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8 Ways to Cope with Weight Loss Plateaus
Written by Dr. Kellyann Petrucci
You’re rocking your diet. You’re dropping pounds and inches like crazy. You’re flying toward your goal. And then it happens: You go for days, or even weeks, without losing any weight at all. The dreaded…weight loss plateau.
It’s discouraging, isn’t it? And this is the point where people often give up. But please, please, please— don’t quit now! As a weight-loss expert who’s guided thousands of transformations, I can tell you that you will get past this. Your persistence will pay off.
In earlier posts, I’ve talked about one of the longest plateaus I’ve ever witnessed. It involved one of my all-time favorite patients, Drew. He weighed nearly 500 pounds when he came to me, and frankly, I expected his pounds to roll off when he started his diet. But during the first three weeks, nothing happened. I mean, nothing. I can’t tell you how unusual this is for a very obese patient who’s following all the rules—and he was.
But you know what? Drew stuck with it—and at the end of Week Three, the magic started happening. He lost weight like crazy, getting down to his goal weight and reversing his diabetes. You can see his story here.
Drew isn’t the only one of my patients to hit a plateau. In fact, it’s pretty common (although it typically happens later than Drew’s did.) What’s more, it’s temporary.
So if you’re coping with a plateau right how, be strong and stay the course. Realize that this is normal, and it will pass. In the meantime, here are some tips that can help:
Do mini-fasts.Add two bone broth mini-fasts per week to your regimen if you’re not already doing them. This will rapidly reset your fat-burning switch to “on.”
Realize that you’ll lose weight more slowly as you get closer to your goal. Normally, the pounds fall off quickly when you first start a diet. As you approach your ideal weight, it’s perfectly natural for that dial on the scale to move more slowly. Just relax… it may take longer, but those pounds will vanish!
Get your hormones checked. Sometimes, especially if you’re a woman between your late twenties and your fifties, unbalanced hormones can make weight loss harder. Find a doctor who’s knowledgeable about bio-identical hormones, and see if you can benefit from a little hormonal tweaking.
Keep your eyes on the prize. Journal about the things your weight loss will empower you to do—whether it’s getting healthy enough to bike with your kids, or looking amazing for your class reunion next year. Envisioning your long-term goals will help you stay positive.
Think about similar situations in your life. Did your last year of high school, your last trimester of pregnancy, or those months you spent toilet-training a toddler seem endless? Well, they passed… and this plateau will soon be history, too.
Surprise your body. Shake things up by trying a new sport or exercise routine. Sometimes, little changes can kick your weight loss back into high gear.
Troubleshoot your diet. Are you following the guidelines correctly? For instance, are you limiting fruits and nuts to the correct serving sizes? Be honest with yourself, and make sure you’re not falling victim to “portion creep.” Also, if you’ve let taboo foods like sugar and alcohol sneak back in, give them the boot.
Stand up! Sitting on your behind all day lowers your metabolism. So every half hour or so, take a brisk walk around your home or office to rev up your fat-burning machinery.
Above all, be patient. Trust your body. Believe in your own strength. Hang in there, and take my word for it—any day now, the pounds will start falling off again!
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