Even though you know it’s going to happen, hitting a weight plateau can be a real downer. Watching the number on the scale go down every week is more than just fun: it’s what keeps most of us going. When it feels like the scale has gotten stuck on a number that’s far above your goal, it’s easy to feel like you’re wasting your time and effort.

The key to weight loss success is to push past that disappointment. Eventually, the numbers will start going down again, but only if you manage to stick to your plan instead of fallng back into old bad habits.

So how do you get your motivation back in the face of a weight loss plateau?

The first step is to make sure that you don’t blame yourself. For every pound that you lose, your body’s needs change a tiny bit. That means that once you’ve lost a fair amount, you may need to readjust your strategy. The best way to stay motivated is to understand what’s happening and make the changes you need to get the weight loss moving again. Here are some helpful hints for doing that.

  1. Goal setting – When you first started your weight loss journey you probably had a number in mind. Most of us do. It’s either, “I want to lose this much weight” or “I want to get to this number.” When you’ve lost some weight and the number stops shifting down is a great time to revisit your goal and see if it still makes sense. You may be closer to the right weight than you realize. Either way, by going back and giving your goal a hard look, you’re likely to remember all your reasons and feel motivated again.
  2. Give yourself new goals – When you’re dealing with a plateau, give yourself a goal that has nothing to do with a number. Maybe you want to drink more water each day. Maybe you want to exercise for a certain amount of time each day. By taking the focus off of the scale, you can still track some victories until the dial starts to move again.
  3. Track your inches instead of your pounds – There is more to shaping up than the number on the scale. It’s a good idea to measure our waist, thighs, arms and hips when you start a diet. Tracking those measurements can make you see your progress, even when it’s not showing in your weight. Other things that you can use as a measure of progress include the amount of sleep you’re getting; how you feel each day; your blood pressure or cholesterol. All of those should improve with healthier eating habits and more exercise.
  4. Take a good look at yourself – Hopefully you took a picture of yourself when you started your weight loss journey. Take a good look and see the progress you’ve already made. Doing so is one of the best things around for helping to keep you going.

* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

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