How to Stay Motivated, series — why is my progress slow?

When I was losing weight, nothing was more frustrating than hitting a weight loss plateau!  I remember weeks would go by, and I would be exercising and eating right, but I would not lose any weight.  I would scream “Why am I not losing any weight?!”

First of all, relax.  Hitting a weight loss plateau is normal.  Before you make major changes to your program, remember: FIRST THINGS FIRST.  Stop focusing on the glass-half-empty stuff, and make a mental list of the things you’ve already achieved.

  • Have you dropped a jeans or dress size?  Are your clothes fitting a little better?
  • Are you happier with your body when you look in the mirror and photos (even if you don’t think your body has changed at all)?
  • Are you sleeping a little better?
  • Has your self-esteem improved?
  • Are your energy levels higher?

One thing’s for sure: you’re trying…you’re here reading this article, right now!  That means you’ve grabbed the bull by the horns, which is by far the hardest part (and it’s more than most people can say.  Great job!  If something’s wrong with your diet, you’ll figure it out and you’ll be losing weight in no time!

A few things to consider:

  • You may not need to make any changes.  Fact is, almost everyone experiences plateaus.  For me, just when I’m about to give up, I suddenly drop a bunch of weight.  It is the best feeling, and I am always SO glad I didn’t give up.
  • Just in case, ask yourself a few diet questions:
    • Are you snacking too much in the evening, and adding more calories than you think?
    • Are you eating too many processed foods with hidden calories?
    • Are you eating enough protein?  Fiber?
    • Are you paying attention to serving sizes?  We Americans love to eat big meals, but eating just a little too much at each meal adds up!  Pay attention to your portion sizes.
    • Are you drinking enough water?  Sometimes, we think we’re hungry, but really, we’re just thirsty!
    • Are you drinking too many sugary or alcoholic beverages?  Don’t forget that alcohol has calories.  For example, when you add 1.5 ounces (a big shot) of Malibu rum to your Diet Coke, you add about 105 calories…!  We all have our indulgences, but you should at least be aware of the hidden calories.
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