May 9, 2020
Breaking Through a Weight Loss Plateau
Bonnie Wilhelm, Exercise Physiologist, ACE Health Coach

Do you feel like you have been on your weight loss journey and have been doing everything right, but it seems like you are not making progress. With weight loss, most people think it is all about calories in and calories out. However, there are many factors that could be preventing you from losing weight. Below are four considerations that could be the key to achieving weight loss success:  

Set A Proper Weight Loss Plan: Let go of following along with any fad diet trends. These can be very restrictive and cause stress if you are not making progress. Instead, try to adapt to a healthy eating plan. Create your own journey of exercise and physical activity that can be viewed as a lifestyle change.  Once you develop your own plan, remember to give yourself time. This could take four to six weeks of consistency before seeing results.

Understand How Stress Can Affect Weight: Hormones can affect weight loss or weight gain. Cortisol, a hormone released when our flight or fight response is activated, can alter our immune system, suppress digestion, and increase cravings for “comfort foods” high in salt, fat, or sugar. As our body tries to combat stress, it may not be able to switch gears and focus on fat burning.

Bring Mindfulness And Self Compassion To Your Eating Plan: Because stress can affect weight gain, it is important to get in touch with your hunger cues. As you set out with your new eating plan, bring awareness to your hunger. Are you experiencing physical hunger, or a craving triggered by stress, boredom, or exhaustion?  Whatever you observe about your own feelings and behaviors, be kind to yourself. Remember to celebrate victories and focus on what you have accomplished. Slow down when you eat and truly enjoy the food with each meal.   

Sleep Can Affect Weight Gain: Changes in hormone levels can increase hunger. If you are staying up late finishing a project or even watching TV, this may be leading to late-night snacking and an overconsumption of calories.  Developing good sleep practices and managing food intake with an exercise schedule can help combat this.

Looking to increase steps and self-care to help with weight loss or other health goals? Check out the Spring YP4H Walking Challenge starting on May 4. A corresponding group health coaching webinar series, See Where Self-Care Can Take You begins on May 8 at 12:30 p.m. Join the health coaching team in this six-week series to learn about self-care strategies across a variety of wellness dimensions.