Ask the Dietitian: What Causes a Weight-Loss Plateau?

Elle Penner, MPH, RD
by Elle Penner, MPH, RD
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Ask the Dietitian: What Causes a Weight-Loss Plateau?

If you’ve ever experienced a weight-loss plateau, you know the disappointment of stepping on the scale after another week of eating well and exercising only to see the same exact number as the week before. For days, or sometimes even weeks at a time, your weight may not budge, which can make your efforts to eat well and move more seem, well, like a waste of time.

The truth is, weight-loss plateaus happen to almost everyone trying to lose weight — even those go-getters with plateau prevention plans. In order to overcome one, it’s important first to understand why they occur. Here are three contributing factors that can lead to a stalemate with the scale:


A rapid drop in weight is normal during the first few weeks of weight loss, but what you may not realize is that a fair amount of this initial weight decrease comes from water lost as the body uses up carbohydrate stores in the form of glycogen (sugar). As carbohydrate intake fluctuates day-to-day, it’s not uncommon for some, if not all, of that water weight to return, which can offset fat loss and cause a plateau.



The downside to losing weight is that your body doesn’t just burn fat for energy — it breaks down muscle, too. Unlike fat, muscles burn calories, so losing muscle will slow the rate at which you use up energy from food. This, of course, impacts weight loss, and is part of the reason why cutting too many calories can work against you because your body will break down muscle at a faster rate. For tips to offset this, learn why protein is good for weight loss and how to optimize your carb, fat and protein goals.


As a smaller person, you expend less energy moving around than you did at your heavier weight. Thus, the same number of calories that produced an initial loss may now just maintain your current weight. To continue losing, you’ll have to increase the calories you burn through physical activity and/or reduce the number of calories you eat. For up-to-date calorie need estimates, be sure to update your nutrition goals in MyFitnessPal every 5–10 pounds or so.

Remember, it’s completely normal for weight loss to slow or even stall on occasion, so don’t get discouraged. Now that you understand the main causes of weight-loss plateaus, you’ll be able to devise a plan of attack if and when the number on the scale stops dropping.

About the Author

Elle Penner, MPH, RD
Elle Penner, MPH, RD

Elle is a nutrition and wellness writer, recipe developer, blogger and nutrition consultant whose favorite things include her camera, carbs and quality time with her toddler. For more from this busy mama, check out Elle’s lifestyle blog or connect with her on Instagram, Pinterest and Facebook.


65 responses to “Ask the Dietitian: What Causes a Weight-Loss Plateau?”

  1. Avatar christina says:

    I want a fitness friend im29 married 3kids girls

  2. Avatar christina says:

    We live in warrenton mo we love exercise

  3. Avatar lovelydork says:

    I live in ofallon mo!

  4. Avatar Pat says:

    Darn I saw o’fallon and got excited but it’s the wrong side of the river. I am looking for a motivational buddy in Illinois

  5. Avatar AuNaturelMel says:

    Good points. So many variables can affect what you see on the scale. When I was trying to lose weight, I always looked for a general trend and expected blips along the way. Totally worked out for me. 🙂 Mel at fattyliverdietguide

  6. Avatar missdesiree says:

    #3 really resonated with me. I am currently on a weight loss plateau for the past 2 months and I have not yet changed my calorie goal. This makes total sense–I will now re-evaluate! Thanks! #lightbulbmoment

    • Avatar hayley says:

      I had the same problem, too! Joining WW a few years back was really the first time I realized that once the pounds start consistently falling off, the calories (or WW Points) I intake each day should start to decrease as well in order to continue losing at the same rate. So, for about every 5-10 lbs (or whatever increment you decide), decrease your caloric intake by the amount needed to consistently lose 1 lb, 1.5 lbs, 2 lbs per week (or whatever rate you’re comfortable with) until you can reevaluate calories at your maintenance/goal weight. This process has helped me lose the 20 lbs I needed and keep it off for nearly 5 years.

    • Avatar bill says:

      Be careful about not reducing your calorie intake too much. Soon your body will take the hint it’s not getting enough fuel and will put the breaks on your metabolism. Not enough protein and you risk burning muscle, which as they said will also lead to a lower metabolic rate. So eat enough, just make sure it is nutrient rich food, not donuts and pasta!

      • Avatar Walt Corey says:

        Your body will always burn fat first. Once that is depleted it will, begrudgingly, turn to protein. There has been an awful lot of research on that in the last few year. You might want to google “jason fung muscle”

        • Avatar robinbishop34 says:

          Nonsense. Your body will actually burn protein quicker than it will stored fat if engaging in strenuous activity. First used is glucose in the bloodstream which when depleted causes considerable fatigue. The body will utilize fat stores at this point if doing a slow and steady activity like brisk walking. None of this really makes any difference if a person is in a calorie deficit with sufficient protein/healthy fat macros.

  7. Avatar Robert Antony Lindsay says:

    Hi can any body help I’m 16st.5 n I’m starting to work out with wights but no idea what I should eat to help with this pls help

  8. Avatar Pat says:

    The third item’s point is correct but it then says you need to burn more calories to lose more weight. When you weigh less you’ll need more activity to burn the same number of calories seems like a better way to say it. When one of my MFP pals logs walking at 4mph for 30 minutes he burns fewer calories than me because he weighs less. That makes sense to me anyway.

    • Avatar bill says:

      True, and remember it’s a whole lot easier to just not take it in, instead of having to burn it off. Smaller portions become bigger if you just eat slower!

  9. Avatar Ron says:

    I was at a plateau for a couple of months. In fact, after losing almost 35 lbs I gained about 5 lbs back. What reallllly happened was I had a lot of social activities (birthdays, etc.) and was lulled into each a little more than usual. I was still exercising a lot, but found that I was snacking more on some of my favorites (peanut butter, cheese, nuts, etc.). A week ago I decided to get serious again and the weight started falling off … 5 lbs lost in 2 weeks.
    Stayed away from those high cal foods and started drinking lots of water.
    Wallah! Back on track.

  10. Avatar Kacey says:

    So if the water weight comes back, how do you lose it again if you are still eating well and excerisicing(which caused the water weight loss in the first place)

    • Avatar Sp8zmanspiff says:

      The body will always try to have a ready store of energy available, so there is not much you can do to keep it off forever. Calorie restriction is how the water weight is lost in the beginning.

      • Avatar bill says:

        Actually programs like Nutri-System get you on a very low sodium diet, which is why you see such great results in the beginning. Monitoring (and limiting) your sodium intake is time well spent, especially if you’re putting it on french fries!

  11. Avatar Tara says:

    I recently had pneumonia and an ear infection. In the first week of being sick, I lost almost 5 pounds, gained a little back, then lost a little. After that initial yo-yo, the scale didn’t budge for a month. My eating/exercise habits didn’t change (I wasn’t really working out before and definitely didn’t when sick). Before being sick, I was losing steadily. Now, the scale is finally moving again but slowly. Is this normal?

    • Avatar bill says:

      It’s very easy to get dehydrated when you’re sick as your body has an increased need for water. If you don’t get enough, your body will work hard to retain it, making weight loss much more difficult.

  12. Avatar Sp8zmanspiff says:

    Odd that the one reason I believe a plateau occurs is not listed. At one time, when I was doing resistance training, I noticed that the scale wasn’t moving, yet my clothes were getting looser. I believe I was building muscle, which is dense and losing fat, which is fluffly, at the same rate, so I was becoming fitter while the scale wasn’t moving.
    So try to use other fitness metrics besides the scale, Body Fat Percentage, body measurements like hips and thighs. It is possible to lose inches even if you are not losing pounds.

    • Avatar Jagan Kumaravelu says:

      Totally agree. If you are into strength training and all, you will build muscle and lose fat but your weight fluctuations will be wild, causing you distress. I have the Omron Fat Loss Monitor and I use it to track my fat % changes. That way if I see a decrease in body fat but no (or gain) in weight increase, I won’t freak out. Fat loss is THE thing, not necessarily weight loss.

    • Avatar Animal SoulBonder says:

      This should have been there…Its possible to even weigh more and look leaner and it will all be due to muscle gain!

    • Avatar robinbishop34 says:

      With the very limited exception of what are called “newbie gains,” it really isn’t possible to build muscle unless you are engaging in a “progressive overload” routine while maintaining a small calorie surplus (high protein).

      Progressive overload is a strict weightlifting program whereby you push/pull weight heavy enough to limit you to say 3 sets of 8 for any given exercise. The weight is heavy enough that you struggle like hell to push up the last 1 or 2 reps of the last set. Once you reach the goal of 3 sets of 8, you then increase the weight slightly so you can do 8 reps the first set, 7 reps the second set, and 6 the last. You then work up until you can do a full 3 set of 8, and then increase the weight again. The numbers I’m using are somewhat arbitrary but you get the idea.

      This is a very intense workout and you would probably start out w/weight that allowed you to do 12 reps or so at first until your core is strengthened and technique is established. Proper technique is vital not only for safety but to yield maximum results. A trainer can help you with this.

      It’s easy to get hung up on “other factors,” that yield results, but what is causing you to lose inches is being in a calorie deficit. There are MANY factors that can fluctuate weight when you weigh everyday (which I don’t recommend) especially if you’re a woman, and these can confuse people.

      • Avatar Roger Gaytan says:

        Great idea! I will try this “progressive overload”. Sounds like pyramids /w drop sets..which I used extensively.

  13. Avatar John says:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for not saying since you are in a calorie deficit your body goes into starvation mode. I am so tired of hearing about that nonsense.

    Great article and on point.

    • Avatar bill says:

      If you continue to be in an extreme calorie deficit, your metabolism WILL slow down. Easily solved by eating more healthy proteins and plenty of fiber. You burn the most calories processing protein, plus it takes longer. Add in the fiber and you won’t get hungry as easily. Remember the classic Lay’s potato chip ad-‘bet you can’t eat just one’. there is a reason for that-between the salt, fat, and starchy carbs it’s a perfect storm for setting off your cravings. Fill up on healthy proteins and fat, with plenty of fiber. Throw the salt and sugar out!

      • Avatar Walt Corey says:

        google arguments “jason fung metabolism slow down”

        • Avatar bill says:

          Sorry it took me awhile but I finally did as you suggested. Just watched Part 1 from Dr. Fung and it is OUTSTANDING! Can’t wait to watch the rest. He does a great job of explaining what is actually going on. Many thanks. I will pass it along.

          • Avatar Walt Corey says:

            That is great Bill! I am positive you will find parts 2-6 even more illuminating. The book, btw, Obesity Code, is awesome. A must read for those with weight issues with or without Diabetes. He also has sort of ‘one off’ web casts on You Tube that are single subject.

  14. Avatar edison_storck says:

    The weight loss plateau doesn’t exist. It’s a myth. Instead what happens is that people “forget” the calories they eat (such as Ron below who plateaued while eating birthday dinners and snacking on “peanut butter, cheese and nuts” — can’t really find anything higher calories then that unless you drink oil), or simply don’t account for the fact that a lighter body needs less calories (such as missdesiree below who didn’t update MFP’s goals for 2 months).

    What you have to do is simply eat less calories than your body needs so that your stored fat acts as alternative fuel.

    That’s it. That literally is all there is. And MFP does a pretty fantastic job approximating these.

    Sure, weight loss is not linear, so some weeks you will lose a bit more than you are theoretically supposed to lose, and some weeks you will lose a bit more. Also worth knowing that food takes as long as 5 days to, ummm, “travel” through your digestive system. In the end it all averages out.

    Now personally I wanted to lose 30 pounds. I figured 2 pounds a week is aggresive, but still healthy. So i set the app up to do this for me. I’m conservative, so I tend to leave a few calories empty, i.e. as long as I have eaten around 1500 cals I will probably not “use up” all my calories after exercise to be on the save side in case MFP underestimates my caloric need. I now followed this for 70 days and have lost 20 pounds. So around 5 more weeks and I should be fine. I’ll then probably keep tracking at least for a bit so that I stay in control.

    • Avatar bill says:

      Sound advice.

    • Avatar Walt Corey says:

      Yes Edison, it really does. see my post above.

      • Avatar edison_storck says:

        Fair points, of course you have to adjust for your basal metabolic rate or it won’t work. I implied that. At the same time it’s worth noting that your BMR does not change dramatically unless there is dramatic weight loss. As an example my current BMR is at 1950 calories whereas almost 28 pounds heaver it was at about 2100 calories.

        In any case I would advice to just be cautious: If MFP says you are OK to eat, say, 1700 calories, then I simply hust eat 1500 or I eat 1700 but do a bit of cardio. As long as I “keep” a few 100 calories unused per day, it doesn’t matter top much if my BMR is wrongly estimater by 50 or so calories.

        • Avatar Walt Corey says:

          Absolutely Edison. That’s the whole ‘check in’ on MFP or adjusting goal on the IOS app where you set your current weight. This gives MFP the info to do your ‘progress’ chart. There are actually two formulas for BMR, one is Mifflin – St Jeor and the other has no name that I’ve found. Mifflin is, allegedly, more accurate. As I am 5’9.5″ and I am a software developer, I wrote an app to create a chart with the two formulas, Oddly, they intersect at 165lbs. That difference you mentioned, 1950 vs 2100 when 28 lbs heavier is reasonable as the only variable changing in the actual formula is your weight, weigh more, higher bmr That said, either formula is for, essentially resting metabolic rate and, to that, you must apply Bennedict-Harris which adjusts your BMR to your daytime activity level as RMR is while you are sleeping. So, where I had a desk job my lifestyle is considered sedentary, from there it could be lightly active, active, heavily active etc. sedentary is a multiplier of 1.2, lightly active 1.3, etc etc with a construction worker likely 2.0 or close to it. The other thing, for a guy, MFP won’t lower your suggested calorie budget below 1500 so if one were loyal to MFP that plateau would be at 1500 when one sets a budget of 1500 per MFP and their actual BMR drops to or below 1500. Oh, you mentioned cardio. You can consider this a suggestion or trivia. As far as MFP and my chart program goes I adjust for a lifestyle of sedentary but I did go to the gym 6 times/week and from what the treadmill told me I burned 650 calories in that hour. As I got more accustom to the program and speed I’d adjust either or both up to keep my hourly burn mid 600’s, times 6 times per week that would be an extra lb per week. Initially it worked great I was losing pretty consistently 1.5 – 3 lbs/wk. I dial in my weight to the treadmill every time. I saw an article, on here actually, where treadmills could be as much as 13% off. That sounds a lot like they could be spot on also. So 660 gives some wiggle room for error. But once MFP stopped lowering my daily caloric budget that straight slope down in ‘progress’ started to shallow out until it was horizontal. So, where MFP is telling you, presumably, in order to lose 2lbs/week take in 1700 cals if you got up to burning an additional 3500 cal/wk at the gym, that 2 lbs becomes 3lbs.

          Additionally, if you are also diabetic, either known or unknown yet, that complicates things further as insulin will cause insulin resistance which means it is harder for you to absorb the glucose in the blood which means your body will produce more insulin and around and around you go. This is why snacking is so completely bad advice. Insulin is secreted when you eat to tell your body to stop burning fat for fuel as it will be provided by what you are eating. If one is constantly eating, your body is constantly secreting insulin and you stop burning fat. This is what leads to a plateau caused by your body lowering metabolism to match what you are eating vs what you need, the result being one is constantly tired and cold as you body is trying to ‘slow’ dowm. This is why I am doing a 24hr fast every day…actually a 22hr-23hr fast every day to force insulin secretion to zero and let my body unclog, specifically liver first and pancreas second. It is the fat clogged pancreas that medical science, until recently, thought meant the beta cells in the pancreas were killed. T2D is a malfunctioning (think clogged fuel injectors) pancreas, not a dead one.

          • Avatar Jen says:

            Every day? Or every other day? I have used the 500 calorie every other day plan and love it, although it slowly melds into 1500 per day… I will use this again per your post. I have a huge problem with munching constantly, although I do not have diabetes, fasting every other day defiantly helps this issue.

          • Avatar Walt Corey says:

            Hi Jen. Everyday. I, effectively eat one meal per day, supper. At some point between five and seven. If one figures it takes an hour then 23 hrs per day I am fasting.

            I believe the doctor’s name is George Fisher but he researched researched diabetes for over 30 years and concluded one becomes diabetic potentially a decade or more before it is detectable in the blood. This is actually consistent with my experience. The key here is the proper interpretation of the glucose tolerance test results which reflects diabetes years and decades before one is diagnosed. This is also consistent with Dr Jason Fung’s assertion diabetes causes obesity NOT obesity causes diabetes. Read his book, Obesity Code and watch his six part series on you tube.

        • Avatar robinbishop34 says:

          Correct. Ignore all the bro science and stay with a calorie deficit to lose. It’s the ONLY thing that works and everyone reading these blogs need to have that cemented in their head.

    • Avatar Denny Peck says:

      There are other intervening variables–hormones, including thyroid levels, cortisol, insulin, and prescription (and necessary) medications–and you can plateau, even with strict control. There are many people who don’t snack and have difficulty losing weight. Also people who have the yo-yo effect hamper further weight loss in the future. Genetics can also play a role. For younger people generally what you eat and what you burn naturally or with exercise makes the difference. As we age there are other factors that must be considered. There is also a theory that your body adjusts to weight loss and a plateau is natural and with continued adherence weight will drop off. I think it is too big of a broad stroke to believe ‘fat’ people are only fat because they have calorie amnesia and do not live a healthy lifestyle.

    • Avatar Love Allfree says:

      I plataeued , It was a steady loss then stopped. I adjusted my calories, it stopped again. Even gained by 2lbs. I’m getting more technical now cause it’s saying most of my food is carb and fat rich. I can see that. I am still the aggressive 2lbs a week. I’ve been slightly stressed , I tried the cheating but it didn’t work, I counted the calories in mfp. I still ate within my calories deficit. I don’t want to cheat. It throws my digestion completely off. Which also has been an issue. So I’m trying to focus on fiber intake and protein. Watching my salt and sugar intake. There’s nothing more frustrating than seeing progress slow down. I have nothing else to do but keep going though. I’m wondering maybe if it’s too few calories that can slow progress.

  15. Avatar Matthew Kirwan says:

    Spot reduction is a myth. And all the situps in the world isn’t really going to help you lose weight.

  16. Avatar bill says:

    In truth, I don’t believe there is anything like a ‘plateau’, which suggests some mysterious and invincible block to your weight loss efforts. There is ALWAYS a reason why you go up or down, and it’s important to understand specifically what that is, instead of just blaming it on a ‘plateau’ that is beyond your control. Several causes are addressed here-water retention probably being the most significant. Also, as you lose weight and get in better shape, your body becomes more efficient, so you will burn fewer calories from the same amount of exercise. Weight loss comes primarily from what you eat though. Write down EXACTLY what you are consuming. You just might find hidden calories, or simply discover you were consuming a lot more than you realized. Not drinking enough water will also signal your body to RETAIN more water. Too much salt and too many starchy carbs will also make you retain more. So amp up your workouts as you get in better shape, but mainly pay close attention to exactly what is passing by your lips!

    • Avatar Walt Corey says:

      As you lose weight your BMR (basil metabolic rate) drops as that is based on age (pretty much constant over a diet), sex (immutable), height (pretty much immutable), and weight (ideally constantly dropping). So BMR drops with weight loss. It will reach a point where the caloric deficit you started with is equalized by your BMR and weight loss drops to zero, ergo, a plateau. So, as you lose weight you need be be constantly also dropping what you consume in calories.

      If you are diabetic then there is also insulin resistance that plays into this where your body can not provide enough fuel from fat because insulin is the hormonal trigger and if resistance to that is great enough your body will, instead of burning fat, lower you metabolic rate. This manifests as being wicked tired during the day, cold hands and feet. The best way to overcome that is actually not eat. Seriously….certainly don’t snack between meals, eliminate sugar and sugar substitites, and, frankly, drop breakfast or breakfast and lunch and eat only once per day. Why is this important? Insulin resistance is caused by two things, persistently high insulin levels. Every time you eat your body secretes insulin so to break the persistence eat less often.

      I am not a Dr nor am I a dietician. I have, however, spoken with both who didn’t understand the hormonal interaction driving ones metabolism. Consequently, I’ve “scienced the sh*t out of it” over the last 18 months.

  17. Avatar bill says:

    There’s nothing wrong with sit-ups, but they are a very inefficient way to help you. Concentrate on your larger muscles-squats, dead lifts, and overhead press. These work on your larger muscles which will burn more calories. You are also engaging your ab’s and they will help reduce your belly a lot faster than sit ups. As for food, start by eliminating sugar! ANY soda, fruit drinks, white bread, and the like. Fill up on fruits and vegetables, vegetable or lean protein-chicken(not fried!), salmon, grass-fed beef, healthy fats from nuts, olive oil, avacado’s, and lots of fiber (beans, fruits and vegetables). Make sure you’re drinking LOTS of water. Substitute quinoa or brown (NOT WHITE) rice for pasta. Best to avoid any processed foods, but if you must, read the label and be on the lookout for high sugar and sodium content. Keep reading the internet-there’s a ton of great information out there.

  18. Avatar Walt Corey says:

    On point two, burning muscle, that theory has been largely debunked. Think about it, Prior to industrialized agriculture people did have times of outright famine as well as things like Winter where food was scare(r). If being on a forced ‘diet’ meant lossing muscle how would one be able to get out of bed, avoid being prey vs preditor, survive as a species? Review Dr Jason Fung’s most excellent presentations and blogs on the subject. When there would be massive digestion of muscle, would be after all available fat was already burned. It’s not that there is no muscle loss, it’s just very minor.

  19. Avatar Nic says:

    Since tracking my weight, I’ve notice that my periods play a big part, too. I will gain weight right before my cycle and lose it afterwards. Being hormonal with weight gain – yikes!

  20. Avatar Chuck says:

    We don’t mind putting ten pounds on a year but we want it off in a week. That’s part of the problem. Making small changes in our diet prior to becoming obese is the key.

  21. Avatar Roro says:

    When will the article with the ’10 tips for getting over a weight-loss plateau’ be posted?

  22. Avatar robinbishop34 says:

    The key point to focus on is “if you weigh less, you burn less.” A plateau is caused by a person not taking into account their lower caloric needs as they continue to lose fat.

    The maintenance calories for a person at 200lbs is obviously higher than it is at 160lbs. What is a deficit at the higher weight, is simply maintenance at the lower weight. A person must re-calculate their TDEE as they lose and adjust their deficit accordingly.

    That said, regardless of weight, protein should make up a good portion of your daily allotted calories. This is especially true as body fat decreases as there is fewer fat stores to be utilized as fuel. The body (as the article states) will consume amino acids that would otherwise synthesize into muscle tissue as fuel just as soon as it would burn fat. This is particularly true when engaging in high intensity, aerobic activity.

    As you lean out, it is advisable to increase the proportion of protein in your daily allotted calories as well as engage in a limited, heavy lifting program. By doing a full body split (deadlift, overhead, pullup) and (squat, benchpress, row) with heavy weights and high protein, your body will maintain much more muscle, and burn fat, or glucose/glycogen that would become fat as fuel more efficiently.

    This is the same type of workout for bodybuilding, but say only two sets of each rather than three, and perhaps one or two reps short of what is possible on each set. To bodybuild, you would do the same routine but push weight to what is called “progressive overload,” and go into a small calorie surplus (mostly protein).

  23. Regular exercise and balanced diet is the best way to reduce weight.

  24. Avatar Allison Wright says:

    That wasn’t really helpful. Eat even less more is the solution…yeah, super motivating..

  25. Avatar Patrick Cox says:

    I am at this point in my journey to get healthy. I started at around 218 pounds and a size 38 waist. I am now stuck at 155 pounds and a size 32 waist. Nothing I do seems to get me past that 155 mark. I want to be in the 140’s so bad.

    • Avatar Roger Gaytan says: the article said…you either have to drop cals by about 5-10% OR increase intensity of your current workout to break out of that plateau.

  26. Avatar kirnkorner2001 says:

    As someone that has lost 200 lbs, I can say I went through my fair share of plateaus along the way. One thing I can say is to keep pushing through it. I know that’s easy to say, hard to do.

    I have found that when I am at that plateau, my body is going through the physical transformation (shrinking). I get more complements from people when the scale is not moving.

    I relate weight loss to how children grow. You know how your children will appear to bulk up for a while and then shoot up height-wise in what appears to be overnight? It’s the same with weight loss. When you are losing weight, your body doesn’t really go through the physical transformation. When you hit that loss plateau, your body starts shrinking and catching up.

    Stick with it, you’ll get to your goal!

  27. Avatar robinbishop34 says:


    Rather than looking at it this way…. understand that the calories needed to maintain your lower weight is continues to decline until you reach your goal weight.

    In other words (as the article states) you need to continually re-figure your maintenance calories as you drop fat, and re-figure your new deficit based on that number.

    For instance, if you are 200lbs and your goal weight is 120lbs, all you have to do to start losing is to eat maintenance for a 190lb person. You’re still technically over eating for your goal weight, but this decrease will cause you to lose at the obese weight until you hit around 190.Once you hit 190lbs on the scale, you can begin eating maintenance for a 180lb person, etc, etc.This is sometimes a more manageable way to lose because it is not so drastic, and forces a person to actively monitor what they eat.

    You can see where many people who start off dropping weight just fine will soon see a decline in loss (plateau) if they fail to steadily decrease calories as they hit regular goal points.

    The one thing to look forward to however, is once you’ve cut to a lean weight, you can begin a muscle building routine where you get to eat in a surplus.

  28. Avatar Charlotte Partow says:

    I am a 20 year old woman who eats a sugar free (still eat natural sugars in vegetables and things like greek yogurt, but no fruit or added sugar), grain free diet that is high in fat like cheese, eggs, etc. I have a salad for lunch everyday, and at dinner usually. My version of a cheat meal is a steak, or perhaps persian food (with rice) if I am in the mood. I drink 2 drinks a week max, if that, none with added sugar (a vodka-soda, or one glass of wine). I used to be a binge eater (due to a sugar addiction), and I am very proud of how far I have come, cutting out fruit helped especially. I feel genuinely happier, mentally, and never like I am “starving” myself on this diet. I feel satisfied when I eat, I do not fantasize about crazy “cheat meals” since my sugar cut, and I cook for myself a lot. I lost an initial 7 LBS from April-May when I cut back on sugar, though not grains and alcohol. This past month I had lost another 7 lbs, putting me at 133, when I cut out grains, fruits, and cut back my alcohol intake drastically. I have not been exercising as much this past month, though I walk at lest 3 miles a day, and work out at least 2 times a week; I plan on going back to HIIT 25 mins/4-5 days a week in the coming weeks, as work has really slowed down.

    Lately, I have hit a weight loss plateau that has even led to a gain. I went from 133 (I am 5’7) to 137 in a matter of one week (no, it is not that time of the month). I have not been eating more than 1,100 calories a day, often no more than 1,000, for the past month since my happier, grain-free, sugar-free, alcohol-almost free lifestyle started, though this is because I am genuinely not hungry for more and I have been practicing the mentality of listening to my body as a recovering binge eater. I track my calories extremely diligently, and measure out my food with measuring cups. I tried eating 1,450 calories today (forced myself), but do you think that this weight gain could be from something else than “starvation mode?” My doctor says I am prone to it as someone with an Eastern European Jewish family ancestry, that in the past 200 years survived starvation both in pogroms and in WWII. However, I am worried that increasing calories will just add insult to injury.

    I am cutting out table salt… could this be where the weight gain is coming from? Am I eating too much cheese? I eat it at almost every meal (measured out, roughly 90-100 calories of it per meal with salad or in an omelette in the AM). I think it has affected my digestion. I am going to stop chewing gum, as I think the xylitol caused major bloat (i was chewing up to 10 pieces a day, I just love cinnamon gum!). What should I do moving forward? Is this from the gum chewing? I would love to be at 122-124, I am 5’6.75.

  29. Avatar Greg Dahlen says:

    I’ve done quite well on weight loss on my diet. For about nine years I’ve been living more than 90% on fluid milk products, cow milk and cow cream. So my diet is skim milk, 1%, 2%, whole, half-and-half, and pure cream. I started out at 255 on this (I’m six one), and quickly went to 175 and maintained. Then I learned a little more about my body and have maintained around 165 the last two years.

    But I don’t know, it is possible that you could do the same on a solid, mixed-food diet. The only diet I’ve ever tried is the milk one.

    Disclaimer: this diet has not been approved by any medical authority as safe or healthy for human beings. But it has been excellent for me and I don’t think my body is so different from others.

  30. Avatar Nicole Zoe Singh says:

    I’ve been stuck on my plateau for over a year now. I lost so much weight initially and then it came to a complete stop. I’m stuck around the 230 range. My weight dropped to 208 when I tried the Jenny Craig diet for a week and then I ended up gaining it back when I came off the diet. My body will come down to 215-220 and then go back up to 230 again. My weight is never consistent no matter what I do. I stick to a consistent diet and exercise 4-5 days a week for an hour each time. I even tried different fitness plans and nothing seems to be working.

  31. Avatar Chris Pana says:

    Intermittent fasting is a proven method in breaking through any plateau and more importantly, giving the body a rest from digesting foods so it can repair, rebuild and recover. You do need to replenish minerals of course, however it’s key to not break the fast by consuming carb containing foods (sugars etc. even BCAA’s will break a fast) during the fast. I’ve been doing it for the last two months and i’ve shed a further 7 kg’s of fat as i’ve been also using MCT oil’s and a herb / nutrient rich morning regime, your HGH is at its highest during a fast especially during the morning and you won’t lose any muscle in the process, if you train during a fast you’ll grow more than during an un-fasted state from this factor in combination with others. There’s a bunch of resources out on this topic, do your research, it has changed my life.

  32. One interesting fact is that overdo of cardio can also can a weight loss plateau. If you do cardio every day and do it 45+ minutes – your cortisol level jumps high and stay high for a long time. It causes an insulin resistance and weight plateau as well. So don`t overdo cardio, working out also needs to be balanced…

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