Here’s how to past a weight loss plateau:

Switch up your lifestyle
Amanda Musin, a registered and licensed dietitian at the Tampa General Hospital in Tampa, Florida, says to continue losing weight, we have to constantly change up our lifestyle. “A lighter you requires fewer calories than you did at a higher weight,” Musin says. “This change in metabolism forces us to adjust our health and fitness routine to continue losing weight.”

The dietitian also suggests reevaluating your lifestyle and taking a closer look at what you’re eating. “When feeding your children an afternoon snack, do you join in and eat a small handful? Or when eating out with friends, do you eat larger portions than when at home?” Musin asks. “These habits can appear to be harmless, but can quickly add up over the course of a week, especially if your metabolism has recently dropped.”

Pick up weights
While cardio seems to be most people’s go-to for shedding pounds, don’t forget to pick up a dumbbell here and there. Musin recommends supplementing your cardio exercises with strength training. “Loss of lean muscle mass can lower your metabolic rate and make it that much harder to lose weight,” she says. “Aim to incorporate at least two days a week of effective weight-bearing exercise to increase metabolic rate and boost weight loss efforts.” Its best to change up your workouts with a mix of cardio and weights so your body doesn’t get used to the same routine.

Forget crash diets
Slow and steady weight loss is much more successful long term. It’s important to make sure you’re not aggressively cutting calories when trying to lose weight. Understanding that losing weight takes time and approaching it in a more practical manner will make it easier to adhere to a calorie deficit and it will be more sustainable. Understanding more about the food you consume is literally empowering yourself with factual information that allows you to control your weight.

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