How to Overcome a Weight Loss Plateau

The weight loss plateau occurs because your body thinks there is a famine and has slowed down your metabolism in order to conserve calories.

This usually occurs within about a month of starting a weight loss diet, and may reoccur periodically thereafter.

What’s the solution to the weight loss plateau?

SPEED UP your metabolism.


By increasing your activity level.

Boosting your activity level will boost your metabolism and re-start weight loss.

For example, if you exercise for 20 minutes each day, increase this to 25-30 minutes each day, and weight loss should return to normal.

Calorie Intake & Eating Habits

As well as increasing your activity, please check your calorie intake is adequate. Many dieters fail to eat enough. This alone can trigger the weight loss plateau effect. Also, do not go too long without eating. This is not good for your metabolism/metabolic rate. For a woman, 3 hours without food is a reasonable maximum. And always eat breakfast!

Avoid going too long without food. Going without food for long periods can also trigger a weight loss plateau. Ideally eat something (e.g. piece of fruit) every 3 hours (women) or about every 5 hours (men). This reassures your body that food is plentiful and facilitates calorie burning.

Try to be patient. Your weight loss plateau will disappear, I promise. But it typically takes anything between 1-4 weeks.

If you join a healthy weight reduction program, you’ll get tons of support and motivation to overcome your weight loss plateau.

Starting your weight loss program with gusto, losing a few pounds and then finding that your progress has come to a dead stop is a natural and common occurrence for many dieters. This plateau is a result of the body’s constant need to maintain equilibrium.

When you start a new diet or fitness plan, you usually consume fewer calories but also burn more through exercise. ‘Because you’re expending more energy than you take in, your body burns those few calories for energy first, then you begin to burn stored fat quicker than before, when your calorie intake was higher.

However, like a finely tuned machine, your body settles into this new pattern of outgoing and incoming calories and gradually adjusts by burning fewer calories in order to safeguard its reserves. The result? Weight loss slows down as your body tries to retain fat stores so it can use its reserves as sparingly as possible.

It’s at this point that you’ll notice your eating and exercise efforts aren’t producing results and that you can’t seem to shift the weight any more. In order to break through the plateau, you have to do two things: alter your eating habits and change your exercise program in a way that challenges your body.

Start first with your diet. Review the following tips and try to make the changes today.

  1. Keep a food diary: If you’ve been following a diet plan for some time, you may be bored and your motivation for staying with it may be fading (after all, what’s an extra Hob Knob now and then?). Keeping a food diary, or a record of what you eat each day, will help you pinpoint situations where you might be indulging more than you realize and help you get back on track.
  1. Try again: Many people get trapped in cycles where, amidst their efforts to follow a healthy diet, they stray and can’t seem to get back to a healthy pattern of eating. This is often due to an ‘all or nothing’ way of thinking, whereby dieters feel guilty or angry with themselves for the lapse and then continue eating poorly because of these negative feelings. The first step is to forgive yourself. Look at past patterns and see how unhelpful these emotions are. What you’ve eaten isn’t the problem, but how you’ve reacted to it is. If you’ve fallen off the wagon, remind yourself that no one’s perfect and focus on getting back to your eating plan.

About Dara Dietz

Dara D Dietz is co-founder with her Husband of H.E.A.L. Marketplace, a private Natural Healing Association. As a teacher and counselor she has been supporting the members of H.E.A.L. with Natural Healing information and herbal supports since 1998. She continues to maintain strong ties to the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Since healing her own kidney ailments she has assisted thousands of people in discovering and using natural herbal remedies. Dara has written and compiled numerous articles on a wide variety of natural healing topics. Drawing from her own healing experiences and borrowing from the vast wisdom of natural healers long departed, she continues to provide H.E.A.L.’s international membership with down to earth natural healing wisdom in H.E.A.L.’s bi-weekly newsletters. Dara and her husband currently reside in Rutherfordton, North Carolina.
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