You've started down the path of a weight loss journey and things were going great. Eating healthy and exercising was doing its thing. So why did it stop? There is still weight to lose and yet nothing seems to be happening. Why? Prevention may have the answer!
You may be supplementing your strength — and your weight loss gains — away. You'd think that by popping antioxidant supplements — specifically, vitamins C and E — you'd be protecting your body from the oxidative stress caused by exercise and priming it to hit the gym yet again the very next day. Smart, right? Uh, according to new research — not so much. In fact, a raft of recent studies has shown that the breakdown of your muscles that occurs during exercise is actually a good thing, because it promotes insulin sensitivity and weight loss. And that taking a large dose of antioxidants after a work could interfere with your body's natural, beneficial response to exercise. Weight loss stalled? Back away from the C and E, and see what happens.
You're skimping on zzzzz as well as calories. According to research conducted a few years ago by physicians at the University of Chicago General Clinical Resource Center, dieters who get less than 6 hours of sleep a night lose significantly less fat than those who get the gold standard 8. Plus, they feel hungrier. "If your goal is to lose fat, skipping sleep is like poking sticks in your bicycle wheels," said study director Plamen Penev, MD, PhD, assistant professor of medicine at the University of Chicago. "Cutting back on sleep — a behavior that's ubiquitous in modern society — appears to compromise efforts to lose fat through dieting. In our study, it reduced fat loss by 55 percent." Want to goose your fat loss? Skip The Daily Show and hit the hay.
>> How can you get better sleep at night? Read more here!
You're plodding along — literally. Not losing at the same rate you once were? You may need to step up your own rate. Studies have shown that high-intensity interval training — or, exercising at a high intensity for 30 seconds to several minutes followed by 1 to 5 minutes of recovery time (either no exercise or very low-intensity exercise) then repeating the cycle several times — produces more weight loss than plain, old, moderate-intensity aerobic exercise. Say you normally jog at a moderate pace for 30 minutes. Instead, warm up at an easy pace for 5 minutes. Then run at very high intensity for 1 minute and recover by running very easily for 4 minutes. Repeat five times. For more intense workout ideas, check out some Skinny Mom original workouts!
What else could be the reason for your weight loss plateau? Keep reading with the original story on Prevention.