Nutrition & Dieting/weight loss plateau


hello Laurie, i'm having a very hard time losing weight. right now i'm going through a plateau i can't seem to get past. i have tried eating 3 meals a day, frequent meals, lots of water, fasting, and counting calories.  why does this happen and what really works for this problem. i appreciate it if you can give me a detailed answer, thanks.

Hi Chistopher,
I can appreciate your frustration!
I would need a lot more detail to address your particular situation (how much have you lost over what time period? What is your height, weight and age? How long have you been at this plateau? How is exercise involved in your regimen?)

In general I find that most people call it a plateau when, in fact, it's not. For instance, someone will start losing wight extremely quickly (like 4-5 pounds a week at first) and then be dismayed because now it's been 3 days and the scale hasn't moved.

A true plateau is when the scale doesn't move for months, in which case the answer is often bumping up the exercise regimen.

How long have you been trying to lose weight, and have you stuck with any one plan for a number of months?

Ideally, a person will learn to eat healthy and incorporate physical activity into their lifestyle. Weight loss will come. On the weeks it doesn't, you can take heart knowing you are doing the right thing. When you get to your goal you will continue more of the same and you'll maintain your healthy weight.

When we chase the scale by eating less and less, or trying the latest fad, we can't win in the end, because the 'hidden' goal is to lose enough to be able to start eating those treats again, which cause weight gain again and it's all a vicious cycle!

Aside from the fasting, I'd think if you counted calories and ate at least 3 times a day (fewer calories than you burn, of course) weight loss will happen in time. Recommended rates are 1-2 pounds a week, or 10% of your weight over 6 months. It takes time so be patient and the plateau will be meaningless after you've gotten to your goal!


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Laurie Beebe, MS, RD, LD


As a registered dietitian (RD)I am fully qualified to accurately answer questions regarding weight loss, including those from people with health conditions requiring dietary restrictions (diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, etc) who want to lose weight, or who have been advised to do so by their physician.


I have been a registered dietitian for over 30 years and have a certificate in Adult Weight Management through the commission on dietetic registration at Level 1 and Level 2. I am also trained in coaching through Coach U and currently work as a diet coach to help people lose weight the healthy way, through gradual habit changes.

Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND), Weight Management Dietetic Practice Group, Nutrition Entreprenuers, St.Louis International Coach Federation, Toastmasters

Publications,,,, Today's Dietitian

Bachelor of Health Science from the University of Florida, 1983; Master of Science in Clinical Nutrition from Case Western Reserve University 1985; Certificate in Adult Weight Management 2006; CoachU core essentials grad 2007; Level 2 certificate in Adult Weight Management 2010.

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