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Lose the Freshman 15: Destroy Your Weight Loss Plateau


Since starting the Drop 10 Diet and being one of the Freshman 15 bloggers, I’ve seen some amazing changes in my body. Less than a week from the end of the program, I’m starting to get nervous. What’s going to come next? Will I keep up my progress? Whenever I get back on the fitness wagon, there inevitably comes a time when my progress screeches to a halt. The number on the scale won’t budge. I stop seeing a difference in the mirror. My mile time’s not getting any better.

In other words, I’ve hit the dreaded plateau.

Chances are, you know what I’m talking about. It’s unavoidable in any weight loss regime; at some point, you’re just going to hit a wall when it seems like you’ll never lose any more weight again.

But guess what: plateaus are easier to overcome than you’d think! Here are my favorite tips to kickstart progress again when things start to drag:

Change your workout routine. It’s nice to fall into a regular workout pattern, because that means you’re actually getting yourself to the gym. However, if you let yourself get too used to an exercise, your body will get used to it, too. So mix it up! Try something completely different, and it will be a shock to your system—in a good way.

Don’t feel like taking up a whole new exercise regime? Mix up the one you already have. Usually a HIIT runner? Try long distance. Weight lifter? Swap between heavy weights and fewer reps and lighter weights and more reps. Anything to give your body a new experience.

Stagger your caloric intake. If you’re a calorie counter, take a day or two out of the week to eat a little more or a little less. According to everyone’s favorite tough love trainer Jillian Michaels, the majority of the time, plateaus are caused by your body’s survival mechanism kicking in to protect against starvation, which is triggered by calorie reduction. So take a break from your diet and switch up that intake and let your body reap the benefits.

Last but not least, drink lots of water—but you’re already doing that, right? Drink even more.


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Anna Borges

Northwestern '14

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