What to do when weight loss plateaus!
A Holistic Solution.
What can you do when weight loss plateaus? We have good news for you. There is a lot you can do to overcome it!
Today we will look at what can be done by viewing this from a holistic perspective and hopefully give you a completely new outlook. The goal of this handbook, is to get you from where you are now, over the plateau, to where you want to be. Right away, we want to make it clear that if you are looking for a quick fix or “one size fits all solution”, that’s not what you are going to find here. Instead, we will give you a more all-encompassing and long-term approach that is guaranteed to deliver exactly what you are looking for.
We will combine this with practical action steps for you to start moving forward across this weight loss plateau right away. The action steps will also make it possible for us to guide you personally to the specific area or areas you need to focus on. More on this later on! By deciding to take a long-term approach, you allow yourself to create a holistic lifestyle that is the real solution for you when your weight loss suddenly stops.
Living an overall lifestyle that supports your health, happiness, and well-being will have innumerable positive effects on your body. You can look at your lifestyle as an umbrella term for the four pillars of health.
These four pillars are
- Emotional Intelligence.
We cover the Four Pillars of Health extensively here at living with The Spirit. By following the action-steps in this handbook, we will point you towards the right ones for you. No need for you to guess! We like this approach as it provides a more constructive perspective that takes into consideration the balance of all the different parts of our lives. Your weight loss plateau likely has to do with an imbalance in the relationship between these four pillars. We have seen from working with our clients that the plateau is almost always hiding somewhere in between the four pillars of health.
This can also be seen as that your challenge with losing weight has to do more with lifestyle, rather than one magical solution. This is a huge shift in belief systems! We too easily get obsessed with one or two big areas. When what we truly need is to pay attention to the balance between many small areas. When you realize you are facing a weight loss plateau, the best thing you can do is to take a step back and identify the plateau itself.
So from this perspective, a weight loss plateau has some hidden benefits. The greatest value of a weight loss plateau is that it encourages you to take a look at your current lifestyle. If you can look at a weight loss plateau from the point of view that you need to “tidy up” or “level up” your lifestyle then you are already beginning to see the real solution. Once this perspective becomes clear, the road ahead is clear and straightforward!
This simple shift in outlook and mindset is the first step and the foundation of a holistic approach to weight loss. Without this shift in beliefs, you might just be stuck for good! We all choose what to believe, and when you choose to focus on your lifestyle, you are instantly unstuck. And then it is time to start moving forward!
As we move along in this article series we will explore many of the tools and practices to overcome your weight loss plateau. Our goal is for you to move forward towards an ascending and radiant 2021!
But first, we want you to take the first two action steps right away!
The first Action step is to watch one video that gives you additional information about this handbook and how to overcome your plateau successfully. Go ahead and watch it and you will know how to proceed from there!
The second action step is filling in the form, either you just share with us your weight loss journey or you take the full step and apply to join the test group for Sara’s upcoming Holistic Weight Loss Program. Filling in the form allows for us to give you direct feedback and guide you on what part of your lifestyle and the Four Pillars of Health that we believe are the most important for you. This is our way to tailor design your weight loss strategy for you. We will email you back as soon as possible after you have completed the form.
There is also a third Bonus action step if you feel like you could use some additional personal guidance and support to get started. If you feel like you are struggling, invite you to a free consultation directly with us so that we can give you practical advice and guidance on how you can best move forward. Don’t be afraid to reach out! 🙂
Part 2 – Belief Systems and weight loss plateaus!
Before we have a look at the solution to overcoming a weight loss plateau we want to look at what the most widespread perspectives on it are today. We do this because we must become aware of the most common belief systems around losing weight. If we are stuck in a certain belief system, we effectively block any real solutions outside of it.
This is essential, and almost always overlooked part of weight loss. Our current belief systems surrounding it. As we mentioned in part one, there is no magical solution, what we need is an all-encompassing holistic approach to a lifestyle issue. One of the most common belief systems is that calorie restriction is the way to lose weight. Eat less, weigh less! This is a perfect example of a quick fix easy to understand solution. This belief system says it all comes down to calories in and calories out.
This might work for many, or for a short period of time, but far from everyone. There are much better and sustainable ways to overcome a weight loss plateau and keep the weight off long term. It is very likely that you at one point in your life believed in this and have since then moved on to take more things into consideration.
This common belief system overlooks many important factors that are relevant when weight loss plateaus. It doesn’t take into account the nutritional value of what you eat, how fresh the produce is, and if it is easy for your body to digest it. Meaning that calories that come from a nutritious and living raw food and plant-based diet, that is easy to digest, is way better than processed foods that are hard to digest and empty of nutrition. (And this is only one single example we mentioned here)
This one example shows us that we need to broaden our horizons and look at the nutritional quality of what we eat and our body’s ability to digest what we eat & drink. An easy action step that we cover in our WorkBook on Nutrition is that If your weight loss plateaus, that you go on a detox and start to heal your body from the inside, and at the same time lose sustainably lose weight.
Another point that is good to become aware of is that in the beginning, it is easy to lose weight when you restrict calories. This is because the body is used to and expecting a certain amount of calories to and is accustomed to this intake. When the intake of calories is reduced the body keeps up digesting and burning at the same pace as before, assuming you are as physically active as usual.
But after a few weeks the body is going to wake up to this and say:
Hang on a minute! I’m not getting the same amount of calories as before. Let’s shut down some unnecessary bodily functions and focus only on the most essential for survival. When this happens the number of calories burnt or used up by the body goes down. It adjusts to the lower calorie intake. The body is really smart! So instead of restricting calories, we need to take a wider perspective at the many factors that affect weight loss, which is more related to overall lifestyle balance.
Another common misconception about when weight loss plateaus is that we need to work out harder. Many people have the experience of starting a new workout routine and see positive results. Only to have it suddenly stop. A common belief system around this is that simply working more or harder is the obvious way forward.
But this is not necessarily the case. There is a great saying that goes, “More is not better. Better is better”. And this highlights the same kind of dynamic as with restricting calories. Your body will learn to adapt to anything you do, including training or exercise. This means that instead of doing more of what you previously been doing it is better to surprise the body by doing something new. It doesn’t mean that you have to give up what was previously successful. Instead, you balance it out with something else.
For example; if you were doing only yoga before, strength training is a great compliment and vice versa. If you are a regular swimmer, try running for a few weeks and see how that affects you. It all comes down to moving and activating the body in new or unused movement patterns or alternating resistance and repetitions for example.
Holistic Lifestyle Design
When you take new outlooks on the common examples above you can see why we advocate focusing on living a balanced holistic lifestyle. A type of higher quality lifestyle that you can design yourself. Where you start this design depends on what specific areas you need to focus on.
The way we work with our clients at our center is to first and foremost establish or restore the foundations of Nutrition, Movement, Restoration, and Emotional Intelligence. From there we tailor a lifestyle program that will deliver the balance and stability needed to overcome the plateau. This is why our recommendation when your weight loss suddenly plateaus is to take a step back and look at the foundations. And we also want you to identify what common belief systems you have around weight loss. The good news is that all of this is included in the Holistic Health approach we use.
But it might not be so easy to know how to identify exactly what you need to work on and what your belief systems are. So now we want you to take action by watching the Weight Loss – Foundations and Belief Systems video below.
Part 3 – Mindset
We hope you are liking the handbook so far!
So get active and let’s keep moving forward past this weight loss plateau!
It’s time to move into some more subtle aspects of weight loss that are great to be aware of. These perhaps unconventional aspects are incredibly useful and can be the difference between being stuck for months at a certain weight or reaching a new sense of well being and harmoniously losing weight. Let’s look at some different examples of these power tools and techniques that you can start using right away and empower yourself on your holistic health journey!
The Hidden Issues of Mindset, Appetite, and Stress
When weight loss plateaus there are three things we like our clients to become aware of right off the bat. Those three things are
- Right Mindset
- The Power of Appetite
- Mindful Stress Management
The three areas can cause subtle issues if they are imbalanced that are difficult to spot. These imbalances need to be addressed for any long-term sustainable changes to occur. These are not problems per se, as much as they are powerfully potential areas of unsuspected vitality and energy gain within you
These areas all rest under the umbrella of self-empowerment, personal development, or inner growth. This is where we look at our own “software” and make subtle recalibration within it to improve our ability of stability and harmony.
This means that small changes we make on our inner landscape has big implications in the changes that they can bring about. Here we are looking closely at outlook, belief systems, and the mind from a practical standpoint as it relates to losing weight. Let’s give you some tangible examples of what we mean from the three examples above. We will cover the first one now and the other two in the next two articles.
Let’s start with looking at the value of adopting an appropriate mindset for overcoming a weight loss plateau. First of all, it is great to know that mindset is not something we just have.or end up with It is something we choose over time. You aren’t just given a certain mindset or outlook, if your current one isn’t supporting you, you can adopt a new one slowly but surely.
Of course we don’t always choose our circumstances or what happens to us, but we do choose what outlook and perspective we take on what occurs. Perhaps the most common property or trait the clients that we have worked with that have had the most success, is that they already had the right kind of mindset. No matter what their challenge was, whether it has been big or small, this in common.
Their mindset going in was that they would simply do what needed to be done and simply accept any difficulties and hardships that might come up on their journey. They naturally tended to adapt to unforeseen challenges through the active search for new solutions. This was a natural part of them, which facilitated change without unnecessary resistance to their present circumstances. There is much to learn from this type of mindset.
This is not to say that they didn’t have to struggle. Not at all. But they kept moving forward while learning new things about themselves in the process. This is what we mean by the right mindset. A generally positive and progressive focused on problem solving.
But what about us that don’t have this kind of mindset naturally? Are we stuck for good? No not at all! 🙂
The great news about this is that if you are a person that can’t fully relate to this type of mindset and outlook is that it can be implemented. Doing so is not as difficult as it might sound. If we take what to do when weight loss plateaus for this means to not stubbornly stick with what we already want to work and believe will work. It is better to change our belief system and outlook to one that allows for positive change to occur. That allows for you to experiment and try new approaches.
This also means that we want to embrace the hardships and challenges we know will come with a positive and open mind. We know it’s not going to be easy. So when we get stuck and it is not easy, we are not taken by surprise, we already know it is coming. This might sound like the most obvious and simple advice you have ever heard. And perhaps it is! But if you are stuck in a mindset that doesn’t allow you to move forward harmoniously then maybe there is a gold nugget in here for you!
If you feel that adopting Right Mindset is an area where you struggle then we highly recommend you to either start meditating regularly or try new types of breathwork to unlock hidden reservoirs of vitality and creativity.
Mindset and Mindfulness Practice
We want to end this third part of the handbook by introducing three meditation and breathwork practices. We recommend you practice at least one of them daily. This is a great indirect way to address any deeper issues you might be struggling with when it comes to your weight loss. And let’s be honest just life in general.
Introducing a mindfulness practice into your lifestyle can only bring more well being and feel good. Feel free to try out the different guided breathwork practices below. If you find one that you really like, or surprisingly challenging please write us an email and let us know!
Breath of Fire Guided Practice: (7min)
Guided Meditation Practice: (8min)
Guided Breathwork Session: (7min)
We hope you enjoy these practices and use them as an active part of your mindfulness and mindset practice. This will help reduce stress, boost your resilience, and even strengthen your immune system. The benefit of increased mindfulness will allow for more peace and harmony to gradually replace negative and heavy emotions.
These practice will also help increase your general awareness which will be an intricate part of the next part in our weight loss series. Let’s have a look at how awareness, mindfulness, mindset and appetite fit together in part 4! Stay tuned 🙂
Part 4 – The Power of Appetite
Who likes to have an appetite? Hopefully you! 🙂
When it comes to overcoming weight loss plateaus the feeling of appetite and hunger will always be at the heart of it. We need to be able to differentiate between the two and realize that they are worlds apart from a practical standpoint. Even though they feel almost the same.
Not many people enjoy the feeling of being hungry for good reason. It is after all the body’s natural signal that it needs nutrition and fuel. Appetite on the other hand is something different. It is a feeling of alertness and readiness that doesn’t just apply to food. It also applies life in general. Creativity, inspiration, and motivation all need a certain amount of appetite to be felt. When we have no appetite complacency and lethargy takes it place and we stop striving to move forward. If we regularly overeat at each meal it is easy to get stuck on your health or personal development journey. This is a general rule to take notice of on your health journey: always keep a slight appetite with you!
Before we look more closely at the true power of appetite we need to be clear about the differences between appetite and hunger. What we want to focus on specifically is the connection between appetite and feeling. And we also need to keep an eye on how emotions play a huge role in how we perceive them.
Let’s use weight loss plateaus as a practical umbrella example to illustrate how this all fits together with appetite and hunger. Emotional eating is a big topic when it comes to weight loss, so let’s narrow our example down even further and focus on this first. Once we are able to differentiate between hunger, emotional eating and appetite we have come a long way in making the plateau a thing of the past.
The feeling of hunger nestles in the stomach region where most other emotions are also harbored. This might sound obvious but there is more to it than meets the eye. If you ever feel anxious or moody mixed in with the feeling of hunger, then this is what we are describing here. It means that when hunger arises, so do any unresolved emotions we carry within us. Just imagine that you have old emotions tucked away neatly between folds in and around the stomach area, and when the rumble of hunger begins they all begin to come up to the surface.
Hunger then becomes a catalyst for those potent and sometimes uncomfortable emotions to rise to the surface. So what we can see here is that unresolved emotions play a big part in your weight loss journey. The more of these emotions you have the more difficult it will be for you to lose weight easily.
The quickest and most short-term effective way to deal with the unresolved emotions is to eat until you get stuffed. This works 100% of the time and often also tastes great! Eat a lot of delicious food and you will immediately bury those unresolved emotions under the pressure of the now expanded belly.
This goes to show that the feeling of hunger we experience is potent and has a great effect on us. Without it, we probably wouldn’t have the deep drive to search for food as an essential part of our survival in the past. But now with supermarkets open 24/7, we have fast foods and sweets available to us like never before.
We can quench our thirst or satisfy our hunger in the blink of an eye. To avoid falling for this temptation is a challenge indeed! It is easy to see how this now works against us. We are designed to search for food biologically and at the same time we are being catered to extensively. The only real long term solution to this emotional dynamic is to get to the bottom of the unresolved emotions.
This is one of our main goals with our Holistic Health approach here at Living with The Spirit. To resolve any underlying negative emotions that makes life a drag. The beauty of working on yourself holistically is that we are able to make emotions,and emotional intelligence an intricate part of our programs. We can do this practically in a number of different ways. But weight loss and hunger is perhaps one of the best ways to do this because it is so easy for all of us to relate. Who doesn’t get a bit grumpy after a busy day just before dinner?
So let’s look at this from an emotional intelligence perspective! (Emotional Intelligence is one of our four pillars of health. You can read more about it here.)
Appetite, Hunger, and Emotional Intelligence.
The feeling of hunger, and the real power of it, shows itself as soon as we look at ourselves from the lens of developing our emotional intelligence. Emotional intelligence, briefly explained means to be able to take notice of and understand our own emotions as well as others.
Knowing this, what we want you to notice is that what arises first is a feeling of appetite. Eventually this feeling will become hunger and then it is time to eat! Ideally we then want to eat just enough to return back to having an appetite. We don’t want to get so stuffed that we become lethargic, heavy, and slow. That means we just over ate.
As a general rule we want to always keep an appetite so we remain ready, alert, and have plenty of energy left for the rest of the day. This feeling of appetite and energy then becomes a guiding light or compass towards what unresolved emotions we now have the opportunity to resolve. This might be an unconventional way of approaching this dynamic, but it does work incredibly well. As soon as you begin observing the interplay between the feeling of appetite, hunger and unresolved emotions you have taken the first step to resolving this issue. Simply by becoming aware of it. Awareness is the key!
As long as you have the practical tools and the right theoretical understanding of how to go to the root cause of the underlying issue this is a highly effective approach. Not to worry!
We will share plenty of practical tools and tips with you here on the site. You can also work with us directly in person through 1on1 coaching or join our Online Health Club for direct support and guidance. We also host free webinars every month were you are welcome to ask any questions you might have
If you haven’t signed up to our mailing list yet then we highly recommend you do that to stay updated with all our new material coming out in 2021.
Part 5 – 3 Practical Tips For Easy Weight Loss!
Now we want to share some practical tips you can use to make the feeling of appetite work for you and not against you. These tips are simple awareness practices that you can apply anytime and even make part of your lifestyle. Though these practices are simple they are also powerful in that they bring about long-term positive and sustainable change. So let’s get to it!
Tip number 1: Keep your appetite, stay alert!
When you eat we want you to start to estimate, by listening to your feelings, to stop eating at around 80% of being full. This will make sure you get enough nutrition but you will not feel as tired and heavy after your meal.
This will make digestion easier and leave you with a surplus of energy usually spent on digesting your food. When you accomplish this regularly you have come a long way in overcoming your weight loss plateau. If you always leave the table not feeling 100% satisfied, staying with a slight appetite, then you are practicing and learning to not overeat.
And you are also learning to listen to your body.
This is a form of mindful eating that brings awareness and enjoyment into every meal. An analogy of why this is good is that if you always leave the table, keeping a slight appetite, you will remain with a potent feeling of energy. This feeling is full of creativity and motivation and can easily be applied to another activity or productive endeavor. This might sound counterintuitive, as we need sufficient food for survival, but there is so much truth to this simple dynamic. Leaving the table with an appetite will make you hungry for the rest of your life!
This works very well when your weight loss plateaus. Because when you combine this with tip #2 and #3 down below you have a full spectrum approach moving forward. Use this simple tip to your advantage by directing energy towards things that will improve your lifestyle. Pick up a creative endeavor, get more physically active, or start meditating regularly. These are all good examples of new things you can do with the feeling of appetite to improve your overall lifestyle balance.
When starting with this tip it might be a challenge to get used to the feeling of remaining with an appetite. To make things easier, we recommend drinking a glass of a great Ayurvedic tea just before you sit down to eat. This tea stimulates your digestive fire to consume more calories but it also cushions hunger and makes sure you don’t eat too much.
The recipe for this healing tea is simple: and you can also drink it between meals every day. Hot or cold.
What is CCF Tea? “CCF” stands for cumin, coriander, and fennel.
These three seeds are often used as cooking spices to support healthy digestion. When combined with CCF Tea, the result is a delicious Ayurvedic drink that enkindles the digestive fire and supports overall health. These ingredients are easy to find all over the world.
- Combine equal parts organic cumin, coriander seeds, and fennel seeds, and store in a glass jar.
- To serve, add 1 tsp coriander seeds, 1 tsp cumin seeds, 1 tsp fennel seed, and 6 cups of water to your teapot, let it steep in boiling water for at least 5 minutes, then pour and enjoy.
- Strain and serve warm or store when cooled in a glass jar.
- Sip on your CCF tea during your day for optimal digestion support.
Tip Number 2: Food relationship
We highly recommend using a food log to track what you eat, when you eat, and how you feel before/after you eat. This will bring heaps of awareness to what’s going on in your relationship with food in terms of feelings and emotions. This is important because your relationship to food is in reality your relationship with yourself.
Food relationships can be easily described as:
“How you feel around food in general, is how you feel about yourself and life in particular.”
This simple quote highlights how powerful the feeling of hunger is. Because it shows the connection between how and why those unresolved underlying emotions, that we mentioned earlier in the article, come up to the surface to be seen and experienced.
This has tremendous value because when those feelings arise we know what feelings we cover up when we overeat. We want to make it clear right away that the feelings that arise don’t have to be looked at as a problem. From a mindset and personal development point of view, it is much better to approach this as a challenge.
The challenge we are embracing is to bring what is hidden under the surface so we can address it. Don’t worry if you don’t know how to immediately care for what emotion or feeling you find. What’s important is that you become aware of which emotion or emotions are there.
Some of the most common things we see arise with our clients are emotions such as shame, blame, guilt, anger, fear, and sadness. To work on any of these emotions all you need is a roadmap and a step-by-step approach on how to resolve them. We have several options available on how to do this later on in the article.
The key point to remember from this trip is that self-awareness is the key to everything!
Becoming aware of your particular underlying issues is the essential first step towards you resolving them. Our approach revolves around how to actively bring that awareness about as part of your weight loss process. Once you have noticed what is happening within we can move on to the particular techniques that we can use to resolve what you have found.
When your weight loss plateaus your food relationship is a great place to start paying attention to. As it shows us what our weight plateau consists of on the emotional level. This can be one of the many hidden issues that halt your weight loss from moving forward.
We highly recommend the practice of keeping a food log. When we write down the feelings and emotions we have around our meals we can begin to discern what our food relationship looks like. There is a big difference between only thinking about your food relationship and putting it into words. This simple process of writing makes it concrete, allows for acceptance, and it is in itself an action step in the right direction. Write a couple of paragraphs or just a couple of words. Either way, it is a great start!
Tip number 3: Make high-quality and nutritious foods a priority!
To be able to overcome any weight loss plateau, this third tip needs to be taken to heart. It has to do with the nutritional value and quality of the foods we choose to eat. For many of us, it is a real challenge to know what kind of foods are the best ones for you. There are so many different types of diets out there to choose from. So without becoming a food scientist, how do you know what food is truly right for you?
The solution might be much easier than you think. Let’s take a look at a bulletproof way for you to evaluate what is most beneficial for you to eat by simply listening to your body and inspecting what you eat. Something we can all agree on is that we ideally want to eat foods with the highest nutritional value. This means vibrant, lustrous, and organic foods. The more fresh something is, assuming it is healthy for the body in the first place, the better it is. But let’s look into more detail what some of the benefits of making this choice are.
If we are going to follow Tip#1 about staying with an appetite and eating slightly less. We need to make sure the foods we eat are jam-packed with nutritional good stuff! If we eat processed foods from the supermarket or a fast-food restaurant chain we will surely fill the belly but not with enough nutrition to leave us with lasting high-quality energy.
We can’t afford to eat foods empty of vitality and nutrition if we want to stay healthy and full of vitality. The more nutritious foods we eat the less we have to eat. The less food you eat, while still getting the same amount of healthy nutrition, the easier it is for your body to digest it. This is good to keep in mind.
Imagine if someone came out with a new type of gasoline that was only 50% as effective. Your car would only go half as fast, half as far but combust twice as quickly. You would never buy it, even if it was slightly cheaper. If you can apply this analogy to your food choices then you might have an easier time deciding what to cook and choosing the perfect delish dish on the menu!
“Listen to the body” ~ Unknown
If we look back at Tip#2 that had to do with food relationships. We talked about listening to our bodies. Here we will use this awareness practice to establish if the foods we choose to eat are the right ones for us. When you observe how long it takes for you to get hungry again, you know how easy or hard it is for your body to break down certain foods. The easier it is, the less energy your body has to use on the digestive process. This energy can then be used towards fueling the body’s self-healing mechanism.
The general rule of thumb is that the longer it takes for you to break food down, the more incompatible it is with your digestive system. The result of eating heavy, difficult-to-digest processed foods is that you will have to spend a tremendous amount of unnecessary energy breaking those foods down.
This might not sound like a big deal but if you imagine that your digestive process consumes 3 times more energy than you would expect then you see it. A large amount of energy spent on digestion is instead available as the feeling of vitality mixed with creativity and motivation. This is how this tip connects to what we talked about before, of leaving the table with an appetite. It doesn’t mean you can’t do it. Some people seem to be able to eat just about anything without any issues. But if you have reached a weight plateau this is likely something worth taking notice of.
And if we are looking to thrive physically, emotionally, and spiritually we certainly need this extra energy.
So as we can see.
The simple recipe to thrive as a being is to eat nutritionally dense, fresh, and organic foods. If you want to learn more about the 80%/20% raw and cooked vegan food diet we recommend here at Living with The Spirit please go ahead and download our free eBooks ‘The Holistic Health Workbook – The Foundations of Diet and Detoxification’ and ‘19 Delicious Raw Recipes’.
As easy as 1,2,3!
When you put these three tips together and begin practicing the outline we recommend you will automatically produce more awareness, direct feedback, and using healthy guidelines. All you need to do is remember them and become aware of when you are sidestepping any of these tips during your day. And remember! If you find that you make mistakes in your food choices. Don’t beat yourself up about it. Just make the changes you need to make, get back on track, and keep moving forward. 🙂
The simple steps of remaining with an appetite, keeping a food log, and actively choosing to eat nutritious foods are a way to stay on the right path. Don’t expect easy quick changes with this approach. It’s more like a long hike uphill than a race. Remember this is a long-term lifestyle approach, it will take some time to implement.
This is the end of Part 5. Keep an eye out for Part 6 which will be available soon!
For personalized meal plans or online weight loss coaching please book your free consultation with us today!