It’s perfectly normal for every dieter to reach a plateau where you just seem to stop losing weight. You’re trying your hardest to stick to your diet, eat well and do some exercise. But the weight just seems to stop dropping. The trick is to use it as an opportunity to double up your efforts and get really clear on your strategy to carry you through to the finish line.

Below you’ll find 10 suggestions that can help you recommit to your program and re-ignite the weight-loss process when you feel challenged. Choose the tips that work best for you to achieve freedom from excess weight once and for all. Losing weight can be a long road, and can sometimes seem never ending…but stick at it, and you’ll reach your goal.

Your weight loss journey can seem never ending.

1: Get clear on your ultimate weight-loss goal

Be sure that your weight-loss goal is realistic and that your expected rate of weight loss is reasonable. You can realistically expect to lose two-four pounds a week, depending on your body mass and assuming you’re eating right and exercising.

Each body has its own ideal weight and size. Don’t compare yourself to anyone else, but listen to your body and notice what feels best for you. A simple way to approximate your ideal weight is with this formula below – you could also try our ideal weight calculator:

Ideal weight range for women = 100 pounds for five feet of height + five pounds for each additional inch, allowing +/- 10 pounds for a slight or a heavy frame.

Ideal weight range for men = 110 pounds for five feet of height + six pounds for each additional inch, allowing +/- 10 pounds for a slight or heavy frame. You can also refer to our BMI calculator (Body Mass Index).

2: Go High-Protein, Low-Carb

If your weight-loss has slowed down, it might be time to try a High-Protein, Low-Carb diet, especially if you tend to crave carbohydrates. By cutting back on carbohydrates, your body is encouraged to burn stored fat. This can be great for those with fat to burn in stubborn places like the hips, stomach and thighs.

3: Add resistance training to your program

A wonderful way to boost your metabolism and break through to the next level of weight loss is by incorporating aerobic exercise into your program, such as 30 minutes of walking three to four times a week. (If you are 35 years or older, or haven’t exercised regularly, begin with 10 to 15 minutes two to three times a week.)

In addition, weight training with free weights or machines several times a week can help increase muscle mass, which in turn allows you to burn more calories faster. Studies show that weight training can increase your metabolism overnight by five to 10 percent. Working out can increase your metabolism for up to 21 hours after an intense workout.

4: Use Some Natural Help

If your weight loss needs a little help, you can always try natural fat burners – foods, fruits and drinks that are known to have fat burning properties. Check out our posts for more information:

5: Beware of the carbohydrate pitfall – especially if you’re on a diet Program

If you’re on a Weight-Loss Program, and your weight-loss progress seems slow, look out for carbohydrates that might be sneaking their way unnoticed into your diet. Sugar and lots of calories can lurk in the most unexpected places such as ketchup, salad dressings, teriyaki and barbecue sauces.

Watch out too for cornstarch, sugar or milk solids in many processed foods such as gravies, or sauces on frozen vegetables. Be especially careful about “low-fat” foods where flavor is enhanced by sugar and other carbohydrates.

Try keeping a diet journal or use an app on your phone for a couple of days and list EVERYTHING you eat and drink. Go through with your carb counter and total up your carbohydrate consumption. You may quickly discover the hidden carbs that are keeping your weight-loss progress stuck and be able to eliminate them and move past your plateau.

Even if you’re not over-consuming carbs it can still be helpful to cut back on your carbohydrate intake. Try mixing your protein shake with either milk, yogurt or soy milk instead of fruit juice until you push past the plateau.

6: Take the “refinement” out of your diet

Whichever program you are on, if you want to overcome the “scale freeze” try eliminating all refined sugar and refined grains from your diet. This includes white bread, pastries, pasta, white rice, white flour crackers, sugar-coated breakfast cereals, cookies and cake. This simple step can encourage a huge weight-loss breakthrough and leave you feeling more healthy and energized in the process.

7: Don’t go hungry

Cutting back on how often you eat can have a negative impact on your diet plateau. Many studies show that small, frequent meals are more satisfying and produce better weight-loss results than the same number of calories consumed in three large meals. Your body needs a minimum number of calories per day for you to maintain your health and wellbeing. Check out our calorie calculator to see how many calories you need each day.

Take advantage of delicious fat burning fruits if you crave something sweet, or crunch on fresh slices of raw vegetables like celery, peppers, cucumber and jicama when you’re hungry.

8: Drink up to burn up

It’s vitally important to replenish your fluids by drinking plenty of water on your program. An inadequate supply of water in itself can slow down your weight-loss. Carry water with you wherever you go throughout the day.

For additional weight-management benefits, add Herbal Aloe Concentrate to your water to help keep your digestion in top shape. Also, add a teaspoon or two of soluble Fiber to a glass of water twice a day to promote optimum digestion as well as maintain a healthy intestinal flora.

Keeping well hydrated not only helps you burn fat efficiently, it also helps control hunger.

9: Keep your incentive strong

Remember the determination you felt when you first began your weight- loss program? Remember the excitement of watching the pounds drop one by one? Go back to whatever your initial motivation was and see whether it still works for you.

It may have been the desire to lose weight for a particular event or to regain your figure after pregnancy. You may have been motivated by poor health or by the shock of just how much weight you had gained.

See whether the same motivation still has juice for you. If not, choose a new one. Keep a picture of yourself looking great on your refrigerator as a daily reminder of where you are heading.

10: Stay mindful

Each time you sit down to eat or have a snack, take a moment to become mindful that the food you are about to eat is taking you one step closer to your goal. Hold an image of yourself enjoying your ideal weight and feeling in perfect health.

As you make this mental connection, and dedicate each serving of food or drink to your weight loss, you will naturally be inclined to enjoy the foods and drinks that best support your program. Your mind is a powerful ally and can help you overcome any obstacle you encounter.

Remember, the scale is not the only judge of your success. When the pounds slow down, you still may be losing inches, wearing smaller sizes and generally feeling better because you are losing fat and building muscle which weighs more.

Hold true to your vision, don’t let a plateau discourage you and celebrate each small victory on your weight-loss journey.

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