I came across the following excellent post on the Engine 2 Diet 'Daily Beet' blog. I've edited it for space and added italics, so if you want to read the whole thing go to:http://engine2diet.com/the-daily-beet/stuck-in-a-rut/
Stuck in a Rut:
You have been going strong for a while with your plant-strong life, but all of a sudden you aren’t losing weight, or maybe your cholesterol numbers are not where you’d like them, or your blood sugar has started creeping up. What do
Sometimes we let things sneak in, without even realizing that we have. Here are some of the top culprits of being stuck in a rut:
1. You’ve added oil. This one can slide right in. It starts with more spray oil, or maybe a little bit in a few recipes. Maybe you have added vegan junk food like vegan cheese, sour cream, mayo, or butter. When you eat out you aren’t requesting ”NO OIL”. You might not check all of the food that you purchase to make sure it has no oil.
2. Salt. Salt magically works its way into a lot of plant-strong meals. You start to not pay attention to the “1 to 1″ label reading rule, or maybe you start adding salt into your cooking as you are preparing a meal. Go check your labels! Salt should be a 1 to 1 ratio, meaning if there are 100 calories per serving there should only be 100 mg of sodium (or less) of salt per serving.
In addition, make sure that any salt you add is AFTER you finish preparing your meal.
3. High fat plant-foods. Don’t get us wrong, we love a few slices of avocado from time to time, but if high fat plant-foods have become a staple rather than a treat, you might run into a rut. Tofu, avocado, tempeh, nuts, seeds and nut butter should all be condiments/treats. The largest portion of your meal should consist of foods lower in caloric density.
Make sure your plate is first filled with whole grains/starches, vegetables, beans and fruit. After that, you can sprinkle a FEW nuts or seeds, add a few cubes of tofu, a couple of slices of tempeh, 1/4 of an avocado.
4. You are drinking your calories. It seems logical that the more you cram in a glass in the way of plant-strong foods, the better, right? Not really. We now know that chewing is a very important part of digestion, and we should not skip it if we don’t have to.
Chewing food does all sorts of wonderful things. When we drink food, we bypass salivary digestion all together, and often get a big hit of calories and often sugar (from fruit).
5. You are eating out more and not asking for plant-strong meals. We have fallen into this trap a few times. We are out with friends, we see the ‘vegan’ menu item, we order it, and it comes out and it’s glistening with shiny, fatty, artery clogging oil. Instead of skipping it, or re-ordering, we eat it and later pay for it
6. You are eating a lot of bread, pretzels and crackers. Even whole grain breads, pretzels and crackers can be a lot more calorically dense than you might expect.
They are also very easy to over-snack on. Try going with out them for a little while.
7. You are eating chocolate. We love chocolate. That is why we can’t have it around. It is a treat that we have for special occasions. If there is dark chocolate around, we will eat it, it’s that simple.
8. You are eating a lot of dried fruit/dates. A sprinkle of raisins on your oatmeal is just fine, however eating a lot of dried fruit is going to put you in a rut. Dried fruit is very calorically dense, so you need to watch how much you are including
. Also, a lot of dried fruit has added oil/sugar, so you’ll want to watch that. Dates fall into this category as well. Dates are delicious, but make sure you are keeping it to 1 or 2, and not eating them by the handful, or using excess amount of date syrup/paste.
9. You are putting non-dairy creamer/sugar in your morning coffee. Of course, we’ll first encourage you to start cutting back/cutting out the caffeine. If you feel the need to drink caffeine we’d encourage you to look at your diet and lifestyle and see why you feel the need to use caffeine
. All of that aside, many people will dump soy creamer and sugar into their morning hot drinks, and it can add up.
10. You are drinking too much. A glass of wine every so often is okay. However, when you start drinking a glass a night, you might want to consider cutting it out, except for special occasions
. (not just wine, any alcoholic drink). It is not required for alcohol manufacturers to include nutrition facts on their labels. Many people drink without thinking of the calories they are consuming.
So if you find yourself stuck in a rut, check the above and see if you are falling into any of our “rut traps”.
This is all excellent advice and should be posted on the fridge of anyone who claims they just can't understand why they just aren't losing weight.