It happens to the most diligent of dieters—after months of steady progress and results, the pounds suddenly stop coming off and you lose your momentum, despite no change in your routine. If you find yourself stuck in a discouraging weight loss plateau, it might be time to change things up. Try these diet rut-busting strategies to help tip the scale in your favor:
1. Shake up your workout
If your current gym routine is no longer producing results, it might be time to give your basal metabolic rate (BMR) a boost. Your BMR is heavily influenced by how much lean muscle you have, so shift your focus from losing belly fat to working on gaining muscle mass through strength training, because—at the end of the day—body composition is a better indicator of metabolic fitness than weight. Get your heart rate up, try out different exercises and consider incorporating pre-workout diet supplements that contain conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) into your routine. Some supplements combine CLA with other ingredients that may help you work out harder and burn calories more efficiently, in addition to supporting improvements to lean muscle tone.
2. Rethink your calorie count
Too many calories, or too few? Both can be bad. A halt in weight loss may be a sign you’re no longer burning more calories than you’re consuming. It’s possible your initial weight loss affected your metabolism, and now your body needs fewer calories to function, or, your body might be in starvation mode (which slows down your metabolism) because you’re not consuming enough calories. For some individuals, experimenting with changes to macronutrient ratios—the percentage of carbs, to protein, to fat you’re consuming—can break a diet slump. Try writing down what you eat, as using a journal or digital app as a food log keeps you aware and accountable, and may also alert you to nutritional gaps in your diet. Thermogenic supplements can also help reignite a metabolism that has gotten off track and give you the boost you need to get back on the road to progress.
3. Take a chill pill
When you’re in a stressful situation, your body can increase its production of cortisol, a hormone associated with the fight or flight response, as well as metabolism. To help limit your stress levels, consider engaging in daily meditation, as some research indicates that doing so may help alleviate symptoms of stress and potentially impact its effect on emotional eating. Taking a high-quality multivitamin daily may also help to provide nutritional support, as your body’s need for some nutrients may increase when you are under extreme stress.