If you’ve ever tried to lose weight, or if you have friends who have tried, you’re probably aware of the dreaded plateau.
Your weight loss goes really well for the first week, or six weeks, or six months. Then suddenly, it stalls out, and it seems like that scale won’t budge – no matter what you do!
Well, here are ten tried-and-true tips for breaking that fat-loss plateau.
(I emailed these tips to a friend of mine – let’s call her Jenny – who had lost 34 lbs., but was stuck there for several months. Four months later, she reports that she’s down another 12 lbs. for a total of 48 lbs. lost! Congratulations, Jenny!)
- You might consider getting some bloodwork done so that you can figure out if there are hormonal issues or nutrient imbalances that need to be worked out. Insulin sensitivity, thyroid hormone levels, vitamin D levels, etc. need to be good.
- Try adding probiotics or fermented foods to your diet and see what happens. This means foods like kimchi, miso, and sauerkraut, not that Activia, which is mostly marketing hype. If you’re not particularly adventurous about food, consider a quality probiotic supplement (and consult your doctor first!).
- You might want to start tracking your caloric intake. I’m actually a huge fan of fixing food quality first, and then worrying about quantity later. This is partly because higher-quality food tends to make a lot of people spontaneously eat less. And most people hate weighing and measuring their food – I know I do. But if you’ve already got food quality down pat, you might try measuring your calories and see if that helps.
- You might consider dropping dairy or other food groups and see how your body responds.
- How much non-exercise physical activity (NEPA) are you getting? You might see something change just by adding a 20-30 minute walk, once or twice a week.
- Avoid sitting as much as possible. Sitting is the metabolism-killer.
- Throw out all your plastics and use glass, ceramic, and stainless steel whenever possible (to avoid BPA and other environmental toxins that might stall fat loss). I hope it goes without saying that you shouldn’t be microwaving anything in plastic containers, ever. Yes, there are some “safe” plastics but you know what? Some of yesterday’s “safe” plastics are now considered dangerous, and you never know which is which. Glass and stainless steel are always safe.
- Go back to the basics.
- Sleep: 8+ hours a day minimum in a DARK room with no electronic devices that glow in the night (computers, phones, alarm clocks) – some people are sensitive to this, others are not. It’s worth a shot. No TV or glowing electronic devices (laptops, phones) for minimum 1 hour before bedtime.
- Food: eat real food, avoid processed food products. It’s that simple.
- Stress: this can be a big issue for a lot of people when it comes to fat loss, so do what you have to do – reduce your workload, start meditating, read a good book, get a massage, keep a gratitude journal, whatever.
- Stop focusing on the scale weight and start focusing on waist measurements or just the way your clothes fit. How often are you measuring yourself? Scale weight is more useful in the beginning, but less useful as you get closer to your goal.
- Track everything and tinker until you figure out what works for you.
So there you have it. Try these out and let us know if they work for you!