Getting Past the Weight Loss Plateau
Posted by Kris Drake, RN, CHPD, on March 19, 2015
“I’m not telling you it’s going to be easy, I'm telling you it’s going to be worth it.” - Art Williams
If you are like many of us who have lost weight, you find losing the last 5 to 10 pounds seems to be the most difficult. At the beginning of your diet, the weight seemed to come off fairly easy by watching what you ate and exercising on a regular basis – but now, what worked before doesn't work at all. Well, don't give up! There are ways you can get past the dreaded weight loss plateau. Try these tips!
Make sure you’re getting enough calories daily. Never go below 1200 calories because your body's metabolism may slow down at that point. I understand that it's hard to make yourself eat more calories when you are not losing weight. But, this may be exactly what you need to do. Visit ChooseMyPlate.gov SuperTracker to learn how many calories and exercise you need to lose weight safely. As always, check with your primary care physician or a registered dietitian to make sure your weight loss plan is customized to your specific needs.
Change up your exercise routine. If you have been working out on a regular basis, your body may have adapted to your routine, which means you’re no longer burning as many calories as you were before. If you have been strength training, make sure that you are challenging your muscles by doing more repetitions per session or adding a higher weight. If you have been exercising aerobically by participating in exercises such as walking, stair climbing or biking, switch things up by trying a different machine at the gym, adding an incline to your treadmill workout, or even participating in a circuit training routine. A certified personal trainer help you ensure your physical activity plan is safe for you.
Document your food intake and physical activity. If you aren't already doing so, log your daily food intake and physical activity. There are a variety of free apps to use such as Super Tracker, noted above, or you can keep track on paper if you prefer. You may find that you are actually consuming more or less calories that you thought. The same is true of calories you burn through physical activity.
Drink at least 64 ounces of water each day. Our bodies are 60-70% water. If we don't have enough water, many of our bodily functions don't work as well, thus slowing down our weight loss efforts. Water also helps curb our appetite. If you aren't already drinking your daily quota of water, add that in and see if that helps you shed the last 5-10 lbs.
I hope that by trying some of the suggestions above you find that your weight loss efforts are worth the hard work. Enjoy the sense of accomplishment that comes at the loss of those last few pounds. It really is worth the effort.