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What can I do if my weight loss starts to plateau?

Many people who take steps to manage their weight find it relatively easy to lose weight initially but after a time, the rate of weight loss can begin to slow down or even grind to a complete halt. This is a common problem that is often referred to as a ‘weight plateau’. To understand why this happens, check out our article that explains the biology behind a weight plateau.

Woman speaking to doctor

The image is a model

Dealing with a weight plateau might tempt people living with obesity to ditch their weight management plan. Rest assured that with the right approach and support, you can continue your weight management progress. Below are some tips to help you on your way. 

What can I do to revitalize my weight loss journey?

Losing weight triggers hormonal changes that can affect the body’s needs, making it more difficult to lose weight or avoid weight gain so you may need to adjust your lifestyle.

As a starting point, re-assess your habits. Have they changed? Has there been a difference in your lifestyle, that could have changed your day-to-day routine? Even small changes can make a difference.

It is important to remember that changes to your diet and exercise routine are just one part of long-term weight management. Many people benefit from speaking to a specialist team, who can work with you to devise a personalised weight management programme.

Reframing the experience of a weight plateau

It is important to work towards overcoming challenges such as a weight plateau during weight loss. To get back on track, you need to understand that a weight plateau is a normal part of most people’s weight management journey. In fact, it may even benefit some people to view the weight plateau as a success – as it reflects the weight loss progress they have made. Don’t beat yourself up – it happens to many people and is certainly not a failure on your part.

Don’t be tempted to give up. Remind yourself of your goals and think about what prompted you to begin your weight management journey in the first place. Remember, the goals you set should always be based on what is achievable for you, rather than what society may say the ‘ideal’ weight is. Celebrate the progress made to date rather than focusing on the current blip and remind yourself that you have succeeded before and can do so again.

If you think it would help, speak to your healthcare provider about behavioural therapy – individualised programs that help sustain changes in behaviour - or discuss the possibility of being referred for a weight management programme.

Don’t be defeated by the weight loss plateau!

Remember that most people find it hard to lose weight and keep it off. As you lose weight, the body triggers internal hormone changes that encourage weight gain and make it difficult to keep weight off.

It is completely natural to be discouraged by a weight loss plateau but it is not the end of the journey – it is merely a pause or a diversion along the way. With the right support, you can regain momentum and achieve your weight loss goals. 



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