Weight Loss Plateau: 5 Questions You Need to Answer, Part 4

If you're frustrated by a weight loss plateau you're not alone and it is more common than you think - especially among women.  As you age, your body has a sneaky way of holding onto fat and preserving it at all costs.  Losing 10 pounds gets more challenging especially if you're close to your target weight or want to more weight loss.  I know folks that are trying to lose those last 10 pounds for the last five years! No, they're not slackers - they work hard and the the weight isn't coming off.  If you've felt this same frustration, I understand completely and I want you to hear this loudly - Don't give up!  In my last two questions, I'll discuss some surprising facts that may be slowing things down for you.  Here goes: Question #4 Do you notice changes in your eating around your cycle?

If you feel like you eat a lot more leading up to your cycle you're probably right.  Cravings are normal but pre-period cravings can be intense!  Sweets such as cookies, chocolate treats, and regular lattes will not only add more sugar than we need but it will add (unwanted) calories to your daily intake.  Maybe sugar isn't your craving trigger - it might be salty foods or something else. Whatever the trigger, eating a lot of extra foods can cost you weight-wise.  If your periods are regular, watch your patterns of eating and jot down the cravings that get you off track.  Have a healthier alternative snack at arms length throughout this critical zone time.  Some healthy snacks include soups like vegetable and lentil soup.  Add a serving of crunchy vegetables like carrots and bell peppers and you're all set!

Question #5 Do you workout as hard as you used to?

Uh-oh, I may be getting a bit personal here but I have to ask the questions.  Of course, you're exercising hard; you may even do an hour on the treadmill.  Working out hard in your 40s looks a lot different than in your 20s.  The first reason is that in your 40s you start to slow down a bit.  It's easy to over-state your activity.  Sure you walk a lot during the day and move about the house doing light chores. However, this hard work isn't so hard for your body anymore.  In fact, your active lifestyle has become pretty common for a skilled metabolic machine (aka your body).  In order to make some serious body composition changes you have to work harder and more frequently for it to count.  If you exercise 2-3 times a week that's great but you'll have to add another 2-3 sessions of workout days in order to see a difference.

Once you add some days, you'll have to increase your intensity.  Aim for 1-2 days of kick-butt workouts such as boot camp, high intensity interval training, or martial arts.  On the alternate days add strength training and low to moderate cardio such as walking, swimming, or dancing (ballroom not Zumba!)  Once you answer these questions keep track of your progress and refer back to your answers often.  As we age, we have the blessed ability to be more in tune with our bodies and discover what works for us. Once you break-through your plateau share your success story here to encourage others.  I can't wait to hear your break-through stories!