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How to Break a Weight Loss Plateau

Healthy eating has become part of your life, but you're still 10 or less pounds short of your goal weight. Don't worry. This happens to most people. It may be that your body likes the weight you are at and does not want to give up anymore fat. Every "body" has a set point. You can change this if you really are adamant about reaching your original goal weight.

Here are lists of things to change that will jumpstart your weight loss again:

1. Make changes to your weight training routine. If you have been doing a full body workout you should switch to a split routine. Do your upper body one day and your lower body on your next weight training day or work your muscles in groups (ex: Day 1 - Legs / Day 2 - Chest & Triceps / Day 3 - Back, Shoulders & Biceps)

2. Change the type of exercises you are doing for each body part. For instance, if you have been doing the Seated Chest Press and Pec Deck for your chest, switch to a Flat Bench Press and Dumbbell Flyes. You will actually see better results if you use free weights instead of machines.

3. Change the type of cardio you are doing. Your body gets used to the same routine after about 4 weeks. If you have been doing the treadmill for your cardio workout for more than 4 weeks, switch to the stationary bike, the elliptical or the stair stepper.

4. Make some dietary changes. For a short while (6 weeks or less) you can remove the starchy carbohydrates from your last 2 meals. Replace the starch with vegetables. Never remove all the carbohydrates from your diet.

5. Zig Zag your caloric intake. Eat low (1400) calories for 3 days in a row, and then have one higher calorie day. Increase your calories by 25% for your high calorie day. (1750 calories).

6. Make sure you are eating ONLY whole-grain, unprocessed carbohydrates. White flour and processed carbohydrates such as bread can cause an insulin spike, which in turn promotes fat storage. Eat foods low on the Glycemic Index to help avoid insulin spikes.

7. If you eat dairy, make sure it is fat free. Since dairy is processed, is it best to keep it to a minimum, especially cheese. There is also evidence that the protein in dairy products may leach calcium from your bones. The best sources of calcium are plant sources such as green, leafy vegetables and soy products like tofu and soy milk.

8. If you've reached a plateau, maybe it's time to try something totally different. Instead of your regular cardio plan, sign up for a martial arts class or a boxing class. They will not only get your heart pumping but also help to make you mentally disciplined. Try martial arts or boxing classes as your only form of cardio 1 or 2 days a week. Continue with weight training at least 3 days per week. For your "Off Days", take a nice long leisurely walk.

Making just a few of these changes can help you break that dreaded plateau and re-start your fat loss.

Aimee Deak is a certified personal trainer, nutrition analyst and author of the book, "Every Body Loses", an easy-to follow, step-by-step guide to fat loss.

You can find more information about fat loss and exercise on her website


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