Sometimes when you're dieting you feel like you're doing everything right, but those last few pounds just don't seem to shift. This is a very common problem called a plateau, but help is at hand. Follow the tips on this page if you're struggling to break through that final barrier to your weight loss goals.
We are all approximately 60% water - so make sure you're drinking enough of it. Water speeds up your metabolism and flushes toxins from your body, eliminating any bottlenecks that might be stopping you from losing weight. Often the body mistakes thirst for hunger, so keep yourself properly hydrated and you might find that your food cravings will disappear.
Adjust your calorie intake
As you slim down, you need to eat less to keep losing weight. If you've lost some weight but now the scale isn't budging, this could be the reason. Try reducing your calorie intake just a little more, maybe somewhere between 50-100 calories per day for each time you lose 10lbs. You shouldn't go below 1200 calories though - drop below that and your metabolism will start to shut down.
Another important tip for keeping your metabolism going - never skip meals. This slows down your metabolism as your body shifts into starvation mode. Keep eating small portions throughout the day, and try not to go more than 3 hours without eating. Check out our Healthy Snacks page for some light bites.
So you've stuck to your diet all week, but then Friday night comes along and you end up having a long night of drinking. The next day you derail your diet completely and order a large pizza with cheesecake. Most of us enjoy a few drinks now and then, but if you are hitting a plateau try cutting the alcohol out for a while. As much fun as a big night out can be, alcohol unfortunately slows down your metabolism and robs you of your energy and willpower.
Dropping some weight can shift your body into starvation mode, and sometimes eating less can even be counterproductive. One way to get past this plateau is to do more exercise and kickstart your metabolism again. Try to diversify your exercise plan to keep your body guessing. Lift weights twice a week, play tennis, go for a long walk, do a Pilates class, kickboxing, a hike... mix it up!
Guilt free indulgence
Do you ever beat yourself up when you give in to temptation and eat a Dairy Milk bar or some really fatty Chinese takeaway? Well don't feel too bad. Once in a while it's important to give your body something it's not expecting. This can actually help kickstart your metabolism. Just don't do it more than once a week!
Lastly and most importantly, be patient! Keep to your plan, be positive, enjoy feeling strong and healthy and don't stress about it. The weight will come off eventually if you stick at it. Remember - your weight gain didn't happen overnight, so you shouldn't expect weight loss overnight either.