How to Break a Weight Loss Plateau in 4 Simple Steps


Hitting a plateau when losing weight can be incredibly frustrating and defeating. But plateauing when you’re losing weight happens for specific reasons. Once you address these reasons you can keep losing any amount of weight you want. Here are 4 steps you can take to break through any weight loss plateau.

Weight loss plateaus…

They are all too common in our attempt to lose weight. Whether it’s a plateau like a Weight Watchers plateau, plateauing on keto, or even an ozempic plateau, it happens all the time.

They are something that can be incredibly frustrating when you are working so hard at reaching your goals, you’re starting to see some progress only to be left frustrated when you step on the scale and it has not moved.

Of course, one day isn’t a big deal so we keep trying. We work harder, restrict more, hit the gym harder, and try to stay the course.

And after doing this for days, weeks, and even months without much, or any, results we get defeated and say, “What’s the point? Why am I working so hard at this when I’m not seeing results?”

And along the way there’s always that inner dialogue happening:
… Should I just throw in the towel?
… I’m not seeing results anyway. I might as well enjoy what I like to eat.
… What’s the point of going to the gym today?
… Is it really going to make a difference if I eat this?
… I’ll get back on track on Monday.
… Maybe it’s my metabolism, maybe it’s my hormones, Maybe I’m broken.
… I’m too old.

But weight loss plateaus happen for a reason. And it’s not just because we’re not “sticking with it” as we often hear from our trainers or doctors.

Want to learn how you can optimize your metabolism to break through your weight loss plateau in 6-8 weeks? Click here to schedule your Free Metabolism Assessment.

There are actually multiple reasons why your body doesn’t want to release more fat and the scale gets stuck.

And there are 4 key things to do, and it doesn’t matter how many times you’ve gotten stuck before, you can break a weight loss plateau and reach your goals.

1 – Get out of starvation mode – How to rev up your metabolism

Too often many of us have been doing diet after diet for years on end. Which means we are chronically under-eating.

On top of that, much of the food we eat, especially in the U.S. and Canada, is highly processed and void of critical nutrients that our bodies need.

Even veggies, fruits, and healthy proteins are not as nutritious as they used to be because the soil is depleted of the nutrients we need, as well as the nutrients animals need so the animals we consume get depleted as well.1,2,3,4

Not only does this cause nutrient deficiencies that can make us gain weight by itself, which I’ve covered in this article here. But when you eat less food you actually slow your metabolic rate down.5,6 Your body starts adapting to less food and tries to conserve energy.

From a historical perspective, this would be to help us survive in a famine. Our bodies start to understand what’s happening and slow down how much food they require in hopes of conserving energy until we find some.

This is great if you’re really starving. But not that great when you’re dieting.

If you are repeatedly in a “self-induced” famine your body will feel the need to conserve energy. Which will make it very difficult to lose weight.

And it becomes an even bigger problem when you binge or go into “all or nothing” and start eating more. It will want to store all those extra calories (usually not the best calories either) as fat to help you prepare for the next famine.

Now generally speaking (not always though) you do need to be in a caloric deficit to lose weight. So what do we do?

First, we need to make sure the food we are eating is the right kind. Focusing on high-quality organic grass-fed proteins, vegetables, fruits, and healthy fats and oils are going to be the foundation. We also usually need to add some more mineral salt to our diet as well.

When it comes to how much food to eat sometimes people need to actually start eating more especially if you have been dieting for any extended amount of time.

Now two notes –

  1. If you don’t eat the right foods and you start eating more you will store fat.
  2. – If you just eat more and your body is already out of balance it may cause you to store fat as well.

Then if you do want to lose weight it’s important to support your body when you create a deficit. If you don’t you’ll potentially lose muscle mass and slow your metabolic rate down.

This is best done by eating adequate protein to support your body and goals.

Supplementation is also an incredible way to help support your body when in a deficit. Particularly amino acids, electrolytes, and B-Vitamins, along with blood sugar support can be incredibly helpful in preserving your muscle and metabolism, along with not getting hungry when you create a deficit. Just make sure to get clean supplements that absorb well in the body with no added fillers.

It’s important to only create a deficit for a limited time as well. Too many people try to stick to a diet for months and months hoping to keep driving weight loss. This again puts stress on the body and it backfires as they slow their metabolism, create more imbalances with stress hormones and potentially lose muscle.

There are lots of ways of doing this but we typically only work on releasing fat for 6 weeks before we start adjusting foods and moving out of any deficit we might create and start to stabilize things before we try to lose weight gain.

Let us help you create a personalized weight loss plan. Click here to schedule your Free Metabolism Assessment.

2 – Help your brain feel safe to lose weight – Balance stress hormones

I like to think of fat storage as a safety mechanism. It’s our body’s way of keeping us safe when it feels a threat.

This is where chronic stress comes in. When our brain is stressed it sends signals to stay alive through your stress system. Cortisol kicks in and spikes your blood sugar and inflammation in hopes of keeping you running longer and staying alive.7

This is great when you’re running from a tiger…Not great when you’re chronically stressed, trying to lose weight and stay healthy.

When there is chronic stress happening throughout our lives not only do we start to store fat but it can contribute to a bunch of other problems as well like cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, depression, anxiety, digestive issues, kidney disease, and more.8

Now stress isn’t just emotions, though that can be a big part of our fast-paced world. In addition, stress could be married down to two other kinds: chemical and physical. Examples are chemicals in food, water, soaps, cleaners, etc. Physical stress would be things like sitting too much, not sleeping enough, exercising too hard, dieting, etc.

So then we start to paint this picture…. We have our normal everyday stress along with big life stresses that happen, we stay up late and don’t sleep enough, then we eat processed foods which stress us out physically and chemically and then we go into a self-induced famine (i.e. diet), and stress ourselves out even more.

And remember when we feel stressed— we store fat.

It’s no wonder it’s so hard to lose weight.

You might be thinking, “But Jared, we can’t get rid of stress. So how do we lose weight?”

Yes, you can create calorie deficits and lose weight. But it doesn’t always mean it’s a healthy way, as you may lose muscle and hurt your metabolism in the meantime— stressing your body out even more.

And for some, they will try and won’t lose weight at all or over time as they continue to try things that used to work, don’t work anymore.

And for others, they will lose weight and then plateau because their body doesn’t feel safe releasing any more. Then you gain back the weight and often gain back more. I call it interest.

So the key isn’t to get rid of stress completely, which yes helping cope with stress is a great idea, or getting rid of stress if possible.

But the real key has two parts:

  1. Support your body when it is stressed
  2. Change the most critical stressor – One of the most critical stressors to try and eliminate and the one that’s the most impactful in weight gain is processed food.

When we focus on nutrient-rich foods not only does it support our body while we are stressed, but it removes a lot of the chemical and physical stress that we’ve had as well. Real food is the answer.

When it comes to food there’s also the issue of nutrient deficiency or imbalances in the body. As discussed, nutrient deficiencies can cause weight gain and make it very difficult to feel food, have good energy, and lose weight.

Now in addition to real food, your body often needs additional support to help repair and support your body, especially if you’re in a deficit. This is where supplements can come in. I’m not talking about weight loss pills and stimulants that never really work. I’m talking about supporting key systems or processes in your body like your thyroid and adrenal systems, digestion, detoxification, blood sugars, and nutrient deficiencies.

This is critical because as I always say when the body feels safe it doesn’t need to store fat anymore.

And of course doing stress management practices like meditation, gratitude, deep breathing, being in nature, journaling, exercise, etc can all be helpful as well. I find simple things spread throughout the day are better than trying to set aside a long period of time.

3 – Reduce inflammation

Waking up stiff in the morning, having pain in your joints, feeling puffy, low energy, brain, brain fog and even digestive issues all have inflammation at the root of the problem.

If I had to narrow it down (as I’ve written about in this article) to one thing specifically that causes weight gain along with many other challenges we face with our health it would be inflammation.9

Inflammation in the short term helps heal our body so it can be a really good thing — it’s part of our immune system. But chronic inflammation wreaks havoc on our body and often we don’t even know we have it happening. There are a few major problems with chronic inflammation and weight gain specifically.

Inflammation causes our cells to stop working correctly. If our cells don’t work, neither does our metabolism, along with many other things.10

Inflammation also causes insulin resistance11 as well as leptin resistance.12

So when you reduce inflammation you have a powerful way to start feeling better almost immediately but your body, cells, organs, and hormones start working, and you start losing weight much easier.

4 – How To Maintain Your Loss – Creating A New Set Point

Ever wondered why when you’re losing weight you just can’t seem to get past a certain point? Or maybe when you gain it back it always comes back to a certain weight and will just stay there?

Well, your body has a natural set point for your weight that is kind of like a thermostat for your house. It will maintain your weight there within a few pounds pretty naturally.

Now your set point is determined by a lot of different factors13 but once you’ve lost weight it’s important to help your body start to stabilize again so you can either maintain it easier to lose more weight.

Want to learn how you can optimize your metabolism to break through your weight loss plateau in 6-8 weeks? Click here to schedule your Free Metabolism Assessment.

Now when it comes to losing more weight most people try to just keep driving the weight loss for months and months. But as I mentioned above in Step 1, it’s better if you only try to lose weight for a short period of time and then take a break.

Taking a break is critical because it helps your body feel safe. If your body constantly feels like it’s starving it won’t want to release more fat but instead conserve energy.

So when you take a break you tell your body you’re okay, you’re not starving. This allows your body to continue releasing fat.

And if you’ve lost all the weight you want and are just looking to maintain it, you help your body stabilize it so that it feels like it can maintain it easier after it loses its weight and doesn’t need to go back to where it felt “safe” before.

Now changing your set point isn’t one magical switch you can flip but it’s a combination of factors that we’ve already discussed that as you start to address flip the switch for you.

So as you work to balance hormones, reduce inflammation, balance blood sugars, remove toxins etc. you start to help your body reset. And then in addition to that you need to have a period of time, typically 4-6 weeks where you eat your normal BMR of food so you have enough food.

At the same time, you have to eat the right kinds of food though so you don’t cause more of the imbalances.

Once your weight stabilizes you can then work to release more fat or continue adding other food back into your routine.

Let me give you a real-life example of how Cortney lost 45 lbs in 4 months following these 4 steps, and how it looked logistically.

Cortney came into our program not being able to lose weight hardly at all anymore. She was approaching her 50s and in the past had success trying all the typical approaches, fads, shakes, and trainers, and was even a fitness coach for a while. Even though she had lost weight before she had gained it back. But now when she tried those same things, she couldn’t lose weight at all.

She also had joint pain, low energy, didn’t sleep well, and didn’t feel like herself.

When she started with us we first had her start eating more food to increase your metabolic rate.

Then we got her on the right foods to support her body and reduce inflammation, balance hormones, and blood sugars, fuel her body, and help her feel amazing.

We also figured out exactly what she needed as far as supplements and vitamins to help support her body when we were losing wait

Within the first 6 weeks, she had lost 25 lbs. Her joints stopped hurting, hot flashes went away, she had energy again, her sleep improved, and her confidence started returning.

Even though her goal was to lose 45 pounds, I had her stop and take a break for about 6 weeks and no longer focus on weight loss. At that point we started increasing her food, adding other foods back in and actually had her start exercising as she hadn’t been up until this point.

After about 6 weeks her weight stabilized and we started over. She lost another 20 lbs in the next 6 weeks to hit her goal.

Finally Breaking That Plateau

Whether you’ve been working at your weight loss goals for years or a few months it doesn’t matter. And even if you’ve tried everything out there without being able to break through that weight loss plateau I can tell you I have personally seen hundreds of people, lose whatever amount of weight they want and learn to keep it off.

It’s by breaking out of the typical calories in and calories out model and taking these 4 steps.

If you feel like you need help knowing how to put a plan together specifically for you, reach out to us and schedule a metabolism assessment call. These are where we dive deep into your situation and figure out what’s been holding you back and design an exact path to help you reach your goals. You can schedule a time here.