Why Do We Plateau?

Lori Murphy, Personal Trainer and Fat Loss expert, talks about reasons for weight loss plateaus and to beat them every time.

Every day I sit down with clients and talk to them about weight loss and getting fit and healthy. During this time, I find that many people have similar questions of concerns about their weight loss journey. One of the concerns I hear often is the DREADED PLATEAU! This is why I wanted to talk about why the body plateaus and what we can do about it. But first I want to give you a quote to think about.

“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.”

So here is the scenario:

You put the hard work in. You have changed your diet. You have put in countless hours at the gym with tough workouts. So far you have been rewarded with the scale dropping, clothes sizes getting smaller.. Then it happens the dreaded weight loss plateau! You get frustrated and discouraged!


Weight-loss plateaus do not mean results have stalled. Weight-loss plateaus are common. People who reach their ideal weight have probably experienced at least 2-3 plateaus (lasting several weeks) throughout their journey. Remember if staying fit and healthy were easy everybody would be in shape!

I’m going to give you some reasons and some solutions that will help you understand why you are in a plateau and how you can break through it. Also keep in mind the closer you get to your ideal body weight and body fat percentage, the pace of weight loss slows down and the body works harder to hold onto fat stores. All this means is it takes less energy for your leaner healthier body to work. It is a good thing if you really think about it.

There are also some reasons to keep in mind and think about when you feel like you've hit a plateau. These are things that you may need to change to restart your weight/fat loss

Reason for Plateaus:

Calorie Creep Up – You have been experiencing the weight loss and you are feeling good, but you start to lose focus and let your old habits come back. You go out to eat more, quit panning meals, snack more,etc.

Stop tracking –You stop journaling your food so you have no idea how much energy (calories) you are taking in.

Same workout – You are doing the same workouts – same (cardio classes, treadmill routine)


  • Cleanse – Many times we have started old habits and gone back to our addictions (sugar,salt) A cleanse helps us flush out the body, break the addiction, gets rid of bloating, and much more. Many of our clients are currently doing this to break their plateaus and seeing great success. 
  • Reevaluate your calorie intake - Check and see if the you're leaner you need to reduce your energy (calorie intake). It takes less energy to operate your body as you get leaner and more fit, but remember avoid going into the starvation mode with not enough calories. (email me if you have questions of calorie intake)
  • No excuses – journal your food and turn it in. The people that journal are the ones that have seen results consistently. If you are not journaling your are holding back on you success.
  • Step up your exercise- If you are  just doing cardio you may have given away too much muscle and slowed down your metabolism. Think about adding strength training. Strength training will help you gain that fat burning muscle we all need to stay fit.
  • Step up your strength training - If you doing strength training add another strength training day, add more weights during class, or change up your cardio routine.
  • Get a pedometer and track your step. Pedometers help you stay conscious of what you can do outside of the gym to stay fit. Work up to 10,000 steps a day for weight loss.


Just remember , Don’t lose sight of what it important. When it comes to your fitness journey make your health the top priority. If you focus on your health rather than a number on the scale or a certain size you want to be, it is proven that you will be more successful and stick with it longer.

I hope this helps you prioritize and think about what is important. And remember:

 “If you don’t take care of your body, where are you going to live.”


Yours in Health & Fitness,

 Lori Murphy

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.


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