9 Can't Fail Weight-Loss Tactics to Try if You’re Not Losing Weight10/30/20
Losing weight, like most other meaningful endeavors in life, requires consistency, effort, dedication, and patience.
While purported “health” magazines advertise that you can lose 15 pounds in 5 days (or some other absurdly ridiculous amount of weight in a relatively short amount of time), the truth is that safe, sustainable weight loss occurs at a rate of 1-2 pounds per week.
Even if you’re doing everything right in your transformation challenge, there is a possibility that you’ll hit a plateau at some point or another.
Here are 9 can’t miss weight loss tactics to try if you’re stuck in your weight loss journey.
9 Reliable Weight-Loss Tactics to Try if You’re Not Losing Weight
#1 Start the Day with Protein
Consuming enough protein each day is vital to your weight loss success as well as your ability to retain muscle mass while dieting.
Despite the importance that protein plays in the diet, many individuals struggle to consume enough each day.
Beginning your day with a protein-packed breakfast is a great way to set the tone for the rest of your day and take care of a big chunk of your protein requirements.
What’s more, protein is highly satiating. In fact, it is the most satiating of all macronutrients, meaning it helps keep you feeling full.
Further, protein also forces your body to expend more calories breaking it down than it does fat, carbs, or alcohol.
In other words, not only does protein keep you feeling fuller for longer, it also forces your body to expend more energy during digestion -- both of which support weight loss!
#2 Drink Up!
Staying hydrated can help you avoid overeating at mealtime as well as cravings throughout the day.
Doing a water preload (16-24 ounces) 10-15 minutes before a meal can help you eat less, since the extra fluid will help take up room in your stomach and stretch it out, which sends a signal to your brain that you’re full.
If you’re not a fan of plain water (or you’re tired of only drinking it each day), you can try drinking a zero-calorie carbonated water, or mixing a scoop of His or Her BCAA/EAA and sipping it throughout the day.
#3 Pile on the Veggies
Vegetables are packed with nutrition, antioxidants, polyphenols, fiber, and water.
They’re also relatively low in calories, while simultaneously helping fill you up.
Vegetables are also really hard to overeat on, which means you can basically eat to your heart's content and not go over your calorie requirements for the day.
Some of our favorite veggies are:
- Brussels sprouts
- Leafy greens
One of the great things about vegetables is that there is a wide variety of them and they can be prepared a ton of different ways. So if you don’t like one type of vegetable, you can always experiment with a new one until you find one you like!
#4 Log Your Food
As we mentioned above, in order to lose weight, you must be in an energy deficit, whereby you consume fewer calories than you burn each day.
The only way to know with reasonable certainty whether or not you actually are eating less energy than your body requires to maintain its weight is to track your nutrition.
And, the simplest way to track your nutrition intake each day is to log your food.
This can be accomplished using pen and paper, a spreadsheet, or one of the hundreds of calorie and macro tracking apps readily accessible on your smartphone.
Food tracking software (and even pen and paper) give you real-time data on how your nutrition is looking for the day.
Plus, many of these apps also include food from popular restaurants, so if you’re thinking of going out to eat on a given day, you can prepare and pre-plan ahead of time so that you can fit that certain meal into your daily calorie and macro needs.
One thing to keep in mind though is that a food log is only as good (and truthful) as the data that’s put into it.
What this means is that if you’re not 100% honest with yourself (and your food journal), it won’t give you an accurate assessment of your nutrition each day.
In other words, every morsel of food you eat, from the broccoli and chicken for lunch to the mini-sized candy bar you have mid-afternoon with coffee needs to go in your food journal. Only by being 100% honest with yourself will you see results from your food logging.
#5 Unplug During Mealtime
We’re more attached (addicted) to technology than ever, constantly inundated by emails, texts, tweets, DMs, and alerts.
This tech-addiction extends beyond work. It’s infiltrating family time, meal time, and down time -- when we’re supposed to be relaxing and recharging.
For the many benefits that technology affords us, it also has several drawbacks. In the context of fat loss, technology addiction has led to “distracted eating.”
Essentially, when your gaze is affixed on a TV, smartphone, laptop, tablet, etc. you’re not focused on the food you’re eating, or the people with whom you are sharing a meal. This leads to over eating, which means you’re not losing weight.[1,2]
The opposite of distracted eating is “mindful eating” where you unplug from the stressors and technology of the day and focus on the people and food surrounding you.
By being “active” in the moment, you hone in on what’s happening around you and inside of you with your food. You’ll be better able to gauge how full you are and whether or not it’s time to stop eating and save the rest for later. This will help you avoid overeating and give you a break from the incessant comings and goings of life (and technology).
#6 Calories Still Count!
It’s easy to fall into the trap of thing that just because a food is “healthy” it can’t cause weight gain.
Nothing is further from the truth.
Calories are still king at the end of the day.
That means, even if you’re only eating chicken, broccoli, brown rice, and berries, if you go over your calorie allotment for the day, you will gain weight.
Now, the reason that many individuals think you can’t gain fat from “healthy” foods, is that it is harder to overeat less-processed, nutrient-dense foods, since they’re typically rich in fiber, protein, and/or water.
Nevertheless, it is possible to overeat on these foods, so all of this is to say that calories do matter, regardless of how healthy or unhealthy they may be.
Make sure you’re portioning out your food accordingly and tracking your calories, and by doing so, you will stay on track with your goals and get the results you want!
Try our Appetite Suppressant to help you control calorie intake
#7 Go for a Stroll
No one will debate the fact that “abs are made in the kitchen” (meaning that if you want a toned midsection, your diet must be on point).
However, exercise and non-exercise physical activity (NEAT) does play a vital role in your ability to create a calorie deficit, build muscle, and get lean.
Walking is a phenomenally effective, yet highly underrated, way to burn calories, lose weight, and get abs.
It’s low intensity, but can significantly improve your total daily energy expenditure (TDEE), metabolic health, and recovery from intense resistance training sessions.
Even as little as 10 minutes can be effective in helping control blood sugar levels following a meal as well as helping increase the amount of calories you burn throughout the day.
Walking is also known to improve mood and creativity. Plus, it’s also a great way to unplug (see point #6) from the stressors of the day and get some much needed “me” time...which brings us to the next point.
#8 Make Time for Yourself!
Being in a state of chronic stress is known to hinder fat loss. Chronic stress causes you to crave higher calorie foods and makes you less likely to exercise. It also disrupts normal hormone production in the body as well as encourages fat gain (particularly around the midsection).
In today’s neverending frenzy to try to get as much done as quickly as possible, it’s incredibly easy to feel overwhelmed, never taking time to stop and take some much needed “me time.”
As difficult as it might be to “tap the brakes”, it’s imperative to maintain your weight loss success, as well as your sanity!
Even as little as 10-15 minutes of quiet time, meditation, and/or self-reflection can do wonders to help offset the many stressors of the day, which helps you feel re-centered while also keeping inflammation, stress, and anxiety at bay.
#9 Prioritize Sleep
For decades sleep was eschewed, carelessly cast aside as something that was only required by the very young and very old.
Thankfully, the narrative on the importance of sleep has started to shift in recent years as more and more research is published enumerating the many benefits to be had from quality sleep and the scores of deleterious side effects accompanying sleep deprivation.
Quite simply, sleep deprivation is an extremely harsh stressor to the body that is known to:
- Impair energy metabolism
- Increase hunger
- Decrease satiety
- Impair cognitive function
- Hinder recover
- Hurt physical performance
- Reduce strength and power
- Decrease mental energy and feelings of well-being
Essentially, sleep deprivation reduces motivation to exercise, impairs recovery, and makes you hungrier -- all of which run counter to your weight loss goals.
So, one of the easiest things you can do to enhance your weight loss success is to get more quality sleep each night.
You’ll feel less stressed, have greater energy during your workouts (which helps burn more calories), and have better hunger/satiety signaling -- all of which support weight loss!
If you need help getting better quality sleep, try the following:
- Limit alcohol and caffeine intake 3-4 hours before bed
- Avoid blue light exposure 2+ hours before bed
- Avoid technological stressors (email, social media, news, texts, etc.) before bed
- Keep your room cool and dark
- Wear loose fitting clothes
- Read before bed (or listen to relaxing music)
- Do a “brain dump” where you write down anything on your mind
- LeWine, H. (2020, June 9). Distracted eating may add to weight gain. Harvard Health Blog.https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/distracted-eating-may-add-to-weight-gain-201303296037
- Robinson E, Aveyard P, Daley A, et al. Eating attentively: a systematic review and meta-analysis of the effect of food intake memory and awareness on eating. Am J Clin Nutr. 2013;97(4):728-742. doi:10.3945/ajcn.112.045245