Help! I’ve Reached A Plateau!

Has this happened to you?
You’ve been on a new diet for a few weeks now and you feel great. You’ve lost weight in the beginning, but for some reason that needle on the scale hasn’t moved this whole week.

What’s wrong?

According to the experts (1,2), there could be a few things happening.

    Some weight loss may have been muscle, which will change your metabolism. Muscle burns calories, fat doesn’t.
    You could be experiencing ‘calorie creep’ where you unconsciously start adding a few more calories in here and there.
    Your body is resisting any more weight loss and you may be reaching a new metabolic ‘set point’.

What can you do?

    Start doing some light weight training. We’re not talking about going to the gym and training for Ms. Olympia, we’re talking about doing a few curls with the laundry detergent bottle or a few stair steps with light weights in hand. The goal is to bring back muscle mass.
    Measure what you’re eating. Again. Go back to the skills you used in the beginning and record everything you eat each day and then add up the total. Are you starting to add in 100 or 200 more calories? It’ll add up quickly.
    Your body may not need any more calories. Do you still feel hungry or have you changed the amount that makes you feel full? If you’re still on a strict diet and you still feel hungry it’s time to re-evaluate your diet. If you’re comfortable with how you’re eating and you want to lose more weight, then change things up. Try fruits and vegetables you’re not used to. Have some of our high protein bars or flavored drinks for snacks or light meals. Try new things!

You’ve lost weight and you should feel good about that. You should now understand that you may not have the same caloric needs you once had. It may take some time getting used to eating less now if you’ve spent years eating full meals. Don’t get discouraged, and keep up the great work!

1) Weight Loss & Diet Plans – Stuck On A Plateau? By Kathleen M. Zelman, MPH, RD, LD. Retrieved from http://www.webmd.com/diet/features/stuck-on-a-plateau on August 7, 2012.
2) Weight Loss: Plateau No More by Kathleen M. Zelman, MPH, RD, LD. Retrieved from http://www.webmd.com/diet/features/plateau-no-more on August 7, 2012.

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