At WiseGEEK, we're committed to delivering accurate, trustworthy information. Our expert-authored content is rigorously fact-checked and sourced from credible authorities. Discover how we uphold the highest standards in providing you with reliable knowledge.
After you have been exercising, eating a healthy diet, and losing weight for a period of time, it is fairly common to hit a weight loss plateau. This occurs when your eating and exercise habits have not changed, but suddenly your weight is staying the same. There are many ways to break a weight loss plateau, but the best is to add variety to your routine.
The body quickly adapts to routines, both in exercising and eating. If you have been performing the same types of exercises every day, such as walking on a treadmill for an hour or riding a stationary bike, switch it up. Take an aerobics class, go for a hike, try kickboxing, or try any other activity that interests you. Any different physical activity can help to break a weight loss plateau. In addition, it is important to incorporate weight lifting in with aerobics; strengthening the muscles can boost metabolism and help promote further weight loss.
Some people, if they find it difficult to stick to an exercise plan, find it to be helpful to exercise with a friend. This way, you are accountable to someone, and may be more likely to exercise even when you don't feel like it. Aside from varying exercise to overcome a weight loss plateau, it is important to vary the diet, and to be sure to drink enough water and get enough sleep every day.
If you are eating a very calorie-restricted diet, this can actually slow down the metabolism and stop weight loss. To combat this, it may be helpful to increase caloric intake, either by a small bit each day or by giving yourself one "free day" per week where you go off your diet. This extra boost in calories is particularly helpful if you are exercising, and can help increase your metabolism and get weight loss started again.
If you feel you are being lax in your diet, and that this is causing your weight loss plateau, keeping a food diary and recording everything you eat can be another way to get back on track. It is surprising how much small snacks throughout the day can add up. Some people also find that by eating five meals throughout the day instead of three boosts metabolism, and prevents blood sugar crashes, all of which can contribute to a weight loss plateau. With a few simple changes, you will soon be back on track.