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Weight Loss: Plateau No More

What to do when your weight won’t budge.

Jumping Off the Plateau

How can you get off the plateau and lose those last few pounds? According to the successful losers of the National Weight Control Registry, the secret is persistence. Here are nine ways to get back on track:

  • Exercise: it builds muscle and revs up your metabolism. This is the single most important step you can take to lose more weight. Look for ways to work more activity into your life instead of trying to fit in unrealistically long workouts.
  • Start strength training a few times a week. Muscle tissue is more metabolically active than fat and helps burn more calories.
  • Check your portion sizes. Maybe it’s time to get out your measuring cups and scale again. Most dieters routinely underestimate portion sizes.
  • Are you journaling your food? Keeping up with your journal is a great motivator and helps you be aware of exactly what and how much you are eating.
  • Weigh yourself once a week. Doing it more often can be counterproductive.
  • Make sure your weight-loss goals are realistic. It may be time to shift into weight maintenance instead of striving for more weight loss.
  • Curb-late night munching, which can sabotage your calorie intake.
  • Focus on the health benefits of the weight you have already lost. Put a picture of your old self in a spot where you’ll see it often, to help you stay motivated. Delight in how far you’ve come, and how good you look and feel.
  • Shake things up in your diet. Treat yourself to a new cookbook, or a subscription to a healthy cooking magazine, to keep novelty and variety in your meals.

 

Community Support

Visit our community message boards for support and help from our moderators and WebMD community members.

Learn from the lessons of our successful dieters. They will be the first to tell you to give up the guilt -- it does nothing more than lead to bingeing. Accept the fact that plateaus are perfectly normal, and, perhaps with a tweaking of your diet and exercise routine, you will start moving again toward meeting your weight-loss goals.

Reaffirm your commitment to the program and regain the determination you had when you began. Can you remember what motivated you to start our program? Call upon your reserves -­ you have come this far, so don’t give up now.

One more thing: It may be time for a well-deserved reward for all your hard work. How about a shopping spree for fall clothing in that new smaller size?

Kathleen Zelman, MPH, RD, is director of nutrition for WebMD. Her opinions and conclusions are her own.

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