How to Overcome a Weight Loss Plateau: 22 Best Tips to Lose Weight Again

by Millie
weight loss plateau
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If you’ve been trying to lose weight and exercising regularly but suddenly find yourself stuck at a weight-loss plateau, don’t worry – you’re not alone. A weigh loss plateau is when you hit a point in your weight-loss journey where the pounds suddenly stop coming off, no matter what you do. 

In this article, we’ll explore some of the most common reasons for weight loss stalls and how to overcome a weight loss plateau. So if you’re feeling stuck and hopeless, read on for some inspiration and guidance

What Causes a Weight Loss Plateau

The truth is, experts don’t really know for sure what causes the dreaded weight loss plateau. Some theories suggest that it can be caused by our hormones, our age, or even our genes. It could also be a combination of many things. However, here are the most common causes of a weight loss plateau.

Initially You Lose Water Weight

If you’re trying to lose weight, you might be happy to see the pounds falling off at first. But then, all of a sudden, your weight loss comes to a screeching halt. You might be wondering – what gives?

There’s actually a very simple explanation for why this happens. When you first start losing weight, a lot of the weight you lose is water weight. But as you continue to lose weight, you may hit a point where your body starts to adjust and you are no longer losing water weight as quickly. This is why your weight loss might start to plateau after a few weeks or months.

Your Metabolism Has Slowed

One of the most common reasons for a weight loss plateau is that your metabolism has decreased. As you lose weight, your body requires fewer calories to function, and your metabolism slows down to match. This is perfectly normal, but it can make it more difficult to continue losing a lot of weight..

Your Workouts are Burning Less Calories

Another common cause for a weight loss plateau is simply that your body has adapted to your new exercise routine. When you first start working out, your body will burn more calories in order to adapt to the new activity level. But after a few weeks or months, your body will become more efficient and will no longer require as many calories to maintain your new weight.

Set Point Theory

One possible explanation for a weight plateau is the set point theory. This theory suggests that our bodies have a natural ideal weight where it is most comfortable and tries to maintain. So even if we lose weight, our bodies will eventually adjust and slow down our metabolism. This makes it harder to lose more weight and sadly easier to regain the weight.

How to Overcome a Weight Loss Plateau

how to overcome a weight loss plateau scale
Weight loss plateaus are very common

Weight loss plateaus are common, especially if you’ve been losing weight for a while. There are a number of possible explanations for why your weight loss has stalled. However, the good news is that there are also a number of possible solutions to your plateau.

Since we are all different, what will work for you will be different from what will work for someone else. So you may have a try a few things before you find the magic solution for you.

Keep a Food Journal

The best way to be sure you stick to your weight loss plan is to keep a food diary. We frequently under estimate how much we eat. A food journal will help you to be more aware of what you’re eating, the number of calories, and the portion sizes you’re consuming. It can also help you to identify any unhealthy eating habits you may have, such as  eating unhealthy foods, snacking on junk food, or eating late at night.

Once you start keeping a food diary, you may be surprised at how much food you’re actually eating. You may also be surprised at the extra calories you’re consuming. If you’re not eating as healthy as you thought you were, then making some changes to your diet may be all you need to do to start losing weight again.

Keep an Exercise Journal

One helpful strategy to break a weight loss plateau is to keep an exercise journal. We often over estimate how much we exercise. An exercise journal can help you identify patterns and pinpoint where you may be going wrong.

By tracking your physical activity, you can learn what works for you and what doesn’t. You can also use your workout journal to set fitness goals and stay motivated. Try my fitness tracker and to log your workouts and help you stay on track!

Do You Have a Calorie Deficit?

healthy food, dumbbells and note paper
You need a calorie deficit to lose weight

If you’re not eating fewer calories than you’re burning or have a calorie deficit, you’re not going to lose weigh. Now you have information from both your food and exercise journal, you can use analyze and use this information to make any necessary changes.

Even if you’re eating healthy foods, you may be consuming more calories than you think.  It’s easy to get complacent and stop paying attention to how much you’re eating, especially if you’re not seeing the results you want. So take a look at your diet and workouts and make sure you’re still eating less calories than you’re burning.

Once you have a better idea of your calorie intake, you can start making adjustments to your diet. If you’re eating too many calories, cut back on portion sizes or snacks. If you’re not eating enough calories, add in more healthy foods like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Making small changes to your diet and workouts can help you break through a weight loss plateau and start losing weight again.

Eat More Fiber

One simple change you can make to overcome a weight plateau is to eat more fiber. Fiber is a type of carbohydrate that the body can’t digest, so it passes through the digestive system without being broken down or absorbed. This means that it doesn’t add any calories or nutrients to the body. 

Eating more fiber can help you lose weight in several ways. First, it helps you feel full and satisfied after eating, so you’re less likely to overeat. Fiber also slows down the digestion of other nutrients, which helps you feel fuller for longer and prevent blood sugar spikes. And fiber may also lead to decreased calorie absorption, since it binds to some nutrients, again making you feel fuller and slowing digestion.

Also read: Foods Rich in Fiber for Weight Loss

Eat Protein at Every Meal

Another strategy to overcome a weight loss plateau is to make sure you’re eating enough protein at every meal. Protein is essential for weight loss because it helps to keep you feeling full and satisfied after eating. It also helps to boost your metabolism and burn more calories. So if you’re looking to overcome a weight loss plateau, make sure to increase your protein intake at every meal.

Also read: Top 5 Benefits of Protein for Weight Loss & How Much Protein to Lose Weight

Eat More Vegetables

vegetables on blue background
Eat plenty of vegetables

One thing you can do is to make sure you’re eating enough vegetables. Often, when people hit a weight loss plateau, it’s because they’re not eating enough calories. Adding more vegetables to your diet will help you increase your calorie intake without having to eat more unhealthy food.

Vegetables are packed with nutrients and fiber that can help boost your metabolism and keep you feeling fuller longer. Plus, they’re low in calories, so you can eat a lot of them without sabotaging your weight loss goals.

Eat More Carbs

If you’re stuck in a weight loss plateau, it might be because you’re not eating enough carbs. That’s right – eating carbs can actually help you lose weight.

When you cut carbs, your body goes into a state of ketosis, which means it starts burning fat for energy. However, the human body can only stay in ketosis for so long before it starts to break down muscle for energy and there is a loss of muscle mass. 

Also, when you are on a low-carb diet, your body starts to hold onto more fat. So even though you may be eating less, you’re actually making it harder to lose weight. This can lead to a weight loss plateau.

To avoid this, make sure you’re eating enough carbs to give your body the energy it needs. This doesn’t mean you should go overboard – just make sure you’re getting enough complex carbs (not simple carbs) to support your body’s needs.  

Focus on eating more healthy carbs like vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. These carbs will give you the energy you need to keep your metabolism going and help you lose weight.

Also read: Low Carb Diet Pros and Cons: What You Need to Know

Reduce Salt Intake

spoonful of salt
Reduce your salt consumption

Too much salt can cause your body to hold onto water. Water retention can lead to water weight gain and a decrease in overall weight loss. By reducing your salt intake, you can help your body to flush out any excess water and start losing weight again.

Making this change can be as simple as switching to a low-sodium diet or cutting back on processed foods. So if you’re struggling to lose weight, give it a try – you may be surprised at how quickly it works.

Drink More Water

Another common culprit of a weight loss plateau is dehydration. When you’re not properly hydrated, your body holds onto water weight, which can make it seem like you’re not losing any weight at all.

Our bodies are mostly water, so it’s important to stay hydrated especially when trying to lose weight. Dehydration can slow down your metabolism and make it harder to lose weight. The solution? Drink more water! Proper hydration will help your body release the water weight it’s been hanging onto, and you may start to see the scale move again in the right direction. 

So if you’re stuck on a weight loss plateau, keep a water bottle at your side and drink a few extra glasses of water each day and see if that helps. Try using this water log to help you track your water intake.

Try Intermittent Fasting

One strategy to beak a plateau is to try intermittent fasting. Intermittent fasting is a eating pattern where you cycle between periods of fasting and eating. There are a number of different intermittent fasting schedules, but the most common is the 16/8 plan, which involves fasting for 16 hours and eating for 8 hours.

Intermittent fasting can be a great way to break through a weight loss plateau. It can help to boost your metabolism and increase fat burning. It can also help to reduce hunger and make it easier to stick to your diet. If you’re thinking of trying intermittent fasting, talk to your doctor first to make sure it’s safe for you.

Also read: 13 Best Intermittent Fasting Do’s and Don’ts: A Beginner’s Guide

Avoid Alcohol

We all know that drinking alcohol can lead to weight gain. But did you know that alcohol beverages can also stall your weight loss? That’s right – if you’re trying to lose weight and you’re hitting a plateau, alcohol may be to blame.

Alcohol is full of empty calories, which can quickly add up and sabotage your weight loss efforts. Plus, it can make you feel less motivated to stick to your healthy eating and exercise plans. If you’re trying to overcome a weight loss plateau, it’s best to steer clear of alcohol.

Also read: Everything You Need to Know About Alcohol and Weight Loss

Get More Sleep

2 pillows on blue background
Lack of sleep can affect your weight loss

Another common reason for hitting a weight loss plateau is simply that you’re not getting enough sleep. Sleep is essential for weight loss, as it helps to regulate metabolism and hunger hormones. Plus, when you’re well-rested, you’re more likely to have the energy to stick to your healthy habits.

Most people need at least 8 hours of sleep per night, but if you’re trying to lose weight, you may need even more. Pay attention to your sleep patterns to see how it affects your energy levels and diet.

Also read: Everything You Need to Know About Sleep and Weight Loss

Improve Stress Management

One of the possible reasons for a weight loss plateau is stress. When we’re stressed, our bodies release a stress hormone called cortisol. Cortisol is great for short-term situations, like if we need to run from a bear, but it’s not so great for long-term weight loss. That’s because high cortisol levels causes our bodies to store fat, particularly around our midsections. So if you’re feeling stressed, try to find ways to relax and manage your stress levels.

Also read: Can Stress Cause Weight gain Without Overeating?: Find Out How and Why

Change Workouts

weight and water bottle
Try a new exercise

One thing you can do is change up your workouts. If you’ve been doing the same workout routine for a while, your body may have adapted to it and you’re no longer getting the same benefit or calorie burn from it. By changing up your workouts, you can challenge your body in new ways and give it the shock it needs and start seeing results again.

Try Interval Training

One method to break a weight loss plateau is to try high-intensity interval training (HIIT). High Intensity Interval training alternates periods of activity with periods of rest, and it has been shown to be effective in breaking through weight loss plateaus. 

You can try interval training by adding it to your existing workout routine or by finding a class at your local gym. Give interval training a try and see if it can help you break through your weight loss plateau.

Lift Heavier Weights

If you haven’t done so, include strength or resistance training to your fitness routine. If you’re already strength training try increasing the weight. Your body gets used to the weight you’re lifting and no longer needs to adapt. This is why lifting heavier weights can help you break through a plateau – it forces your body to continue to adapt and grow.

Of course, you don’t want to jump straight into lifting heavier weights without precaution. You’ll need to gradually increase the weight you’re lifting over time, and make sure you’re using proper form to avoid injury. 

Get a Workout Buddy

2 women at the gym
Exercise with a friend

If you’ve been stuck in a weight loss plateau, it might be time to mix up your routine and start exercising with a friend. Research has shown that working out with a partner can help you stay motivated and on track with your fitness goals.

There are a few things to keep in mind when choosing a workout buddy. First, pick someone who is at a similar fitness level as you. This will make it easier to stay evenly matched during workouts. Second, choose someone who shares your fitness goals. This way, you can both push each other to reach your goals.

Have a Rest Day

One of the best things you can do to overcome a weight loss plateau is to take an exercise rest day. Even Olympians have a rest day! When you’re trying to lose weight, it’s important to keep up your activity level, but sometimes your body needs a break. Taking a rest day once a week will help you physically and mentally, and it will give your body a chance to recover. And maybe even work harder when you return to the gym.

Keep Moving

Try to be as active as possible to break your plateau. This doesn’t mean that you have to go to the gym all the time, but simply moving your body more can help jumpstart your weight loss again. Studies have shown that people who stay active tend to lose more weight and keep it off in the long run.

With a little effort, you can overcome a weight loss plateau and continue on your journey to a healthy body weight. Look at all the times you’re sedentary and get up and move.

Be Positive

smiling woman at gym
Have a positive mindset

One of the most important things you can do is to stay positive and believe in yourself. Remember that weight loss is a journey and that you will reach your goals if you keep working at it. Instead of thinking of it as a roadblock, think of it as a challenge. This will help you stay motivated and focused on your goals. Don’t be too hard on yourself. Sadly, a weight loss plateau is very normal, but it is not a reason to give up.

Don’t Focus on the Scale

Don’t focus solely on the scale. Yes, it’s important to track your progress, but don’t obsess over the number on the scale.

One thing you should keep in mind is that the scale is not the only way to measure your progress. Just because you aren’t seeing the numbers on the scale go down, doesn’t mean you aren’t making progress. Take your body measurements, pay attention to how your clothes fit, focus on how you feel and your overall health. These are all great indicators that you are still making progress, even if the scale isn’t showing it.

Celebrate Non-Scale Victories

One easy way to get past a weight loss plateau is to focus on non-scale victories. A non-scale victory is any progress you make that can’t be measured on the scale. This means celebrating the other ways your body is changing, even if the number on the scale isn’t moving. 

Maybe you’re fitting into clothes that you haven’t been able to wear in years, or you have more energy than you did before. Maybe you’re sleeping better or your skin glowing. These are all great accomplishments that are worth celebrating!

Also read: 7 Great Non-Scale Victories

You Will Overcome Your Weight Loss Plateau!

happy woman on scale
You will reach your goal!

If you are stuck in a weight loss plateau, don’t despair! As you see, there are a several things you can do to jumpstart your weight loss journey again. The bottom line you have to find ways to shock your body and switch things up. 

Pay attention to your diet, exercise routine, stress, and sleep. Keep a food and exercise journal. And most importantly, be positive. You will overcome your weight loss plateau and reach your goal weight!

How to Overcome a Weight Loss Plateau: 22 Best Tips to Lose Weight Again
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