It was all going so well and you were losing weight. You were watching your diet and doing lots of good exercise and for some reason the weight loss stopped. Maybe you just hit a wall hard and stopped there or maybe you slowly noticed that you were hovering at the same weight for the last few weeks. Either way, you hit the dreaded weight loss plateau and you were halted in its tracks. Hitting a weight loss plateau is very common when losing weight. It certainly doesn't mean you're going to have to stay at that weight, never to lose more. People hit plateaus and then break through them all the time. Keep the following points in mind to bust through.
The first and perhaps most important thing is that you should not let a plateau get you down. Attitude is everything. Many people see their weight has stopped dropping and they feel as though they will never get any further. This attitude can lead you to stop trying to lose weight, and may even cause you to put weight back on. Even if it is just "in the back of your mind", it can have that affect. So be careful what you say to yourself. Because whether you tell yourself yes you can break through the plateau, or no you can't go any further; guess what? You're right! Think about that for a moment. Let it sink in.
When you are looking to break through a plateau, it is important to understand what is happening. Your body has adjusted to the new treatment you were giving it and you will find it is trying to normalize itself. This is important for your body to be able to do, but nothing says you can't continue to challenge it.
Start reviewing your habits. Is there anything that you should change? We often see weight loss with just a little bit of change in diet, but the truth is, small changes usually are not enough for serious weight loss. Take some time and make sure your eating habits are squeaky clean. Are you going out to eat and not accounting for the fat or extra calories in restaurant food? Are you keeping track of what you're eating? Are you eating more meals than you should? Take a look at everything and be honest with yourself. If you have gotten sloppy with your diet plan, get back to where you were when you started.
If you passed with a 10 on the check list, then your body has gotten complacent with your routine, even if it is a good one. Change things up. Have dinner for breakfast, have breakfast for dinner. Eat 5 small meals a day rather than 3 meals with a snack. If you are always eating chicken and fish, have beef and pork this week. Add 1 T. of a healthy oil to your lunch salad to give it a twist. Your body will start to react to the new things you are giving it. You can even eat something that is highly fattening at one meal. Only once though! The idea is to "shock" your body out of its complacency.
If your weight loss has stopped, take some time to reconsider your exercise regimen. The plateau is telling you something. Are you exercising faithfully? Is your workout still challenging or do you need to take it up a notch? Try some cross training so your body doesn't get used to one type of exercise. See about adding something new to the workout, whether it is a new activity or simply making the existing workout harder.
When you've hit a weight loss plateau, remember that it's usually just a temporary time for readjustment for your body and your weight loss regimen. Instead of being discouraged, become determined to work through it. You've already come a long way, haven't you?