Intermittent fasting. I found recently that several days spent eating very little due to work stress-induced loss of appetite led to a five-pound weight drop.
Toughing it out through willpower would probably be more pleasant, though.
Depends on how long the plateau is. Usually, I just continue living my life and eventually I get past it. Some things that seem to help, though, are just doing something different, eat some different foods for dinner, eat one big meal at 4PM as a combo of both lunch and dinner and that's it, or even maybe eat some carbs for one meal, even though I usually don't. Go out for more exercise, or maybe just rest more. Sometimes, just doing something differently seems to really help kick the body out of a slump. Also, many swear by IF if you are really stuck. Or you can trying eating all meat for a while which is another classic techique. Sometimes just taking a vacation and having a ton of fun can really help me, as long as I continue to eat clean as I do so. I think the stress relief of enjoyment can sometimes help with weight loss as well. (helps get the cortisol down)
I hit a lot of different plateaus on my weight loss journey. I had to find new solutions each time. A few that worked for me...
(1) Cycle my calories. I generally did this with higher weekend calories, by 200/300 calories. I know calorie counting is kind of anti-Paleo, but if you really have a lot of weight to lose I think you need to at least keep an eye on this.
(2) Switch up my ratios. I learned that I did best with certain ratios for fat/protein/carbs with trial and error. I would try each new combination for at least 2 weeks to see if I saw a difference.
(3) Change my food. Sometimes we get into patterns with food and eat the same thing over and over. It always seemed like finding new good foods to eat pushed my body into paying attention again.
(4) Wear my heart rate monitor while working out to make sure I wasn't getting lazy. Just like with food, sometimes I would get into a rut and this would keep me focused and not just phoning in my workout.
The things that always works for me is to not get in a rut as far as how many calories I am eating in a day. Back before I discovered paleo and was counting calories I would intentionally vary it every day, looking only at the weekly average number of calories I was eating. I never had any serious plateaus that way.
Now that I am doing paleo and listening to my hunger signals rather than counting calories I find that my body will naturally follow this up and down pattern of calorie consumption. Looking at Fitday, my daily intake has varied between a low of around 1600 to a high of 2400, but the weekly average very consistently hovers around 1850. I've been losing weight quite steadily so far with no plateaus.
So, in summary, I would recommend that you simply listen to your hunger each day and don't get locked into trying to eat X number of calories each day. If you never deny your hunger and eat whatever number of calories your body wants, IMO, it sends a message to your body that food is plentiful and there's no need to slow down your metabolism to conserve your energy stores (i.e. fat). So, no plateaus.
I think the key to any plateau is that something has to change and that change must be consistently executed.
I hit a plateau, that I am only recently starting to overcome, while trying to gain weight. What worked was forcing myself to eat an extra 200-300 calories per day every day. Regularly, in other words (not to get too caught up in the idea of one 24hour period being overly important).
I think the key to any plateau, be it for weight gain or weight loss, is that something has to change and that change must be consistently executed. Sounds straight forward enough but I really believe that many people choose not to practice their change consistently, day in day out all the time. I think its difficult for the bulk of us to really hammer into our heads that whatever change we make to overcome the plateau has to stick, it has to actually be done. For long periods of time.
I think there is some relation here to what Guyenet talks about with his body setpoint. Without arguing whether he is totally right or not I’ll just put forth that I do think our bodies are designed for efficiency and survival and will indeed seek homeostasis all the time. If you stop forcing your body in one direction it will settle on its current situation as long as that situation is in some way sustainable.
If you're eating healthfully, don't stress about the plateau. However if you are going to stress about it, realize that your plateau may simply be a change in body composition. Just stick with eating healthfully.
That being said, re-evaluate what you're eating and double check your ingredients. Make sure nothing is sneaking in that should be.
Also, don't get into the rut of being comfortable with certain foods and eating the same thing. Change up your foods and remember, back in the "Paleo Day" foods were seasonal and therefore so were our diets.
Change your exercise. Your body responds best when it's kept guessing. I you do the same old exercise day after day, week after week, your body will adapt to it rather than respond and change.
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