It’s day 212 of my new healthy lifestyle changes. I am down 60 pounds and I feel amazing. I have 7 pounds to go before I reach my goal weight. I should be able to get that off within a couple of months. My goal is so close. I feel so motivated and encouraged. I am off to eat my healthy breakfast and then off to the pool for some aqua fitness.
It’s day 219. I had another week of eating great and exercising. I can’t wait to get on the scale to see where I am at. As I step on the anticipation has me all excited to see a new number. But nothing has changed. That is ok. Sometimes that will happen. I will continue to work on my plan and I know I will see a change next week.
Day 226. Here we go…this time I know the scale is going to go down. I just feel thinner. As I step on the scale, the number toggles up and down and finally lands on the same number as the week before. Oh man, that is not what I wanted to see. I’m feeling a bit discouraged but I will keep pushing through.
Day 233. I have my finger and toes crossed as I step on the scale. As I wait impatiently the number finally reveals I am still the same weight as the past several weeks. This is getting ridiculous. Oh wait, I notice I forgot to take my socks off…that must be the reason. Before I get back on the scale, I take off my socks, and just to be safe, my earrings, rings, and bobby pin still in my hair. As I get back on the scale nothing changes. What the heck? All those items I took off have to weigh something. I decide to change the scale batteries. Back on I go…but nothing changes. I decide to move the scale to another part of the bathroom. Back on I go…but nothing changes. This leaves me feeling super discouraged. I head off to have an unhealthy breakfast and decide to skip my workout because it is obviously not working anymore…
Whenever I have decided it’s time to lose weight, nothing is more encouraging than seeing the pounds come off. I will usually see results immediately and it truly keeps me motivated to continue on my journey. Eventually, it never fails, my body gets to a certain weight and just stops losing. This is known as a weight loss plateau and is usually where I begin to get discouraged.
At times you have to remember that the scale might not be reflecting all of your progress. You could be gaining muscle that is heavier than fat but continuing to lose inches. Sometimes you have to give your body time to adjust to the changes. As long as your body is in a healthy BMI range, you will need to evaluate if you just need to stay where you are at or do you need to change things up to reach your desired goal. If you still feel like you need to lose more weight, check out the 5 tips below to help get your body past the plateau:
- Reevaluate your current eating plan. Have you been keeping track of your food or have you started to let that slip? For me, I tend to start getting lazy with this as well as measuring what I have been eating. When we just eyeball something, we are more likely to be eating more calories than we think.
- Change up your food. I am a creature of habit and tend to eat the same things every day. I know how many calories everything is and it is easier for me. When you hit a plateau, you may need to shock your body with different food. Maybe it is time to increase your protein or reduce your carb intake.
- Be careful with what you are drinking. Fruit juices, smoothies, energy drinks, and alcohol can be keeping you from losing weight. These drinks can be filled with sugar and empty calories. Get back to drinking water which studies have shown boost your metabolism.
- Increase your exercise. Unfortunately, your metabolic rate slows down when you lose weight. Increasing your exercise can counteract this. You can add extra time to your workout or extra intensity. You can also do small things throughout the day like add in an extra walk during a break, take the stairs instead of an elevator, or park farther away when shopping. Also, try doing some weight training as muscle helps you burn more calories. The key is to get your body moving so that your metabolic rate goes back up and in turn you see the scale start moving down.
- Get plenty of sleep. Not getting enough sleep can be slowing down your metabolism. Make sure you are getting 7-8 hours of sleep a night.
If your efforts to get past a weight-loss plateau aren’t working, you may want to revisit your weight-loss goal. Maybe the number you’re striving for is unrealistic for you. Make sure you talk to your doctor if you have any concerns or to confirm what would be healthy for you.
Don’t forget to be proud of all that you have already accomplished. Because you’ve already improved your diet and increased your exercise, you’ve already improved your health. If you’re overweight, even modest weight loss improves chronic health conditions related to being overweight.
Whatever you do, don’t give up! When you get discouraged it is easy to go back to your old habits. That may cause you to regain the weight you’ve lost. Celebrate your success and continue your efforts to maintain your weight loss. Remember this is not a diet. It is your new healthy lifestyle.
Day 247. As I got on the scale I was excited to see I had finally lost a half of a pound. I’m heading in the right direction…