I have recently been reading the new book by Timothy Ferris called ‘The 4-hour body’.
There was one section on diet and plateauing which I would like to use to help anyone who is struggling with their current diet.
Have you hit a certain weight but just can’t figure out how to kick start your body into losing some extra pounds?
Ferris suggests there are lots of common mistakes why people hit a plateau in their diet but the three, which stick out are;
Waking up and either skipping breakfast or eating on the way to work. Ferris suggests that you ideally need to wake up and eat within 30 minutes and 1 hour is the maximum time given
I would suggest that you prepare a high protein breakfast so you fill fuller for longer.
An example would be 2 poached eggs, a slice of salmon and Spinach.
Many studies show that people who skip breakfast are less likely to less weight then people who have breakfast.
The second common mistake is not eating enough Protein. Ferris suggests that you have at least 20g of protein with each meal. Like myself, he also believes that weight loss clients should focus on having a high protein meal for breakfast. ‘Eating at least 40% of your breakfast calories as protein will decrease carb impulses and promote a negative fat balance’ (Ferriss, T (2010). The 4-Hour body. london: vermilion. 96.)
The third most common mistake, which is probably the easiest to address, is water consumption. Increasing hydration will lead to a greater function in the liver, which will help weight loss. Keeping hydrated is essential for weight loss.
TIP= If you hate drinking water add natural flavoring such as; lemon or lime
The other common mistakes include; Not cooking own meals relaying on ‘healthy options’ in the shops, thinking you have gained weight during your menstrual cycle, choosing low fat products, opting for excessive amounts of cardio and neglecting resistance training and over eating the ‘so called right foods’.
Low Fat Products
You have to be aware of some of the healthy food labels. Most low fat foods/ sugar free foods are filled with fructose and aspartame. Both ingredients will lead to weight gain; it will also affect your insulin level and metabolism. Try experimenting with herbs, spices, cinnamon and vanilla. Avoid the syrups.
Most nutritionist tell their clients to eat certain snacks because there are low in calories, however many clients over indulging in particular snacks. Hummus, chickpeas and nuts are great snacks but portion control is essential.
The dreaded time of the month has an affect on the body emotionally and physically. Just before the period, women are inclined to retain additional water then normal. This is a common mistake that dieter don’t take into consideration when they jump onto the weighing scales. The menstrual cycle can have an effect on the body up to 10 days before the cycle starts. Don’t get disheartened if this happens to you.
Opting for excessive amounts of cardio and neglecting resistance training.
Many clients make the common mistake of spending hours on the cross-trainer, bike or running machine and they completely neglect resistance training. Women in particular worry that weights will make them gain weigh this is a complete myth. Resistance training will help increase fat metabolism you will burn more fat by lifting weights then ponding the treadmills. A combination of resistance training and cardio training is the way forward to conquer weight loss.
Reference: Ferriss, T (2010). The 4-Hour body. london: vermilion. 95-100.