Tag: Healthy Weight Loss Tips

Hit a Weight Loss Plateau? Hit Back With These Five Tips

Hit a Weight Loss Plateau? Hit Back With These Five Tips

If your weight loss has stalled, take a look at my top five tips to help you avoid a weight loss plateau and achieve your weight-loss goal.

One of the more frustrating parts of losing weight is the inevitable weight loss plateau. Everything seems to be going along fine, and then all of a sudden––no matter what you do––you find that the scale just doesn’t budge. When you find that your weekly weight loss has stalled, you’ve hit a ‘weight loss plateau,’ and many dieters find the sudden lack of progress deeply frustrating. When you cut back on your calories, your body reacts as if there’s no more food coming its way. So, it does what it’s programmed to do: it hangs onto stored up calories by slowing down the rate at which you burn them. Your resting metabolic rate––the calories you burn every day just to keep your body functioning––goes down a little bit. The drop isn’t huge (10% at most), but it’s often enough to put your weight loss on hold. And suddenly you’re feeling stranded on the dreaded weight loss plateau.

Your resting metabolic rate is determined by your body size and accounts for most of the calories you burn each day. So, it makes sense that as your weight drops your metabolic rate goes down, too.

In order to keep losing weight at the same rate, you need to either cut your calorie intake further, or exercise more. Or, accept that your rate of weight loss will be slower as you approach your goal. Below are some tips to help get you started:

  1. Use a food diary to keep track of your calorie intake.

You may have been more careful when you started your diet, by weighing and measuring everything that passed your lips, but you might not be as accurate as you once were. Being more consistent with your journal can help get you off the weight loss plateau and back on track.

  1. Drink a protein shake.

Replace two meals a day with a protein shake to help you stay within your calorie limit. When you make your shake, you know exactly what goes into it and how many calories are in the protein powder, the milk and the fruit. That takes the guesswork out of calorie counting. Use the shake for two meals a day, have a healthy third meal, and fill in with snacks of low-fat protein foods, veggies and fruits.

  1. Dine out less often.

This one may be hard to do, but it can make a difference. No matter how careful you think you are when you go to a restaurant, it’s usually difficult to accurately estimate how many calories you’re eating. It’s often hard to tell exactly how foods are prepared––extra fats and calories are often lurking. If you’ve been eating out more often than usual, try to cut back for a couple weeks to see if it helps get your weight moving again.

  1. Increase your cardio and strength training.

As you build muscle, your resting metabolic rate goes up. If you’ve been working out for a while, you might also be in better shape. And that means that if you haven’t increased the intensity of your activity, you might not be burning as many calories as you used to. Add some new moves to your exercise routine, increase the intensity and pump some iron.

  1. Get your body composition checked.

Consider that you might actually have reached an appropriate weight. If you can, get your body composition checked. Muscle is denser and takes up less space than body fat. So, if you’re carrying more muscle than the average person, your body fat percentage might be well within the normal range, even though you might weigh more than you think you should. If that’s the case, then you may not have much, if any, additional weight to lose. For more tips visit AviationNutrition.com!

Healthy Weight Loss for Aviation professionals: 1,500 Calorie Diet With Sample Menus

Healthy Weight Loss for Aviation professionals: 1,500 Calorie Diet With Sample Menus

I always encourage my patients to tackle their weight issues with a one-two punch of diet and exercise, and a 1500 calorie diet plan reinforces this approach.  This type of plan allows for a reasonable amount of food, and it generally leads to a healthy rate of weight loss in most people. A 1500 calorie diet plan might be right for you if you’re a female who gets regular exercise but you’re still seeking weight loss. This also applies if you’re a male who’s only lightly active and seeks weight loss, or if you’re a male over the age of 50 who gets minimal activity. It should go without saying that regular exercise is important for your health and can also help you reach your weight loss goals.

A drop of no more than 2 pounds (1 kg) per week is considered a safe rate of weight loss. If you’re losing more quickly than that, move up to the next highest calorie level. If you’re losing more slowly than that, you can try the 1200 calorie diet plan, but you shouldn’t cut your intake to less than 1200 calories per day.

1500 calorie diet plan overview

This plan calls for three meals and two snacks each day. Here is the basic breakdown for the 1500 calorie diet plan:

Breakfast: 1 Protein + 1 Fruit (+ vegetables if desired)

Lunch: 1 Protein + 1 Vegetable + Leafy Greens + 1 Starch/Grain + 1 Beneficial Fat

Snack: 1 Protein Snack

Dinner: 1½  Proteins + 2 Vegetable + Leafy Greens + 2 Starch/Grain 1 Beneficial Fat

Snack: 1 Protein Snack

Daily Totals: 3½  Protein, 1 Fruit, 3 Vegetable + leafy greens, 3 Starch/Grain, 2 Protein Snacks,  2 Beneficial Fats

As long as you don’t exceed the daily totals for each food group, feel free to move your portions around. But try to keep the same general pattern of three meals and at least one snack. It’s not recommended that you skip meals and then “double up” at the next one. More evenly spaced meals will help keep your energy level up, and protein at each meal (and for the afternoon snack) will help to keep you from getting too hungry.

3-day menu for a 1500 calorie diet
DAY 1

Breakfast

• Protein Shake made with protein powder, nonfat or low fat milk and 1 cup berries

Lunch

Large salad made with:

• Leafy greens (lettuce, spinach) – any amount

• 1 cup (80g) chopped mixed vegetables (carrots, peppers, tomato)

• 4 ounces grilled chicken breast

• ½ cup (150g) cooked white beans

• 2 Tablespoons (30g) reduced-calorie salad dressing

Snack

• 1/3 cup prepared hummus

• raw vegetables sticks (cucumber, carrots, celery)

Dinner

• 6 ounces (200g) grilled salmon with lemon

• 2 cups (160g) steamed green beans with garlic

• 1 cup (150g) cooked brown rice

• Mixed leafy greens salad – any amount

• 2 Tablespoons (30g) reduced calorie salad dressing

Snack

• 1 single-serve (about 5 ounce/150g) Greek-style vanilla yogurt + ½ cup berries
DAY 2

Breakfast

Breakfast bowl:

• Fresh or frozen spinach, steamed or microwaved until hot

• Topped with 2 eggs, cooked any style, and tomato salsa

• 1 cup (80g) cut melon

Lunch

Veggie and Tofu stir-fry. Sauté veggies in oil, then add tofu and seasonings:

• 1 tablespoon oil to stir-fry

• 1 cup (80g) broccoli florets

• 2 cups chopped Chinese cabbage

• 3 ounces (about ¼ block or 125g) firm tofu, cut into cubes

• Season with soy sauce, garlic, pepper and ginger

• ½ cup (150g) steamed brown rice

Snack

• 1 Protein snack bar

Dinner

Grain salad with protein. Toss together:

• 6 ounces (200g) grilled shrimp

• ½ cup (150g) cooked quinoa

• 2 cups (160g) chopped mixed vegetables (tomatoes, peppers, carrots, cucumber, onion)

• Dressing made with 1Tablespoon olive oil and vinegar; salt and pepper to taste

• Place on a bed of leafy greens

Snack

• Decaf nonfat latte
DAY 3

Breakfast

• 1 cup (250g) plain nonfat Greek-style yogurt

• 1 cup diced mango

• Sprinkle with nutmeg

Lunch

Tuna pita pocket:

• 4 ounces (100g) tuna mixed with

• 1 Tablespoon low fat mayonnaise

• Chopped mixed veggies (i.e., green onion, cucumber, peppers)

• ½ whole grain pita bread

• Mixed leafy greens salad – any amount

• 1 Tablespoon reduced calorie salad dressing

Snack

• 2 ounces roasted turkey breast

• 2 whole grain (brown) rice cakes

Dinner

• 6 ounces (170g) grilled lean steak

• 2 cups (160g) roasted Brussels sprouts (halve, toss with olive oil, roast at 400 F / 205 C for 20 minutes)

• 1 Tablespoon  olive oil (for Brussels sprouts)

• Steamed kale, spinach or Swiss chard with vinegar

• 1 medium baked sweet potato sprinkled with ginger

Snack

• 1 ounce roasted soy nuts

Want more options? Customize your own 1,500 calorie diet plan with these additional tips.

Susan Bowerman, M.S., R.D., C.S.S.D., F.A.N.D. – Director, Worldwide Nutrition Education and Training at Herbalife. Susan is a Registered Dietitian and a Board-Certified Specialist in Sports Dietetics.

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