Hit a weight loss plateau? It's hard to fathom that for weeks
your weight loss program was taking the pounds off. Then, suddenly, the scales
won't budge another ounce.
Take heart. A weight loss plateau is normal. No matter how diligent
you are in following your good health regimen, from time to time you'll fall
off the wagon. The key to getting back on the program, experts say, is to
acquire the skills and self-knowledge that will enable you to recover after a
We've pulled together the top 10 plateau-busting strategies for you to try
1. Imagine You: Healthy and Vibrant
Have a vision of success. According to Katherine Tallmadge, MA, RD, author
of Diet Simple, the mind is a strong tool -- use it to achieve what you
"Visualize yourself dancing at an upcoming celebration in a fabulous
black dress," Tallmadge tells WebMD, "and then apply that vision every
day to stay motivated."
While you're imagining, remind yourself of reality: excess weight is
unhealthy, as is yo-yo dieting. Make sure this is a
lifetime commitment for optimal health instead of a temporary plan to drop 10
pounds before bathing suit season -- which you may regain again once you stop
To stay compliant to your weight loss program, Tallmadge suggests keeping
only healthy foods in the refrigerator, so you're less likely to stop and grab
something greasy on the way home from work. "Even if your family isn't
dieting, you can still keep tempting foods out of the kitchen
2. Understand Your Weight Loss Personality
According to Thomas R. Przybeck, PhD, personality plays a role in our
attitude towards food. As an assistant professor of psychiatry at Washington
University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Przybeck recommends that you know
your tendencies and tailor your plan to conquer the unproductive
Impulsive. "If you have a tendency to be impulsive, you might see
a pint of Ben & Jerry's in the freezer and go for it," Przybeck says.
Clearly, you are a dieter who needs to remove those
Oblivious. If you tend to not pay attention when you eat -- maybe
you're a TV snacker? -- you need to avoid such situations if you want to
Uptight. "If you are highly anxious, you will probably have
more difficulty," Przybeck says. "Those who are anxious, nervous, and
depressed might eat to feel better."
Tenacious. Certain personalities don't find it that difficult losing
weight. "If you are highly self-directed,cooperative, and have a lot of
stick-to-it-ive-ness, you are going to have an easier time," Przybeck
Sociable. Przybeck also found that if you tend to monitor your
food intake better than others, you may be more sociable.
3. Record Every Food Morsel You Eat, Taste, or Lick
Underestimating just how much food you've eaten is a common mistake, one
that can lead to a weight loss plateau or weight gain. Yet keeping a diary of your daily food
intake (every bite, taste, or lick) can help you see where you're going wrong.
Try these food diary tips:
Track the time of day and your feelings when you eat to discover problem
times and emotions that cause you to binge eat.
Recognize your eating triggers and find healthier foods to satisfy your hunger or better alternatives than food to cope with
Monitor your progress, track your new behaviors, and reward yourself with a
manicure or movie for all your hard work.