I'm not sure I've met someone who hasn't been on a diet or, at the very least, tried to alter their eating habits to lose a few pounds. As I get older, I watch more and more of my friends succumb to the dreaded "after 30" pudge.

Dieting is nothing new to me. I've had thyroid issues since my early 20s and have gained and lost 60 pounds with each pregnancy. When I get pregnant, it's like my body wants to make sure every precious calorie is used ... for my butt.

But with diets come the dreaded weight loss plateau. All the things that once worked for you leave the scale at the exact same number, week after week.

How do you get past a weight loss plateau? Let's find out.

First, we must understand a weight loss plateau.

While to me, it seems patently unfair, it's really that our bodies have adjusted to eating less and exercising more (really, that's the secret to dieting). That helps a little bit to overcome the frustration of a weight loss plateau. My first suggestion for overcoming one might actually bring you a little bit of pleasure.

1) Eat more. Pick one day a week as a "cheat day" when you can eat what you love. It will let you stave off temptations the rest of the week and save them up for "cheat day." And it will help you stick to your diet.

2) Work harder. If you've been doing some light walking, maybe it's time to go jogging or hit the gym for some weight training. If that's not a possibility for you, walk for longer periods of time, or bring hand-weights with you on your walks.

3) Keep track of everything you eat in a food diary. This helps you to see patterns.

4) Work to add more activity through the day, even if it's just parking farther from the store or taking the stairs rather than the elevator.

5) Rather than feeling like a failure and allowing that feeling of failure to wear you down emotionally, imagine yourself wearing your goal outfit (we all have one, right?).

6) Make sure you serve yourself and only serve yourself the proper amount of food. It's really easy to over-eat if you're not the one watching it.

7) Eat a filling high-fiber breakfast, like oatmeal, which will keep you fuller longer. And if you haven't been eating breakfast (raises hand guiltily), start doing it now.

8) Wear a pedometer (many companies will give pedometers out as promotional materials) and challenge yourself to walk X number of steps a day. Experts claim you should aim for 10,000 steps a day -- but that may be something you have to work up to.

What other tips for overcoming a weight loss plateau do you have?

 

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