What to Do When You Hit A Plateau In Weight Loss, Training, or Exercise

Ugh, the dreaded plateau!

We’ve all been there.  Whether we’re trying to lose weight, add muscle, or even develop a new skill, we hit that point in our progress where everything seems to stall:

  • “I’ve been losing weight at 2 pounds a week for months, and yet I’ve been stuck the past two weeks despite doing all of the same stuff, what gives!?”
  • “I’ve been adding 5 lbs a week to my deadlift for half a year, but this week I lifted less than before! WTF?”
  • “I’ve been running faster and faster miles for a year now, but I can’t seem to break past the seven minute mark. Not cool.”

Today, I’m going to talk to you about plateaus:  

Are they real?  

What happens when you get stuck on one?

How can you break through?

We’ll dig into the myths and realities of plateaus in this article, but I’m guessing you’re reading this because you’re currently stuck! I know how demoralizing plateaus can be, especially when it comes to strength training and weight loss – they can be a total momentum killer!

If you’re currently stuck on a plateau and can’t seem to find your way off of it, consider checking out our 1-on-1 Online Coaching Program. Our coaches will get to know you and your schedule, your life situation (kids? night shift? long commutes?) and then build a custom workout program to fit that schedule. Find yourself stuck on a plateau? Your coach will work with you to navigate the other aspects of your life, change up your workout program, and help you get through it and back on track.

You can learn more about how our coaching program can help you by clicking on the image below:

What is a Plateau?


A plateau occurs when you stall out on progress despite continuing to do “all of the right things,” usually including eating right, exercising properly, getting adequate rest, etc.

Our bodies go from losing weight consistently to getting stuck at a certain number. Or we go from building muscle and getting stronger, to having a week or two where we can’t seem to lift anything heavier.

We call this point in our training “The Plateau,” and we don’t like being stuck on them.

As we learned in our previous article on happiness, humans (nerds especially) are happier when we make progress.  When we work hard for something and don’t see progress, we get unhappy.

Do Plateaus really exist? REALLY?!

question mark

I get a lot of emails from people who tell me they’re stuck in a plateau.

They talk about how they’ve been eating right, exercising, and getting enough rest and they can’t seem to make progress!  They throw their hands in the air, freak out, get discouraged, and give up or quickly move onto the next plan that they hope will work.

When somebody comes to me saying they’ve plateaued, my first response is always:

“Have you REALLLLLLLLY plateaued?  REALLY?”

In a strong majority of the cases, plateaus are really just issues with concentration and discipline in disguise. Before you think you have plateaued, consider the following:

1) How is your nutrition…REALLY?  Oftentimes we think we are being diligent, until we realize that after a few weeks of eating great we’ve started slacking. “Oh I’ve been good, just this one time…” and “Hmmm, sure why not” become more commonplace as we start to fall back into old habits. Track your calories for the next week and check your numbers.

This one issue is probably responsible for more than half of the ‘plateau’ cases out there.  For women, a big issue is not eating ENOUGH calories (which I explain towards the end of this article). If you are trying to bulk up, are you eating ENOUGH calories to promote muscle growth? Rededicate yourself for two weeks, track your meals, and see if progress picks back up!

2) How are your workouts…REALLY?   If you are weeks or months into a workout plan, I bet the initial luster of “NEW! PROGRESS! WINNING!” has worn off.  Have you been skipping that last rep, cutting out an exercise here or there, getting bored and wanting to go home?  I know when I hit a plateau at the gym, it’s generally because I haven’t been pushing myself as hard as I had been previously.  Track your workouts diligently for two weeks and see if these changes kick you back on track.

3) Are you getting enough sleep?…REALLY?  This is one that most people skip out on.  They are exercising, eating right, but for whatever reason they’ve been slacking on their sleep.  We all know sleep is important; lack of sleep leads to increased levels of stress, less time for our bodies to rebuild muscle, to recover from strenuous activity, and more.  I know that if I didn’t get a good night’s sleep, then my performance in the gym the next day will suffer.

Can you honestly say you’ve spent two weeks with quality sleep, nutrition, and exercise?  In many cases we think we’re stuck, in need some sort of drastic change or adjustment to kickstart progress again.  Now, there are definitely instances where we ARE stuck or stalled, and that’s when things need to change.

However, before we get to covered the dreaded plateau, let’s get a few things clear.

Why a Plateau Might Exist

To start, linear progress cannot continue indefinitely: 

  • If you are learning to squat and you start with just the bar, adding 5 lbs a week (which is how you should learn to squat!), you will eventually reach a point where your body cannot build the strength/muscle fast enough to continually add 5 lbs a week.  If it DID work that way, in three years everybody would be squatting 1000 pounds.
  • You will run into the same issues with weight loss. For example, it’s easier for you to lose 3 pounds a week when you are at 300 lbs than it is to lose 3 pounds a week when you are 150 pounds….there’s more of you to “lose” when you’re bigger and thus progress will be easier. If you could lose 2-3 pounds a week every week forever, at some point you’d disappear, and we don’t want that. Weight loss might slow to 1 pound every other week.

Your progress at a consistent pace will definitely slow down, which can FEEL like a plateau.  If you’ve been training for more than a few months, you might need to slightly adjust your expectations.  Maybe this week you can only add 2.5 lbs to the bar.  Or 1lb.  Maybe your muscle-building will crawl to 1 lb gained a month.

It happens to all of us. It’s science.

Now, if your progress stalls out COMPLETELY or you actually regress, AND you are doing all of the right things, then congrats! You may have plateaued.

Like in games like World of Warcraft, at some point you will stop gaining experience from killing rats – you could spend all day doing so but because you’ve hit a certain level they no longer provide you with value.

It’s time to move onto attacking spiders, then orcs, then dragons.

If it’s something worth doing, there will most likely be grinding involved, and that’s why I need to talk to you about The Dip. No not a strength training type of ‘dip’, though those are good to help bust through a plateau too!

You can learn more about how we help build plateau-less workouts at Nerd Fitness by downloading our free Strength Training 101 ebook when you sign up in the box below:

The Dip


I want to introduce you to Seth Godin, author of The Dip.

We all hit plateaus in our lives and quests for health and happiness.  In order to be successful at the task at hand, we need to grind our way through that low point (or flat point) until we can climb out and continue progress.

Here’s a visualization of the dip:

The Dip

When you first start something new, you can make quick progress and everything rocks because you see big changes.  However, after a few months (or even years), the reward you get from your effort decreases and it seems like you’re going in the wrong direction:

  • In the first few weeks of weight loss, everything is GREAT!  The scale is moving, your clothes are getting looser, progress is exciting because it’s coming so quickly.  Then, you might have a few weeks where you’re really trying hard and yet the scale stalls or increases.
  • When building a new running habit, each new run is exhilarating – you rapidly progress from wheezing and coughing after two blocks to now being able to run a whole mile!  A few months later, that progress slows, and you find yourself struggling with the same distances and speeds even though you’re doing all of the right things.
  • When lifting weights, the first few months can be life changing.  Squats, deadlifts, pull ups, push ups.  Every session in the gym is an opportunity to see massive progress compared to the time before, except for that week or two when you walk in and you have to lift less than before! What gives!?

When we hit that dip/plateau where our hard work seems like it goes unrewarded, it’s easy to give up and say “I’m a failure.”

Not true.  We will all experience a dip when it comes to progress on things that are important to us.  If we want to TRULY be successful, we need to anticipate the dip’s arrival so that it doesn’t completely derail us. Much like grinding out experience points in an RPG, sometimes we need to grind out practice in life, workouts, nutrition, and more…until we can hit that sweet spot for progress again.

So, how do we stay dedicated, focused, and motivated through the dip?

How do we progress during the plateau when we feel like our hard work is a waste of time?

What do we do when we feel like we are just spinning our wheels?

We focus on small wins, and always find a way to get a teeny tiny bit better.

Set a personal record every day


In order for us to crawl out of a dip or off a plateau, we need to find a way to make a small win every day.

Think of these small wins like “a light to you in dark places, when all other lights go out.”

The longer we’ve been training, the older we get, and/or the more advanced we get in our training, the more likely we’ll be to hit plateaus and the more necessary it will be to grind out small victories, prepare for dips, and power through them.

Here’s how you can grind out your own small wins and prove to yourself that you are still progressing when you are in the dip:

1) TRACK EVERY SET, REP, AND WORKOUT METICULOUSLY.  Find a way to be better today in SOME WAY than you were yesterday, and prove to yourself that you are still making progress – even if it’s progress in a different way that you were progressing before.   If you are stuck at 3 sets of 5 reps of 150 pounds on the bench press and haven’t been able to go up to 155 lbs for a few weeks, try 3 sets of 6 reps of 150 pounds.  Or 4 sets of 5 reps of 150 pounds.  Then come back to 3 sets of 5 reps of 155 a few weeks from now, and see if you can do that.  If you wait 60 seconds between sets, try waiting 55 seconds instead and lift the same amount of weight.

As long as SOMETHING has progressed in some way – your total amount of weight lifted, decreased time between sets, one extra rep, or one more pound lifted – it proves to yourself that you made progress. Remember, progress makes us happy.  RECORD EVERYTHING.

2) COLLECT TINY WINS. Optimus Prime doesn’t transform with one single movement; it’s a combination of hundreds of thousands of tiny movements that happen rapidly.

We are transformers (Joe especially), and our small changes add up too.

It’s these tiny, small victories that can push us over the edge. Enough small victories and we can reach that tipping point, that end of the dip where progress continues again.

Find a way to set a tiny win in SOME WAY each day that shows you that you are getting better/faster/stronger.

Here’s an example:  I have been working on handstand balancing for probably 18 months.  For the past few months, my progress has stagnated and even gone in reverse on some days (helloooo Dip!). I continued to work on building the habit of handstands for five minutes a day (Hard Hat challenge for the win!).  Progress felt nonexistent, but I knew that my continued dedicated practice was adding up in ways that didn’t make themselves readily apparent.

I had “stalled,” so I focused on getting tiny wins: increasing flexibility in my wrists, staying against the wall as long as I could, practicing my kick ups, tightening my core, etc.

Despite not being able to balance for longer than 10 seconds at any point in the past, last week I kicked up into a handstand, without even touching the wall (something else that had never happened before), and I held my handstand for 24 seconds!

I still have a ways to go before I’m holding perfectly vertical handstands for 60+ seconds, but months spent grinding out practice in the dip have paid off.  I made it through the plateau, and my progress has continued rapidly after struggling for months.  Those months of struggle were teeny tiny wins in different ways that added up until I hit that tipping point where progress exploded.

3) TRACK OTHER METRICS OTHER THAN THE SCALE.  The scale can lie.  The scale will DEFINITELY slow down even if you are making progress in healthier ways, simply due to the fact that you have less weight to lose than you did before!

So, track other things!

  • Take biweekly photos.  Who cares if the scale isn’t moving.  Are you looking better?  Are you FEELING better?  That is progress.  Do your clothes fit better?
  • Take measurements. Spend 5 bucks on a cloth tape measure (or one of these), and measure the important parts of your body.  Maybe the scale isn’t moving, but you took half an inch off of your waist. Or maybe you added a quarter of an inch to your arms.
  • Track your body fat percentage.  A simple caliper is enough to show trends.  Remember Saint? His weight went UP but his body fat percentage dropped.  Had he only been tracking the scale, he might have panicked during his ‘dip.’ Fortunately, he was tracking more metrics and used that momentum to catapult himself to victory.

The goal is to consistently to prove to ourselves that we are moving one step closer towards our goal. This is easier said than done, I know. And I know strength training can be challenging enough without also having to factor in plateaus and all of this other stuff!

That’s why we made our free resource that covers every element of strength training you need to know, including how to start in a gym, how to do each movement properly, and how to structure your workouts for small, consistent progress. You can download our guide, Strength Training 101: Everything You Need to Know, here when you sign up in the box below.

More plateau tips and tricks

Action Figure Heroes

The above is just the beginning.  This will also help you make progress and get out of that dip:

1) Shock your workout.  Our bodies crave efficiency, and love to be as lazy as possible, but we truly thrive on chaos.  So introduce some chaos into your system!

Note: This is NOT the same as “muscle confusion” (which is a made up marketing term to sell DVDs). We’re still progressing, lifting more, and doing the same exercises – we’re just throwing in some variation occasionally to help stimulate progress. 

If you do the exact same thing over and over and over, your body becomes more efficient at that activity.  In fact, your body can learn and adapt after doing the same thing enough times so that it burns fewer calories to carry out the process.  So mix it up!

  • If you are trying to run a faster 5K? Mix in a day of sprints rather than just basic runs.
  • Trying to increase your deadlift?  Rather than just doing a 1-rep max, do a day of higher volume, or train the deadlift twice a week.
  • Want to squat better? Squat with higher frequency. Staci followed an advanced Smolov Squat program for 13 weeks (Warning: not for beginners). Your body can adapt and overcompensate by getting stronger.
  • Want to improve your upper body strength/size? I’m currently doing a PLP program along with my regular workouts.  Starting with 10 total reps of Pull-ups, Lunges, and Push-ups, and every day add a rep, for 50 days.

2) Start researching periodization.  This is more advanced stuff for advanced for more advanced lifters (which we can cover in a future article). Periodization may be helpful for who has been training for more than a year and looking to further improve their progress or athletic performance.  Instead of linear progress (adding weight each week to your lifts), the goal is to cycle your workouts in such a way that you go heavy on some days, lighter on others, and adjusting your weight as you get stronger.

3) Shock your diet.  Your body can also become quite efficient with calories (not to mention the oft-mentioned but controversial “starvation mode” theory), and can sometimes struggle to progress. Try upping your caloric intake from 1800 to 2200 by eating more healthy fats or protein (avocado, nuts, almond butter, more chicken, etc.). Your body will learn that “food is abundant, time to stop hoarding these few calories as fat stores and instead burning them as fuel or using them to build muscle.”

Consider throwing in one day a week of OVER eating, along with days where you are intermittent fasting.  Keep your body guessing and see if that shocks your system back into weight loss mode.  From an evolutionary perspective, it makes sense: some days we’d have plenty of food, while other days food might be more scarce.

4) Adjust your goals.  Maybe your body needs a new dragon to slay.  Again, nature loves chaos.  If you are focused solely on weight loss, you might feel like you have stalled out.  So shift your focus. Work on handstands. Or running faster. Or doing your first pull up.  Pick a new skill!  Try something different.  Give your body a chance to recover and then come back to it.

If you’re solely focused on the scale and it stalls out, it can be depressing. So put the scale away for a month, and instead focus on the process of getting stronger and eating better.  Stop stressing and remember to enjoy the game you’re playing.

5) Accept that we have bad weeks.  We are complex pieces of machinery.  Sometimes shit happens.  We just have bad weeks and can’t lift enough or we GAIN weight when we expected to lose weight.  It doesn’t make you a bad person, it doesn’t make you a failure, it makes you human.   So on days when you feel great, PUSH yourself harder. On days when you feel like crap, scale back the heavy lifting and focus on more reps or better technique.

The greatest predictor of success in our lives is grit (which can be developed).  Grit is what you need to slog through these slow weeks.  These dips are where we find out who’s truly dedicated.  I know you are, and you know you are. So, you might as well keep pushing.

Remember, look for any sign of progress in any way to reveal that “light” at the end of the tunnel.

If you are stuck on a plateau when it comes to strength training, consider working with one of our Yodas in the 1-on-1 Online Training Program at Nerd Fitness! No guilt, no shame. Just somebody to keep you accountable, expert guidance from somebody that knows you, and peace of mind knowing you’re doing the right thing!

How did you break through?

bruce lee

“If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there. You must go beyond them.” -Bruce Lee 

Hopefully I’ve covered everything you need to know about plateaus. What’s that? You were expecting some lame joke about plateaus somewhere? You know me too well. Okay, how bout this one:

Did you know that a Plateau is the highest form of flattery?

Thank you, thank you.  I’ll be here all week.

I want to hear your story:

  • Have you successfully busted through a plateau? Leave a comment with how you got out of it.
  • Are you currently stuck?  If so, what’s ONE SPECIFIC piece of advice you’re taking from today’s article to apply to what you’re going to do this afternoon?

Let’s hear it!  I’m excited to hear how I can help.


PS: We know starting with this stuff can be intimidating, and you might be looking for more advanced bodyweight training to take your training to the next level:

  • 1-on-1 Online Coaching: A coach from Team NF gets to know you better than you know yourself and builds a workout program and nutritional strategy that fits your busy life, your body type, and your goals.
  • The Nerd Fitness Academy A self-paced online course with 7-level no-gym-required workouts, boss battles, HD-video demonstrations, a nutrition and mindset roadmap, and  supportive community in our flagship course.


Photo Sources:  JD Hancock: Heroes, gato-gato-gato: mountains, Chris J Bowley: box, seeveeaar: success, Stefan Baudy: question, Stefano Corso, Life’s Paradox, Sergio Bertoli: Bruce Lee

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  • heymo

    I did hit a plateau a few weeks ago when regarding my weight loss goals – and my solution was to just put the scale away and don’t measure (or worry!) about it for a while. Simply not stressing about it made everything more fun again and eventually I was past the “dip” 🙂

  • Kirstie Wilkins PT

    I’ve been in the dip for months, now feeling compelled to push on through. PLP and deadlifts are my plan of action, transform

  • Mathias

    I have two variants on this that I’d like to proposition to anyone stuck on a plateau.

    The first is to not focus on the numbers improving, but to focus on feeling the same level of effort. If you work as hard your results will improve even if they are not improving linearly with spent effort.

    The other thing I’d suggest is to embrace the plateau. Chase the plataue instead of dreading it. When you reach it you may have gotten everything you can from your current exercise regimen. Then it is a chance to figure out a new way to exercise and with that comes new areas to improve and explore. It is all good if you see the plataue as your friend and a way to reach the next level. In terms of leveling up, it is your current levels boss. Beat it and you are on the next level with a whole new world and strengths to explore.

    And most important, dare to be awesome!

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  • Drew Ratcliff

    i find that you also have to take into account the meso/macro cycle into your training. your body, as previously stated, is a complex machine and needs time to recover from heavy/intense/painful periods of training. even a car has to stop for petrol right? once every for weeks add in a deloading stage, have lower weights, and as steve said, perfect technique.
    this article was awesome. already spread it around quite a bit in my community.
    much love.

  • blerch

    I’ve never stuck training out long enough to reach a real plateau. But now I’ve started I’m taking a long term approach and doing my first 6 week challenge. Thanks to this article I’m ready and prepared to hit the dip!

  • Chris

    I had plateaued a while back and couldn’t figure out why I wasn’t losing any more body fat. I mean I was getting stronger but I couldn’t quite figure out what was going on. I thought everything was good…until I realized that I the last few weeks my fruit (aka sugar) intake had gone up with smoothies I was making with my new blender. Ha! It’s one of those things I didn’t even realize. I looked at the rest of my intake and yup, as Steve mentioned above, I got into the bad habit of having those side treats which just started to add up. But it’s all alright now! I guess it wasn’t a legit plateau because it was due to my eating habits. Now I’m back on track…can’t wait to keep moving forward and to one day encounter the real thing! Will definitely come back here to pick up some pointers!!

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  • Jennifer

    My name is Jennifer I am 26 years old I am 5’1 I was 180lbs now a little less than a year later I am 132.5 I have been stuck at this weight for quite some time now. I have changed up my diet, my work outs, my sleep, fat burner pills. I have done almost everything and now I just do not know what to do. Everyone tells me I am good where I am at but I am not okay still with where I am at now I have not reached my goal…. What do i do??? HELP PLEASE

  • Jennifer

    Correction I was 186lbs

  • Nicolas Betancur

    GREAT ARTICLE !! loved it

  • April

    I have definitely hit a dip. I started working out consistently about 3 years ago. I lost weight, gained muscle, toned up, and best of all, as a type 1 diabetic, my blood sugars were always down and I was barely on any insulin! I felt fit and strong. For less than a year however, I have been in school fulltime and have not had the time I used to when I worked 2nd shift and could workout every morning. Not only that but I cant afford the super healthy foods I used to buy so I try to compensate by eating less of the somewhat healthy foods I can afford. I may not be doing as much as I used to but I still feel as though I am doing everything I possibly can to be fit and healthy. I still eat right, work out most days (jogging, hiking, insanity, tap out, etc) but I’ve gained weight back, don’t feel as strong or healthy, and my blood sugars have been all over the place, mainly high. It is so frustrating that I just want to give up but I’ve been trying to stick with it so I don’t lose what I do have and b/c I do enjoy the fulfillment and satisfaction of exercise. This blog has helped me and given me motivation to stick with this the best I can. However, I don’t think ill ever get back to where I was until I graduate and have time and money to do what I was doing before.

  • Tony (DNA FITSPO)

    I found myself at a plateau and the exact reason was lack of sleeping and my eating habits were getting a bit bad again!!! I have officially decided to switch to the paleo diet to track the progress I get from this.

    ~DNA All The Way~

  • bob

    I need some help I’m 16 going into 10th grade and I’m the strongest in my high school gym I’ve been fighting with my dad because for 60 day I haven’t made any improvements in my power clean bench I only went up 5 pounds in my ass to the grass squat what’s going on I’m using the bigger fast stronger program is time to make a change

  • Nils

    That was an excellent article. It cleared my head and busted some myths. Thanks Steve

  • Jo

    Thank you so much, interesting reading / page = hard work and effort keeping the readers gripped! Is that the sword of Excalibur?

  • kvs

    I have been working out since 2010 june, i have lost weight around 20 kilos from 84 to 65 but since last one year i could not loose weight of even 500 gms, in fact i gaining weight and even going upto 67 and more importantly i have lost my belly from 44 inches to 32 but again belly increased to around 33.5, as far as i know i am able to eat right and go to gym daily doing workouts under supervision of a personal trainer, but still not able to break to plateu can you suggest me the alternative.

  • Jen

    I can honestly say I have been doing all of the above suggestions and have been in a platau for 2 months. I have a 1400 cal net diet but I allow it to sway up to 1600 at times. I go up to 2000 once a week to throw my body into shock. I keep it as balanced as I can with 25% fat and protien and 50% carbs (as recommended by my nutritionist and I track EVERYTHING I eat in Lose It app). I work out intensely 5-6 times a week for 20-60 minutes (burning an average of 300 cal a session). Sometimes I run a 10k, other days I sprint a mile. I measure, weight and photograph myself every Saturday morning. I have also been to multiple doctors to try to figure out the problem and they have nothing to say to me. Any words of encouragement?

  • Alex

    I’m currently stuck in my plateau but when the going gets tough the though get going I’m putting my head to the ground and forcing my way through this knowing that it will be better someday

  • Julie

    Wow. Just what I needed to read!! Thank you!

  • Steve Tim

    Since it’s conception, the cheap trx has been produced into a variety of designs, colors, shapes, and styles that have won top picks of millions of women the world over.You are sure to find something of your liking when shopping from either a trx suspension training store or outlet for.

  • AnnieOgier

    I am currently in a dip at the moment I have stayed the same weight for two weeks now, but a few weeks ago I lost 8lb however recently I’ve had sausage rolls and a sandwich on a weekend I did that one before 9 weeks ago and I still lost weight. I have done the biggest loser DVD 11 weeks but have been doing the same exercises for 4 weeks or so now warm up, bums and tums cardio , full body fat burn and cool down before that I mixed it up by doing the 3 exercises i mentioned but also did cardio dance and bums and bingo wings too when I first started the DVD after the 17th Sept i did warm up full body fat burn bums and tums cardio and cool. I lost 1 stone 3 lb in 9 weeks but as I have said in my comment I have stayed the same weight for 2 weeks. I probably need to mix up my exercise a bit change it slightly but keep doing what I am dolng like exercising and cutting out calories and increase my speed too. I did go through this halting stage in the 4th week where my weight stayed the same then it picked up again, so I probably have gone through that stage again i just hope it’s not going to be like this all the time because I do want to lose weight and I want to be down to 8 stone at the moment I am 85.8kg which is 13st 7lb. I shouldn’t be worried or discouraged because my weight loss has grinded to a halt I should be proud of my achievements , how I got out of the halt before was I just simply stuck to my diet and exercise so I should do the same as what I did before. I haven’t had chocolate crisps and other junk food in 11 weeks which is great because I used to snack on it 4 days a week, but I don’t no more I do exercise 3 days a week but when I am not exercising I do walking and hoovering too so I do 4 days a week of exercise in all as I do the hoovering on a Sunday you see I don’t see what I am doing is a bad thing, but I tend to worry about this halt that I am going through because I never used to exercise 3/4 days a week before I used to do it once or twice a week but because now I’ve been exercising 4 days a week I tend to worry I even worry about what I eat because I am calorie counting the reason for that is because I use to eat a lot and pile on the pounds so that’s why I am worrying so much. I have been exercising over 2 months now so I say I am new to the doing a exercise regime, maybe my bodys getting used to it I don’t know but what I do know is that I am gaining muscle and losing fat so I don’t think this grinding halt to losing weight is a bad thing but I didn’t know this happens when you are beginning a weight loss journey. I am not going to give up because I am going to get to the weight I want to get to even though it’s going to take me time but I accept that.

  • AnnieOgier

    I have to add though that my clothes are looser especially my jeans so I am happy with the fact my clothes are looser, I have lost weight around my stomach as it’s getting smaller now plus I’ve lost a bit of weight round the arms and legs but more importantly round the face. Is this halt anything to worry about and do I just keep going ?

  • Stacey

    Oh my gosh! I love this site! Thanks so much!!! Yall have helped me so much in the past few months since I started my fitness journey. I’m small but I’m trying to get fit, and un-skinny/fat. I have lost 7 pounds of fat so far, wootwoot.
    This is just what I needed to read to get my motivation back after being in a platue for almost 3 weeks. I actually hadn’t been losing weight at a fast rate anyway, I was losing about a lb every 2 weeks, but now it’s really slowed down. I’m not gonna give up though!! I’m going to keep pushing myself and I will achieve my fitness dreams! Thanks so much for all your inspiration, and advice! I appreciate it soooo very much! I love yall so much!

  • Stacey

    I eat chocolate occasionally because I feel like if I take that away from myself I may totally give up :/ but you may have inspired me to stop eating chocolate even occasionally. Maybe I’ll try for once a month lol

  • Nice article! There are many things to choose from if you need to get out of a rut. Many good examples here. Shocking the workout and shocking the diet are key. Our bodies love adapting to situations. Give it a reason to change!

  • Hi Steve,

    Thanks so much for this article. I had so many times where I plateaued and blame myself for not caring or pushing myself enough. It’s alright to learn from experiences to constantly get stronger. I wrote this article as a response. Hope you ever get the chance to read it. Thanks a million!


    All the best,

  • tman

    Outstanding article.

  • jade

    My body seems to gain a couple ounces to a pound eve if.i eat something as simple as salad or drink water im trying to get to 180 but i can break threw 239-235 area no matter what i do.i learned that i should eat more healthy fats then go back to what calories i was allowing myself.also i can tell im losing in my face and a little in my stomach buy im starting to want to give up.

  • Lila

    I just started a low sugar low carb diet. I’m a female 23 years old and I weighted in at 205 pounds on my start date. I originally wasn’t exercising so I could get use to my new diet of 1,400 calories. The first week I dropped 10 pounds like nothing. Then the second week I still wasn’t working out but I was following my diet and eating clean. No more sodas. Which is big for me cause I used to drink 4 a day. Drinking tons of water. Which is also big for me cause I hate water and never used to drink it. But I’m committed and really want to loose weight. I don’t eat bread occasionally I’ll eat pasta but only small portions. Anyways my second weekend I lost 5 pounds putting me at 190.2 pounds which I’m like awesome. But now it’s the third week and I decided to go ahead and introduce a work out program into my diet and I’m working out 3 plus days a week doing the Nike fit program to get lean. And I’m at the end of my week where I weight myself only to find out I’ve gained a pound!!! And I truely do not understand it. I’m doing all the right things I’ve introduced protein shakes into my diet eating the right food and truely working out hard. And most people don’t platue till months into their workouts and diets. I’m only three weeks in and I’m doing all the right stuff but the weight loss has stopped. Someone please help me tell me what I’m doing wrong or what I need to do to fix this.

  • Matt

    I really loved this article. I am a fitness enthusiast. I can see how this can be applied to life in general and not just health goal.

  • lvitrac

    have hit a huge block as I’ve hit 40 lbs lost I haven’t moved the scale in a week + I kno the More I lose the harder it will be to keep losing. now I’m also doing heavy lifting and I’ve noticed some gains. Great article thank you

  • Mandala Rain

    deleted post by mistake

  • Alex

    I don’t think you are doing anything wrong at all. You probably didn’t Plateaux. You probably put on some more muscle (which weighs more than fat) making it seem like you are fighting an uphill battle. Also, look at your Calories to be safe. But I am sure you are fine, and you will continue to gain a bit of weight from muscle, but then start to lose weight again once your muscle doesn’t gain as quick.

  • nicoli

    Helpful post, thank you

    Best Paleo recipes

  • Fidodo

    I thought this was “nerd” fitness. Where’s the science?

    “it’s easier for you to lose 3 pounds a week when you are at 300 lbs than it is to lose 3 pounds a week when you are 150 pounds….there’s more of you to “lose” when you’re bigger and thus progress will be easier.”

    That’s NOT why you lose more weight when you’re fat. That’s not even remotely scientific, and if you really think about it, doesn’t even make sense. You lose more weight because your metabolism is vastly higher. The basal metabolic rate for someone 6′ 300 lbs is around 2600, for 6′ 150 lbs it’s around 1700. That’s almost a 1000 calorie per day difference! That’s 2 lbs a week! DOING NOTHING! Add in the extra caloric expenditure from even light activity and it’s also going to be an even bigger difference. The energy expenditure from just walking around is going to be way more for the 300 lb guy because he’s carrying twice as much weight!

    When I saw “nerd fitness” I though, cool, I bet this will be well researched and include science, but there’s nothing remotely scientific about your article!

  • Christina Joanne

    I’ve been trying to live a pescatarian lifestyle, and as a result – have lost about 10 Ibs in 3 months. I also try to keep all processed, prepackaged, and sugary foods at a minimum, allowing myself — more to live a “lifestyle” rather than a “restrictive diet.”

    And so far, it has been working — whereby I have kept off the weight with foods I enjoy and never find “limiting.” I allow myself 3 cheat meals a week. I also don’t exercise at all.

    However, for the past 2 weeks (1 of the weeks I’ve had my period), I found myself gaining a pound. I am so close to my goal. I just need to lose another 5 lbs. (I’m a 21 y/o, 5’4, 150 lbs -> GW: 145 lbs) So it’s a bit disheartening. But after reading the article, I do believe it’s probably because I did not have any “good” sleep in awhile, and I’m a bit stressed because of school and such.

    Thanks for the article! I’ll be trying my best.

  • Ariel

    Thank you for this great article! I have been exercising for a year now (running, lifting and pilates mainly), when I started I was 140 lbs and now I’m 115 lbs. The more I get closer to my target the slower the process became. That literally freaked me out! I used to starve myself and all. I felt that my efforts are not useful anymore, and I was afraid that I would become “fat” all the time. I was going towards an ED. Yet, thanks to helpful and knowledeable people like you now I know better and when I measured myself I noticed a huge difference, plus noticed that my abs slightly appear. Thanks a lot once more!

  • Jamil Hussain

    i am 38. When i started my weight was 118kg, i followed my diet as in morning with a bowl of BRAN cereal with skimmed milk. At lunch multiple sort of beans with a tspn of feenugreek. Dinner different sort of lentils. Following this diet i reached to 103kg in few months exactly 3 or 3.5 months.
    Now it is stuck on 103 and 104. Before starting exercise it weights 104.5 or 6 and after 1.5 hours exercise it weighs 103.2 to 103.4.
    On next day same no results.
    Can any on suggest anything, i read the article up i will try to do the changes mentioned up. But still suggestions are welcome.

  • Tara

    You mention that sometimes, after the first few weeks of dieting, you may not lose for a few weeks. I think that’s me. I lost 9 pounds in the first 3 weeks of dieting. In the last 2 weeks, I’ve gained and lost the same pound. If my diet is on point, when can I expect the scale to register a loss again?

  • Hailianne Griffith

    Hello! This article helped quite a bit, I’m only 16 years old and I’ve lost 70 pounds so far. I went from about 295 to 225.8 (my current weight) I’ve been riding a stationary bike for about 8 weeks on different settings but it’s still the same form of exercise. I’m guessing my body must have gotten immune to the same type of exercise routine so I’ve plateaued because I’m burning over 600 calories and eating around 1500 (I use my fitness pal to track my eating so I know I’m not underestimating what I eat) I think I’m going to start running one day and riding the bike the other. I’m hoping that gets me out of this plateau, I won’t give up!

  • Anneke Samantha Langberg

    Well, I thought I was on a plateau until I read this. Turns out I need to keep a closer eye on my food and make sure I’m doing something every day, even when I’m tired, even when I’m depressed, even when I hate the idea of moving, or “don’t have the time”. Two months I’ve been at about the same weight, and I’ve let that get to my grit. Screw this. I’m gonna kill it.

  • jerrycollie

    My New Year’s resolution was to learn to open a large Hersey chocolate bar, and not eat the whole thing at once. Ha. ha!

  • RobertandLori Pendergraft

    Great article. I’m seeing that I need to either do a cheat day a couple times a,month or add more calories for a few days then go back to my cal intake. I also need to mix it up in my workout. Find new way to move. 🙂

  • Chelsea Sawyer

    I started using the Lady Soma Detox, and that quickly dropped another 10 lbs.

  • Terri Lynn

    this helped me alot i shocked my body today… lets see how this goes

  • Archana Uppuluri

    For this, I’ve taken to adding coco powder to unsweetened almond milk and I still get my chocolate fix without eating unnecessary processed fats and sugars in most chocolate bars. The other day I tried to treat my sister and mom to frozen custard with fudge syrup and I couldn’t have actualy chocolate! My body started to hiccup violently!

  • Farhan jalil

    I took a short cut at my plateau and started freezing my belly fat with blue fat freeze system. Surprisingly the thing actually worked and i reduced 1 inch of my belly in 1 month. Best part about using blue was that i used it while working on my computer. But consult your doctor before using blue as this kit is not designed for everyone.

  • Di

    I was eating like an ant like my mother use to say. I wasn’t moving and then finally lost 8 pounds. Then I hit another spot and exercise twice a day plus walk my dog and still stuck. GHEE….I never thought about the measuring and still stuck at my first goal. There isn’t much more I can do, I can’t eat less and I keep going. From there exercise 3 times a day that is all I can do. Could be meds also that kind of stop it. Age?

  • I stopped looking at the scales for many weeks and then when I did look, I had lost about 2 – 3kg. I then kept losing weight for a while before currently being stalled out at 1kg from my target. Fortunately I set myself a sensible target and adequate time, so I still have over two weeks to lose that single 1kg.

    Decided to increase my efforts for the last few weeks and whilst I am starting to look and feel healthier, weight has not budged. I’ll get there eventually, I just hate the torment.