Weight Management Support: When Weight Loss Levels Off

Weight Management Support: When Weight Loss Levels Off

Perhaps your weight loss has leveled off, even with your continued efforts. While this can be frustrating, you can continue to lose weight with some additional information and techniques. 

Talk with your coach about these suggestions. You can ask questions like:

  • What are the recommended portion sizes?

  • What are some healthy meals and recipes?

  • Which are the best sources of high-fiber foods?

  • How much protein should I have every day?

Eat Early And Don’t Get Too Hungry

Eating in the morning can help to boost your metabolism. Do your best not to skip breakfast. 

Make sure you don’t get too hungry between meals. When this happens, you are more likely to make unhealthy food choices and eat more than usual.

Plan Healthy Meals 

Planning ahead helps you to eat healthy (instead of grabbing something that is quick and may not be a good choice). Nutrient-dense meals don’t have to be complicated, so plan ahead and keep it simple.

Stock your freezer and pantry with healthy, quick-cooking essentials. 

  • Canned foods like fish (tuna, salmon, or sardines) and beans because they’re shelf-stable and excellent sources of nutrients like protein. 

  • Frozen vegetables without any sauce are just as nutritious as fresh (e.g. broccoli, spinach, or cauliflower rice)

  • Frozen fruit without added sugar like blueberries or strawberries

  • Nuts and seeds like sunflower seeds, flax seeds, chia seeds, almonds, and walnuts

  • Canned legumes with no added salt like chickpeas, black beans, or kidney beans

  • Fresh organic, grass-fed meat or poultry, which you can freeze for several months

  • Healthy oils and fats like olive oil, olives, avocado, or tahini

Breakfast

A great breakfast option includes healthy fats, protein, and fiber.  Below are some breakfast choices that are nutrient-dense, balanced, and satisfying.

  • Greek yogurt with blueberries and a dash of cinnamon

  • Chia pudding with unsweetened peanut butter and strawberries

  • Avocado toast with a hard-boiled egg

  • Spinach and mushroom omelet

Lunch Or Dinner

Some suggestions include:

  • Mixed greens salad with chickpeas and quinoa and lemon and olive oil dressing

  • Kale salad with goat cheese and grilled shrimp, topped with lemon juice

  • Turkey or vegetable chili

  • Grilled salmon with broccoli and wild rice

  • Roasted chicken with Brussels sprouts and green beans

  • Grilled chicken with basil, artichoke hearts, and zucchini noodles

  • Turkey meatballs on a bed of lentil or chickpea pasta

Limit Refined Carbohydrates and Processed Foods  

These offer little to no nutritional value and often lead to cravings. Some food examples include pastries, donuts, pancakes, breads, pizzas, pastas, and bagels. 

High GI

Be mindful of foods with high glycemic indices. Processed foods and refined carbohydrates have a high GI.

Low GI

Legumes, vegetables, and whole grains are low-GI foods.

  • Legumes: chickpeas, kidney and black beans, and soybeans

  • Vegetables: tomatoes, leafy greens (such as kale, collards, and spinach), green beans, carrots, onions, and cucumbers

  • Unprocessed, whole grains: quinoa, brown and wild rice, oats, barley, and buckwheat

Have Protein At Each Meal 

Protein helps you to feel full. Have healthy protein at every meal. For example:

  • Lean meats, such as chicken or turkey

  • Seafood, like salmon or tuna

  • Black, red, and kidney beans

  • Eggs or minimally processed dairy products (e.g. Greek yogurt or cottage cheese)

  • Unsalted nuts and seeds

Include Fiber

Fiber helps to support weight loss by reducing hunger and balancing blood sugar. It also helps keep bowel movements regular. Sources of fiber include:

  • Fruits: berries, pears, or apples

  • Vegetables: broccoli, artichoke, sweet potatoes, winter squash, and pumpkin

  • Unsalted nuts and seeds

  • Whole-grain foods

  • Green, black, or kidney beans; lentils; and peas

Eat Fruits And Vegetables

Fruits and vegetables are full of nutrients, while low in fat and calories. Include:

  • Low-sugar fruits: apples, avocado, berries, cantaloupe, honeydew, peaches, pears, watermelon

  • Vegetables: asparagus, avocado, broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, celery, cucumbers, green beans, green peppers, leafy greens (kale, collards, arugula, spinach, Swiss chard), mushrooms, tomatoes

Add Probiotic-rich Foods

Probiotics help maintain the balance between good and bad bacteria in your gastrointestinal (GI) tract. Research suggests that GI tract or "gut" health may be a factor in achieving weight loss. 

Foods high in probiotics include cultured yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut (fermented cabbage), tempeh, kimchi, miso, kombucha (fermented tea), and pickles.

Pay Attention to Fats 

Your body needs healthy fats, even if you’re trying to lose weight. 

You should include foods with monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats such as fish (e.g. salmon, tuna, herring, mackerel, etc), avocados, walnuts, flaxseed, and chia seeds.

Stay away from refined vegetable and seed oils (e.g. safflower oil, sunflower oil, corn oil, soybean oil, palm oil) and trans fats - in margarine and store-bought foods (e.g. frozen foods, crackers, baked goods, etc.). Read the labels!

Manage Stress 

Chronic stress is associated with weight gain for many reasons, including its effect on hormone levels and metabolism.

Manage stress in healthy ways. Consider mind/body approaches to stress such as deep breathing, yoga, mindfulness, and meditation.

Make Sure You Exercise 

Get moving! Even a walk or some light stretching can help to promote digestion, as well as improve relaxation. 

Exercise helps you to build muscles, lose fat, and improve your overall metabolism.  And, it decreases stress and improves mood.

Get Adequate Sleep and Hydration

Sleep

Getting enough sleep helps to regulate stress and metabolism, as well as promote healthy digestion - all of which can help with weight loss. 

Poor sleep can cause:

Hydration

Make sure you have enough water or other unsweetened beverages throughout the day. Staying adequately hydrated is a significant factor in overall good health. And, it helps with digestion, as well as with metabolism

For More Information

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2020). Improving Your Eating Habits. Retrieved 5-20-2022 from https://www.cdc.gov/healthyweight/losing_weight/eating_habits.html.

National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (2021). Food Portions: Choosing Just Enough for You. Retrieved 5-20-2022 from https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/weight-management/just-enough-food-portions

U.S. Department of Agriculture.  MyPlate Kitchen. Retrieved 5-20-2022 from  https://www.myplate.gov/myplate-kitchen.