Achieving your goal weight can be a tough challenge, that can take a lot of time. The best thing about starting to loose weight is you will see the pounds drop off, but at some point it might seem that the weight just won’t budge.

This is known as a plateau and it can be so frustrating and you may feel like giving up.

However, don’t be disheartened, there are ways you can help kick start your weight loss again. Here are 7 easy steps to help you:

What is a plateau?

A weight loss plateau, is when your metabolism slows down, even if you eat the same number of calories that helped you loose weight. When you start to eat the same calories as you burn, you will reach a plateau.

1) Cut back on Carbs

Low-carb diets are extremely effective for weight loss, but carbs are just to damn good sometimes. Reducing your carb intake may help get your weight moving in the right direction again, when you feel hopelessly stalled. But always make sure to talk to a professional if you’re unsure on anything or if it makes you feel unwell, as it affects people in different ways.

They have consistently been shown to reduce hunger and promote feelings of fullness a lot more than other diets, because they cause your body to produce ketones, which reduce your appetite.

2) Increase exercise frequency and intensity

I know, like you wasn’t working hard enough right? But increasing your intensity when you exercise could lift you out of the rut your stuck in, because the sad truth is our metabolic rate slows down the more weight we loose.

Resistance training promotes the retention of muscle mass, which is key to influencing how many calories during activity and at rest. In fact, resistance training seems to be the most effective type of exercise to shed them pounds!

Other activities such as aerobic exercise and high-intensity interval training have been proven to up your metabolic rate.

Perhaps, if your exercising three days a week just add a little extra day on or make it five, the more you do and the more intense, the more your metabolic rate will boost!

3) Don’t skimp on protein!

Protein is honestly your best friend, when it comes to weight loss. It boosts your metabolic rate more than fat or carbs.

Protein digestion boosts calorie burning 20%-30% which is twice as much as fat and carbs.

It not only does that, but it helps you to feel full and satisfied, by producing a hormone called PYY.

But honestly, that’s not even the end of how good protein is for you! It can help protect against loss of muscle mass and a drop in your metabolic rate, both of which can occur during weight loss.

4) Don’t rely on the scale alone

It’s definitely tempting to hop on the scales everyday to see your progress, but it can often lead to us being disappointed.

The moral to the story is, do not rely on weighing scales! Your scale won’t reflect the changes in your body composition.

Rather than weight loss, the goal overall is fat loss. The reason you could perhaps weigh more is because you’re building muscle, which is denser than fat and often takes up less room in your body.

Don’t be upset if the scale isn’t moving, you could be building muscle and loosing fat, yet maintaining a stable weight or perhaps just hanging on to some water weight. There are other ways you can be pleased with your progress and that’s by assessing how you feel, how your clothes fit and measuring yourself every month or so.

5) Up your fibre intake

Fibre, is similar to protein in the fact it’ll be your best friend during weight loss.

Fibre promotes weight loss by slowing the movement of food through your digestive tract, decreasing appetite and reducing the number of calories your body absorbs from food.

There are plenty of foods that have fibre in such as: Cereals, whole grain, some fruits, nuts, peas, beans, potatoes with the skin and many more.

6) Switch up your diet and exercise

This is a vital part to breaking through a plateau. If you are so used to doing the same old exercise weekly, your body will get used to it to a point where it won’t be a challenge anymore.

The best thing to do is either increase what your doing or simply trying something new, for example if you run on the treadmill for half an hour, four days a week. Do something similar that will burn the same calories, so for example boxing, HIIT etc. Just try something different!

Same comes with the diet, switch your foods up, add in more protein, more veg and fruit, drink more water, have different meals each week and change what you eat, because your body will get used to having the same foods as well as the same exercise routine.

7) Have a cheat meal

What? This may sound a bit hypocritical considering I said before to cut out carbs, but this is actually a valid point.

When you think of a diet, you probably think of having a ‘cheat’ meal as a sin. But honestly, having one once in a while, is not the end of the world! In fact breaking the rules may be the key to success.

Personal trainer at Excelerate Wellness, Victoria Viola said: ”When you hit a plateau, take a carb-rich free meal, otherwise known as a cheat meal. After a few days it should start your progress again.”

Perhaps grab a slice of pizza or a burger and see what happens. It may trick your brain into increasing your calorie burn, resulting in weight loss.

Honestly, we all get to a point in our weight loss, where everything comes to a standstill and it can be tough to come out of it, but there are always ways to kick start it again so don’t be disappointed!

Student Journalist