This Article is About
weight loss plateau
boosting your metabolism
weight loss routine
daily caloric intake
starvation mode
calories per day
exercise routine
calorie intake
diet plan
metabolic rate
three ways
losing weight
weight gain
amount of calories
Overcoming Weight Loss Plateau - Eating To Increase Your Metabolism
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Overcoming Weight Loss Plateau  -  Eating to Increase Your Metabolism

In my previous article, Overcoming Weight Loss Plateau - Why You Can't Lose Weight, we learned that in order to overcome your weight loss plateau, you must make changes to your weight loss routine.

The Plateau Blues

Hitting a plateau is normal, and it should be expected. Depending on the number of pounds you are looking to lose, you can probably expect to hit a few plateaus during your journey.

Do not let that plateau get the best of you. It is important to maintain a positive, can-do attitude. A plateau does not mean you have failed your weight loss plan. It means your body has accepted your new weight loss routine as "normal" and modified your metabolism to burn that amount of calories each day. You much change your routine in order to get off that plateau and begin losing weight again.

Get Off That Plateau!

There are three ways to get off your plateau: change your calorie intake, change your exercise routine, or both. Today, we're going to discuss changing your calorie intake and how that affects your metabolism.

Eat & Drink Your Way to a Higher Metabolism

  • Eat at Least 1,200 Calories per Day. It is important that you eat a minimum of 1,200 calories per day on any diet plan. If you are currently eating 1,000 calories per day or less, you are actually putting your body into starvation mode, which can severely decreases your metabolism. Additionally, if you attempt to eat less than 1,200 calories per day, you may feel hungry during the day, which puts you at risk for eating extra calories and ultimately for weight gain.
  • Eat Breakfast Every Day. Consistently eating breakfast every day leads to a higher metabolic rate. Each night while you are sleeping, your body is in a short term starvation mode (AKA fasting). Breaking your overnight fast is important to boosting your metabolism for the day. If you don't do this consistently, you will not achieve your optimum metabolism benefits.
  • Front-load Your Calories. 25-30% of your daily caloric intake should be eaten for breakfast. These calories should include complex carbohydrates (think oatmeal) and protein (think eggs). This will keep you fuller longer and keep you from snacking between meals.
  • Do not eat before bedtime. Ultimately, to optimize your metabolism, you want to stop eating roughly 3 hours before bedtime. This provides your body with enough time to fully digest your food while your metabolism is still running high. Additionally, dinner and evening snacks should be lower in calories than your other meals throughout the day. Front-loading your calories (eating most of your calories in the first half of the day) is best for weight loss.
  • Drink Caffeinated Coffee. A study published in the journal Physiology and Behavior showed that people who drank coffee with caffeine increased their metabolism by 16% over those who drank decaf. The caffeinated coffee caused their heart rate and breathing to increase, which enabled them to burn more calories throughout the day.
  • Drink Ice Cold Water. We all know water is great for flushing out calories, so drinking more of it rids the body of more calories. However, by drinking ice cold water, you are forcing your body to warm up the water, which actually causes the body to burn even more calories.
  • Eat More Protein. In order to maintain your lean muscle mass, it is important to eat lean protein at every meal. Muscle burns more calories than fat, so the higher your lean muscle mass, the more weight you will lose!
  • Eat Spicy Food. According to a study in the Journal of Nutritional Science and Vitaminology, adding 1 tablespoon of chopped chiles causes a temporary 23% increase in your metabolism.
  • Keep it Organic. Pesticides slow down your body's ability to function properly which leads to a decrease in metabolism. Eating foods low in pesticides (organic foods) minimizes the pesticide build-up in your body and allows for a high metabolic rate.

Beyond the Food

In order to overcome your weight loss plateau, you need to make changes to your lifestyle. Overall, it is best to make changes to both your food diet and your exercise plan in order to get off this plateau and back on the road to weight loss.

According to Josh Bezoni, nutritionist and author of the 7 Day Belly Blast Diet, you should change your caloric intake every 7 days. For example, if one week you are eating 4 meals of 300 calories per day, then the second week you should eat 4 meals of 400 calories per day. And then change it again the third week. By always modifying your calories you are keeping your body guessing on the number of calories it is consuming and thereby not only avoiding the dreaded weight loss plateau, but also keeping your metabolism high.

Modify your meal plan. Add some or all of the tips above to increase your metabolism. And modify your exercise regiment. You will be off that plateau and achieving your goals in no time!


Street Talk

  

Heather, it sounds like he was an amazing man and health adviser. You were blessed to have known him.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

Being a science guy I find it interesting to see the biological reason for things, and a dietitian friend of mine told me on this subject that those with a lot to lose can lose a lot fairly quickly because of the hormones and enzymes that are present in their body in relation to the fat content. When fat loss occurs, those fat banishing hormones and enzymes are down regulated, and voila, plateau as you approach your goal. So I love the routine changing idea, it works. You can also had healthy fats to your diet, like omega 3's from nuts and fish.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago
  

Healthy fats are very important. Too many people think low fat diets are the way to go, but eating healthy fats, like MUFAs (mono unsaturated fatty acids) found in avocados, nuts, and olives (among others) actually assist the body in removing unhealthy fats. Thanks, zenphitness for pointing that out!

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

I'd never thought about why dieters plateau and that was interesting! Loved your article... especially since I do most of those things without thinking about it. The only thing I don't do is drink cold water. An old chinese herbalist I once went to told me to never drink it below room temperature and I guess that one stuck with me!

Reply
  about 1 decade ago
  

Heather, did the herbalist indicate why? I'd be curious to know the answer as (s)he is probably a follower of holistic medicine and many have great insight.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

I believe it was to do with shocking the body system. In some (or all?) people it can cause the intestines to spasm or cramp.... kind of like putting your foot in cold water I guess. He was the real deal who looked at the tongue and felt the pulse and prescribed things that looked like they grew in a hobbits forest so I just trusted him without really looking into it more. He was an old old man and has since died. It's not something I can honestly speak on with authority! ;-)

  
  about 1 decade ago

Most of us from time to time have a problem with excess of body weight. That happens especially during winter months, due to reducing of activities and as far as I know, because our body has slower metabolism during winter months. Now is the right time for everyone to start changing their nutrition habits, to start with exercises, increase their muscle mass and be ready to welcome upcoming spring physically fit! Nice article. Thanks AJ

Reply
  about 1 decade ago
  

Milos, you have a great point. I often wonder if cold weather causes our lower our metabolism to conserve calories since food is generally more scarce in the winter months. Or is our metabolism lower purely because we are outside less and thereby less active due to the colder weather. But, you are right it is time to get off that couch and begin getting fit for spring and summer weather!

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

Thanks AJ from my wife, who is now reading all your articles, can't get her off the computer to do my stuff. Great follow up article.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago
  

Rob, I hope my articles help your wife to achieve her goals. Maybe it will also inspire her to start writing herself, although then you may need another computer!

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

This is sound advice. Learned a couple of things I didn't know about increasing metabolism and getting out of the plateau.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago
  

Thanks, Glenda! Some of the tips are ones that most of us already know, but sometimes need to be reminded of in order to implement them. Others, like spicy food increasing metabolism, were new to me too and I felt compelled to share.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

That was the new one to me, too.

  
  about 1 decade ago
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