For the vast majority of people, transitioning to the Paleo diet will often see dramatic improvements in their personal battle with weight loss. However, on some occasions, you may hit a plateau with your weight loss and find yourself struggling to reach your desired weight.
Before I go any further, I must stress that it vitally important not to worry about that number on the scales. If you’re looking and feeling your best, then ignore what the scales are telling you. Chances are, if you’re eating right and training well, you may well have added a little weight in the form of muscle mass.
If, however, you still have that last bit of body fat that you want to lose in order to look, feel, and perform at your optimum level; then you may wish to consider the following ‘tweaks’:
Watch your carb intake
Whilst it is a lot harder to take in excess carbohydrate on the Paleo diet, (largely due to the removal of grains and processed foods) it is still possible – and especially so if you’re not active. You may want to look at bringing your carb intake down to see how this helps you with your weight loss goals. Try cutting back on starchy vegetables like yams, hard squash, parsnips and beets, and replacing them with dark leafy greens like spinach, kale and broccoli. It may be worthwhile limiting your fruit intake as well to one portion per day. If you do eat fruit, berries are a very good choice. Otherwise, snack on hardboiled eggs, jerky, nuts and coconut to see you through between meals.
It’s important to tailor your carbohydrate intake to your activity level. If you’re relatively sedentary, then roughly 50g of carbs per day from vegetables is more than adequate. If you’re training more (and especially if you partake in high intensity exercise like Crossfit), you’ll be looking at probably double that. Time your carb intake as well – straight after a heavy workout to replace glycogen stores, and in the evening to increase melatonin and ensure a healthy sleep.
Try Intermittent Fasting
Proven to break through even the most stubborn weight loss plateau, I can’t recommend Intermittent Fasting enough for fat loss and general appetite control. Try exercising when fasted, so your body turns straight to the fat stores for energy.
Sometimes, conventional wisdom does get it right. If you’re not seeing the fat loss results you’re after, it could be a case of not exercising enough. Just make sure it’s the right kind of exercise and you’re not slipping into chronic cardio territory. HIIT Training, sprints and Crossfit are excellent fat busters.
When you’re deprived of sleep, your body releases the stress hormone cortisol, which has been proven to increase fat storage. And, in case you needed any more reason to get a solid 8 hours sleep every night, the biggest spike in growth hormone occurs during sleep – which in turn, burns fat. Try sleeping more, and sleeping better too.
As with sleep, if you’re stressed, your body will be releasing cortisol. Try meditating, exercising more, or increasing your sunlight exposure to help you manage your stress levels.
These are just a few ideas to help you break through your fat loss plateau. Do you have any other tips for fellow readers?