Anyone trying to lose weight dreads hitting a plateau: that point when your weight loss stalls, even though you’re still following your program. Here’s how to get off the plateau.


Total Shares 0

1. Be kind to your body and yourself. Remember that what’s happening is normal. Your body will store fat as an energy reserve and it will burn fat to give you energy. However, when you embark upon a fat-loss plan, you will reach a point of having lost enough weight that, although you have reduced your food intake, your body no longer has to burn so many calories to simply power you. Your body has reached a temporary state of equilibrium on your journey to your new weight.
2. Remember how much better you look and feel, and how much happier this makes you. The decision to lose weight is very personal and you’ve already seen the benefits.
The Diet is Stuck: 8 reasons that might interfere with your weight loss

3. Really look at yourself, including taking pictures of yourself in a mirror. It can be very difficult to see the changes in your body just by looking down yourself, but comparing before-and-after pictures can show dramatic changes, especially if you are also exercising. Muscle mass is denser and heavier than the same sized fat mass. If your waist or thighs or arms are smaller, or if you can feel improved muscle mass, what’s happening is good, even if the number on the scale stays the same. Stick with your eating and exercise plan and the scale will catch up.
4. If you have hit an actual plateau, be honest with yourself about how much—and what—you’re really eating during the day. A few minutes a day for a few days with the Trim Down Club Diet Journal can pay big dividends. And remember, no one will see this but you! If you realize that you’ve gone back to some of your bad habits, ask yourself why. Maybe you’re eating out of stress or boredom: we’ll discuss ways to deal with those issues a little further down.
5. You should also re-evaluate your portion sizes, as they can creep up in size once you get comfortable with ‘eyeballing’. On the same lines, monitor your salt/sodium intake, as too much can result in water retention that adds weight—and is actually hard on the heart. And most salt is not added by us, but to virtually all processed foods to make them taste better and increase their “craveability.”
If you find yourself falling back into old eating habits, your new eating plan may not be working for you. It’s usually easier to break one or two bad habits at a time, than to suddenly try to “be perfect.” That’s why a flexible eating program is perfect: it allows you to solve on problem at a time.

If you are eating because you’re stressed, try to manage the stress first. Enjoyable exercise—any form of brisk movement you enjoy—is a classic method. If you’re eating out of boredom, try to develop a hobby or a craft you enjoy or perhaps spend time with friends.

6. Ask yourself how much you’re really exercising: how long and how intensely each day and how many times each week—and compare it to what you did before. We’re mammals, so as we get older, we tend to want to conserve energy. It’s natural. However, the more you enjoy a particular way of moving—hiking, gardening, swimming—the more you will do it, the more intensely you will do it and the less you will eat afterward.
7. Also, be sure you’re getting enough sleep. Skimping on sleep can actually slow down your metabolism and even lead to overeating, especially of calorie-dense ‘fattening’ foods.
8. Drink enough water every day—6-10 cups (8 fluid ounces or 240 ml each) or more if you’re sweating a lot. When your muscles are not properly hydrated, your metabolism slows down.
9. Try adding the following foods to your meals: they can help speed up your metabolism

  • Green tea
  • Warming spices such as cinnamon, chili peppers, and turmeric
  • Certain nuts, such as almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, and macadamia nuts
  • Olive oil and oils from recommended nuts
  • Fermented foods, including vegetables, organic soy, and dairy
  • Root vegetables, such as onion, garlic, leek, chicory, sunchoke
  • Cruciferous vegetables, such as Brussels sprouts, cabbage, broccoli
  • Foods high in omega-3 fats, such as fatty fish, kale, almonds
  • Berries, particularly blueberries and raspberries
  • Brown seaweed, such as wakame


If you have or suspect you have a thyroid condition, see your health care provider about adjusting or starting medication. If you are taking thyroid medication, large amounts of cruciferous vegetables and soy may interfere with its effectiveness.
10. If you find you’re doing ‘everything right’ and still plateauing, changing your exercise routine can jump start your efforts. Your body is very efficient: after you’ve been doing a certain set of exercises for a while, they won’t have the same effect. Different exercises, especially exercises that work large groups of muscles, can help you leave the plateau. So can increasing the intensity, amount, and/or frequency of your current exercises.

Learn how the Trim Down Club can help you jump start your weight loss and reach your goals faster.


Total Shares 0

Comments 19

    • Hi, DHecht. If you have been on restrictive diets in the past, your metabolic rate has very likely slowed down, and it can take a little while for your body to get used to normal amounts of food again. Exercise is the best way to give yourself a boost here. If you are already exercising, either increase the time amount, frequency, and/or intensity of your sessions, or your can change them entirely to work new muscles. If you would like more information on this, please do repost.

  1. Hi, Lalo1. That’s great! Low-fat carbohydrates and proteins are considered best for foods, but keep it light within the hour leading up to the activity. Water is the best drink before – and during, if it is a long or particularly intense workout, or if done in high-temperature conditions.

  2. I’m going to try both increasing my exercise intensity and my daily routine. And now that the weather is getting warmer I think I will go for more walks.
    Do you recommend any particular food or drink before an exercise routine?

  3. Hi, kiturpin. Not all soy is bad for every person. Mainly, it contains “anti-nutrients” that can be depleting if the soy is not prepared properly, i.e. cooking, fermenting, sprouting. More problems come up when the soy is grown or processed in ways that add toxic chemicals and/or strip its nutrients. Beyond that, many people’s digestive systems don’t do well with soy – some of these people also have issues with legumes in general or dairy milk (cross allergies). Buy organic and minimally processed (i.e., milk, tofu) or fermented (i.e., tempeh, miso) or sprout soy beans before making your dish, and it can serve you well if you don’t have a specific digestive or allergic condition.

  4. Hi, Kaybenton. First, have you taken inventory of how you look and feel, or how your clothes are fitting? If even here you don’t notice a difference, I suggest making some changes to your exercise. Try to alternate the muscle groups you use, to prevent them from becoming “complacent” and not burning energy or fat like they used to. You can also try breaking up your exercise to several sessions throughout the day, and breaking up each moderate session with bursts of intensity (i.e. 30 seconds every 5 minutes).

  5. Well I am at the end of week three and no weight loss this week. I have been diligent in my eating. I do not have the snack after dinner. I feel it would be too late to eat it and am not Hungary. I am exercising at moderate to high intensity 5days a week. I realize that I do not have a lot of weight to lose(13-15lbs) I am frustrated. This has happened to me on every program I have tried. I did do my BAI and am in the middle if the healthy range. Of the points suggested in the above article of foods to add I am already doing all but two of those!! What do you think?

  6. Hi, KeeKee. You have come to the right place. In this program, we encourage you to ease into changes until they become comfortable, and have a community that will help you when you struggle. A major difference here is that we make your belly full with light, healthy foods, very much the opposite of what it sounds like you are used to, and we encourage you to use that feeling to avoid the need to eat extras. We also offer videos for getting physical activity even at a desk job.
    The best way to proceed is just to do something a little better than you did before – each day – and the positive changes will add up and become second nature.
    For support, try joining one of the Groups (link above) – there are some amazing Clubmembers in there.

  7. Hi Everyone,
    I am feeling so down hearted as despite trying really hard and having the best intention to stick with healthier eating, maintaininhg the momentum is a struggle some days. Eating fruit and vege has always had to be a concious effort despite liking them, I think that its because I have generally to make an effort to prepare them, plus eating until i am full makes me feel unformfortable and I don’t particularly like the feeling of having a ‘full’ stomach. Hence the craving for something sweet or ‘fatty’ kicks in . Bread, cheese and wine are just too easy, and they are a killer! I am trying to eat more fruit i.e grapefruit, pear, apple etc….. however I find that I am constantly picking at this all day until tea time. The job I do does not warrent itself to be active as I am an admin worker for the local authority, so I am noting quite alot wihich requires me to be sat for lengthy periods. I also have a lung complaint that has required surgical intervention, I don’t wish to dwell to long on this, however the underlying issue is sub pleural ephasematous bulle caused by Low levels of alpha 1 trypsin. HELP…….I need some practical guidance as to the best ways to proceed

  8. Hi, JesusLives. If you buy organic soy products, they will not be of the genetically-modified variety. Beyond that the bet soy products are those that are fermented and/or sprouted, with minimal processing – so no “meat substitutes”.

  9. I was doing really well and yes! I’m stuck and it is discouraging. Soy??? got me here. I thought soy was really; healthy and I have switched out milk etc for soy or soy products. I have recently read articles about how soy is being genetically modified and I find this scary. Is soy milk as marketed bad for us. example: So Good and other similar products. I am looking for ways to cut cholesterol levels. Suggestions please. Also I have and have had a poor sleep problem for many, many years. I have sleep apnea. My breathing shuts down every 6 mins. Yes, I use a CPAP machine. Thanks Carol

Leave a Reply