If you have ever tried to lose weight for a long period of time then you have encountered the dreaded plateau. When trying to lose fat over a sustained period of time you eventually hit points where nothing is happening. You haven’t made changes but suddenly the fat loss stops. Your weight loss all but disappears. Because the human body is adaptive and tries its best to maintain homeostasis, your body will adapt to the changes you made originally and weight loss will stall.

Hitting a plateau is one of the biggest motivation killers out there. As soon as you hit one you feel frustrated, confused, and hopeless. You might be doing all the right things but still not losing any weight. You might want to give up, but if you want to reach your goals you can’t give in and let the plateau defeat you.

The best advice for overcoming a plateau is the same for starting weight loss – make a change. If you keep doing the same thing you have been doing over and over you will be making a mistake, especially if you keep expecting a different result. When the results of your actions aren’t what you want (your weight loss has stalled) you need to make a change.

If you are wondering what change you can make, check out these suggestions for ending a weight loss plateau.

Change Your Exercise Routine
This is a huge mistake people make when trying to lose weight over an extended period. They exercise a lot but fail to realize their body adapts to the exercise they are doing. If you have hit a plateau you will want to change the exercise you are doing. If you work out for 30 minutes, try adding time to that. If you go walking, try running, swimming, or cycling. Changing the exercise you do will change the muscles your body is using and the calories it is burning. If you really want to restart the weight loss consider doing high intensity cardio, such as high intensity interval training. It will shock your body back into losing weight.

Change Your Calorie Intake
A lot of people drop their calories down very low to lose weight. When their body adapts and stops the weight loss they realize there is no room to drop any more calories. When this happens you can try zig-zagging, or calorie-cycling, your calorie intake. You can maintain the same number of calories per week but change the days you eat them. For instance, instead of eating exactly 1800 calories every day you can eat 1500 one day and 2100 the next. Switching up the calories per day will keep you within your necessary caloric intake but it will trick your body into starting its weight loss again.

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