’ll see a difference.
What about you? Do you have any tips to share about getting over a plateau?