Tuesday Tip – Hitting the Diet Wall

pants.jpgToday’s Tip is for all my friends in the Sisterhood of the Shrinking Pants! I know that we’ve all hit the Diet Wall, namely that weight that you can’t seem to break past no matter how hard you try.

It’s frustrating to be stuck there. Right now I’ve been stuck at this weight for about two months and although my pants are fitting a little loser and I’m feeling good, well . . . Frustrated.

I’m sure you’ve all had similar feelings and what we all ask ourselves is, “WHY?” What are you doing that’s resulted in the Diet Wall?

Well, it could be combination of lots of things and here’s some things for you to think about.

1. Are you eating enough? Yes, you read it right. Eating enough. In their haste to lose weight quickly, many people go on what are termed “starvation diets” where they severely restrict their calorie intake. So not good for a variety of reasons, including the damage to your health. In addition, going on such restricted diets sends a message to your brain that you are in a starvation mode and so your brain will slow your metabolism. So, make sure you’re eating a reasonable amount of calories and make those calories count by making them nutritious calories.

2. Are you doing the same ol’ same ol’ exercise routine? Imagine only eating cheese sandwiches every day for lunch (although I know someone who did this for nearly a decade). You’d get bored, right? Well, your body may be bored if you do the same exercise routine every day, not to mention that like any repetitive activity, you could be stressing out certain parts of your body. I had a recent experience where I developed some hip pain. I’d been religiously doing the elliptical trainer almost every day. How did I get the pain to stop? I started alternating between a stationary bike, walking on the treadmill and the elliptical trainer.

Also, maybe you’re exercising too much or including too many aerobic activities. Hubby got me a personal trainer for a few sessions to help with my getting healthier and the personal trainer suggested not doing more than 20 to 30 minutes of aerobics a day as anything more than that will actually slow down fat loss. His suggestion was to combine aerobics with weight training and that suggestion is one I’ve seen over and over again from various sources. The weight training helps build muscle and muscles are leaner and burn more calories. However, muscle weighs more which could mean that you won’t see a drop in weight, but you will be thinner and stronger.

3. Are you eating the right things? My friend Carole Carson, author of FROM FAT TO FIT, has often mentioned that the “right diet” is the diet that is right for you. I hear people talking all the time about “the lose the belly fat” diet or one where you only eat citrus for days. Yikes! Like everything else, moderation is the key and also, finding out what works best for you. Some people do well eating carbs and for people who are exercising a lot, carbs are an essential part of their diet to keep their bodies fueled. Other people do better with more protein in their diet. What’s right? Well, for starters, check with your doctor and discuss your medical needs with him before starting. Once you get started, listen to your body to determine what works best. I know that I’ve discovered that cutting back on carbs helps me lose weight and that’s one of the things I’ve been bad about — eating more carbs lately. So I’m going to try and watch that for the next week or so. If you do eat carbs, make them multi-grain carbs which are great for your body.

4. Treat yourself every now and then. Yep, you can treat yourself every now and then and that’s good. Why? You don’t feel so deprived and are therefore more inclined to stick to your new food lifestyle. What’s a good treat? For me, I’ve turned to those 100 calorie packs and dark chocolate. Why else is a treat good? A boost in calories may be what you need to get yourself going again. Even Bob mentioned that on The Biggest Loser recently.

5. Make sure you’re drinking enough water! This is a tough one for me since I hate plain old water. I’m a diet soda girl which isn’t all that good either, so I’ve cut back to two sodas a day. But seriously, water is essentially important, especially if you’re dieting. Why? Well, our bodies are an amazing collection of sensors and much like the brain knows when to slow the metabolism when you’re starving, your liver is the filter for all the toxins in your body and when they build up, it may slow down certain functions to avoid creating more toxins. How do you keep your liver working? Well, water is important for helping to flush the toxins from your system. Can you drink too much water? Yep, you can, so again, moderation is key.

So, I hope today’s Tuesday Tip gave you some things to think about based on my personal experience with many many years of battling the bulge. Be sure to check things out with your doctor or health professional. Make sure to stay safe and be reasonable! The idea of losing weight is to be healthier and being healthy is the most important thing to keep in mind.

Copyright 2008 Caridad Pineiro Scordato www.caridad.com