What to do when your weight loss stalls & 11 awesome foods to focus on

After yesterday’s post I hope it’s clear that I’m approaching this weight loss journey with a level head & a mindful touch.

Which by the way, thank you to Clara for bringing up the question, & for those of you who left a comment on the blog or sent me a message! I so appreciate the love you contribute to the discussions we have here at bring joy.

While we’re talking about weight loss, I suppose it’s a good time to bring up the fact that this past week I didn’t lose anything. Not even .2 of a pound. The scale didn’t budge. At all.

It’s always disappointing when there’s no loss. 

But after a week that began with a car accident (just a small fender bender, but enough for whiplash & multiple visits to the chiropractor) & ended with a few days of feeling under the weather (nothing that some extra sleep couldn’t take care of), exercise just wasn’t a priority.

I also admit to having been a little too confident after last week’s loss (2.8 pounds!), so, I got lax with what I was eating. Nothing major, just extra helpings of higher calorie foods & not holding myself accountable (ie. there were a few days where I didn’t keep track of what I was eating).

But, the upside of it, is that at least I maintained.

What do you do when your weight weight loss stalls?

I’ll tell you what I’m going to do. I’m making my daily exercise a priority, & eating more. Yes, you read that right, eating MORE.

In particular, more of these foods:


All of these foods are chock full of fiber, nutrient-dense, & rather calorie-poor. Nice combo for filling ya up, nourishing the body, on fewer calories.

Of course, these foods are perfect anytime, not just in weight loss mode, but they’re particularly helpful when you want to create a calorie deficit without starving, which is the essence of the Fit, Strong, Lean diet.

I know the gut reaction to seeing that you haven’t lost any weight in a week is to not eat. My friend, that is not the answer. Not eating, is never the answer. Eating more is. Especially eating more of the above foods. Because they will fill you up, nourish you, on fewer calories. They will crowd out higher calorie foods & help you to achieve that net loss.

So here’s the low down on why you want to focus on eating more of these foods when the scale ain’t budging. 

What to do when your weight loss stalls : eat these foods

1. Chia seeds: These little guys expand up to 10x’s their weight, when put in liquid. A tablespoon or two in a smoothie or in porridge (like this one, that is my new fave way to start the day!) helps to curb hunger.

2. Onions: Dice, slice, & saute these up in some water or a bit of olive oil & they add so much flavor & fiber to soups, stir-fries, or stews.

3. Lentils: One of the highest protein plant foods, lentils deliver a ton of hunger-curbing fiber as well as a good dose of folate, manganese, copper, & iron. Good in tacos, soups, salads–an all-around winner. Higher protein foods require more calories to digest (& takes longer to digest) which helps in achieving that needed daily calorie deficit for weight loss. (Three of my favorite lentil recipes, here, here, & here!)

4. Carrots: Don’t knock them just because they’re kinda the quintessential diet food. They’re sweet & crunchy, & loaded with caratenoids, which are awesome for the skin & hair. Roast ’em, saute or stir-fry, or eat them raw plain or with some hummus.

5. Apples: sliced, diced, or whole, any kind, I love them. Eat an apple mid-afternoon or an hour or so before dinner to curb your appetite.

6. Green peas: A higher protein starch that when eaten raw are a delicious addition to a salad.

7. Old-fashioned rolled oats: High in soluble & insoluble fibers, which aid in creating that full feeling for longer. So easy & quick to make, it’s my fave “lazy mom” food.

8. Strawberries: One of the lowest-calorie dense fruits. One cup is just 50 calories. And so good!

9. Pureed pumpkin: I buy mine canned & use in milkshakes (like this one or for more of a treat, this one) or add to oatmeal. It’s one of the lowest-calorie dense starches. And like carrots packed with lots of beta-carotene.

10. White beans: Like lentils, a super-awesome source of plant-based protein. White beans are also a good source of calcium, fiber & have a yummy, almost smokey taste–great for dips, stews, & spreads. (Here‘s an old-school recipe–don’t laugh at the rudimentary pics.)

11. Green leafies: When weight loss plateaus, turn to the green guys. Green leafies are one of the most nutritious foods on the planet & are very low in calories. I love mine in salads (like this one, or this one), smoothies, & if it’s something like spinach or kale, sauteed in a bit of avocado or olive oil.



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  1. Gabby @ the veggie nook
    on March 17, 2014 at 4:09 pm said:

    Great post lady! I’ve been trying to lose a few (I’ve gained about 10 pound since moving to Toronto- not a ton but I feel heavy and I’m pretty short) so this list is a wonderful reminder!

  2. Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine
    on March 14, 2014 at 8:38 pm said:

    Haha, so I am totally not looking to lose weight AT ALL, I am on a journey to gain weight right now. But all of these food are so wonderful and I love them all! Beautiful foods from the Earth are great for every healthy body no matter what 😉

  3. Laurie
    on March 14, 2014 at 7:13 pm said:

    “They will crowd out higher calorie foods….”
    I first heard a similar idea in the documentary “Fat Sick and Nearly Dead”…or was it “Hungry for Change”?…..Anyway, it changed the way I thought about eating. Sadly, it didn’t much change the way I actually ate! Ha ha! In truth, it did, but I’ve fallen back into some bad habits lately. So, your saying this has given me a new A-HA moment and gentle reminder to reset those habits.

    • Janae Wise
      on March 14, 2014 at 7:18 pm said:

      “Sadly, it didn’t much change the way I actually ate! Ha ha! In truth, it did, but I’ve fallen back into some bad habits lately.”
      Ah, don’t beat yourself up about it! We all need a gentle reminder now & then to do better.

      I find when I refocus my attention to more simple foods, simple eating, I really begin to enjoy the tastes & sensations that nature has to offer. I mean, what can beat the taste of a ripe & juicy strawberry? (Maybe a chocolate dipped ripe & juicy strawberry?!–hahaha) Point is,sometimes we need to readjust & return, & be reminded how filling & satisfying these simple foods are.