You have started your weight-loss journey and are putting in the daily efforts to reach your goals when one day your progress hits a wall. There are countless variables influencing your weight-loss journey. Below we will debunk some of the common myths about weight-loss plateaus and discuss some CBT strategies you can use to push through them!
“I just need to eat less and workout more.”
Your first impulse will probably be to look at your nutrition and workout plan and make immediate changes, but things are more complex than that. The myth of eating less to jumpstart your progress is debunked by the fact that your body is a complicated mechanism that uses what it needs and stores or rids itself of what it doesn’t.
Before drastically making cuts to your food or upping your workout plan, here at CBT we suggest completing an activity log for an entire week. This will give you a birds eye view of what is going on; so you can take an “outside perspective” and make calculated solutions that are obtainable and relevant to your situation.
“I’ve always been stressed/lacked sleep, why would it affect me now?”
Stress and lack of sleep can be silent killers to weight loss and weight maintenance. They also go hand in hand: The more stress you have, the harder it is to sleep, and the less sleep you get, the more stressed you will be. Elevated stress levels and a lack of sleep increase our body’s internal stress hormones, putting your metabolism into a “fight-or-flight” response that promotes greater fat storage to prepare for whatever “battle” is taking place in your life.
At CBT we focus on automatic thoughts that pop up daily. By learning to be aware of your thoughts, you will be better equipped to respond to them; decreasing stress levels. The 7 Question Tool and our Problem Solving PDF are two exercises our members use to help reduce stress. (These are available to you when taking the 4 Week Food and Fitness Course).
“Water or vitamin and mineral intake can’t be that helpful for weight loss.”
Much like stress and sleep, water, vitamin and mineral intake are often not given much thought until we hit a plateau. You can check if your body is getting what it needs by assessing the color of your urine. If your urine is a light or clear color, you are adequately hydrated. Any darker and you should consider ways to increase your fluid intake. Vitamin and mineral intake might be a little harder to assess, so chat with your coach to ensure you are covering all your bases.
By completing your daily schedule tracker, you can easily keep track of the amount of water you consume – which will help you see if you are hitting your required amounts.
“I haven’t changed anything in my routine.”
It can take up to 5 years to adopt a new behavior to the point of doing it without thinking! When you started your journey, a lot of new concepts were probably thrown your way. Take a look at the changes and behaviors you were working on the first few weeks of your journey. What, if anything, has changed? Were you weighing proteins on your food scale? Measuring your fat servings? Tracking your food intake or activity routines in your journal? The 4 Week Food & Fitness Connection Course can help you analyze past and present behaviours to identify which ones will carry you to a sustainable healthy lifestyle.
“Losing weight is the only time throughout my journey that I am succeeding.”
As frustrating as a plateau can be, it gives you the opportunity to reflect on all the positive behaviors and habits you’ve implemented and the progress you’ve sustained. As you might have concluded throughout this post, there are more factors to your weight-loss journey than just food and activity. CBT Meets Fitness approach weight management: Nutrition, Activity and Thoughts. We know it’s hard to sustain change by focusing on one alone.
Plateaus are common and can be worked through with a little perseverance and some reflection on the topics above. Keep in mind it might take a few weeks after trying something new to see results. Weight loss journeys are rarely a straight and narrow path, but there should be some comfort in taking the steps towards a healthier lifestyle with your CBT there to support you the entire way!
If you are ready to blow past your weight loss plateau – without the need to drastically cut food or go to the gym for hours on the treadmill; then the 4 Week Food and Fitness Connection Course is your answer! Start today, and build the necessary skills to get you through the Holiday Season; so you can be on your way to start 2020 with the best set of cognitive dieting skills that will last a lifetime!