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How to Stop Making Plateaus a Problem

healthy behaviours healthy lifestyle weight loss May 29, 2023
Healthy Habits Lifestyle

Today I’m going to explore what you can do if you feel as though you’re not losing any weight or have hit a “plateau”.

There are several scenarios where this might affect you:


  • You are losing some weight, but it’s slower than what your brain wants.


You might be used to really restrictive diets in the past where you’ve cut food groups, limited calorie intake, or even injected yourself for energy boosts. All of this sets you up with a false expectation as to how weight loss is supposed to work.

Instead of hyper fixating on the scale, focus on building the life you want to live. Put your attention into caring for yourself, leaving the diet mentality behind, and approaching this with self-love. If you adjust your expectations and enjoy the process, that is what will work long term, even if it does happen a little bit slower.

I see so many women talk themselves out of success, and question what the point is when they’re not losing any weight. The point is it’s worth caring for yourself and worth focusing on your mental and physical health, regardless of what the scales tell you.


  • You have healed your relationship with food but are still conditioned to expect results on the scales


Make sure to celebrate when progress is being made. If you are no longer binging, feel more in control, are no longer ruled by food, and are able to sit with your emotions instead of eating through them, all of that is a win. Sometimes people get frustrated if all of that is happening and then the weight isn't coming off as fast as possible. But it’s so important to celebrate every win and not just the weight-related ones.



  • You’ve hit a weight loss “plateau”


When people lose a significant amount of weight and then hit a weight loss plateau, it can bring up a lot of anxiety. But I really don’t want you to miss your success by calling your weight plateau a failure. Don’t forget that your end goal is to lose weight and keep it off. Maintenance is the hard part, so if you are maintaining, and your weight is stable - that is a WIN! It’s easy to lose sight of what you wanted in the first place but doing this can lead to self sabotage and regaining the weight you’ve lost.

Most people are accustomed to expecting fast results after experiencing years of restrictive diets encouraging rapid weight loss. When they don’t see progress fast enough, they are too quick to tell themselves a story that does not serve their future goals. They might say things like “my metabolism is broken” or “I’ll never lose weight”, but this is not helpful for long term success and can mean you end up throwing in the towel too soon.


Don’t compare your results to when you were doing it in a way that you know you don’t want to go back to doing.


If you are in a place where you feel weight loss is slow or not happening, there are some simple strategies you can start implementing today to help.


Strategy #1: Celebrate wins

Make sure you don’t make a plateau a problem. Of course you can celebrate weight loss, but you also need to celebrate the non-scale victories too. Are you moving your body more? Are you focusing on wins? Are you fueling your body with nourishing food? All of these are worth celebrating! 


Strategy #2: Take the drama out of it

If you have ever hit a plateau and said things like “I knew this wouldn’t work” or “my body’s broken”, it means you’re attaching a story to the situation which is making you feel worse and not helping you to move forward. Being really objective can help you overcome that issue. 

A good place to start in being more objective is to do a habit tracker. Write down exactly what you have done for the past 3-5 days, including sleep, movement, food, and hunger levels. It has been proven in study after study that dietary recall is inaccurate. Therefore, being honest with yourself and aware of what you're eating, and how you’re moving is crucial. 

This is not to shame you about going “off plan”, it is simply getting you to approach this from a data perspective, so that you can analyze areas that may or may not need tweaking. Doing this will help to optimize behaviors, be aware of patterns, and make informed decisions about how to move forward. 


Strategy #3: Be consistent

When we make awesome lifestyle and behavior changes, we often expect the scale to give us validation straight away. It’s like the classic “I went to the gym this morning, where are my abs?!” But we really need to adjust our expectations around how much consistency is required to actually get the results. For example, it’s quite possible that women with severe insulin resistance will need to make changes for longer before getting the outcome of significant weight loss. 


Strategy #4: Experiment with small tweaks

Once you have your habit tracker, look at where you can make adjustments based on the data gathered. Some suggestions for tweaks you could consider include:

  • Tracking fiber and protein intake for 3 days to see if you’re getting enough. Focus on what to add before you consider taking anything away. If you prioritize fiber and protein, it’s likely you'll feel more satisfied and eat less of some of the other stuff.
  • At your largest meal, pause halfway through and pay attention to your hunger and fullness levels. Are you just finishing your plate when you’re not hungry for the whole plate? It is worth experimenting with leaving two bites behind and seeing if you’re still satisfied, as a lot of us overestimate portion sizes.
  • Can you drop a snack and still be satisfied? I am not suggesting that you starve yourself by cutting things out, but it is worth being aware of potentially taking in more than you need.
  • Could you reduce your wine or alcohol intake and still be happy with your life?


When looking at making tweaks, the most important thing to consider is if you are willing and able to make those changes.  Be 100% objective and honest when figuring out which tweaks you are willing and able to do and what is realistic for your lifestyle.


We have to adjust our expectations for how much consistency is required to actually get the results.


If you have looked at your habit tracker, adjusted and experimented with it, and feel that you are now living the healthiest lifestyle that is sustainable for you, this leaves you with two options:


  1. Celebrate that you may be at your best weight. If you are not gaining weight, living a healthy lifestyle, and you like how you're caring for your body, you can stop focusing on having to lose weight because maybe you don't need to anymore. 
  2. If you have optimized your behaviors as much as is realistic but still have health optimization that can happen (e.g. ongoing medical complications as a result of adiposity), then you may want to consider anti-obesity medications. That is not a failure, it's just being honest with yourself and will help you yield a greater weight loss effect. It is definitely worth having a conversation with your healthcare provider to discuss how this could work for you.


If you are a woman that struggles with overeating, and knows what you should be doing but struggles to implement it, I would love to help you transform your life and prioritize your health without all of the diet nonsense.

Book a free discovery call now for my Best Weight program at and learn more about my Best Weight coaching + medical program for empowered weight loss.

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