How can I prevent a weight loss plateau?

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Answered by: Lisa, An Expert in the How To Lose Weight Category
If you are overweight, any diet you begin will cause you to lose some weight, quite quickly in the beginning. However, as you get closer to your ideal weight, you may experience a weight loss plateau. Plateaus can be very frustrating because you have been following the diet, but suddenly it no longer has the same results. Before you give up and go back to your old eating habits, try these strategies to jumpstart your weight loss again.

Boosting your exercise

Most weight loss regimens require exercise for success. The most common advice is to exercise at “conversational pace” or at “fat burning mode” which means exercising at lower intensity to burn more fat. Your body adapts quickly to exercise, so after a few weeks, the same exercise will no longer tax your body. Instead, try throwing in intervals of harder or faster exercise. For example, if you are using an elliptical machine, try alternating 5 minutes of intense, heart rate boosting exercise with 2 minutes of easier work. By throwing in higher intensity intervals, you will stress the body so that it works harder once again.

Varying your calories

As you follow a weight loss plan, your body will adapt to the reduced calorie consumption by becoming more efficient, much like it does with exercise. Trick your body by varying the amount of calories you eat each day. This can be done easily using Intermittent Fasting. Intermittent fasting means setting aside a certain period of time each week or each day to avoid eating, such as fasting from 7pm until 4 pm the next day once or twice per week.

Intermittent fasting allows you to drastically reduce the amount of calories you eat in a day without skipping an entire day of eating. Also, you can eat more during your “eating window” than you would if you were strictly using portion control to control your calories. For example, if you were to decide that you need to eat 1800 calories per day, you could eat 900 calories one day, in a 4 hour eating window, and then eat 2700 calories the next day. This would give you an average of 1800 in the two days, but keep your body guessing whether it should slow your metabolism or not.


Accountability means using a food and exercise journal, group meetings, or an app to keep track of your diet and exercise program. The act of writing down your meals or exercise helps you stay on track. You will find it easier to push your chair away from the table if you have to write down that third or fourth helping. You will be more motivated to exercise if you get to write it down, as well. Are you underestimating the calorie count of your food, or overestimating the amount of calories you burn as a result of exercise? When you see your choices in black and white, you become aware of exactly what is causing your weight loss plateau. Then you can make changes to restart your weight loss.

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