Being stuck at a weight-loss plateau eventually happens to everyone who tries to lose weight. There will be good weeks and not-so-good weeks. Plateaus are a common part of weight loss. The important thing to remember here is that weight loss isn’t linear and it’s actually normal for your weight to fluctuate on a regular basis. If you are committed to losing weight, try these tips for getting past the plateau:
1. Reassess your habits. Look back at your food and activity records. Make sure you haven’t loosened the rules. For example, look at whether you’ve been having larger portions, eating more processed foods, or getting less exercise. Research suggests that off-and-on loosening of rules contributes to plateaus.
2. Don’t mess with your diet. As long as you’re eating a healthy diet, there is no reason to change it just because you hit that weight-loss plateau. The most important thing with dietary habits is being consistent.
3. Increase physical activity. Get at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity a week, or a combination of moderate and vigorous activity. Adding exercises such as weightlifting to increase your muscle mass will help you burn more calories.
4. Focus on your non-scale successes. While it can be exciting to see the numbers on the scale go down, this isn’t the only measure of success when it comes to losing weight. Your weight loss journey isn’t just about numbers. Non-scales victories such as loose jeans, better sleep, more energy are also victories!
The key to avoiding a weight loss plateau is to make lasting changes to your diet, physical activity and let time do the rest.