The Dreaded Weight Loss Plateau – Tip #14

If you’ve been at this weight loss thing for a few months now, chances are pretty good that you have hit at least one plateau. Me… I seem to have belly-flopped onto the plateau and get can’t up! It’s irritating to eat right, exercise, eat fewer calories and still not lose an ounce. It does help (a little) to keep in mind that a plateau is just our body’s way of taking a breather. So while our brain and our motivation may still be in weight loss mode, our body is listening to the cellular “slackers”; hormones and body fat. The slackers are perfectly happy with the status quo, but I am committed to getting them moving and jumping off this plateau. Here’s how to do it:

Drink water – I have a terrible time drinking enough water during the day. I just forget. But when I make an effort and drink at least 8 glasses of water a day for a few weeks at a time, I end up losing weight. This always happens. And since it’s summer, add some ice. Our bodies have to work a little harder with cold water.

New exercise routine – It’s true that our bodies get used to the same old exercise routine. I’ve been walking 40 – 60 minutes a day. In the beginning it helped me lose weight, but now – not so much. So I am adding swimming to my daily exercise routine. I will still be walking, but will also be swimming to jump start my metabolism a bit. Adding a different type of exercise to what you already do, instead of just adding more time to your exercise plan, will help get you off the plateau.

Do more housework – I know, no one like to do housework, me included. But we can burn a fair amount of calories by vacuuming more often, ironing the wrinkled clothes, and mopping the floor more often. Plus, housework involves a fair amount of bending, twisting, and other exercise that will help mix up your routine.

Eat more fiber – Fiber is a great way to lose weight and we all could probably eat more. A recent study showed that only 10% of Americans eat enough fiber, although 80% of us think we do! There’s a little room for improvement there. Raw vegetables like carrots and broccoli, beans (eat more 3 Bean Salads and hummus), whole grains (choose whole wheat breads and rolls, eat oatmeal for breakfast), nuts, and fresh fruit are all good sources of fiber. Exchange just one meal or snack each day for a high fiber alternative to start losing weight again.

Don’t get frustrated – Probably the hardest thing about hitting a plateau is feeling hopeless. No matter if you’ve been on that plateau for one week, two  weeks, three weeks or more – don’t give up. Keep doing everything you’ve been doing, and mix up both your diet and exercise. Hopefully soon you’ll see new results. I’m counting on it! Let me know how quickly it works for you.

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About the Author

Renee Pottle, an author and heart-healthy educator, loves to explore and write about the Mediterranean Diet. She blogs at and

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