What exactly is a weight loss plateau and how can you beat it? Weight loss plateaus can occur at any time during your weight loss efforts. You know you've reached a plateau when despite your consistent exercise and healthy eating, your body "settles" at a certain weight and the scale doesn't budge! This plateau period can last from several weeks to several months. This critical window is when you HAVE to dig deep, buckle down and put an action plan together to beat your weight loss plateau.
The first thing you need to do is (honestly) evaluate your goals. Do you want to get back to your "perfect" college body? If so, that goal may be unrealistic. It's helpful to check with your doctor about a reasonable weight for you. This weight will be adequate for your body type as well as manageable over time. Once you determine a reasonable weight range, now it's time to evaluate your lifestyle. Are you getting enough sleep? Lack of sleep is a culprit in weight loss so get some extra rest. Are there any (constant) stressors in your life right now? Going through a life change such as a divorce or loss of a parent can cause plateaus as well. Are you stress eating? Stress eating is a subtle yet common culprit in weight loss plateaus.
Once you identify the common culprits, re-evaluate your weight loss goal and make some immediate changes, you've begun the process to beating your weight loss plateau. In my next article, I'll discuss some additional culprits that contribute to weight loss plateaus. Until then, don't give up...EVER!