Why a Weight Loss Plateau is A Good Thing

As registered dietitians and personal trainers for over fifteen years, these twin sisters have seen our share of weight loss plateaus.  And while we’re well aware that a weight loss plateau is a good thing, we’ve seen how destructive and deflating it can be when someone hits one and doesn’t realize the benefits of a plateau.

 

So we’re busting at the seams to tell them (and you!) that a weight loss plateau is actually a good thing!  If you’ve ever experienced this we want you to pay close attention and follow this advice as this will help you to succeed when faced with it again! First, don’t let a plateau derail your efforts or discourage you.  Although a weight loss plateau can often last for several weeks, it’s not the time to give up, and in fact, just the opposite!

 

Here’s why:

A weight loss plateau is a normal and healthy part of the weight loss process and it simply means that your body is recognizing that it’s a new smaller person—and it’s settling in and adjusting to being slimmer.  Your body is taking an assessment and acknowledging it no longer needs as many calories to maintain itself and it’s just taking time to recalibrate.  This recalibration is important; if your body never recognizes it’s smaller and doesn’t take time to stabilize, your body doesn’t know who it is and can easily change; bouncing back to a higher weight will be easy as it wouldn’t have set a new place at a lower weight that feels comfortable.  Think about it—if you constantly are losing weight, your body has no clue what to expect and it doesn’t yet know where it feels stable.  A few missed workouts, a few not so healthy meals could easily throw your body off kilter. On the other hand, if you hit a plateau, it’s recognizing your newer, smaller body.  It’s a sign that your body is taking notice of your new trimmer self!  Once you push past this, maintaining your new weight will be easier!  Feel proud and know this is part of the amazing successful weight loss process and you’ll push past it!

 

 

More good news?

There are ways to push past a plateau—and if you stick it out, they pay off big-time!

 

Here are 4 of our top ways to bust through a weight loss plateau:

 

  1. Eat more veggies. Yup, read THIS to see how eating more actually works.  By now you know that we love veggies, always encourage our clients to eat them, and we too, eat them like nobody’s business (despite having been super picky eaters in the past)—but that’s because they’re little miracle workers, and in more ways than one. (Pssst… we didn’t write The Nutrition Twins’ Veggie Cure for nothin’!  😉  )

 

  1. Sip on THIS Toxin-Neutralizing, Bloat-Busting Bevvie throughout the day. It will keep you hydrated, flush bloat and wastes out of the body, fill your stomach so you eat less, and flood the body with antioxidants that help to neutralize free radicals and pull toxins out of the body.

 

 

  1. Incorporate HIIT training into your workouts.   These periods of more intense exercise followed by less intense exercise burn extra calories and rev your metabolism.  Find out how to do it!

 

 

  1. Leave three bites behind at each meal. If you typically eat all of your meal, leave three bites on your plate; if you don’t typically eat all of your meal, make a conscious effort to eat three fewer bites.  Over the course of the day this will equate to a couple hundred calories, which over the course of the month can equal nearly two pounds or more!

 

 

  1. For the next few weeks keep a food log (if you don’t already). You may discover places where excess snacks can be cut—or you may realize that while you were on a weight loss roll that you weren’t quite as diligent as you thought and tightening the reigns will help you to push past the plateau.

 

 

The Nutrition  Twins’ Do Your Body Good Challenge—and your 5th way to bust through a weight loss plateau.

 

Swap Dry foods for Wet Foods:
Eat Water-Rich Foods.

  • Why? Dry foods, like baked goods and cookies, chips, crackers, candy bars and trail mixes, are light and airy and don’t fill you up but are high in calories. Instead go for water and fiber-filled foods like vegetables, fruits, beans, sweet potatoes, and whole grains—these are generally full of water and fiber and not many calories. So your body feels the weight of these foods and it helps to satisfy you, as opposed to the dry, calorie-dense, light-weight foods.

 

How to do it:

 

 

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Bust Boredom or Past a Plateau with THIS!

If you’re stuck in a weight loss or boredom rut, we’ve got just the workout for you—and an added bonus is that this workout is ideal if you’re short on time (and seriously, who isn’t?)!

 

In New York City if the cold outside (or the heat) is unbearable for us and we need to get a quick indoor workout, we’ve got a foolproof routine– intervals! As registered dietitians and personal trainers, we recommend intervals to the majority of our clients. Intervals are great because you can be more productive in a shorter amount of time, which is especially helpful if you’re trapped inside and exercising indoors isn’t your thing.

 

We personally do our intervals on the treadmill and sometimes on the cross-trainer, but you can use any equipment that allows you to get a cardiovascular workout (and if it’s nice out—head out for some fresh air, baby!). Studies have shown that High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) at least once a week can boost cardiovascular fitness and increase the body’s potential to lose weight (woot, woot!).  Plus, constantly increasing and decreasing the speed keeps you occupied, so the time goes by so much more quickly!

 

Your body can become accustomed to doing the same exercise routine and then it no longer is a challenge and you stop seeing results.

 

This means it’s time to shake things up a bit. 

 

Here’s why we recommend HIIT to jumpstart your fitness:

  • HIIT training consists of short, high-intensity periods of exercise alternated with low-intensity recovery periods.
    • The higher intensity exercise challenges your body in new ways, which means you’ll burn more calories and fat.
    • The low-intensity recovery periods, also known as rest intervals, are important because they ensure that your high-intensity intervals are done at an optimal intensity. Without the rest intervals you’ll only be able to work at a medium intensity for the full duration of your exercise—which is no different than what you were doing before.

 

Here’s how to do HIIT:

 

During your normal cardiovascular routine, try increasing your speed to a fast sprint every 4 minutes. Stay at this high intensity for 30 seconds to 2 minutes, depending on your ability. You should be out of breath and really challenging yourself. The 4 minutes in between will help you recover. When those 4 minutes are up, pump it back to a sprint. You’ll be sure to feel great and will also burn a lot of calories!

 

  • If you’re a beginner, start with a 1:2 ratio of a challenging workout to rest. So go as hard as you can for 30, 45, 60 or 90 seconds and then rest for twice as long.  Then start on the challenging interval again.  As you practice this, aim for a making your rest period the same length as your interval.

 

Give it a try!  You got this! 🙂

 

 

 

The Nutrition Twins demonstrate the Playground Workout

Embrace your inner child and let loose! The best workout is one that you’ll make time to do! Keep it fun!

For working out and sticking with it, you gotta find something you love! As giggly girls who loved to monkey around, this was our fave thing to do- so these days we join Tammy’s kids on the playground, but boy it’s a lot harder now! This reminds us what a great workout you can get when let yourself be free to play!

And sheesh,what a great arm workout!

 

Also try hop-scotch, hula-hooping and jumping rope!

 

 

Psst… looking for more traditional exercises?  Try these!

Anytime, Anywhere 90-Second Metabolism Booster

Easy At-Home Shoulder Toner

Triangle Push-Ups

Leg & Butt Toner

 

Pomegranate Green Goddess Smoothie

What’s the number one question you’ve been asking us about smoothies?

You wanna know how to seamlessly get veggies into smoothies when you’ve been dabbling with fruits, seeds, almond milk, etc.

As registered dietitians, and authors of our most recent book, The Nutrition Twins Veggie Cure, you can imagine how excited we are that you’re ready to dive in to the good stuff! Yes, veggies! Greens, specifically, are the number one food you can eat regularly to improve your health. And we’ve got some easy breakfast-friendly ways to help you to start your day off right–on the green foot! 😉

 

Pomegranate Green Goddess Smoothie

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We’ve got some great news if you’re a bit fearful that your greens will overpower your smoothie… many greens become undetectable (like a chameleon!) when combined in a smoothie and they take just seconds to transform. Here are some tips for making the most of your smoothies and easy at-home ways to get your nutrients.
Create your green smoothie by following these green smoothie basics and then blend! 🙂 (If you simply want to try a green smoothie recipe that’s tried, true and delicious, try this Pomegranate Green Goddess Smoothie (recipe and how it does your-body-good below)!  You’ll also find many on our site, just search smoothie, or green drink, etc.  And we suggest some at the bottom of this blog!

 

Here’s the formula for making a delicious, green smoothie and how we created this Pomegranate Green Goddess Smoothie:

 

1.  Begin with your greens: In general, a few large fistfuls (about 2 cups) will do the trick. Spinach is one the mildest of the greens and is barely detectable, but all greens from kale, to romaine, and even parsley and mint are fabulous additions. Experiment and see what you like best. (In this smoothie, we started with 1 packed cup of spinach, which is similar to two fistfuls)

 

*** If you’re worried about your greens spoiling, check out our awesome solution for your busy mornings.

 

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2. Toss in some fruit: Hello natural sweetness, fiber and phytonutrients for even more of a beneficial boost to your morning. (We often go for frozen fruits because they make the smoothie more refreshing and “dessert-like”.  Plus, they don’t spoil!)

  • In this recipe we use POM 100% Pomegranate Juice which adds a polyphenol and potassium punch with no added sugars, no artificial colors or flavors and no cheap filler juices. There’s the juice of 4 whole-pressed pomegranates in 16 ounces and its flavor is a little sweet and a little tart, which makes this smoothie so insanely delicious!
  • We also added frozen pineapple chunks (not frozen is fine) –you get a lot of sweetness with just a few pieces and we added some green grapes.  Note:  If you’re watching your calorie intake, the key is to keep the fruit portions in check (about half the portion or less, compared to the green).

 

darlingdownsouth13. Add your protein/ “satiety factor” (If you skip this, you’ll need to eat a source of protein with your smoothie to keep you powered, satiated and to provide for longer lasting energy). This Pomegranate Green Goodness Smoothie is so good as is, simply have some scrambled eggs with veggies or a nonfat Greek yogurt on the side. Other great protein options? Nuts or nut butters, hemp seeds or a scoop of protein powder. One to two tablespoons of a nut or seed add nutrients and healthy fat—but stick to just that portion (about 6-8 nuts), as the calories from nuts add up quickly and could cause your smoothie to contain a lot more calories than you bargained for.

 

4. Pour in liquid: Add ½ to 1 cup of either water, unsweetened nut milk or coconut water to make your smoothie. Unsweetened vanilla almond milk adds a nice flavor perk. (In this smoothie we need less water and simply add some ice cubes as we get fluid from the delicious POM 100% Pomegranate Juice.)

 

5. Ready to get fancy? The sky is the limit! Try adding grated ginger (a personal favorite of ours!) or spices like cinnamon and turmeric (this one has quite a bitter kick that will give you a real charge to start your day!) We couldn’t resist the ginger in this recipe!

Ginger_1teaspoon_ginger_lemon-detox

 

Pomegranate Green Goodness Smoothie

This delicious recipe contains nothing but fruits and veggies. POM 100% Pomegranate Juice, spinach, pineapple, and green grapes are blended with fresh ginger to make a zesty morning smoothie that fills you up. Pair this delicious day starter with scrambled eggs with veggies or with a nonfat Greek yogurt for protein.

 

Makes 1 serving

Work time: 5 min

Total time: 5 min

Ingredients:

½ cup POM 100% Pomegranate Juice

½ cup green grapes

½ cup pineapple pieces

1 cup packed spinach

1 inch fresh ginger, peeled

4 ice cubes

 

Directions:

In a blender, combine all the ingredients. Blend until smooth.

Nutrition Facts Per Smoothie: 167 calories, 40 g carbohydrate, 0 g fat, 2 g protein, 3 g fiber, 22 mg sodium

Bonuses:  162% Daily Value vitamin A, 111% DV Vitamin C, 11% DV calcium, 17% DV Iron

pom_green_goddess_smoothie_bottleThe Nutrition Twins work with POM Wonderful 100% Pomegranate juice to help people to enjoy it’s delicious flavor, get more nutrients in their day without any added sugar or artificial flavors. 

 

And here are a few more smoothies to try:

 

 

Pomegranate Green Goddess Smoothie
 
Author:
Serves: 1
Ingredients
  • ½ cup POM 100% Pomegranate Juice
  • ½ cup green grapes
  • ½ cup pineapple pieces
  • 1 cup packed spinach
  • 1 inch fresh ginger, peeled
  • 4 ice cubes
Instructions
  1. In a blender, combine all the ingredients. Blend until smooth.
  2. Nutrition Facts Per Smoothie: 167 calories, 40 g carbohydrate, 0 g fat, 2 g protein, 3 g fiber, 22 mg sodium
  3. Bonuses:  162% Daily Value vitamin A, 111% DV Vitamin C, 11% DV calcium, 17% DV Iron

 

Smoothie Photo and Recipe credit: POM Wonderful.

Eat More to Weigh Less, Really!

If you’re like most of our clients, you’re looking for something you can eat when you’re hungry that won’t cause you to gain weight.  The answer, surprisingly, is something that you can and should eat all of the time.  It’s true; there actually is something that if you eat more of it, it can assist in your weight loss efforts!

 

Veggies!  You may realize that you need more veggies but tend to leave them out of your meals; you’re not alone!  This is one of the most common struggles of health-minded people!  You simply need a little help or encouragement to actually get them!  Once we show our clients how easily vegetables can be deliciously incorporated into their lives, they start to bump up their intake!

 

Check out our 3 Top Reasons you’ll wanna get your veggies:

 

Veggie Bonus #1: Fill up on veggies and you’ll have less room in your stomach for the heavy stuff and you’ll lose weight!

 

Veggie Bonus #2 (a.k.a. our constipation & flat-belly cure): The high water and fiber content of the veggies flushes bloat and waste and brings on a flat belly—oh yeah!

 

Veggie Bonus #3 (a.k.a. our bloat-be-gone cure!): The high water and potassium combination in veggies helps to flush out salt and the extra water and bloat that it holds with it for a flatter belly!

 

The key is to keep the non-starchy veggies (nearly all veggies with the exception of peas, potatoes and corn) low in calories (by avoiding adding sauces or oil) and then you can simply mix steamed veggies into your meal and eat less of the waist-puffing stuff!  This means your plate will be just as full, but there will be less room for the higher-calorie fare and you’ll fill up on lower calorie, veggies! And when you’re hungry, fill up on veggies.  You’ll get more nutrients that keep you healthy and prevent disease and constipation while helping you to eat less of the heavy stuff and lose weight!

 

Check out our top ways to do it below:

Easy Peasy Brussel Sprouts

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  • Before any meal or cocktail party, have a Veggie Pre-Meal™ with a cup of tea. The Veggie Pre-Meal™ is one-and-a-half to two cups of steamed veggies. (See below for ideas and keep foods such as these Easy Peasy Brussel Sprouts on hand). You’ll be in better control around high calorie foods and won’t be overly hungry. It will be easier to resist eating too many of the foods that pack on the pounds because you’ll already be satisfied.
  • At lunch and dinner order (or microwave from frozen at home, if short on time) a side of steamed veggies without added butter or oil. Simply mix them right into whatever dish you’re eating and you’ll add great texture, flavor and color to your meal and the veggies will pick up the flavor from the sauce in the meal.
  • Use our Red, Green and Orange rule to include one red, green or orange vegetable or fruit in every meal. When you concentrate on getting one of these colors at each meal, you won’t forget. Vegetables are an excellent source of disease-fighting nutrients and are high in fiber and low in calories, and great for helping maintain a healthy weight and fighting aging.

 

Colorful_detox_saladColorful Veggie Detox Salad

  • Make/ order omelets, sandwiches, pizzas, wraps and burritos with veggies added
  • Chinese chicken and rice? Pasta and chicken? Mac ‘n cheese? You end up eating less of the heavy stuff and fill your stomach with the lower calorie, fiber-and nutrient packed veggies. Added bonus: If you’re a fan of large helpings you can bag a third of the meal for later and mix the veggies right in the portion you have; you’ll fill your stomach with nutrients and fiber but with fewer calories. This way you won’t feel cheated or deprived because your meal won’t appear smaller, only your waistline will!
  • Use nori or lettuce for traditional sandwiches or wraps rather than carb-rich bread.
  • Eat your rice and other grain-based meals/ snacks by putting them in cups made with veggies-like scooped out tomatoes and bell peppers, zucchini and cucumber boats—these are delicious shells for the dish and help to keep the carb portion in check.
  • Make dips, spreads and salsas with veggies—veggie based dips like these below can double as sauces for grains and meats and are perfect for dipping veggies in.

 

  • If you still feel hungry after eating –or like munching–eat non-starchy vegetables (all vegetables with the exception of peas, potatoes and corn).
    • Go for them raw or steamed with spices, lemon, or flavored vinegars. You can even try our ultra low-calorie recipes like our Easy Crunchy Braised Cabbage, Colorful Detox Salad, Caramelized Cauliflower with Olive Oil & Lemon Juice, Spicy “Fried” Broccoli, and more! As an alternative, try the Kale Recharge Smoothie.
    • Be sure to avoid options that are cooked in butter or any other calorie-loaded item (like many sauces are)—and even in oil (100 calories per little tablespoon!), as they may thwart your weight-loss efforts and defeat the purpose of low-calorie veggies.
    • For dressing options, consider trying this Raspberry Vinaigrette or this Creamy Avocado Yogurt Dressing (stick to the suggested serving sizes) or consider putting your salad dressing in a spray bottle to spritz your dressing on your veggies and disperse the flavor with minimal calories.
    • Try to eat some raw veggies, as current research has shown that a special protein, glutathione, is found in raw veggies and clings to toxins, helping drag them out of the body. For example, enjoy some fresh carrots and sliced bell pepper with hummus!
    • Try these Roasted Detoxifying Veggies!
    • Defrost frozen veggies in the fridge during the day. When you get home, make a quick cold salad by mixing the veggies with one of the dressing options mentioned above or toss them right into a hot meal, as they’ll already be “cooked” and you’ll simply warm them up!

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Spicy “Fried” Broccoli

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Easy Berry Stuffed Egg Crepes

Yes, we admit, even though we’ve been registered dietitians and personal trainers for 15 years and we now know when a nutrition craze deserves the attention,  as teenagers, we fell prey to one of the biggest nutrition “crazes”.   The fat-free trend had us gobbling up fat-free Entenmann’s desserts because we thought fat-free must equal good.  Oy! Thank gosh that’s a thing of the past as we now eat healthy fat-packed avocados like nobody’s business 🙂 …

However, with all of the changes we’ve seen in the nutrition world, one thing that hasn’t changed is that people are constantly looking for a healthy, easy-to-make, satisfying, energy-boosting breakfast that won’t pack on the pounds.  We’ve found that many of the best breakfasts that do just that include eggs.  Eggs are truly one of the easiest, most delicious and nutritious ways to start the morning.  So in honor of eggs, particularly Eggland’s Best eggs and this month being Breast Cancer Awareness month, we whipped up this new recipe. Throughout this entire Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Eggland’s Best, a.k.a. EB (who we are proud spokespeople for!), continues its’ commitment in the fight against breast cancer by helping Susan G. Komen fund critical research, education and raising awareness through its pink EB “stamped” eggs.

This is quite suiting given that EB not only has eggs that are super delicious, their hens are also fed an all-vegetarian feed that causes the eggs to be higher in nutrients that aid in cancer prevention than other eggs (see below)  And this flurry of goodness was the inspiration for our Easy Berry Stuffed Egg Crepes!  Once you try these pups, they’ll be a household regular! 🙂

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Get your forks ready and join us! And in case you’re looking for other cancer-fighting breakfasts that also support these initiatives, here you go!

Tomato, Egg, Spinach & Feta Never Tasted Beta’ Wrap

Sunny Side Eggs on a Portobello “Bagel”

Skinny Breakfast Pizza

Basil Pesto Vegetable Omelet

Mexican Eggs in a Mug

Skinny Eggs Benedict

The Most Satisfying Weight Loss Breakfast

Mini Frittata Muffins

Here’s why this easy, delicious nutrient-packed breakfast helps to fight breast cancer:

The Eggs:

Eggland’s Best eggs are a great way to get that extra boost, because compared to ordinary eggs they are fed a proprietary vegetarian hen feed and have these cancer fighting bonuses:

  • 5X more vitamin D (vitamin D influences virtually every cell in the body and is one of nature’s most potent cancer fighters)
  • Double the omega-3s (help to fight inflammation and support brain and heart health)
  • 10X more vitamin E (protects against cancer, help cells in your body function optimally)
  • 25% less saturated fat (
    diets lower in saturated fat help to minimize risk of breast cancer)

berry_stuffed_crepe_removeberry_stuffed_eggs_honey_cropped1-_logoThe berries:  All of these sweet, yumsters pack in cancer-protection with the phytonutrients

  • All berries (especially strawberries and raspberries), are great sources of ellagic acid, a phytochemical that seems to prevent skin, bladder, lung, esophagus and breast cancer. It appears that ellagic acid has several cancer-fighting actions– it acts as an antioxidant, it helps to deactivate carcinogens in the body and it helps to stall the reproduction of cancer cells.
  • Strawberries also contain flavonoids, which help to neutralize harmful cancer-causing toxins.
  • Blueberries have anthocyanins, which many scientists believe are among the most potent antioxidants yet discovered.

berry_stuffed_eggs_honey3_cropped-_logoEasy Berry Stuffed Egg Crepes

This satisfying breakfast will aid your weight loss efforts as it’s filling, nutrient-packed and has only 225 calories with 20 satisfying grams of protein and can be made in under two minutes!

Serves 1

Ingredients:

2 Eggland’s Best eggs (We use Eggland’s Best eggs because they have 25% less saturated fat than other eggs)

1 cup mixed berries (blackberries, blueberries, strawberries)

1 ounce fat free feta (we used Trader Joe’s)

Directions:

  1. To make crepes, use a microwave safe bowl with a wider base. Crack one egg in the bowl and stir it so that it’s mixed thoroughly.  Season with spices of choice.  Microwave for 45 seconds and allow to set for a minute.  Remove bowl from microwave and carefully use a spoon or spatula to remove the “crepe” from the bowl and place on a plate.
  2. Repeat step one with the second egg.
  3. Place half the berries down the center of each crepe. Add feta and roll the crepe. Enjoy!

 

Nutrition Facts per serving (entire recipe): 225 calories, 18 g carbohydrate, 20 g protein, 9 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 4 g fiber, 396 mg sodium

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The Nutrition Twins work with Eggland’s Best to help people get more nutrients from their food.

Easy Berry Stuffed Egg Crepes
 
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 1
Ingredients
  • Serves 1
  • Ingredients:
  • 2 Eggland’s Best eggs
  • 1 cup mixed berries (blackberries, blueberries, strawberries)
  • 1 ounce fat free feta (we used Trader Joe’s)
Instructions
  1. To make crepes, use a microwave safe bowl with a wider base. Crack one egg in the bowl and stir it so that it’s mixed thoroughly. Season with spices of choice. Microwave for 45 seconds and allow to set for a minute. Remove bowl from microwave and carefully use a spoon or spatula to remove the “crepe” from the bowl and place on a plate.
  2. Repeat step one with the second egg.
  3. Place half the berries down the center of each crepe. Add feta and roll the crepe. Enjoy!
Nutrition Information
Calories: 225 Calories