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Staying on Your Diet When the Scale Won't Budge

May 18, 2008
Wouldn't it be wonderful if your weight loss program never hit a plateau?
If every week you lost those 2 pounds even if you cheated just a little?

Reshaping your body, losing inches does take some determination to stay the course. If you have tried several different diets, done crash-dieting, or even tried weight-loss wonder pills, your body's metabolism needs time to heal. Anytime you restrict calories, your body assumes that you may not eat again, and it slows down your metabolism. If you have been extreme in your dieting, you may have severely damaged the glands that regulate your metabolism.

It can happen to anyone. One man who lost over 100 pounds actually had a plateau that lasted for six months, before the pounds and inches started coming off again! (He was determined to stay on his plan no matter what). Most people won't experience a plateau that stubborn. Here are some tips to help you through
plateau time.

Key point: muscle weighs more than fat! Especially if you are working out with weights as part of your routine, you are building muscle. So you may see a weight gain, or slower loss, but your clothes fit better!

Look for other ways to measure your progress:

Inches/Body measurements: dress size, waist, hips, neck,chest or bust, arms, fitting into favorite clothes. Are you starting to see some abs again?

Performance: more endurance during exercise, doing them at a higher level, jumping higher, walking longer, running faster, playing a sport better

Mood and Attitude: rate energy level, rate attitude and outlook, track how often you feel very sleepy during the day, rate your confidence level

Health: blood pressure, cholesterol level, blood sugar level, food cravings, quality of sleep, your skin tone, even how your fingernails and hair look.

Intangibles: How you look, compliments you receive, how others respond to you. The self-confidence that comes from knowing that you are being proactive in your life and taking control of your health.

A few quick tips to break your wieght loss plateau:

1) Don't cut back on calories. It's tempting when weight loss slows down to cut your calorie count even further. Don't! Cutting calories to low will cause your metabolism to slow down even further.

2) Do vary your calorie count. Alternate days. If you are eating 1200 calories on Monday, eat 1500 on Tuesday, 1200 on Wednesday and so on. Do this for 1-2 weeks. Your metabolic rate will increase.

3) Increase raw fruits and vegetables in your diet to 50%. This will help detoxify your body and get your metabolism "unstuck".

4) Vary what you eat. If you eating mostly fish and chicken, try lean pork and beef. Try new vegetables. A varied diet is important.

5) Change up your exercise.

No matter what-stay on track! Plateaus are not fun, but they are a good sign that your body is changing, healing and rebuilding itself. A plateau means that your body is adjusting to becoming the new you! You are forming life habits that will keep you at a healthy weight. Hang around friends who will encourage you. Avoid trigger foods. Be patient. The plateau will come to an end, and the weight will start falling off. You will always be glad you "fought back" by outlasting the plateau.
About the Author
Karen Miner Hurd is a writer,teacher and wellness educator. Changing lives is her passion. She lives in Virginia with her husband and 5 children, and is winning a 10 year battle with her weight.
For more weight loss and health tips visit Karen's site Cinch Me 2!
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