I wanted to ask about how to lose and maintain weight. I have a pear shaped body. I have been working for the past 3 months to reduce some weight before I get pregnant.I did lose a few pounds in the first few weeks but now no change. Please help me.
Hi Nisha, Thanks for writing. It is a smart idea to lose any excess weight prior to getting pregnant; it can help you have a healthier pregnancy and baby. What you experienced, stalling weight loss after a few weeks, is very common. It takes a lot of patience and persistence, but rest assured you can do it. Here are a few tips to bust through a plateau:
- Log all your food and drink intake for 3-5 days. This can help you become more aware of where your calories come from. Pay attention to how many packaged or processed foods you eat, and try to swap them for fresh fruit and vegetables, which are less calorie-dense.
- Increase your physical activity. If you don’t exercise, start. If you do already exercise, add some resistance training or interval training to increase the intensity and resulting calorie burn.
- Get out the measuring cups and spoons and check up on how well you estimate portion sizes -perhaps what you think is one cup of Cheerios is more like 2 cups….which can decrease the accuracy of your calorie estimates.
- Reduce the amount of starchy carbohydrates and sugars you eat. Aim to get most of your carbohydrates from low-glycemic sources like vegetables, fruit, milk and legumes. When you do eat grains, choose whole grains for added fiber and nutrition.
- Eat off of smaller plates at home, it can help fool your eyes- an make moderate portions look more satisfying. Using a large plate can tempt you to pile on more food than you need.
- Turn down your eating pace, and turn up the lights. People who eat faster, and those who dine in low-light environments tend to eat more. So do the opposite; enjoy your meals at a slower pace, and make sure your eating space is well lit, which can help you subconsciously be more aware of your intake.
- Don’t drink your calories. With the exception of low fat or skim milk, most calorie-containing beverages supply sugar and little else for your body. Worse yet, the calories in liquids seem to slip “under the radar” and don’t decrease your appetite at all.
- Frontload your calories if you tend to overeat at night. It’s an easy trap to fall into: having a small “diet” breakfast and lunch, only to let a ravenous appetite undo all that hard work by overeating at night. You can’t fight mother nature, and your body’s drive for food is a strong one! A better tactic is to keep your appetite satisfied throughout the day, which will give you a better chance to avoid unneeded calories at night. My clients have told me that my suggestion to add 100 calories each to breakfast and lunch “seemed crazy at first”, but helped them lose weight because they stopped their 500 calories splurges each evening!
Georgie Fear RD