4 Ways to Get Over a Weight Loss Plateau
You’ve been cruising along on your weight loss journey, losing a reasonable amount of weight each week, when all of a sudden, you’re stalled. You’ve hit a plateau. Weeks go by, and you’re still not seeing results. You reaffirm yourself, yet still nothing. What do you do?
Not only can a weight loss plateau be annoying, but it can also be crushing to your motivation. It may even cause you to give up and start gaining back the weight you’ve worked so hard to lose. Don’t let this happen to you. Forge ahead on your weight loss journey, but change tack. You need to address the problem head on, and one or several of the following tips will provide exactly what it takes to get over that plateau and reach your ultimate weight loss goal.
- Start alternating your exercise routine.
Your body has an amazing ability to adapt to whatever exercise routine it’s been consistently doing. Essentially, it’s trying to master your workout plan. At first, this will be tough for your body, and because of the challenge, you’ll burn tons of calories. But over time, your body will adapt, and your workouts will get easier.
Have you noticed this? If so, it’s time to change. You don’t want your body to adapt to your routine. The whole point is to challenge yourself. That’s how to burn calories.
This week, instead of doing the same video workout or jogging route over again, do something different. Play basketball with your family, jump on a trampoline, try Pilates, or do some weight training. You’ll soon see the pounds start to melt off.
- Make sure you’ve been honest in your record keeping.
If you want to lose weight, food tracking is essential. Even if you’re eating according to a detailed plan, extra calories have an amazing tendency to creep on, and unfortunately, this isn’t an “if I don’t record them, they don’t exist” situation.
Reaffirm your dedication to tracking, and track every single food you eatat every single occasion. This includes extra sauces, drinks, garnishes, side dishes, and those little nibbles you’ve been taking of your spouse’s meal. It all counts.
- Change what you’re eating.
If you’ve been tracking consistently but you’re still at a plateau, reassess what foods you’re eating. Sweets and treats in moderation are okay, but remember that the more treats you eat, the less likely you’ll be able to lose weight at a steady clip. Lots of pizza nights and muffin mornings–even if you’re tracking like a champ–will cause your metabolism to slow, and your body will retain more fluids. Lots of lean protein, veggies, fruits, and whole grains will help you mend the situation.
- Where are you on your journey? You might want to start eating more.
Finally, if you’re at a point where you need to lose just 15 pounds or less, you need to change your plan. Your body enjoyed shedding unnecessary fat, so it did so willingly. But it wants to hold onto these last 10 or 15 pounds because you’re not actually unhealthy at this point.
If you still want to drop the extra weight, however, you can. Simply create a calorie deficit of no more than 500 calories each day. More than that will trigger starvation mode, and your body will hold onto those last few pounds for dear life–no matter how healthy you eat or how hard you exercise. If you do this, this phase of your weight loss will be slow, but it will happen if you’re patient.
In some rare occasions, extended weight loss plateaus signify a bigger medical problem, such as polycystic ovarian syndrome or a thyroid problem. If you’ve tried everything and still can’t seem to continue losing, talk to your doctor. Otherwise, the tips listed above are sure to help you get over this minor setback.