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How to Get Your Scale Unstuck

By Tina Shelton, MSN RN CBN


You ate better, you burned some fat by exercising more and you watched the numbers on your scale plummet—until your weight loss simply stopped. And this stall could last days, weeks even months. What’s the solution?


Even though weight loss can be significant, it is not uncommon to experience a plateau as your body adapts to your efforts. Basically, your body is trying everything to hold on to the fat that you are trying to get rid of—a true battle of the bulge that may leave you feeling like you are hitting into a brick wall.


But, don’t fret. While plateaus may be discouraging there are ways to climb over this hurdle. First, if you are focusing on the numbers on the scale - STOP- remember weight loss is not just about burning fat it is also about building lean muscle. If you are exercising, the scales may not show a weight loss but instead a loss of inches, and that is okay.


Second, it is important to determine whether the plateau is cause by a slowed metabolism or a return to previous poor eating habits. Try journaling your food and your feelings. This will help you to determine if there are triggers that may be leading to unhealthy eating habits.


Third, you may need to find new ways to burn more calories. If previous activities are no longer challenging, you may need to find something new that increases your heart rate. Don’t be afraid to try something different.


Fourth, ensure that you are eating enough protein each day and avoid consuming simple carbohydrates. Also, make sure you are drinking enough water. Water helps prevent you from getting bloated by flushing out excess water weight. Another thought to consider is that if you are drinking water you are less likely to be drinking something with calories in it.


Finally, remember that plateaus are temporary and will be part of your journey. It will be important to remain in contact with your weight loss team. Your team understands your struggles and can help you get over that wall.