How can I get out of my weight loss rut?

Caroline M. Apovian, MD
Endocrinology Diabetes & Metabolism

This is a great question, and one that all serious dieters will eventually face.  There are many different, effective answers to this question, so I will just recommend three suggestions.

1.)  Find support.  Everyone needs help to achieve difficult goals.  I have seen this pattern again and again over the course of my medical career.  Those who have a strong support system lose more weight than those who do not.  Attend weight loss support meetings, start a club, team up with some close friends, or consider joining my online weight loss community.   Those friends will help keep your motivation high during crucial moments.

2.)  Get enough sleep.  Believe it or not, getting enough sleep is as important to weight loss as dieting and exercise.  Not getting enough (7-9 hours), causes your body to produce more hunger hormones, decreases your impulse control, and causes your metabolism to slow down.

3.)  Set small, realistic goals.  While it’s great to have a big picture goal to work towards, you may become discouraged with how much time and energy it takes to feel as though you’ve accomplished something.  Instead, set smaller goals for yourself in terms of diet and exercise.  Maybe this week, you’ll set a goal of increasing your physical activity by 20 minutes per day.  Next week, you’ll switch from white flour products to whole wheat ones.
The Age-Defying Diet: Outsmart Your Metabolism to Lose Weight--Up to 20 Pounds in 21 Days!--And Turn Back the Clock

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The Age-Defying Diet: Outsmart Your Metabolism to Lose Weight--Up to 20 Pounds in 21 Days!--And Turn Back the Clock

Age slowing down your metabolism? Not anymore!Internationally renowned weight-loss expert and New York Times bestselling author Dr. Caroline Apovian has developed an innovative program that outsmarts the body's aging processes and reverses the metabolic clock. By combining the metabolism-boosting effects of her unique take on intermittent fasting-an innovative approach that will leave readers feeling full, not hungry-with targeted strength training, readers can lose up to 20 pounds in 21 days while they reshape their bodies and take back their youth.Reboot - one week to jumpstart weight-loss with Super Smoothies, Super Soups, and delicious whole food meals that rekindle the metabolic fire.Recharge - two weeks to keep metabolism running in high gear, burning more fat and building more muscle. Revitalize - a powerful blueprint that keeps the metabolism young and keeps age-defiers slim for life!
Vandana  R. Sheth
Nutrition & Dietetics

Reaching a plateau during your weight loss journey can be frustrating and disheartening.  However, here are some tips to jumpstart and continue to see weight loss

  • If you have stopped recording your food intake-start your food diary again
  • If you have stopped using measuring cups/spoons to serve your food-start now.  Often we might get comfortable eyeballing serving sizes and this loosening up can lead to decreased weight loss
  • Focus on whole grains, high fiber, lean protein, fruits and vegetables
  • Ensure that you are getting adequate calories and sleep
  • Increase the duration and/or intensity of your physical activity
Pam Grout
Alternative & Complementary Medicine

In case you're not already, you should be pounding yourself on the back right now, giving yourself a big hug or maybe even an Academy Award. Really lay on the encouraging comments. Say things like "Good for you. You deserve to be skinny and this is the time it's really going to happen."

Again, the first thing we have to change about this whole weight-loss business is the way we frame it in our minds. Think about it -- the word diet, loss, starvation. I mean, who needs it?

What we want to do is turn the experience into something you can't wait to do, something you practically lose sleep over because you're so psyched to wake up and get started. This "program" you're embarking on is one of the most exciting things to ever happen in your entire life. You are going to finally realize goals and dreams you have wanted to realize for years. In other words, this is something that should trip your trigger. You are going to be skinny and beautiful and attractive strangers are going to be begging for your phone number. Whether or not you decide to give it to them is totally up to you.

Every time you think about being skinny, think about how much fun it is. Don't think about what a pain it is to get skinny. Or stay skinny. Because that's merely a thought. And it doesn't have to be true. Anymore than the thought that Tom Hanks is our best American actor is true. Some folks think it is, but many others don't. And neither is right. As Shakespeare once said, "Nothing is neither good nor bad, only thinking makes it so." He probably said it a lot more poetically, but you get the gist. And this small change in attitude is absolutely essential.

Jumpstart Your Metabolism: How To Lose Weight By Changing The Way You Breathe

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Jumpstart Your Metabolism: How To Lose Weight By Changing The Way You Breathe

If you've tried every conceivable combination of diet and exercise and still can't shed those extra pounds, then perhaps you haven't discovered the hidden key to weight loss -- proper breathing. By...

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.