You've tried everything—another diet, eliminating a dessert, drinking even more water, hitting the new fitness studio—but just can't shake off those last...few...pounds. (Could these 6 Reasons You're Not Losing Weight be what's holding you up?) Instead of feeling hopeless and frustrated—you've come so far, don't give up now!—change your perspective. It might not be what you're eating, but how you're eating it. Consult these top three tricks from a professional health coach that are proven to get you up and over that infamous plateau.
Eat Healthy Fats
"Healthy dietary fats support weight loss by speeding up your metabolism, reducing hunger, and stimulating fat burning," says Mark Hyman, M.D., director of the Cleveland Clinic Center for Functional Medicine and author of Eat Fat, Get Thin. Hyman recommends making sure you're eating healthy fats every single day. Try incorporating foods like avocado, raw, unsalted nuts like almonds and cashews, seeds like pumpkin and sunflower, and a tablespoon or two of extra virgin olive oil drizzled on your fresh salad with vegetables. (Learn more about Good Fats Vs. Bad Fats.)
Reclaim the 20-Minute Meal
How many times have you started your morning with a breakfast muffin in one hand and the steering wheel gripped with the other? And when's the last time you gobbled down dinner without checking your Facebook newsfeed, totally oblivious to what you're eating? Slowing down your meals is one of the fastest ways to lose weight when all else has failed. It sounds simple, but the technique is really a health coach's "secret weapon."
The next time you prepare a meal, set a timer for 20 minutes. Sit down, take a deep breath, and let yourself enjoy your meal. Savor the different tastes and smells of the food. Giving yourself time to enjoy your meal will help you feel satisfied, energized, and you'll soon be surprised at how quickly you burst through that weight-loss plateau.
Chew Your Food
Research has said that people who struggle to lose weight actually chew their food faster, and one study even showed that total calorie intake of a meal went down almost 10 percent when people chewed slower. When you chew, the enzymes in your saliva stimulate your digestive juices, which helps you metabolize food better. So when by chewing slowly, you extract more nutrients from the food, which makes your body feel more satisfied because it's absorbing the nutrition it needs—as a result, you'll crave less junk food.
To get in the habit of chewing slower, try chewing each bite of food 10 times. You'll be able to better enjoy the whole spectrum of tastes and aromas of the meal, which triggers cephalic phase digestive response, which is a fancy way of saying that digestion actually begins in the brain. Your senses are cued by the sight, smell, and taste of food.