STYLE

Beat Your Dieting Plateaux

20/09/2010 09:54 | Updated 22 May 2015

It was all going so well - the weight loss, the fitness plan and then suddenly the scales, and those last few pounds, just won't shift.

But don't give up... here are our top tips for breaking through the dieting plateau...

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Beat those last few pounds

It sounds silly but before you start desperately slogging it out at the gym, you need to be sure this is a plateau. If you've already reached your ideal weight, then striving to lose more will only depress you and isn't healthy. Check with your doctor to see whether you've done enough.

Beat those last few pounds

Once you've established that you could lose a few more pounds, it's time to get serious. If your motivation has bottomed out, consider a personal trainer. Not only will they insist that you fulfil your exercise quota, the expense if nothing else may persuade you to follow it through.

Beat those last few pounds

If the pennies just won't stretch to a personal trainer, you could do worse than rope in an exercise buddy. Arrange dates and times where you'll meet up for a run or a workout and the theory is you'll feel bad about letting them down, however tempting the sofa seems.

Beat those last few pounds

It's all too easy to get stuck in a routine rut. Try downloading some banging new tunes to boost morale and put the spring back in your step. In this digital age, there are really no excuses for getting bored with the same old songs.

Beat those last few pounds

Cardio is essential, of course, but if you're struggling to see the horizon on your diet plateau you could do worse than try a little resistance training. Using weights, either at home or at the gym (be sure you know what you're doing first) helps to build muscle – and that boosts your metabolism.

Beat those last few pounds

Be honest... is your diet failing because of the odd cheeky cream cake or a surreptitious scone? If you've let the sweet treats sneak in, be a little hard on yourself and fill your fridge with fresh fruit, veg and wholegrains. When you start to slim down, you'll be glad you went for the healthy option.

Beat those last few pounds

Eating little and often has more than one benefit – your body is better able to digest smaller meals, the energy levels stay up and your hunger pangs are kept at bay. Swap your three square meals for five or six smaller ones and before you know it, you'll have a renewed energy and those final few pounds will begin to melt away.

Beat those last few pounds

Sorry to keep banging on about it, but routine and rut go hand in hand where exercise is concerned. Not only will you get bored but your body will actually begin to deal with your daily exercise more efficiently and the weight loss will stall. Change your routine with a high intensity spinning class, get fit al fresco or try a new sport to keep your mind occupied and your body on its toes.

Beat those last few pounds

The diet plateau is a dangerous time because that's when the excuses begin to creep in – 'it's too far to the gym', 'it's been a very long day', 'it's cold and raining' – we've all used them. But in this day and age there are a plethora of at-home workout DVDs... and besides, they have TV at the gym too you know.

Beat those last few pounds

The daily trip to the unmoving scales can be a soul-destroying experience. Step away from the scales – getting fit and looking good isn't all about weight loss. Doctors, nutritionists and even some personal trainers can measure your body fat. It'll give you a different goal to aim for and show you that you're fitter, stronger and healthier. You'll be over the plateau and reaching your peak before you know it.

Beat those last few pounds

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