How to Overcome a Weight Loss Plateau

How to Overcome a Weight Loss Plateau

During the early part of your weight loss journey you may see great results as the pounds come off. Then suddenly the scale stops moving and you’re stuck. When this happens, you’ve hit what is called a weight loss plateau. You are not quite at your goal weight though, so what do you do now?

A weight-loss plateau happens at some point to almost every person on a weight loss journey. There are two types of weight loss plateaus, and each are treated differently. The first type is called the set-point plateau. This can happen when you have reached 10-20 percent weight loss and all of a sudden hit a roadblock. The best way to handle this is by maintaining your weight for a period of time. It can take eight to twelve weeks to adjust to a new set-point before you can start losing weight again.

The second type of plateau is usually due to specific struggles that you may be facing. The good news is that there are ways to overcome this plateau and continue on your weight loss journey.

First, if you hit a plateau, you may need to adjust the amount of calories you are eating. In general, as you lose weight, you require fewer calories for maintenance. In other words, the calories that you were eating at the beginning of the program may need to be adjusted down as you get further along. One way to assess this is test your resting metabolic rate. This test helps to set more specific calorie goals. Always keep in mind though, that you don’t want to cut your calories too much, because that can lead to a plateau as well.

Second, make sure you are eating an adequate amount of protein. Spreading you’re your intake of protein throughout several meals during the day is important.  Aim for eating 20-25 grams with 3 meals, and another 15 grams as two snacks.

A third option for overcoming a weight loss plateau is adding intermittent fasting into your routine. Intermittent fasting is all about the timing of your meals rather than calories. You can start off by doing a 16 hour fast a couple of days a week and gradually advance it as needed. Remember, if doing intermittent fasting, do it correctly. Make sure that during the 8-hour eating window, you are getting adequate calories that are rich in proteins, good fats, and plenty of vegetables.

Fourth, if you hit a weight loss plateau, reassess your exercise routine. Chances are that you may be exercising too much and may need to take it down a notch. I recommend getting about 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise per week. You can include a couple days of strength training as well.

Fifth, get a good handle on stress and sleep. A plateau may not have anything to do with eating or exercising.  Managing sleep and stress are vital to health and weight loss. Over time, high levels of stress and lack of sleep can have a significant negative impact on your metabolism.

Understand that hitting a plateau is just part of the process. But there is no giving up! As you see, there are many strategies you can try to kickstart weight loss again.

If you are struggling and desire some assistance, please reach out to me and my team at