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Weight Loss Plateau: Diagnosing & Overcoming a Weight Loss Plateau

Posted Oct 25 2008 8:00am

Asking yourself “How do I get out of a weight loss plateau?” Try these ten tricks to jumpstart your fat loss and get back on track.

The weight loss plateau.

It happens to everyone, regardless of their level of physical fitness or training Picture of Woman on Scale Frustrated with Weight Loss Plateau experience.  For weeks or even months, the fat and pounds just seem to be melting off. You’re riding high and seeing the fruits of your labor. Maybe you’ve lost a couple inches in your waist or dropped a dress size or two. The gym doesn’t seem like such a chore anymore. Life is good.

And then suddenly, everything stops.  

The scale is no longer your friend, but instead transforms itself into a daily source of frustration.

As far as you can tell, nothing has changed. You’ve still been eating healthy, exercising frequently (maybe even following your regular routine to the “T”) and keeping your portions under control. Yet something has changed: You’ve stopped progressing. And it’s driving you crazy. Even worse, it’s de-motivating you.

Welcome to the dreaded plateau: The bane of everyone from athletes, to fitness models to average people who are just trying to lose their gut, get ready for a holiday cruise or fit into that pair of skinny jeans.

The plateau doesn’t discriminate: Everyone has to deal with it eventually, and it doesn’t just apply to weight loss, but all kinds of other things, including how much you can lift during resistance or weight training, the amount of muscle you are able to add to your frame — or if you are a runner or biker — your distance or speed. 

And what makes the plateau particularly vexing is that it usually hits when you when you feel most unstoppable.

Weight Loss Plateaus: What’s the Cause?

Weight loss plateaus are typically caused by one of two things (and sometimes, a combination of the two):

  1. A metabolic adaptation to your current diet and exercise regimen
  2. Accumulated changes in your existing exercise and eating routine that are causing you to eat more or burn less calories with exercise, even though you aren’t aware of it.

Let’s take a look a each of these causes in detail.  



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