Whether the scale hasn’t moved for three days or three months, it can be very frustrating particularly when you feel you’re doing the “right” stuff to drop the weight. But before you give up your healthy eating plan, understand that it’s not just you.
“The first thing our research shows is that everything hits a plateau,” says Bob Sullivan, co-author of The Plateau Effect: Getting from Stuck to Success. “Every good idea, diet program, marriage and professional athlete eventually stops working.”
“This is the most confusing thing about any endeavor, and it’s particularly frustrating for people trying to lose weight,” Sullivan continues. Fortunately, there are some obvious– and some not-so-obvious– ways to get past the hump
Below are three expert tips on how to reach your goal weight in a healthy way.
1. Don’t be so focused on the scale.
Most physicians agree that the scale by itself is an incomplete metric, Sullivan admits, much like your BMI number or any other metric number alone. Being healthy involves lots of measurements, and involving more of them in your scope of focus will get you to understand how far you’ve come while you set newer, more comprehensive goals. Though the scale might not be showing massive changes, maybe you’re lowering your heart rate, decreasing abdominal fat, or improving your blood pressure. Try taking bodily measurements so you can see how your body composition is becoming healthier as you gain lean muscle despite your weight remaining the same.
2. Use an honest friend.
A solid support system is necessary when you need an extra push to get to your hard-to-reach goals. Whether it’s a friend or a gym trainer, find someone you can be upfront with and communicate with, says Dr. Susan Albers, psychologist at the Cleveland Clinic Family Health Center. Checking in with someone who holds you accountable daily or at least a few times a week will allow you to keep pace with your goals, even during times of temptation.
3. Don’t break old habits; start new ones.
Instead of focusing on breaking old eating habits, focus on making new healthy ones instead, Dr. Albers continues. “It’s easier to form a new habit instead of breaking an old one you struggle with.”
If you have a habit of eating ice cream every night, try eating non-fat yogurt with granola instead while keeping track of your caloric intake, Dr. Albers suggests. Taking control while thinking positive about where you’re headed can help you stick to your healthy eating regimen and make it more exciting. Remember, diet boredom and eating the same foods could be a reason for your plateau.
Always consult your chiropractor or primary care physician for all your health related advice.
This article is made available for general, entertainment and educational purposes only. The opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect those of The Joint Corp (or its franchisees and affiliates). You should always seek the advice of a licensed healthcare professional.