How to break a weight loss plateau

This article was co-authored by Adrienne Youdim, MD. Dr. Adrienne Youdim is a Board Certified Internist specializing in medical weight loss and nutrition and founder and creator of Dehl Nutrition – a line of functional nutritional bars and supplements. With 10+ years of experience, Dr. Youdim uses a holistic approach to nutrition that blends lifestyle changes and evidence-based medicine. Dr. Youdim holds a BA from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and an MD from the University of California, San Diego (UCSD). She completed her residency training and fellowship at Cedars-Sinai. Dr. Youdim holds multiple board certifications awarded by the American Board of Internal Medicine, the National Board of Physician Nutrition Specialists, and the American Board of Obesity Medicine. She is also a Fellow of the American College of Physicians. Dr. Youdim is an Associate Professor of Medicine at UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine and an Assistant Professor of Medicine at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. She has been featured on CBS News, Fox News, Dr. Oz, National Public Radio, W Magazine, and the Los Angeles Times.

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You have been exercising, watching what you eat, and doing everything right to reach your weight-loss goal, but one day the scale simply stops moving. How frustrating! Getting stuck at a weight-loss plateau for a few days or even weeks is perfectly normal and happens to most dieters at some point. Spend some time evaluating why you may have hit your weigh-loss plateau, and then try the tips below to get your body back on track to reach your weight-loss goals.

Five ways to start losing weight again—today!

My one-on-one clients often seek me out because they’ve suddenly stopped losing weight. Sometimes it’s because their approach wasn’t optimal and caused their metabolism to come to a screeching halt (typically caused by a plan that is too strict). But many people just need a little fine-tuning to get the scale moving again. If you feel like you’ve been on the right track and you’re no longer seeing results test out these six tweaks:

Adjust your carb intake

Your body has a huge capacity to store carbohydrates. You can sock away at least 500 grams. To put that in perspective one slice of bread packs 15 grams. When you eat more carbohydrate than your body immediately needs, you store the leftovers in your carb piggy bank, known as glycogen. And, for every gram of glycogen you stockpile, you also put away about 3 to 4 grams of water. While this weight isn’t body fat it does show up on the scale, and it can make you feel a little puffy. The best way to shed the excess is to cut out refined, dense carbs like white breads, pasta, and baked goods, and include more water rich and airy unprocessed “good” carbs like fresh fruits and vegetables, popcorn, and fluffy whole grains like quinoa and whole wheat couscous. More fluid or air per bite means fewer carbs, but you’ll feel just as full.

Up your fiber intake

Research has shown that for every gram of fiber we eat, we eliminate about seven calories. That means if you eat 30 grams a day you’ll essentially cancel out 210 calories, a savings that could result in a 20 pound weight loss in one year’s time. Another study in Brazilian dieters found that over a six-month period, each addition gram of fiber resulted in an extra quarter pound of weight loss. Look for higher fiber foods within the same food groups. For example, cup for cup black beans pack 2.5 grams of fiber more than chickpeas, and barley provides 6 grams per cup compared to just 3.5 in brown rice.

Cut back on salt and sodium

Water is attracted to sodium like a magnet, so when you down a little more salt or sodium than usual, you may hang on to extra fluid. Two cups of water (16 ounces) weighs one pound, so a shift in fluid will have an immediate impact on the scale. The best way to slash sodium is to skip the saltshaker or sodium-laden seasonings and eat more fresh, unprocessed foods.

Drink more H2O

Water is an essential component of calorie burning and it helps flush out any excess sodium and fluid you may be hanging on to. Plus a recent study found that adults who simply gulped two cups of water before meals enjoyed a major weight loss benefit; they shed 40 percent more weight over a 12-week period while following a reduced calorie plan. The same group of scientists previously found that subjects who drank two cups before meals naturally consumed 75 to 90 fewer calories, an amount that could really snowball day after day.

Build more movement into your day

If you already work out, build a little extra activity into your day. Stand up and fold laundry, or iron as you watch TV, or do the dishes by hand. Just getting on your feet burns an extra 30to 40 calories per hour. At one extra hour a day that means you’ll burn almost 15,000 additional calories over a year’s time.

Listen to your body

Eat slowly and stop when you’re full. I’m sure you’ve heard this before but these two strategies are key. One study found that when women were instructed to eat slower they drank more water and ate four times fewer calories per minute. During each meal try to take smaller bites, put your fork down between them, chew well, and savor your food. Pay attention and stop when you feel full, knowing you’ll be eating again in another 3 to 5 hours.

The truth is it’s normal for your weight to ebb and flow, so don’t panic if you see slight ups and downs. Plateaus can be broken and most weight fluctuations are due to changes in water weight, stored carbohydrates, or waste that hasn’t been eliminated from your body yet. Rather than getting caught up in the numbers try to focus on how you feel. If you’re consistent you’ll continue moving in the right direction.

What are your thoughts on weight loss plateaus? Tweet @cynthiasass and @Shape_Magazine.

by mike millner | Feb 21, 2021

How to break a weight loss plateau

There are few things more frustrating than the dreaded weight loss plateau.

It’s actually one of the most common reasons for causing the “fuck it, why bother” mindset to creep in.

It makes sense … because you’re going from seeing results and feeling good about yourself to all of a sudden feeling like nothing is working.

It’d be like making a bunch of money and suddenly you end up broke in what feels like a moment’s notice.

I remember how I used to hit those plateaus right when I was about to break through another weight loss milestone. Like I’d be sitting at 200 or 201 and I could feel the 190s within reach …

Then, days and weeks would go by and every day it was … 200.8, 201.2, 200.6, 202, 201, etc. … you get the point.

I wanted to smash my scale against the wall (it probably would’ve been a more effective strategy for me).

My solution to a weight loss plateau was always to try harder.

I would get this determination to break through so I would cut calories, exercise more, and try to be as perfect as possible.

I remember doing two-a-days where I would add bike sprints on top of my 6 workouts per week.

You know what happened?

The only difference it made was that my mindset shifted from “try harder” to “why even bother.”

Without fail, I’d go on an epic binge.

Then, I found myself feeling demoralized and guilty.

And, eventually, I’d dust myself off and start the process all over again.

It’s challenging when there’s so much misinformation out there that says to cut calories or exercise more when you hit a plateau.

I thought I was doing the right thing.

As I had to learn the hard way … I was doing the exact opposite of the right thing.

Plateaus are nothing more than an adaptation to what you’re currently doing.

Which means your body is “used to” the amount of food you’re eating and the amount of exercise you’re doing.

In order to elicit change, we need to send a new signal.

Now, if that signal is … we’re going to eat less and exercise more … you may get some temporary movement.

But then what? Your body is going to adapt again.

So, now you hit yet another weight loss plateau on even fewer calories and even more exercise.

That game gets exhausting real quick.

Not to mention, plateaus can occur from being under too much stress.

Therefore, it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to add more stress onto your system (eating too little is a stressor and exercising too much is also a stressor).

What if we sent the opposite signal?

What if we delivered the “safety” signal instead?

There are many ways to do that, but some of my favorites include:

-Increasing calories back to maintenance for two straight days.

-Adding an extra rest day or two.

-Increasing calories back to maintenance for a week or two.

-Taking a de-load or recovery week for training.

-Adding more stress reducing, low impact activities like more walks and stretching.

-Getting some extra sleep if possible (all the moms collectively roll their eyes lol).

The very last resort when we work with our 1:1 coaching clients is to reduce calories.

And, it’s often not even necessary. The reason is because we go through a phase of metabolic priming where we get them eating enough calories overall so their bodies respond favorably when they want to lose fat.

This means they get to make more sustainable progress on higher calories.

Therefore, when a weight loss plateau happens, we can use some of the tactics above and still have plenty of room to work with in case it does require a calorie reduction.

We help you break through a weight loss plateau with a personal approach.

What’s great about doing it this way, is that it’s much easier to incorporate freedom and flexibility into the process. We make sure that they still get to enjoy foods they love, alcohol if they want to drink, social events, date nights, etc.

Many of our clients come to us with the belief that they need to be miserable in order to achieve their goals. And, they quickly learn that being miserable is the exact reason why they couldn’t sustain it in the past.

We also help them break through plateaus by manipulating macros. Especially as we monitor the daily stressors in their lives and adjust accordingly to ensure proper stress management and recovery.

Certain foods and macro ratios will help more with reducing stress and recovery from training, depending on the workouts they’re doing, so we want to make sure the plan is in alignment with their training and lifestyle.

None of this matters without consistency and feeling great through the process. That’s why we recommend food choices based on their brain chemistry which we gather from their personality assessment.

Having a plan based on the way they are wired allows them to feel more like themselves, experience less stress, and maintain a more stable mood … all of which lead to being more consistent and getting better results.

These are the steps that I took when I finally realized that my approach for breaking through plateaus was problematic.

And these are the steps that we take for our 1:1 clients when we work with them in our signature 6-month coaching program.

If you’ve been struggling to break through plateaus and feel like nothing has worked, then our program can help.

If that’s you and you want to see if our program is the right fit, simply click the button below to PM me on Facebook and we’ll discuss your goals to see if we can help! I’ll ask you a few questions and if you’re the right fit for our program, I’ll offer you an invite and we can get you enrolled within a day or two!

Try these weight loss plateau solutions if the scale just won’t budge.

How to break a weight loss plateau

How to break a weight loss plateau

If it’s been months since you’ve embarked on your weight loss journey but the scale won’t budge, then you’ve officially hit a weight loss plateau. “Weight loss plateaus are normal and to be expected when you’ve been losing weight for a while,” says Michelle Hyman, M.S., R.D., C.D.N., a registered dietitian at Simple Solutions Weight Loss. “Plateaus are merely a sign that it’s time to switch up your eating and physical activity.”

It is possible to start shedding again—if you’re smart about it. If you’ve hit a weight loss plateau, there’s a chance that you’re already at a healthy weight or don’t have an actual plan to reach your goal. You just have to re-evaluate your goals and your routine, then believe that you can get there. “Picture yourself hitting your defined goals, then jot down how you feel. Imagine yourself living a day in the life of this ‘new you,'” says Josh Cox, certified personal trainer at Anytime Fitness in Santa Rosa, CA.

To help you get over the hump, we consulted weight loss experts to offer weight loss plateau solutions on how to make concrete changes so you can lose those last stubborn pounds.

You know the story: It’s a new year, you set new goals, you start off strong, you see those pounds and inches fall away, and then…BAM! The scale gets stuck; you’ve hit a weight loss plateau. It’s a common tale, but that doesn’t make it any less frustrating. Before you throw in the sweat towel and call it quits, however, you might want to dig a little deeper and discover why you’ve hit that weight loss plateau. Identifying and addressing a few common causes can make getting “unstuck” and back on track easier than you think.

It Only Works if You Do

As a trainer and cycle instructor, I see the same faces week after week. I love the dedication and consistency, but there’s a big difference in showing up FOR class and showing up TO class. Showing up FOR class means you are present physically in the room, checking the workout off your list of to-dos without any real intention. Showing up TO class means you are pushing yourself out of your comfort zone and committing to the work. In other words, if you can complete your favorite fitness activity without breaking a sweat, then it’s time to step up your game. Add more resistance to the bike in your cycling class, add some sprint intervals to your treadmill or outdoor run, or grab a heavier pair of dumbbells on the gym floor. So many people equate struggle with weakness, when in fact the opposite is true. Struggle means that you are asking your body to do something that it is unaccustomed to doing and forcing it to work harder. Otherwise, it will become accustomed to the demands you are placing on it and you’ll be the equivalent of a hamster spinning on a wheel but going absolutely nowhere. Be honest with yourself about the effort you are putting out before you cash it in.

Dive into Your Diet Plan

One of the most common causes of a weight loss plateau is diet. You can hit the gym five times a week, but if you follow your morning workout with a big stack of pancakes dripping with butter and syrup or celebrate a strong sweat session with a sugary cocktail (or two) you aren’t going to get the changes you want. Even if you consider yourself someone who eats “healthy,” you need to consider things like serving sizes and hidden ingredients. For example, is that protein bar you love full of sugar? Even a salad can become a problem if you are covering it in a calorie-laden dressing. Get familiar with food labels, specifically calories and serving sizes. Keep a food diary or download an app like PLATE or My Fitness Pal to track your food, and record everything that passes your lips. You might be surprised to see that your healthy eating habits aren’t as healthy as you think.

Don’t Resist Rest

Starting a new workout program and seeing results is exciting and can make you want to spend every second in the gym, but more isn’t always better. In fact, sometimes more is just, more. Without proper rest, our bodies are not able to fully recover, which can lead to injury, reduced training capacity, and more. When we sleep, our bodies are busy doing important things like repairing muscle tissue and regulating hormones like cortisol that keep your appetite in check. Schedule rest days and make sure that you are getting a good night’s sleep by creating soothing nighttime habits like drinking hot herbal tea or indulging in a warm bath. Power down your electronics at least 30 minutes to an hour before bedtime to allow your body and brain to power down and go into sleep mode as well.

Don’t Sabotage Your Success

Setting goals is great, but make sure they are realistic. One size does not fit all when it comes to a healthy lifestyle. If your best friend got in great shape through running, but you hate to run, don’t make running a big part of your plan. You will find an excuse not to do it. The same with foods. If all of your friends are going vegetarian and you hate veggies, it’s probably not a good idea to jump on the bandwagon. If your squad is hitting that 5:30 a.m. cycle class but you know you’d rather hit snooze, then don’t sign up. Defeat is a powerful thing, and it can quickly spiral out of control until you give up entirely. That’s why it’s better to look at the big picture. Rather than commit to something specific like eating a salad for lunch or going for a three-mile run every day, be more general. Commit to moving your body three times a week or making a healthy food swap every day. Broader options give you much more freedom and eliminate any excuses that could trip you up like working late or eating out.

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Unfortunately, weight loss plateaus are just part of the weight loss journey. As your body changes and adapts, you have to learn how to change and adapt with it. Rather than view it as a setback, look at it as an opportunity to learn more about yourself and your habits. Once you start identifying the areas where you can make some adjustments, you can overcome the plateau and get back on the path to success.

How to break a weight loss plateau

Have you hit a weight loss plateau?

You’re not alone. There’s a staggering number of obese and overweight people in the world and therefore, an enormous amount of dieting.

However, most people don’t know much about how to diet. They often jump on a fad diet train which leads to immediate results and long-term plateaus. Additionally, most of the fad diets out there are extreme crash diets, which can cause a lot more harm than good.

But learning how to break a weight loss plateau is about much more than just what you put in your mouth. Keeping reading for an in-depth look out how to keep ploughing through your goals!

How to Break A Weight Loss Plateau

We know how hard weight loss can be, especially when your progress seems to stop altogether, or even worse, go backwards. However, we’ve got your back!

We’ve assembled a list of tips and techniques to help you learn how to break a weight loss plateau. Check them out below!

1. Change Up Your Cardio Routine

People often get stuck in their routines. Whether it’s because it’s easy to do the same thing or because they don’t know anything else, people often end up doing the same workout every single day.

Unfortunately, for our weight loss goals, our bodies are incredibly adaptive. In order to keep the progress moving forward, we have to change up our cardio routines.

Here are some ideas:

  • Change it up between intensity levels (long and slow vs. short and fast)
  • Try interval training
  • Switch up cardio machines

2. Start Lifting Weights

Another great option when learning how to break a weight loss plateau is picking up resistance training.

Before you start worrying about becoming too bulky, realize that people have to work hard for that look. It won’t happen overnight and lean muscle mass is what gives people the desired “toned” look.

Additionally, lean muscle increases your metabolic rate, making it easier to burn calories. You don’t have to become a bodybuilder or a powerlifter, but building incorporating weightlifting a few times a week will help.

3. Change Your Thought Process

The way you think has a major impact on how your body reacts to weight loss. It’s known as the placebo effect, which has been made famous through multiple clinical studies ranging from weight loss to the eradication of cancer.

Basically, if you believe you’re going to lose weight, you probably will, and vice versa.

Additionally, you need to remember that the number on the scale isn’t everything. If you’re building muscle while exercising, the scale won’t tell give you an accurate depiction of your body composition (lean mass vs fat). It will just tell you whether or not you’ve lost overall weight.

4. Consider Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent fasting is another option you may consider. Starving yourself is never a good approach to any diet, so don’t assume intermittent fasting means starving!

In reality, intermittent fasting means eating during certain hours of the day and fasting for the rest. The eating window is typically eight hours long, and the fasting window is 16 hours.

This gives you time to eat all of your necessary calories during the day but also allows 16 hours of fasting. There are tons of benefits to intermittent fasting that are worth reading.

5. Consider Carb Cycling

Another great way how to break a weight loss plateau involves carb cycling. Carbs aren’t inherently bad, however, too many carbs will make you gain weight, especially if they’re timed poorly.

Carbs are basically sugars, and sugars are basically energy. When we ingest too much, or the body doesn’t know what to do with it, other than store it for later. Stored energy is also called fat.

Carb cycling has you eat all of your carbs directly before and after your workout, rather than throughout the entire day. That way, the energy is going towards providing energy for the workout and recovery for the muscles.

6. Re-Examine Your Diet

Without taking any big steps like crash diets or even carb cycling, you can take a moment to re-evaluate your diet. Are you eating as healthy as you think you are?

Just because the package says “Lean Pockets,” it doesn’t mean what’s inside is actually healthy for you. It’s important to eat a well-balanced diet with plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole foods.

Too many processed foods can quickly get in the way of losing weight.

7. Get More Physical Activity in During the Day

When learning how to break a weight loss plateau, think about how much physical activity you actually get during the day. Aside from your workout, do you move around very much? A half an hour of physical activity isn’t much, especially if your diet needs work and you’re sedentary for the rest of the day.

Find more ways to move and be active. This could include biking to work, parking farther away when you go to the store, walking the dog more often, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, etc.

Everything you put in your mouth counts as energy in, so why not increase the amount of energy going out?

8. Drink More Water (and Less of Everything Else)

A major mistake people lose while trying to lose weight is right in their cup. Drinking your calories is a critical error that could be stalling your progress.

Coffees, sodas, and juices are all full of sugar. Remember that when you ingest sugar, especially simple sugars, your body is going to store a lot of it as fat.

Drink more water and less of everything else throughout the day!

9. Get a Workout Partner or Join a Fitness Class

Finally, most of us start to hit a wall in our progress because we’ve hit a wall in our motivation.

Learning how to break a weight loss plateau may mean getting a friend to workout with you at the gym. Alternatively, you could join a fitness class.

There’s something about working out with other people that makes us push just a little bit harder. It could be all you need to get revitalized!

Learn Your Weight Loss Type and Break Through the Plateau

If you’ve been trying to learn how to break a weight loss plateau and coming up short on answers, we may have one more trick up our sleeve.

If not, it could be the only thing standing in your way! You are unique, and therefore, so is the way you lose weight. Click the link above to learn your weight loss type and start unlocking the secrets to your body’s ideal weight-loss method!

Experiencing a weight loss plateau can be pretty demotivating. Many people find that the weight comes off relatively easily to begin with, but over time the rate of weight loss can slow down or stop altogether. For some, this is a big enough barrier for them to stop trying and revert back to their old bad habits. It’s often part of the reason that people yo-yo diet instead of sticking with a weight loss plan consistently. But that doesn’t have to be the case and there are practical methods for addressing it. In this article, we look at why people experience a weight loss plateau, along with 9 simple ways to break through it.

What is a weight loss plateau

A weight loss plateau is where you stop losing weight despite eating healthily and exercising regularly. It can feel like you’re not getting the results you want even though you’re doing everything right. But it’s also something that most people experience at some point in their weight loss journey and is a perfectly normal part of the process.

Causes of a weight loss plateau

How to break a weight loss plateauPlateaus usually occur when your body adapts to your new lifestyle. This can happen at any point but tends to be in the first few months of changing your habits. Once your body becomes accustomed to your new diet and exercise regime, you’ll find that weight loss seems to tail off.

A weight loss plateau is usually caused by a combination of factors. The first is that your body will stop dropping ‘water weight’. If you create a calorie deficit by eating less and moving more, then the body will use up its carbohydrate reserves first. Carbohydrate is bound to four times its weight in water in order to be stored, so this all gets released as it’s burned off. This is one of the reasons that weight loss can seem rapid at first then slow down after a while.

The second factor is that losing weight means your body needs fewer calories, but many people don’t account for this. As your body mass decreases, it needs less energy to function so its basic metabolic rate decreases. However, most people continue to eat the same number of calories as they did at the start. Whereas this might have led to a calorie deficit at the beginning, it may result in unknowingly overconsuming calories once you’ve dropped a few pounds. This can lead to a weight loss plateau or even unexpected weight gain.

How long does a weight loss plateau last?

A weight loss plateau can last from weeks to months depending on how you address it. If you do nothing and hope for the best, then it’s likely to last quite a while. Although some people describe it as the weight loss plateau myth, it’s a real phenomenon that affects many people. However, it can be overcome by adapting your approach to losing weight. This might mean tweaking your nutrition or overhauling your exercise regime to kick-start the next stage of weight loss. But it’s relatively easy to do once you know how.

9 simple ways to break through a weight loss plateau

How to break a weight loss plateau

So, what’s the best way to achieve post-plateau weight loss? Here are some practical tips you can use to reboot your approach:

1 – Recalculate your calorie needs

The first thing you should do is recalculate your calorie needs based on your new weight. This is likely to be less than previously needed so you can adjust your diet accordingly. If you’re unsure how to work out your calorie requirements then check out this article.

2 – Ditch the processed carbs

Cutting down on processed carbohydrates temporarily can help to kick-start weight loss again. It’ll reduce your calorie intake and help to avoid bloating too. This will also mean that you’re naturally inclined to eat more natural carbs like fruit and vegetables, as well as protein and healthy fats.

3 – Increase your caffeine intake

Caffeine has been shown to increase fat burning, so increasing your intake can help to overcome a weight loss plateau. Drinking more black tea, green tea, or coffee can give you a caffeine boost that’ll rev up your metabolism. Just be sure to avoid adding milk or sugar so that you’re not consuming additional calories.

4 – Switch up your workouts

Switching up your workouts can challenge your body in new ways and force it to adapt even further. This could involve increasing the intensity or duration so that you’re pushing yourself harder and expending more calories. Or trying different workout styles such as HIIT or functional sessions.

How to break a weight loss plateau

5 – Try a fat-burning supplement

A fat-burning supplement like PhenQ can break you out of your plateau and get you back on track. Its thermogenic properties mean you burn more calories and use fat stores as fuel. PhenQ also suppresses fat production as well as your appetite so you crave less food. Plus, it contains caffeine to give you a further fat-burning boost and enhanced energy levels.

6 – Focus on sleep quality

Lack of sleep can affect hormone production and limit your weight loss. Hormones that control hunger, fullness after meals and fat storage can all be negatively impacted if you don’t get 7-10 hours a night. So, make sleep quality a priority by limiting screen time before bed and having a regular nighttime routine.

7 – Quit alcohol

If you’ve hit a weight loss plateau but are still drinking alcohol, then it’s time to think about stopping. Alcohol contains 7 calories per gram and can sabotage your efforts, even if you’re doing everything else right. Depending on how much you drink, swapping alcoholic beverages for sparkling water can dramatically cut your calorie intake.

8 – Eat more protein

Your body can’t store excess protein, so if you eat more than you need, it’ll be excreted in urine. This means that increasing your protein intake can help you to feel fuller but won’t lead to weight gain. So, swapping some of your carbs or fat for protein can be enough to reignite weight loss.

9 – Stop drinking calories

Many people don’t realize how many calories they drink. Whether it’s in sodas or fruit juice, they can quickly stack up and contribute to a weight loss plateau. Go for water instead and save your calories for foods that’ll make you feel fuller and more satisfied.

Switch it up and start losing again

These practical tips will help you to break through a weight loss plateau and get back on track. They’ll address the root cause by challenging your body in new ways and rebalancing your calorie intake and expenditure. If you’d like a little help to kick-start the results, then try PhenQ. It’ll boost your body’s fat-burning capabilities so that you can continue to lose weight and achieve your goals. You can learn more about its effects here.

How do you deal with weight loss plateaus? We’d love to hear about your methods in the comments below.

How to break a weight loss plateau

As frustrating as weight loss plateaus are, they are nearly sure to happen. Mayo Clinic says they are common. Just as sure, though, is that there are ways to fight back so you can see the progress you deserve. That scale will start moving again, and when it does, you may feel prouder and stronger than ever before. These are some ways to approach a weight loss plateau.

You are eating vegetables, passing up ice cream, skipping pizza, and drinking tons of water. You are living and breathing weight loss, but one day, the scale stops moving. Another day passes, and a week, without losing weight. That is right: you may have hit a weight loss plateau. Mayo Clinic says changing your calorie balance can help you get over the hump. These are some ideas for doing that and for other ways to start losing weight again.

Change The Macro Strategy

Sometimes a little change in perspective can do the trick. If calories were all that you were looking at before, it may help to look at your macronutrients, or macros. The reverse can also be true. The macronutrients, or macros, are the protein, fat, and carbohydrates in your diet. Some ways to focus on macros without worrying specifically about calorie counts can be:

  • Going low-carb, which means reducing starchy and sugary foods in the diet, which can lead to fewer calories taken in as foods such as cookies, cakes, pasta, bread, soft drinks, and potatoes are dramatically reduced. Harvard School of Public Health has a list of high-carbohydrate foods.
  • Cutting back on unhealthy fats, which can lead to fewer calories by limiting high-calorie foods such as fried foods, fatty meats, and high-fat baked goods and snacks such as pies and potato chips.
  • Eating more lean proteins, which can lead to fewer calories by having foods such as egg whites, soy bacon, and fish, instead of fatty meats and cheese.

This approach can also provide a much-needed mental break from calorie-counting. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has more tips for losing weight.

Crowd Out The Weight Loss Saboteurs

It is common to think about weight loss in terms of everything you cannot have, but this approach has a few possible problems. It can be discouraging to think about what is not allowed, which can lead you to hop right off the healthy eating bandwagon. Another problem is that thinking about what you should not have can make you want it more. After all, the boy in the story probably did not want to stick beans up his nose until his mother told him not to. And, it is awfully hard to think of anything besides flying pink elephants when you are told not to think about flying pink elephants. Tell yourself that frosted brownies are off-limits, and you may find yourself craving frosted brownies.

An easier approach, at least mentally and from the point of view of not being excessively hungry, is to think about what you can have, and a lot of it. In general, it is a good idea to pile on high-fiber or high-protein choices, such as salads and other vegetables, lean proteins, fruit, and beans. By the time you plow through those, you may be full and not have much desire for fried foods, desserts, and other high-calorie foods. In effect, the healthier foods will be crowding out the weight-loss saboteurs.

Log Like You Used To

Remember when you first started the weight loss journey? Was there a time when you may have been logging every single bite and measuring portions to make sure you knew exactly what you were taking in? Are you still doing that? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggest keeping a food diary or log to improve eating habits.

As time passes, it often happens that a bite or two slips in here or there without being logged, or desserts start to get tasted, or butter returns as a cooking aid. Once in awhile is fine for any indulgence, but they add up when they start to get regular, and they can get regular again, before you know it, by sneaking back a bit at a time.

Logging your meals again, if that slipped away, can help pin down some reasons why weight stopped going down. There may be a few more condiments than you realized, or those trips to the vending machine may be more frequent than they had seemed, or second helpings of vegetables had been replaced by second helpings of starchy foods. Using Lark can lead you to make important discoveries and allow you to compare then and now.

Consider Health Before Calories

Do you ever get sick of thinking about calories and weight loss? Sometimes, it can help to keep the focus on food, but instead keeping an eye on calories, shifting your attention to nutrition and health. This can provide a nice mental break, which can help keep you motivated despite the scale’s stubborn resistance to moving.

Some approaches might be:

  • Eating at least two different vegetables each at lunch and dinner.
  • Choosing only plant-based proteins or fish at least 4 days a week.
  • Baking or roasting instead of frying foods.

These changes can lead to weight loss though you may not be specifically intending them to. Highly nutritious foods tend to be lower in calories and more filling than lower-nutrient ones, and to lead to fewer cravings for high-calorie, high-sugar foods.

Cheat Often

Take a break now, and plan to take another break soon. A planned cheat day can sometimes shock your body into breaking through the plateau and going back to weight loss mode. It can also give you a mental break from being so careful with what you eat. Finally, a cheat meal gives you the chance to eat some of the high-calorie treats that may have been scarce recently.

For many people, a weekly cheat meal can be the ticket to long-term success with weight loss and healthy eating. It can be a meal you prepare at home, or you can plan your cheat meal to coincide with a party or a restaurant meal so you can let loose at those occasions.

Weight loss plateaus are frustrating, but they are part of the game. You can take charge by being patient and persistent, and trying a few new strategies. Lark DPP can help you figure it out as you keep working towards those weight loss and health goals.