Overcoming Weight Plateaus and Slow Metabolism

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It’s Mind Over Metabolism 



Metabolism, we hear the word thrown around a lot, but what is it really? In layman’s terms, it’s simply the rate at which we breakdown food.  Many people feel it plays a major role in determining our ability to lose or even gain weight. Registered dietician & nutritionist Dr. Ilana Muhlstein says, “People give metabolism too much credit.”  

She says that everyone has a “hidden metabolism,” but they just have to tap into it. Thus, she insists that overcoming weight gain or loss plateaus is a mindset, not a metabolism issue. 

Dr. Ilana Muhlstein says she was morbidly obese as a child. At 8 years old, she attended a weight loss sleep-away camp where she was introduced to a nutrition class. She considered it a positive experience and the beginning of her love and passion for healthy eating. She now serves as an advocate for childhood obesity and realized that healthy eating has to start with the parents first in order to spread throughout the home. As a nutrition consultant for major brands such as BeachBody, Curves & Whole Foods Market, she’s a firm believer that nutrition is a life skill that should start on day 1, adding “It can be super cool [for kids].”  

As a busy wife, mother and entrepreneur, Dr. Muhlstein is widely known for her position on getting kids to eat healthy and parents not falling prey to “the picky eater.” She even shares videos online of her 3-year-old daughter not only eating, but enjoying vegetables. She suggests that eating well is a great part of children’s development. She advises that when parents are introducing new textures and flavors to their children, the adults should eat vegetables with or in front of their children and smile to reinforce positivity.  

In overcoming weight loss challenges, here are things she says are important, which have nothing to do with a person’s metabolism: 

  • Sleep and weight gain are strongly tied together. If you sleep less than 7 hours a night you are likely to deal with hunger and never feeling satisfied. For people who have trouble sleeping, she suggests pillow sprays like lavender, chamomile, or eucalyptus.    
  • Time when eating is important. Never eat within three hours of your bedtime. Some foods give you a burst of energy versus allowing you to relax. 
  • Avoid calorie counting. People tend to make exceptions on certain high-calorie foods and then try to adjust their diet later in the day to balance it out. If you are inactive, though, it doesn’t matter if you adjust later. You have to move (i.e. exercise) in order to burn extra calories. The apps that help count calories have been known to overestimate, so you don’t have accurate information.  In addition, the USDA allows 20% grace for food labels, so it’s difficult to accurately count what you’re actually consuming. 
  • Avoid meal plans. They don’t work and are unrealistic, according to Dr. Muhlstein. 
  • Take age- and gender-specific multi-vitamins. Being in good health affects our ability to lose weight, and vitamins can help with that. 


Overall, she encourages people to unravel and release their negative relationships with food, including fixations on certain food groups or types and incessantly worrying about gaining or losing weight. When a person becomes subconsciously stuck, those feelings sabotage the potential for any kind of lasting weight loss success. She advises that you mentally push through them. The issue isn’t the food; it’s what you think about it. 

After years of watching people struggle with diets and workout plans that had an all or nothing approach, wanting to create perfect people, she created a self-directed system of guidelines to use while working, traveling, etc. It’s called ~ 2B Mindset. It’s scheduled to be released in May 2018. 

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