8 tips for overcoming a weight loss hurdle

by | May 18, 2016 | Last updated Apr 4, 2023

Changing your behavior — which is what weight loss is after all — is no easy feat. Consider all the days, months, and years you’ve been eating, more or less, the same way. It makes perfect sense that everyone would hit a few roadblocks in the process of developing new, healthier habits.

In fact, according to data from millions of Noom users like you, 88% of people hit at least one weight loss plateau — and an average of three plateaus — in the process of losing just 10 lbs. If your goal is to lose more than 10 lbs., you should expect to hit even more. We don’t tell you this to discourage you, of course. It’s essential to understand when you’re losing weight that seeing the scale stop moving (or reverse direction), is not only OK, it’s to be expected!

That knowledge doesn’t exactly make weight loss hurdles fun or easy, though. We’ve compiled our favorite ways to shake things up so you can keep the number on the scale dropping.

Try a new workout class or activity

The human body is capable of some pretty remarkable things, and it may sometimes feel like that includes trying to foil your weight loss plans. As you do an exercise more and more, your body actually gets more efficient at it, meaning you burn fewer calories doing the same activity. Taking a new class or doing a new workout can up your calorie burn for the same amount of time. Bonus: Trying something new can make exercising fun, or at the very least take your mind off of how hard you’re working. That applies even if you’re just trying a new route around the block.

Phone a friend

When it comes to weight loss plateaus, the most important thing is making sure that a hurdle doesn’t become a halt. If you’re feeling discouraged about your weight loss, try calling a good friend. Expressing your frustration, fear, or worry actually reduces the intensity of them, according to research. So go ahead and vent — it may help you stay the course.

Set a mini-goal

The problem with only setting a weight loss goal is that you can’t directly control your weight. Of course, the work you do to exercise and eat well should impact your weight, but sometimes it doesn’t, which can be very frustrating. If your weight loss has plateaued, try setting yourself a mini-goal that you can directly control, like how many times you’ll exercise, cook at home, or bring a bag lunch to work in a week. Because you directly control whether or not you succeed, these goals can be far more attainable and rewarding.

Go on a “scale diet”

If you’re used to checking your weight daily, you’re far more susceptible to seeing plateaus and weight gain more often than if you check less often. If you’re seeing your weight loss stall, try stepping away from the scale for a week or two. Don’t give up on your weight loss efforts, though! Instead, focus on metrics like how much more fit you feel when climbing stairs or how your clothes fit.

Give yourself a challenge

As we’ve already mentioned, trying new things and shaking it up can go a long way toward getting you out of a weight loss funk. If you’re a competitive person, why not try giving yourself a challenge, like eating vegetarian for a week, training for your first 5K, or learning to swim?

Try a new food

Sick and tired of the same old healthy recipes you’ve been cooking for months? Challenge yourself to try a new food. One great way to do this is to head to your nearest farmers’ market. The growers will be more than happy to offer food prep tips for the produce they grow. You could also try taking a healthy cooking class. Bring home those recipes and give ’em a whirl!

Enroll your family

Tackling a challenge is easier with a support crew. Whether you live with your parents, partner, kids, or roommates, enroll those closest to you in your healthy living efforts. Invite them to go for a walk with you or to try cooking a meal together. They may not take you up on it every time, but it may gradually help them understand your weight loss journey and help them to develop healthier habits of their own.

Have you encountered weight loss plateaus before? How’d you work through it?