Weight Loss PlateauOnce you’ve cleaned up your diet, added in exercise, established that these 10 unexpected reasons its difficult to lose weight don’t apply to you, and made sure you’re following these 6 tips to weight loss success, then you’re on your way to losing weight! But what happens after you’ve lost some weight, but then the weight loss stalls and the number on the scale won’t budge?

Oftentimes in ongoing weight loss efforts, frustratingly, a plateau is reached or weight loss slows.  Or sometimes the body hits a ‘set point,’  a carrying weight it feels more comfortable at, and below which it becomes very difficult to lose or stabilize weight.

According to experts, the number on the scale can only drop so fast and still be sustainable.  If you lose weight too quickly, as in a crash diet, your body rebels and counteracts with many sophisticated mechanisms to gain the weight back; that’s how yo-yo dieting works. So many advise keeping weight loss slow at less than 2 lbs per week. And even when weight loss stalls, staying at that temporary set point for a few months may allow the devoted dieter to keep going lower without significantly more effort.

If a pause gets you back on track, then fantastic and keep going!  But if you’re still stuck, then you’re ready for these four

Advanced Fat Loss Techniques

I can’t personally vouch for any of these and some might work better for some people, while other bodies respond better to others. It may be a matter of trying one for a few weeks, then testing another, and then another to see what works best for you.  Or once your body adjusts to one technique and re-stabilizes at a new lower weight, a new technique might need to be employed to push still lower.

Limit Daily Carbohydrate Intake to 50-100g

This is akin to the Attack or Cruise Phase of the Dukan Diet, and can be very effective at instigating weight loss. But it can also be difficult and cause constipation, particularly if continued for a long time.  This works by not spiking blood sugar, which diminishes the secretion of insulin, which means less conversion of carbs into stored fat.  Keeping carbohydrate intake this low causes the body to burned stored body fat. Read more on Mark’s Daily Apple…

Eat lots of Carbs, occasionally

Yes, while seemingly contrary to the previous technique, this is also known as a carb refeed or a cheat day, where you indulge in high carb foods normally restricted; they can actually work synergistically. Too few carbs can make the body believe its in starvation mode and start conserving energy, calories, and fat stores while increasing hunger signals. So by spiking carb intake once per week or per few weeks, the body thinks there is a feast, exits starvation mode, and goes back to normal metabolic rate. Maintaining metabolic rate allows the same effort to reap the same reward on the scale.  Read more on Mark’s Daily Apple…

Practice Intermittent Fasting

During fasting times, usually 16-36 hours, but not more than 48 hours, the body typically has burned up its glucose and glycogen stores leaving fat as the next best source of fuel.  So intermittent fasting increases fat oxidation, reduces calories consumed and reduces insulin levels while increasing insulin sensitivity. (Note, IF is thought to be more effective in men than women, particularly already lean women.) Read more on MDA…

Change up your Daily Calorie Intake

This is somewhat similar to IF, except less extreme. If you want your daily average calorie intake to be 2000 calories, then rather than eating 2000 calories each and every day, you should vary it: Day 1-1600, Day 2-2400, Day 3-1800, Day 4-2200, Day 5-1000, Day 6-3000, Day 7-2000. And while the variations don’t need to be that extreme or change that frequently, it gives you an idea what to do. It works by confusing the body so it doesn’t worry its in starvation mode or get too comfortable at a higher number of calories; the body is constantly having to adjust and resetting the metabolic rate in the process.

Perform High-Intensity Interval Training

Said to be an hour-long workout in only 5-10 minutes, high intensity interval training (HIIT) causes muscles to work aerobically and anaerobically; in doing so they work harder, consume oxygen and glycogen, burn more fat, and grow more fast-twitch muscle fibers.  Fast-twitch muscles increase metabolic rate more than slow-twitch. And metabolic rate, ie calorie burning, stays high even after the workout has finished.


Leave a comment below and share what works best for you and if you have any other tips for overcoming those stubborn weight loss plateaus or a weight set point.