Hitting a weight loss plateau is frustrating and discouraging, but I have solutions so you can continue making progress, keep your sanity and get in the best shape of your life. You can do this!
When you’re working hard to eat clean and exercise, but you’ve stopped seeing results: The scale won’t budge. Your jeans seem snug. Frustrated, it feels impossible to figure out what’s wrong!
Before you give up and tell yourself nothing’s working, realize that what you’re experiencing is a common problem for most women at some point in their lives.
The good news? I’ve helped countless women break through their weight loss plateau, and I’ve compiled the 13 practices you can start today to help you break through too!
1. Renew Your WHY
Knowing and deeply understanding why you want to break through your weight loss plateau is the first and arguably most important step to pushing past the stall in your weight loss journey.
How to find your why? If weight loss is your goal, do you know why you want it? If you can’t immediately answer that question right here, right now (and honestly!), you are unplugged from your most natural and powerful motivation source—YOU.
Maybe you want to be healthy for your children, be an active grandparent, or have more energy.
Perhaps your why has to do with your overall health numbers – high blood pressure, high cholesterol, does heart disease run in the family, or maybe it’s sore joints, sleep apnea, fear of disease?
Success is not only about getting to a certain weight. So dig deeper and figure out your WHY for wanting to become your healthiest self.
This is your core motivation because it connects you to your inner voice. A happier you is also a healthier you.
Start This Practice Today
- Write down your why. Writing connects you to what you are truly feeling, and it can be a real motivator. Studies have shown that writing down thoughts and goals and rereading them often helps to manifest your desires.
- Once you’ve defined your WHY, picture it. Surround yourself with images and words that connect you emotionally to your WHY, reminding you of who you want to be and what you are working toward. You could even create an old-fashioned Vision Board that has images and words pasted on it to describe your WHYs.
If you are looking for more tools, worksheets, and lectures on this topic, you can enroll in my 7-week program that covers this topic in depth.
2. Keep A Food Journal
Maybe you tell yourself you’ve continued to eat healthy lately, but when you write down your last few meals, you notice a pattern of too much salt, sugar, or an additional, unnecessary serving.
Please don’t have to beat yourself up with negative thoughts if you come to this realization—just take an honest look at your choices.
Food patterns you might notice and their solutions:
- Are you snacking too much late at night? Try switching to these healthy late-night snacks instead.
- Are you drinking your calories, like soda or alcohol? Try switching to tea, bubbly water, or a high-protein smoothy.
- Do you have a sweet tooth? Keep these healthy snacks on hand, and consider doing a quick sugar detox.
Changing some of the small decisions you make daily can help you work through your weight loss plateau and really get you back on track with weight loss. This is why food journals are so successful at helping people lose weight because it’s a method to keep you super aware of your choices.
According to Harvard Medical School, research shows that for people interested in losing weight, keeping a journal can be a very effective tool to help change behavior. In one weight loss study of nearly 1,700 participants, those who kept daily food records lost twice as much weight as those who kept no records.
3. Have A Strength Training Routine
Many people think cardio is where the weight loss happens, and yes, cardio burns calories. But you know what takes your calorie burn up a notch? Having more muscle!
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Full-Body Resistance Band Workout To Burn Fat
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Calorie Sizzler Tabata Workout With Weights
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15-Minute AMRAP Bodyweight Workout At Home
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4. Keep Temptations Out Of The House
Are you creating an environment that supports your weight loss goals or is it temptation-central at your house? It’s easier to choose healthy options when they’re all around you.
Don’t set yourself up to go to battle with your willpower in your own kitchen. Weed out the junk and fill your fridge and pantry with healthy, real foods. It’s easier to cave and binge on junk food when it’s sitting on the top shelf of your cupboard than it is when you have to drive in your car and physically take yourself to the grocery store to pick up a late-night pint of Ben & Jerry’s.
Set yourself up for success and leave the temptations outside of the house.
5. Manage Stress Levels
You might not think your mindset affects your waistline, but it can. Believe it or not, chronic stress has been linked to excess belly fat. When your body produces too much cortisol (the stress hormone), it sends a “fight or flight” signal to your brain, and it causes many physical side effects, from sweaty palms to other symptoms of panic. But another thing it does is tell your body to hold onto more visceral fat.
Visceral fat is the fat that gets built up around your organs, making it more unhealthy than subcutaneous fat, which is the fat that’s stored under your skin.
Excess visceral fat can often appear as excess belly fat.
Start Managing Your Stress Levels By Starting These Daily Practices
Your mental health is just as important as your physical health.
5. Enlist A Workout Buddy
Changing your habits can be hard, so finding support is crucial. There’s no need to go it alone! Choose a workout buddy to meet up for a weekly walk, jog, or bike session.
Continue with your other workouts during the week, but use your joint session as a way to stay on track and be willing to be held accountable.
Working out can be more fun with someone else, plus the element of a little friendly competition (how many steps did you get on your FitBit today?!) can be motivating.
Related: Partner Up: 5 Workouts To Do With A Friend
6. Join an Online Community
One of the reasons I started Get Healthy U TV is because I wanted everyone to have access to a positive online community filled with people just like you who have hit weight loss plauteas and have worked through them.
Get motivation with the support of the Get Healthy U TV trainers and members to help you feel inspired by meal planning and workouts.
Plus, we offer dozens of fun 28-day workout calendars that are a real member favorite because they are a fun way to keep you on track when you feel yourself losing steam.
8. Give HIIT Workouts A Try
If you’ve been doing steady-state cardio and straightforward strength training and have hit a weight loss plateau, it’s time to incorporate HIIT.
HIIT training is extremely successful in pushing through weight loss that has stalled.
HIIT uses intervals or short bursts of all-out effort, followed by brief moments of rest, to burn more fat and push your limits.
HIIT Workouts For You To Get Started
HIIT For Beginners
HIIT workouts (or high-intensity interval training) can improve your cardiovascular fitness while helping you build lean muscle and burn fat. As a personal trainer for decades, I have recommended this type of workout to SO many people and currently include it in my own workout routine because HIIT exercises work to burn fat, fast! Research
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Upper Body HIIT Workout
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With HIIT workouts, you get a greater “afterburn,” meaning you burn more calories even after you’re done working out than you would from a cardio workout.
9. Balance Your Hormones
Fluctuating hormones can sometimes be to blame for stubborn pounds that just won’t budge. Especially in menopause, estrogen imbalances can cause your metabolism to slow down (among a host of other not-so-fun side effects).
Your estrogen, insulin, cortisol, and leptin can all affect your weight; talk to your doctor about getting these four key hormones checked, and use this guide to balance your hormones to learn their role in weight loss.
10. Prioritize Sleep
Sleep is such an underrated part of weight loss. When you’re overly tired, two key hormones in your body get thrown out of whack: leptin and ghrelin.
Leptin is the chemical in your body that tells you when you’re full. When you don’t get enough sleep, your leptin levels decrease, and you start to feel like you’re in a state of constant hunger.
Ghrelin is another hormone, and its purpose is the opposite: to tell your body when to eat. When you’re sleep-deprived, this hormone spikes.
So you have two hormones that should be balanced that are now completely out of whack, sending signals to your brain to continuously eat because your body’s not full.
Get Restful Sleep
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