When you're motivated and striving to achieve your health goals, nothing can be more frustrating than plateauing. Your metabolism’s job is to keep you “stable.” This is one reason why the last ten pounds can be so stubborn.
One of the most common phrases we hear is, “shouldn’t I be losing faster” or “Shouldn't I be seeing this result or that result.” The reality is that the concept of what “should” or “shouldn’t” happen is based on the misconception that all metabolic rates are equal.
They are not.
The key to weight loss is reviewing your habits, and more so analytics, and building the best possible strategy based on however your body is responding today.
It’s easy to get hyper-focused on day-to-day weight but what we are actually looking for are trends over time. As you transform into a more athletic version of yourself (and yes that’s the goal even if you don’t consider yourself an athlete), there are four things you should be watching for:
Energy and Performance Your energy may not be quite as high while on a fat-burning cycle as it might be when you are consuming more food, however, if energy is too low your metabolic rate will follow and you won’t have the energy for exercise. This is the first analytic to watch. If you think this pattern is developing, consider adding extra snacks between your meals to fuel your exercise.
Body Composition If you have access to a professional method of tracking your body fat, it’s a great tool. Many body types respond with a dramatic shift in body composition. This can happen independently from what’s seen on the scale – especially with consistent exercise. Try logging your composition by taking updated photos, monitoring how your clothes fit, tracking body fat percentage, and/or simply using the mirror.
Weight The number on the scale is not always your first indicator of progress or problems. That being said, at MetPro, we look at trends in your weight to determine when it’s time to adjust cycles. Within each cycle, MetPro will make smaller tweaks and adjustments to your meal plan based on how you’re responding.
Now that you know what trends to look for, ask yourself if you’ve noticed improved body composition, looser fitting clothes, or weight loss (even if gradual) in the last 30 days?
If so, you’re on the right track. If not, you may need to make some adjustments.
Here are a few tips if you’re looking for a good place to start:
Is there room to decrease sugar or alcohol in your diet?
Can you replace some starches with protein and veggies during the back half of your day?
Can you eat more often without increasing calories (i.e small snacks)?
Are there hidden sources of fat or sugar you might not be noticing from sauces, dressings, and beverages?
Are you able to prepare and pack healthy snacks in advance?
At MetPro our experts use baseline testing to assign meal plans that measure metabolic response, but food journaling is a great place to start to learn where your calories, carbs, and nutrients are coming from. Tracking trends along with your macronutrients can help you identify new strategies or opportunities where you may have the most leverage toward achieving your weight loss goals.