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Over the past 3 months, I have lost 25 pounds. Now, I seem to have hit a plateau and haven’t seen my weight change in 3 weeks. What can I do to get past this plateau?
by Vic2016

Over the past 3 months, I have lost 25 pounds. Now, I seem to have hit a plateau and haven’t seen my weight change in 3 weeks. What can I do to get past this plateau?


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Joanne Perez, MS, RDN, LD

Wow, 25 pounds is significant weight loss, and your plateau might be your body's way of telling you that you have hit your set point. In addition, the number on the scale is just that a number. It doesn't take into account your body's changing composition so don't get hung up on it and instead, think about how your clothes fit and more importantly, how you feel. But if you are significantly overweight and still have more weight to lose, plateaus can be frustrating. As you lose weight, you are not only losing fat, but also, muscle. This in turn decreases your body's caloric needs.

Here are a couple of things to think about when you hit a plateau:

Is my weight loss goal realistic?
Have I decreased my activity over the past few weeks?
Have I been watching my portions as closely as before?
Am I restricting a certain food group?
Am I being mindful when I eat?

And here are some things to try:

Take pictures of what you are eating so you can really assess your portion sizes.
Add a walk after dinner.
Make sure you are not doing a million other things while you are eating.
Never let yourself get too hungry. I recommend prepackaging snacks at the beginning of the week so you can easily grab & go.
Eat from all the food groups. Your plate should be 50% vegetables (with some fruits at certain meals), 25% lean protein and 25% carbohydrates.
Eat more. I know that it sounds conterproductive, but we actually burn calories eating. If you are not eating enough, your body thinks it is starving and starts to hold on to your fat stores.
Never eat less than 1400 calories if you are a female and 1600 if you are a male.

If your weight plateau continues, I would recommend finding a registered dietitian who can help you assess your diet and your relationship with food, eating and your body.


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