You've been diligent about eating right and working out. You've been faithfully tracking your progress, but suddenly your progress stops. You're not seeing the numbers on the scale drop. "What the heck is going on?" you ask yourself. It's no mystery — you've hit a plateau.
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Don't worry, it happens to the best of us. It's a natural part of the weight-loss process. But when you do hit that inevitable wall, there are things you can do to get your weight loss back on track.
How to Identify a Weight-Loss Plateau
Your scale shouldn't fool you or rule you. It's not the boss of you. Though it's a good tool to measure your progress, it does have its drawbacks. When the number on the scale stalls, there could be any number of things happening.
For example, the scale measures total weight — it can't tell how the weight is distributed between muscles, fat and water. That's why it's important to rely on alternative ways of measuring your progress — like measurements, body fat percentage or simply how your clothes fit.
Don't panic, though. And whatever you do, don't get discouraged. Instead, take your current measurements to get a more accurate view of your progress. Track your measurements and compare them to your most recent stats. You might just find that, although the numbers on the scale aren't moving, you're actually losing inches off your body!
So how do you know it's a real plateau? Weight-loss expert Colette Heimowitz gives the following signs:
–You've experienced no weight loss or loss of inches for at least four weeks.
–You haven't altered your exercise regimen or made any other significant lifestyle changes.
–You're not taking any new medications (including hormone therapy) that may be interfering with weight loss.
–You can honestly say you've adhered to all aspects of your program.
Revitalize Your Weight-Loss Efforts
Alternatively, if your body isn't changing at all, you might need something new and different to jump-start it back into weight-loss mode. Try switching up your workout intensity, duration, frequency or exercises you do — or try something new altogether!
Always hitting up spin class after work? Try a quick CrossFit class first thing in the morning. Find something new you love that also challenges your body in a new way.
Then give your diet a once-over. Have you been eating the same thing over and over and over? Find some new, healthy recipes. Or maybe you've been letting yourself slip a little more than you'd like to admit. Even though the occasional indulgence can actually help you stay on track, too much can derail your efforts.
Here are a few more things you can try to push past your plateau:
- Drink more water. Carry a water bottle with you everywhere.
- Get more sleep. Aim for seven to nine hours a night.
- Make time to de-stress — yoga, meditation, Tai chi, a spa day, etc.
- Cut out booze altogether. It's more than just empty calories.
- Double down on your tracking efforts — track everything!
- Make sure you're taking a rest day from workouts.
- Check your calories to make sure you're not eating too little.
Remember: This plateau is temporary. Stay focused and stay on track. You've come too far to let this derail you. Make this a call to action and a chance to reaffirm your commitment to your transformation plan. Plateau, schmateau! This, too, shall pass.
In the meantime, you have our entire team and community behind you. Join our Facebook Challenge Group. You have your goals as motivation. You have the tools you need. You have this!
How to Join the 30-Day Get Lean in 2018 Challenge
1. Download the MyPlate App
Documenting your food and activity might seem like overkill, but it’s not. People who track their calories and physical activities enjoy greater success losing weight and keeping it off for good!
Tracking everything honestly is essential to making the 30-Day Get Lean in 2018 Challenge work for you. Sometimes you’re not even aware of everything you consume, but once you start tracking it, you’ll think twice before you make poor choices. And that’s a good thing.
- Daily meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) and snacks
- Exercise and activity
- BMI (Body Mass Index)
2. Print Out Your Daily Calendar
Isn't it so satisfying to check things off of your to-do list? Each day during the 30-Day Get Lean in 2018 Challenge, you're accountable for five key steps: tracking breakfast, lunch and dinner; tracking your water intake; and either walking or running.
We created a helpful calendar to keep you on task for all 30 days. Print it out and check off each activity as soon as you complete it.
3. Stay Connected on Facebook
For daily support, motivation and camaraderie with LIVESTRONG.COM team members, join our Facebook Group for the 30-Day Get Lean in 2018 Challenge. We'll share recipes, tips, motivations, pictures and more! Plus, we'll answer all your questions.
4. Arm Yourself With Info to Fight Through Your Plateau
- How to Push Past a Weight-Loss Plateau
- New Activities That Will Make Working Out Fun Again
- 8 Questions to Keep Your Fitness Results from Plateauing
Readers — Are you joining us in the 30-Day Get Lean in 2018 Challenge? If so, what's your weight-loss goal? Have you ever done a weight-loss challenge group before? How did it go for you? Have you joined our LIVESTRONG.COM Challenge Group on Facebook? Leave a comment below and let us know.