7 Weight Loss Tips When the Scale Won’t Budge

by Life by DailyBurn
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7 Weight Loss Tips When the Scale Won’t Budge

Whether the scale hasn’t budged for one week or six, it’s always a frustrating experience — especially when you feel you’re doing everything “right” to get the weight off. But before you start beating yourself up or throw in the towel on your healthy eating plan, know that you’re not alone.

“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,” says Sullivan. “This is the most confusing thing about any endeavor, and it’s particularly frustrating for people trying to lose weight.” Luckily, there are ways to turn things around — though some methods aren’t as obvious as others.

For instance, eating way less might get the scale moving. But cutting calories has its limitations, and in fact, seems to stop working after a while, says Sullivan. The same goes for the same old workout routine — eventually you’ll need to mix things up, add some high-intensity intervals and challenge the body in new ways. Pairing proper nutrition and a challenging workout routine is, of course, a winning combination. But there are a few more ways to help you bust through that weight loss plateau. Here are seven expert-backed tips on how to reach your goal weight, the healthy way.

1. De-emphasize the scale Most physicians would readily agree that the scale alone is a very incomplete metric, says Sullivan. So is your BMI number, or any other metric number on its own. Being healthy involves dozens of measurements, and utilizing more of them will help you realize how far you’ve come and help you set new goals, he says. Perhaps you aren’t moving the scale but you’re lowering your heart rate, reducing belly fat, or improving your cholesterol numbers. Start taking measurements so you can see how your body composition is changing by shedding fat and building lean muscle when your weight stays the same. Being able to fit into a smaller size? Now that’s a milestone worth celebrating!

2. Enlist an honest buddy A solid support system is a must when you need that extra push to reach your goals. Whether that’s a friend with similar goals or a significant other who just knows how you’re wired, find someone you can be completely honest with about how you’re doing, says Dr. Susan Albers, psychologist at the Cleveland Clinic Family Health Center and author of Eat Q: Unlock the Weight-Loss Power of Emotional Intelligence. Having someone to check in with daily or at least a few times a week will keep you accountable and may help you stay on track when faced with temptation. Knowing you’ll have to tell your weight loss buddy you went back for second helpings may help you put the kibosh on that habit. And when it comes time to hit the gym, sweating as a duo is just way more fun.

3. Don’t break old habits—start new ones Instead of trying to break old eating habits, form new healthy habits to crowd out the old ones, says Dr. Albers. “It’s easier to form a new habit instead of breaking an old one you struggle with.” So if your old tendency is to have ice cream every night, try swapping the ice cream for non-fat yogurt with granola and factor that into your daily calorie intake, Dr. Albers suggests. Taking control with a positive mindset can help you stay motivated to stick to your healthy eating plan. Just keep in mind that diet boredom and eating the same old foods could also be a factor in your plateau.  —Diana Kelly for Life by DailyBurn

Want more? Head over to Life by DailyBurn for the complete list of 7 Weight Loss Tips When the Scale Won’t Budge.


  • 3. Don’t break old habits—start new ones, that’s a good way to put it. Instead of feeling deprived, you just teach yourself new habits.

  • I thought there were 7?

    • Tina

      You have to click on the link below number 3 to get the full list, I believe.

    • JofJLTNCB6

      Click-walls for additional ad revenue. I won’t click through on principle.

  • pismopal

    Riding a bicycle 120 miles per week..no booze..no pasta or bread and no joy

  • Jwhited71

    Wouldn’t it be easier and more sustainable if I figured out how to fit the ice cream I enjoy into my well balanced diet, instead of trying to lie to myself that yogurt tastes even remotely as good as ice cream???? And non fat yogurt, what if I need the fat because the rest of my day has been on the lower fat trend and I haven’t reached my requirement.

    I know it’s not as fun to read, but how about this if you are stuck on a plateau, you check your logging accuracy, check your calorie burn accuracy and evaluate what you can tweak slightly from there.

    • Dana

      Try freezing yogurt. I love Ice cream and freezing yogurt helped trick my mind into thinking it was ice cream!!

      • Jwhited71

        Thanks, but I don’t need to trick myself into anything. I’ve lost 116 lbs, and did that with eating ice cream, gelato, or some other dessert nightly. I make sure I meet my protein and fat macros, after that bring on the dessert. Knowing this was included in my day was part of why it was sustainable this time.

      • Dana

        Well excuse me for my comment. I just thought I’d tell you how I did it. But it’s clear now you wasn’t asking for any opinions. Why put a comment on here and then have a smart remark when someone makes a comment back!!!

        • Jwhited71

          Did I ask for opinions? No not really. But I said thank you for your response, you gave what worked for you, I responded with what worked for me…. what would be the difference except that I don’t agree with you?

          • Ness

            You need to get over your snooty self. Nobody appresiates attitude when they’re just being nice.

          • Ness


    • ILiftHeavyAcrylics

      Not to mention that yogurt with granola is going to be every bit as much of a calorie bomb as ice cream. One serving of my homemade granola is 292 calories, which is more than a serving of most ice creams. And I love granola/yogurt but it’s not the same.

    • Deborah

      You are so correct it seems like society don’t want us to eat anything. I feel the same way you do. I am allowed 42 grams of fat and I feel I should be able to have my one treat.

  • Pingback: Dont’ break old habits – start new ones | Write Don't Eat()

  • coppertiara

    i was with you until you suggested that nonfat yogurt is healthier than ice cream. Nonfat products still taste good because they add boatloads more sugar. not exactly healthier in my book. Stick with the ice cream, and have it only once a week as a treat. if it’s every night, it’s not a treat, it’s a habit.

    • ILiftHeavyAcrylics

      Or it’s just part of a balanced diet. I eat ice cream every night. I also eat 5 servings of veggies, a couple of servings of fruit, and at least 100 grams of protein. I don’t label individual foods as healthy or unhealthy. A person’s diet can be healthy or unhealthy, but individual foods are not. At least not without context.

  • Victoria Lively Martin

    How do you get buddies??? I am following people. Is that right??? My ID is vlmartin2011. Thanks!!

  • Jonners71

    Everyone knows what’s right / wrong or good/bad – what I find difficult ( and right now it feels impossible) is making the better choices? I lie in bed at night trying not to let parts of my body tough another as I hate the squidgy fat feeling? I am able/good at working out. I know right foods and even that we need treats I start each day with porridge (no sugar or sweetener) but 1 hour later I start on biscuits and then off it goes for the day – sugar, sugar, sugar! I know it’s bad……..but I still do it. The only way to stop is to try to stay in a different room from food or sleep! I do eat fruit, veg and drink water! I just want sugar non stop? I feel sorry for those trying to quit drink or smoking – I don’t do either, but, goodness, I have tried protein, I have tried everything but sugar wins – sounds pathetic but true! I’d love some tips/help,

  • silentescape99

    Are you kidding I ate 2 cinnabons 800 calories stf up enjoy and move forward it’s a marathon not a sprint

  • silentescape99

    Your just going to enjoy it have it indulgence is the key factor your guilty sin will be ok just don’t beat yourself up move forward and stop with all that