How To Break A Weight Loss Plateau

by Jen on February 15, 2013

We’ve all been there.  You watch what you eat, you exercise every day, you drink your water and then suddenly, you STOP losing weight.  You immediately think, “but I’m doing everything right, what aren’t I losing weight?”

This is where the true test happens; you either throw in the towel completely and fall off the weight loss bandwagon, you stay where you are and agree that this is your “destiny” weight, or you push through it because you know your body can do more.

Personally, I’ve done all three!  For years I would throw in the towel, give up, and go back to my comfort zone of eating junk food and feeling sorry for myself.  After going through that vicious cycle too many times, I figured, “perhaps this is just the weight my body wants me to be!”  I’ll NEVER fit into a size six, so what’s the point?  I thought after we have babies, we are destined to have big hips and mommy tummies!

So I settled.  I settled for the size 14.

And then I started to read Tosca Reno’s books, “The Eat Clean Diet.”  And I saw this:

bodybeautiful

 

Only 10% genetics? Surely that formula was wrong.  But as I kept reading, I found that I was the one who was wrong.  I was not “destined” to be a certain weight, I could change that through healthy eating and exercise!  And slowly but surely, I did.  I did become a single digit size.  My hips did slim down.  My belly did get flatter.

So let’s get down to the business of how I broke through my plateau and how YOU can too!

strength-training

1. Change whatever you are currently doing.

I used to be all about cardio.  I would run on the treadmill every day.  And when I didn’t lose weight, I would run farther and faster.  But running farther and faster still didn’t help me lose weight.  All it did was make me more and more frustrated.  One day after running and nearly giving up exercise entirely, a friend told me how she was losing weight by lifting weights.  Immediately, a picture of The Hulk popped into my head!  No thank you!

But after doing some research online and finding a strength training program geared towards women, I added strength training to my routine.  And let me just say, I’ve NEVER looked back.  That program COMPLETELY changed my body.  My hips shrank, which I never thought was possible, I got stronger without looking “bulky”, and I started to lose those last stubborn 10 pounds.

BBQ-chicken-salad

 

2. Clean up your life.

When you look at that graphic I posted earlier, does it surprise you that a healthy lifestyle is 80% nutrition and 10% exercise?  When I first read that, I could have sworn my eyes were deceiving me.  Wasn’t it 80% exercise and 10% nutrition?  No wonder I was stuck at a certain weight!

As I read more of Tosca Reno’s book, I started to learn that eating wholesome foods changes our bodies from the inside out.  Not only does our body begin to operate at an optimum level, but it also begins to change our metabolism, so that when we do exercise, we burn more calories and fat.  When you change your body’s foundation for the better, it will more easily accept future changes.

calories-in-calories-out

3. Do the math.

It’s common to overestimate calories burned and underestimate calories eaten. Maybe you are like me and like to “taste-test” while cooking dinner, or finish what your kids leave on their plates!  What about that bite (or 2) of a chocolate bar you took after lunch when you were craving something sweet.  That all adds up!

This is why I started to track EVERYTHING I was putting in my mouth.  It was eye opening.  I had no idea that “healthy” muffin I had for breakfast was over 400 calories, or the extra bites from my kids snack was 100 calories.  Remember that for each pound you want to lose, you need to cut at least 3,500 calories—and if you don’t want to eat less, to lose the same pound you’ll have to add about ten extra hours of brisk walking or the equivalent…and who has time for that?!

6-small-meals

4. Eat more!

Eat more to lose weight?  When was the last time someone told you to eat more to lose weight?  NEVER!

Rather than eating three meals a day, you should aim to eat six meals a day.  I know you’re asking yourself how it can be possible to shed unwanted pounds be eating more frequently.  I thought the exact same thing.  But eating more frequently causes your metabolism to be stimulated while preventing you from getting hungry.

But…and this is a BIG BUT…don’t misunderstand eating more frequently as permission to eat everything in sight or in large quantities.  The idea is to eat the right kind of foods in the proper amount.  Each meal becomes an event to fuel your metabolism and should contain the most nutritious foods.

So the next time you are ready to throw in the towel or say, “I guess I’m just destined to be this way,” try these tips and get ready to break through your plateau!

 

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

1 samijoe February 15, 2013 at 8:54 am

Great post. Stuck at a plateau sucks. I totally agree that many people focus on their cardios (which does good to your heart and lungs), but weights is totally where it is at.

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2 Heather February 15, 2013 at 9:14 am

I can’t wait to hit my plateau! I’m still at the beginning of my journey but I do know food and weight training are big parts of the equation and are working for me.
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3 lindsay February 15, 2013 at 10:48 am

These are all the things I tell my weight loss clients.
The calories in, calories out is such a big one. This is the reason I never understand why people think removing certain food groups such as carbs, gluten and dairy from their diet will help them to lose weight. They can keep all the food groups, they just have to shrink the portions, spread them out and make note of everything (no matter how small) they are eating.
Great post!!!
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4 Jen February 16, 2013 at 7:22 am

I totally agree Lindsay! Portion is KING.

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5 Itsabouttreadmills.com February 16, 2013 at 6:39 am

Nice post Jen. Very informative and educational 😉

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6 fizik tedavi ve rehabilitasyon February 18, 2013 at 6:35 am

all of them really benefit for people who want to weight loss
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