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Fix a Weight Loss Plateau

Before and After BMI

July 9, 2010

Fix a Weight Loss Plateau

Fix a Weight loss Plateau

Just make a few of these changes today and prepare to watch to pounds start disappearing from the bathroom scale.

Call in a Support Crew

Obesity seems to love company; your odds of packing on pounds rise when your friends, family, and neighbors start gaining. The good news is the reverse also seems to be true. A study in the International Journal of Obesity found that spouses of dieters enrolled in weight-loss programs also lost flab-without even trying. The average loss by matrimony was five pounds a year and even higher in some cases (one woman lost 14 pounds to her husband’s 35). If no one you know personally is cutting calories, it’s easy to find a diet BFF with online support ( is a good group) or using a free service like This is free software you can download to your cell, enter your preferences and location, and you will be alerted when a match is found.

Eyeball Ingredients

A 2008 USDA report found that consumers read labels even less than they did 10 years ago. Other studies have shown that shoppers who do often end up confused. It is easy to become confused when a single bottle of OJ ends up being 2.5 servings. Labels can lie so it is a good idea to be educated about labels. Sign up for, which lists foods with red-flag ingredients like MSG (which was recently linked to an increased risk of being overweight). Your best bet is to swear off any packaged foods whose first four ingredients you don’t recognize.

Dust off Your Stove

A study in the Review of Agrigultural Economics  from 2008 found that going out for a sit-down lunch rings up and average of 184 more calories than brown-bagging it . That number climbs to 227 if you eat fast food. What makes this even worse is that you probably have no idea how fatty your entrée truly is. According to recent data from the University of Arkansas, the average diner underestimates each meal by up to 600 calories. If you cook at home just three days a week you can lose a pound a week. If you do have to eat out, plan ahead and try to look at the restaurant menu online (most places now have nutritional info) or try or both these websites have lists of most major restaurant chains with nutrition information.

 Tweak Your Sleep Schedule

I often see clients that treat weight loss like a 9 to 5 job and feel they can let loose once the weekend comes. An article in the journal Obesity  from last year reported that dieters consume more calories from Saturday morning through Sunday night than they do during the entire week. The study authors estimated this was enough to add up to a nine pound weight gain in a year. The cure for avoiding weekend splurging is to have a routine and stick to it. Many people eat more on the weekends because they sleep late and then miss breakfast and compensate with a big lunch. Set your alarm so that you stick to your same weekday routine.

Create Incentives

A recent study found that people whose employers paid them for every pound they lose dropped as much as 12 percent more weight than those who received no money. The take home point here is to come up with incentives that will really motivate you to want to lose weight. Put aside cash for every pound you lose or use it to treat yourself to a new outfit or manicure. If money doesn’t motivate you, get a small bikini and hang it on your fridge or get on and print out a photo of a smaller version of yourself.

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