Most of us don’t need to be convinced. The Weight Watchers Points Plus System works. A healthy method to lose weight without losing our sanity is the reason we signed up. At the start of the plan, the numbers dropping on the scale were all the motivation we needed. As your goal weight nears, results inevitably slow.
A plateau period frustrates the heck out of a dieter. Nothing has changed in adherence to the program! Consistency is precisely the problem. Here are five tips to recalibrate your metabolic engine and restart weight loss:
1. Take a break. Congratulations! You wear a smaller jean size. Unfortunately, you need less food to function at this weight. Your body is more efficient with its calories. Think about taking a break.
First, let me define a break. A break is not implementing your pre-weight loss eating patterns. A break is consuming the caloric intake of maintenance mode, not weight loss mode.
Leigh Peele’s article, Managing The Diet Break, will guide you through the appropriate break method for you. It answers the fundamental break questions: Who is it for? What should you do? For how long?
2. Cycle between low and high point days. What about adding some variety within the non-break periods of weight loss mode? Variations in points will surprise your body.
Cycling your points also fits nicely into real life. We all have an ever changing schedule of holidays, birthdays, work dinners, and times when a stressful day warrants an indulgence. What you eat on a single day doesn’t determine the success of a weight loss plan. Rather, the calories in and out over a longer period of time settle the score.
Points that are consistently too high will obviously backfire. Now, consider the impact of points that are too low. Besides leaving us susceptible to binges, low points leave the metabolism sluggish. A high point day will strength your willpower, increase your energy, and revive your metabolism. The heightened metabolic rate will carry over to your low point days and help you break through a plateau.
To determine the high and low point amounts right for you check out this calculator.
3. Consider the thermic impact of food. Points are an excellent tracking tool. But they are not a complete ledger in the entire equation of weight loss. Thermogenesis is influenced by meal composition. Certain macronutrients award us a greater calorie burn in processing and digestion.
The body burns as high as 30% of the calories in protein to digest it. In contrast, the body burns only about 5% of the calories in fat and carbohydrates to process them.
Suddenly, a point is not black and white. Consuming points of higher quality with greater amounts of protein is a tool to beat a plateau.
3 oz grilled chicken breast = 1 light English muffin = 3 points = 100 calories.
The body burns 30 calories digesting the protein rich chicken but only 5 calories digesting the carbohydrate rich muffin. The net calorie consumption is 25 calories less by opting for chicken.
4. Limit fruit to 2-3 servings per day. Of course, all macronutrients have a place in a healthy and satisfying diet including carbohydrates. Carbohydrates just have a place that must be monitored during a plateau.
One carbohydrate to watch is fruit. The antioxidants and fiber it awards us are virtuous. The sugar is not. Try limiting fruit and keeping vegetables as “free” foods. See if this simple step jump starts weight loss again.
5. Try a new plan. The Simply Filling technique is a break from the tracking of Weight Watchers points. It requires you to eat from a more restrictive foods list and be smart about portion sizes. The shift in plan may be just the motivation your body needs to keep moving forward.
Consider that while you are not losing, you are also not gaining weight during a plateau. Trying one or more of these five strategies will keep you progressing toward your goal.