You’ve been working so hard to lose weight. The pounds have been coming off. Six months into your routine, everything stops. You’re stuck. You have reached a plateau. Weight-loss plateaus are among the most frustrating parts of a weight-loss journey. Although doctors are unsure of why they occur, there are a few theories.

Your weight loss could trigger your body’s defense system to protect yourself from additional weight loss as a survival mechanism. Your metabolism can actually slow down if you lose weight too quickly. You may not notice, but you could become loose with your diet after a few successful months. Regardless the cause, the frustration is real and so is the desire to break through the weight-loss plateau.

Adjust Your Caloric Intake

Your metabolism can drop as you lose weight because it requires less energy, or calories, to fuel your body now that you are smaller. If you don’t adjust your calorie intake, you could be consuming more calories than what you needed at the beginning of your weight-loss journey.  Re-evaluate your caloric needs after every five to 10 pounds.  Adjusting your calories? Here are some low-calorie snacks you will love.

Food Quality Counts

The diet, fat-free, low-calorie foods that worked at the beginning of your journey may not be working now if they are overly processed. At this point in your lifestyle, you need quality whole foods. Replace processed “diet” foods with high-fiber fruits such as berries and melon, beans, green leady vegetables and lean proteins.

Change Up Your Routine

Your muscles have a brain – it is called muscle memory. They get familiar with the same workout. This makes your routine less effective. Change up your routine. You could do 3 sets and 6 reps of bicep curls instead of 4 sets and 15 reps of bicep curls. Kick up that incline on the treadmill. Always remember to progress slowly though. Going too intensely too fast can lead to being overly tired, sore and even injury.

Don’t Give Up

The only way to truly fail at weight loss is to give up. Don’t let your weight-loss plateau discourage you from your journey. Evaluate your calories, fitness routine and food quality. Make the changes you need to make to get back on track and continue this life-changing journey.

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