A big question that comes our way is “I’ve reduced my calories and increased my workouts and at first I was losing weight great, but now it seems to have stagnated? What do I need to change in order to get past this plateau?”
It’s a great question because this happens to a lot of us trying to get healthier. When you first start dieting, being aware of your caloric intake is extremely important, but as you start living healthier, you need to start paying a lot more attention to the type of calories you are eating.
A friend of mine approached me the other day and said “I’m working with a calorie tracker and it says I’ve got 400 calories left in my allotment. However, I’ve already used up my daily allotment of carbs and sugar and I have no clue what to do! Where are my calories coming from?”
This is really common for most of us because carbs and sugars are in everything and protein often takes the back seat. There are two major ways to fix this:
GET THAT PROTEIN!
Protein is great for you and protein calories when absorbed are great at repairing muscles and muscle growth. Not everyone wants the body builder physique, but if you want to lose weight, you need to get your BMR working. You can tone and work for lean muscles with some effort and you can still maintain the physique you desire. When it comes down to it, two things control your metabolism, heart rate and muscle mass and the best way to increase your metabolism is to increase your muscle mass.
WATCH THE ADDERS:
When it comes to your meals that don’t have a lot of protein in them, that’s fine, just try to keep out a lot of fillers. When you grab a bag of frozen carrots from the grocery store, look at the ingredient label. It should have one ingredient: carrots. Pretty simple, no? Well, next time you’re at the grocery store take the time to look and you’d be surprised at just how many of them contain other ingredients that you really don’t need.
Eating fresh fruits and vegetables is also going to be a big help here.
And while I know it can be difficult (it’s one of my biggest struggles) soda is just one of the worst things for your diet. Cut it out or limit it as much as possible. You’ll be shocked at how fast just changing to water or juice (look for a natural juice) will have a huge effect on your weight loss because soda is not only a big chunk of your calories, it’s a HUGE allotment of your sugars, carbs, and fats for the day.
When it comes to getting healthier, calories in versus calories out is the starting point. Eating the right type of calories is what’s going to get you across that finish line to your ideal shape.