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Overcoming the Dreaded Plateau

Plateaus can be one of the most mentally challenging realities of your health journey.  When you put energy into something, it is natural to expect a return or reward for the work put in.  When that reward doesn’t come, it’s easy to let that disappointment take over and suddenly the regimen you were so focused on gets less attention, or even thrown out the window.  Your weight loss / health journey is a winding road… through mountains, valleys, snow, and ice…. It is constantly changing and offering new opportunities to embrace and overcome.  The next time you find yourself at a plateau and tempted to throw in the towel, maybe one of these 5 tips will help you stay the course.


1.  Review your values. Ask yourself why is it important to me that I reach this goal?  What will be different after reaching it?  What strengths do I have to help me achieve it?  What challenges do I anticipate?

Our values change over time, and therefore also the source of our motivation.  Redefining what you value might help you reconnect with more drive.


2.  Reassess your plan.  Look for areas where you have not stuck to your plan.  Look for other areas that you now perform easily and decide if there is anything more you can do (examples:  increase speed while walking, limit dining out to 1 night per week, schedule lunch breaks to manage stress).  Re-commit yourself to adhering to your plan.


3.  Establish a new short term goal.  Develop a goal, action plan, and timeline for one behavior that will help you with your goal.  Perhaps you should also devise an incentive or reward for obtaining the goal.  Consider behaviors like training for a 5K, or eating fruits and veggies at least 5 times a day.


4.  Sign up for a Personal trainer.  Have a trainer hold you accountable for weekly weigh-ins and adhering to your cardio plan.  Sign up for 1-3 sessions per week for a limited time.  Don’t feel obligated to use the trainer long-term – sometimes a few sessions can get you past the rut and moving on toward bigger and better things. 


5.  Take time to recharge.  Sometimes breaks are necessary.  Rest your body after a hard boot camp week or plan a relaxing day on the weekend.  Curl up and read a book or schedule a massage.  Pampering yourself one day may help you focus on your goals more the next.

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