There’s an annoying little thing that sometimes happens to people after their first few months of being on a committed healthy eating plan.
The first 2 weeks will usually bring on the most results. People will report losing anywhere between 5-10 pounds during the first 2 weeks on the Beyond Diet plan. As you can imagine, they are absolutely thrilled and excited to keep going.
For most, weight loss does continue, but it begins to happen at a much slower pace. It is usually then about 1-2 pounds per week, which is known to be a healthy and great way to drop unwanted fat off your body.
But sometimes, people begin to plateau. It can happen to anyone.
What is a Weight Loss Plateau?
A weight loss plateau is when your weight loss suddenly comes to a halt and your body stops dropping weight. It can happen for days or weeks to anyone on a healthy weight loss plan. Even if you're following the plan to a T, it can happen. You can lose a good amount of weight initially, but now, whether it be 2 weeks, 3 weeks or a month later, the scale doesn’t seem to want to move at all? That can be incredibly frustrating and discouraging to say the least.
A frustrating as it does sound, it's not permanent, and you can still make that last stride to reach your health and weight loss goals.
Today I will share with you the number 1 thing I tell people to do when I see that they’ve hit this pesky plateau.
Hormonal reset is the process by which you reset your fat loss hormones inside your body.
At first glance, this may sound like some complicated medical process you have to go through, but actually it’s quite simple, if you do what I’m sharing with you today.
Cortisol – what is it and what is it doing to you?
Cortisol is a steroid hormone produced in your adrenal glands. It is released upon waking up in the morning, exercising, and acute stressful events. Kind of an interesting group of events if you think about it,
“So it helps me get out of bed in the morning, hit the gym, AND respond to the lions in my backyard?”
Yes, that’s exactly it. When your body needs to get to work (per se), cortisol comes to help.
Sounds like a good thing right? So what’s the problem?
The problem with our current state is that instead of using cortisol as we should be throughout the day, in a cyclical way (high cortisol in the morning and during the day) and tapering off at night, we are in a state of high cortisol release all day long. Not good!
Our bodies were designed for the short bursts of cortisol release, not the constant cortisol release stressed out people experience all day long.
Our bodies are just not adapted for the chronic stress so many people experience in their everyday lives.
The side effects of this chronic stress is (to just name a few)…
• Increased fat storage (specifically around the abdominal area)
• Decreased immune system
• Difficulty losing weight
As much as we all know that consistent stress is bad, I completely understand your situation…
“Isabel, I have small children, and there is just so much to do each day.”
“Isabel, I have a high stress job and I have demands being thrown at me all day.”
“Isabel, my financial worries have me so stressed out.”
Although my life is completely different than yours and my stresses may be different than yours, over the course of helping thousands of people I have learned there is really only one thing we can do about stress…
Control what you can control and the rest will be easier to deal with.
What does this mean?
There are many factors you and I can control so that stress doesn’t have such a negative impact on our bodies. The list of things we CAN control is actually much longer than the things we CAN’T control, but unfortunately many of us are focusing on the ones we CAN’T control much more often.
Imagine inside your body there is a medium sized bucket that holds all of the stress your body can handle. I want you to give that bucket a color and size. Let’s say it’s RED and about the size of a typical bucket you would buy a small child for the beach. Don’t make your bucket too small and definitely don’t make it too big.
This red bucket is your STRESS bucket. There are only so many items it can hold and if you start to get close to filling it to the top, you must take something out in order to make space for the new thing you’re about to put in.
When you allow your STRESS bucket to overflow with “stuff” every day that’s when you begin to experience some of the negative symptoms I described above.
So what exactly goes into your stress bucket?
• Exercising too much
• Dieting with very low calorie restrictions
• Continuous high stress environments (workplace or issues at home)
• Too many responsibilities (more than you feel like you can reasonably do)
• Not sleeping a minimum of 7 hours per night (and I said a minimum)
As you look at this list you can see how your stress bucket will fill up FAST. How full is your stress bucket right now?
As you look at the items in your bucket, you may be asking yourself, “How do I change these things?”
Remember what we said above, Control what you can control and the rest will be easier to deal with.
Below are what I have found to be the easiest and fastest ways to decrease cortisol levels without re-arranging your entire life. Start with these small steps and you may immediately break through any weight loss plateau you are experiencing…
- Decrease inflammatory foods: By following the meal plans and recipes in Beyond Diet you have already crossed this one off the list. The entire Beyond Diet program is chock full of anti-inflammatory foods and naturally healing foods. Foods like coconut oil, green veggies, berries, walnuts, salmon and avocados have all been found to lower the inflammation present in your body. When you take this first step you’re already lessening the amount of stress you’re putting on your body each day.
- Ditch the low calorie dieting: Here is another way many people (especially women) put their bodies under extreme stress…by not eating enough. Again, you have the solution to this right in front of you. The Beyond Diet meal plans ensure that you are eating just the right amount of food every day, in the right ratios and amounts.
- Decrease strenuous exercise for 6 weeks: Although I am a huge fan and proponent of heart pounding exercise, you may need a short break from it to stop this constant cortisol release. I find that many people, women especially, can be resistant when I make this suggestion, but after 6 weeks of no longer pounding hard on their bodies and incorporating a different form of exercise, they see incredible weight loss results. Why does this happen? Because they removed something out of their stress bucket and their cortisol levels were able to normalize themselves.
Want more tips on beating the plateau? On September 22nd join me, Isabel De Los Rios, nutritionist and creator of Beyond Diet, for a FREE, live workshop that will help you pinpoint the cause of stubborn fat and teach you how to escape a weight loss plateau, permanently, in just 30 days. Sign up today!