It can happen to any of us; we work hard to change our diet and exercise routine, we begin to lose weight, and then we suddenly hit a plateau and all of our progress seems to stop. Nothing else has changed; you just stop losing weight. This is a known as a weight loss plateau.
A weight loss plateau can happen to anyone, and it does not mean that you are doing anything wrong. It is really important to not let it make you feel discouraged. Be aware that weight loss follows a pattern, and it is completely normal to lose more weight in the beginning and have it slow down somewhat over time. It may just be necessary to make some minor adjustments to your diet and exercise program to kick it back into gear.
The following are some tips to help you get through a weight loss plateau:
Cut more calories
This does not have to be drastic, but it may be necessary to cut back on your calorie intake. Try cutting out 200 additional calories each day. This is not a huge change, but can help you get past this hurdle.
Jump-start your workout
If you have hit a plateau, it may be necessary to increase either the amount of time that you are exercising, or to increase the intensity of your work out. Adding an additional 15 – 30 minutes to your routine will increase your calorie burn and help to get you back on track.
Reevaluate your habits
Take a really honest look at your food intake and your habits. Sometimes, after we make progress and start to feel good, we begin to get a little bit lazier about our diet. Keep a food journal and see if you are honestly sticking with your plan.
Mix it up
Keep things interesting: Try to find new low calorie recipes to try. Choose a new vegetable at the grocery store and learn how to cook it. Eat a vegetarian meal once or twice a week. Or try to challenge yourself to find new ways to get more activity into your day.
Don’t give up
Most importantly, don’t let a weight loss plateau cause you to give up. Stick with your program and don’t be too hard on yourself. It may be frustrating, but you will feel much worse if you give up all of your healthy habits.