10 ways to breakthrough frustrating weight loss plateaus

I have honestly lost count of all the times someone has asked me about what to do when they hit a weight-loss plateau.  If you have never hit one, consider yourself pretty lucky.  A weight-loss plateau occurs when you no longer lose weight despite continuing with your healthy lifestyle of better eating habits and partaking in some form of daily exercise. Being stuck at a weight-loss plateau seems to happen to the majority of individuals who are trying to lose weight; and although hitting a plateau is common, most people are surprised when it happens to them.    The frustrating reality is that even well planned weight loss efforts often become delayed, which is difficult to deal with since you are giving your weight-loss efforts all you’ve got and you aren’t getting anywhere.

Now usually these plateaus only last for a short length of time, but they can seem like forever!  Compare it to trying to reach a certain destination point while riding a bike … yet the tires aren’t even touching the ground.  You just keep peddling but you aren’t getting anywhere!   Eventually, those tires have traction again and you’re on your way, and all that previous peddling made you a little stronger.

In the meantime, what’s a person to do when the frustration hits?  First and foremost, I want to stress: hang in there!  You’ve been doing a great job and you will continue doing so.  A healthy lifestyle is not something that you want to end … it is your new way of life and not a diet.  Diets have end dates, healthy lifestyles last a lifetime.

I want to share some advice that has helped many people get over a weight loss plateau.

  1. Find a friend to work out with because then you’re more likely to stick with it. Better yet, find a friend at a more advanced fitness level and they’ll help you kick it up a notch (or two)
  2. Eat more fruits and veggies to feel fuller faster
  3. Learn a new skill and attempt new exercise routines so you don’t get bored
  4. Don’t be too strict with yourself and allow a cheat meal once a week
  5. Drink plenty of water which is known to help curb your appetite and increase your metabolism
  6. Keep a food journal and be honest with yourself when it comes to serving sizes
  7. Create a reward for yourself so when you reach your goal you can celebrate it
  8. Don’t skip meals because it slows down your metabolism
  9. Find little ways to incorporate more exercise into your day.  Park in the farthest spot, stand up and walk while talking on the phone along with taking the stairs, not the elevator
  10.  Attempt interval training, which is becoming more popular and something that I want to elaborate on because I feel this works the most to help you conquer a weight-loss plateau

Interval training is when you alternate your speed of exercising.  Let’s take walking for example.  You walk at a brisk speed for three minutes and then walk one minute with high intensity, giving it “all you’ve got” for the entire 60 seconds… repeating this 7-10 times, which equals 28 to 40 total minutes of physical activity.  I’m not an expert on this by any means, but this type of interval training is said to help burn additional calories compared to walking at the same pace.

Plateaus are difficult, and yes, they do take special effort and willpower.  But you can do it!   No matter which healthy lifestyle habits you have incorporated into your life, I hope you are finding each one of them enjoyable.   Please do your best to continue with these healthy habits and don’t give up because being healthier is something you have wanted for a long time … and that time has come!

How did you break through your weight loss plateau?

Photo credit MotiveWeight

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