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Weight Loss Diet Plateau

Are there any secrets for how to break out of a weight loss plateau?  How do you get out of a diet rut and start losing weight again?

By: Ed Scow, NSCA-CPT: Certified Fitness & Nutrition Expert to the True Superheroes - Busy Moms & Dads and author of Fat Loss To Go

I recently had a young lady come in to my studio for a consultation because she was stuck. 

She had hit a plateau with her weight loss and needed my help.break out of a weight loss plateau

In her defense, she had tremendous results up the point of our meeting. She had lost 20 pounds of pure fat, a couple sizes, and her energy levels were going up. But she hit a plateau and needed to know how to lose more weight because she thought she had about 30 more pounds to lose.

The first thing I did was ask her what her diet looked like. She began to speak in vague terms like "I eat OK" and "I eat pretty well during the week, but relax over the weekend" and "I don’t deprive myself of the things I enjoy."

After doing this for as many years as I have, you tend to look for certain statements and she was telling me all of them.

When it comes to weight loss, especially a weight loss diet, you need to be a little more specific if you want help. Just saying you eat "OK" doesn’t cut it.

So the first thing I told her to do was to keep a food journal for 2 weeks, detailing everything she ate and drank, then let me look at it. When I say everything, I mean everything. If you ate 1 cookie, write it down. If you put ketchup on your turkey burger, write it down.

When dealing with weight loss plateaus, you need to be as specific as you can in order to find the holes that need plugged.

Some holes I found in her weight loss diet were that she relaxed a little too much on the weekends.

She was correct that her diet was pretty good during the week, but she totally wrecked it over the weekend.

She either skipped breakfast, or ate donuts or a bagel with cream cheese. Skipping breakfast will make you hungry later on, so there’s no sense in trying to "save calories" (which you can’t do). The donuts are just calorie bombs (some have close to 1000 calories), and ALL bagels are loaded with calories and are nothing but processed grains…and her cream cheese was full fat.

I wouldn’t have minded if she stopped there. That’s not a big deal in the grand scheme of things, but it went on.

Her lunch always included a soda, and also was calorie heavy foods (fast food, comfort foods, etc.).

Then dinner was always at a restaurant and included a few alcoholic drinks.

All in all, her weekends probably added a few thousand calories to her weight loss diet – which was pretty good the other 5 days of the week.

So from a weight loss diet standpoint, she was stalling her results because she relaxed a little too much on the weekend.

Then when it came to her fat loss workouts, she was focusing on the wrong things.

She was doing way too much slow-to-moderate intensity cardio and was using "weenie weights" and doing too many abs workouts.

Cardio isn’t the devil I sometimes make it out to be, but moderate intensity cardio (where you can still hold a normal conversation) in your "fat burning zone" (which doesn’t exist) is flat out worthless. Your body gets used to it over time, which means you’re not burning as many calories as you think you are.

I told her to switch her cardio up and do more interval training and high intensity steady-state cardio for 15-20 minutes, rather than the 40-60 minutes she was doing.

I also told her that if she really wanted to break out of her weight loss plateau, she needed to use heavier weights, do more full body fat loss workouts, stop doing so many abs exercises (isolation movements like crunches) and make it more intense.

She began to get a little skeptical, but I told her the same thing I’m going to tell you…

…you’re stuck in a weight loss plateau, a rut, I’m telling you the right things to do to break out of it, and what you’re doing obviously isn’t working, so you should at least give what I say a try for at least 6 weeks. If it doesn’t work, you can come back and kick my butt…

…but I guarantee you it will work and you’ll thank me for it.

Your workouts will be shorter, you will begin to lose fat faster than you ever thought, your energy levels will shoot through the roof and you will shatter your weight loss plateau. 


weight loss foodDiscover 4 Simple Foods You're Not Eating To Help You Lose Weight, and Discover The Magical "F-Word"


The preceding article was written by Ed Scow, aka "The Fit Dad". To learn more about Ed's story, click here.

To watch a sample 10-minute workout video, click here.

To discover Ed's 'Top Fat Fighting Foods', click here to read an interesting article.

To watch another sample 10-minute workout video, click here.

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Weight Loss Cardio Myth  | Weight Loss Diet Foods  | Weight Loss  | 3 Weight Loss Diet Foods  | Weight Loss For Moms  | Weight Loss Workout  | How To Stick To Your Weight Loss Diet  | Long Lasting Weight Loss Secret  | Is It OK To Cheat When On A Weight Loss Diet?  | Is Cardio Overrated?  | 1 Diet Tip To Lose Weight Fast  | Will Fruit Make You Gain Weight?