8 Ways to Bust Through a Weight-Loss Plateau

When the scale refuses to budge and you're still five pounds above your goal weight, it's time to take some serious action. Top fitness experts share their best tips for kicking you off that plateau and into the land of skinny jeans

Change your workout and the time of day you workout, says Franklin Antoian personal trainer and founder of www.iBodyFit.com. Different workouts (Zumba, cycling, interval training) at different times of the day shakes things up and provides some additional calorie burn.

Limit your carbs to non-starchy veggies, beans and whole grains (with the endosperm, germ and bran intact), says Ann Kulze, M.D., author of the Eat Right for Life series. "Cut out all fruit and any flour-based grain products including 100% whole wheat or whole grain varieties for a few weeks even after you reach your goal. This helps boost insulin action, which kicks up metabolism."

Incorporate at least two days of HIT (high intensity interval) exercise, says Kulze. HIT alternating very brief (30-second to 1-minute) bursts of intense aerobic activity with three-to-four minutes of very light activity. "Even a couple of HIT intervals twice a week will get you off the plateau," Kulze says.

Stop eating several hours before you go to bed, says Tom Holland, exercise physiologist and author of Beat the Gym. "Many people don't eat enough during the day and then take in excess calories at night. Eliminating late night eating makes it important to plan better and eat healthier during the day."

Move, even when you’re not exercising, says Scott Danberg, director of fitness at the Pritikin Longevity Center in Miami, FL. "Staying active throughout the day increases the fat calories you burn. Avoid being an exerciser who stays sedentary before and after a workout." Get up from your desk chair every hour or so and walk around the office.

Beware of "diet" foods, says J.J. Virgin, celebrity nutrition and fitness expert and author of The Virgin Diet. "Even ‘lite’ coffee drinks can be packed with more sugar than regular versions," says Virgin. Swap a bag full of "healthy" crunchy snacks for a handful of raw almonds and watch those last few pounds fall off.

Try a one or two day cleanse, says Holland. "A fruit or vegetable cleanse isn't something you want to do for longer than a day or two, but it can be helpful for taking off those last few pounds and jump starting a healthy eating plan."

Do not do this vegetable cleanse for longer than a day without guidance from an RD or doctor -- or before checking with your doctor if you have any health issues. A cleanse is not a fast so make sure you have enough diversity in nutrients, proteins and calories.

Have five-to-six of these drinks spread throughout the day:

  • kale/spinach/cucumber/romaine/celery
  • carrot / orange / green apple / ginger
  • carrot/beet/apple
  • carrot, tomato, beet, celery
  • freshly squeezed lemon & agave nectar, cayenne pepper (do not have just five of these)

Post it online. Let your goals be known to your friends on your social media outlets, says Brian Durbin, owner of Fitness Together in Charleston, SC. "Verbalizing it in this environment forces you to more fully commit to our goals. Plus, you have the support from a network of your friends who are also trying to accomplish similar objectives." Or try LifeKraze, an online community that rewards individuals for living healthy, active lifestyles.

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