Sunday, November 13, 2011

Breaking Weight Loss Plateau for Vegetarians by Laura Ng

"Hello everyone, I've been trying to lose weight for the past year now. While I've had some success (lost 40 pounds) I can't seem to lose the last 10 pounds to at least get below 200. It's been really disappointing to see my progress slow down so much to where it's just stopped. I go out for power walks everyday, I do some weight lifting, I try to eat low calories foods (although I hate vegetables). I don't want to count calories but this is really upsetting me." ~ Sherbie

Does it sound familiar to you? It's not a fictitious scenario, but a real situation faced by a vegetarian in Veggie Boards. In fact, this is just one of the many situations I've seen many overweight vegetarians face.

Sherbie eats mostly fruits, nuts, wholegrains and beans. The only time she ingest veggies is at dinner (but in minimal quantity). Her power walk (brisk walk) lasts for 20 minutes. Can you guess why she gets stuck at a weight loss plateau after successfully shedding 40 pounds?

Breaking Weight Loss Plateau with Eating

In general, when your calorie-in equals to your calorie-out, you lose nothing, you gain nothing. Sherbie is eating great with fruits, nuts, wholegrains and beans, but she ingests too little vegetable because she hates it.

If she increases her veggie intake in her vegetarian weight loss diet, she'll be able to break through the plateau easily. That's because vegetable requires your body to use more energy to break it down than the caloric content of the vegetable itself, thus achieving a calorie deficit.

Among her food choices, grains and nuts carry relatively high calories. For example, in 100 grams of almond, it scores as high as 610 calories, whereas a 100-gram raw carrot carries only 24 calories.

I hit weight loss plateau when I was losing weight as a vegetarian then. A friend told me to up my veggie intake (I didn't like veggies either) and my midsection just shrunk all by itself over 2 - 4 weeks and my pants apparently became less tight.

But that doesn't mean you should avoid eating nuts and grains in your vegetarian weight loss diet. All you do is raise your vegetable portion while reducing your nuts and grains portion to strike a balance.

How to get around with eating veggies when you simply don't like it?

Just blend them together with your fruits into smoothie in a 2:3 ratio (fruit to vegetable). This way you won't likely notice the presence of veggies but yet get to absorb the key nutrients from veggies and take your metabolism to the next level for more fat burning as a vegetarian.

But that's only one crucial piece of the vegetarian weight loss puzzle.

Breaking Weight Loss Plateau with Exercising

Next, Sherbie does power walk for 20 minutes and some weight lifting only. It's not about how long you spend in your gym or exercise regimen. It's about what you do that results in the best fat-burning response.

Instead of doing steady-state exercises like what Sherbie does, you should go with interval training. This will definitely make you burn more belly fat and melt your thighs' fat. You need only to perform that for 10 minutes and 3 times a week.

Here are some bodyweight workouts I highly recommend for interval training - mountain climbers, Spiderman climbs, side plank, stability ball jackknives, stability ball rollouts, lying hip extension, jumping jacks, cross-body mountain climbers, pushups (you should start with kneeling pushups before progressing to standard pushups).

There are in fact a few more ways to get around with your weight loss plateau, but for now, it should suffice in giving you another drop in 5 - 10 pounds in the next couple of weeks. Apply these 2 techniques now in your vegetarian weight loss. The results will astound you.