By Nina Gray, MD
TriHealth Weight Management
So, you’ve stopped losing weight and you don’t know what to do. First, don't panic. This is a normal part of the weight loss process. It can happen at any point and reflects the stabilization of weight, depending on how the input (food) matches the output (energy used).
This is called the weight plateau. It happens because as you lose weight, your basal metabolic rate decreases. So, you need fewer calories to do the same daily activities and exercise.
What could be stopping your weight loss?
- Any changes to medications? Some cause weight gain.
- Are you less active in your daily activities? Do you sit more at work?
- Are you really physically hungry or is it stress eating?
- Are you eating too infrequently?
- Are you still motivated?
The 5 Ps to Success
- PATIENCE: This is a marathon, not a sprint. When you look back on how long it took to gain the weight, was it overnight? Probably not. So, we can't expect it to all come off overnight either!
- PERSISTENCE: Don't get discouraged. This is a normal part of the process. Keep going!
- PLANNING: Look at your food diary and activity chart with a critical eye. What has changed? Is everything included? Do you have too many snacks and liquid calories?
- POSITIVE THOUGHTS: You are doing great. This is not a personal failure. It's biology.
- PERSPIRATION: Rev up the exercise, walk during your breaks and increase daily steps by 10 percent. Get your heart rate up when exercising in short, five-minute bursts.