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What To Do When Nothing “Works”

Meghan Helbick, MS, RDN, LDN

You’re going along your merry weight loss way — learning about how to eat to stay satisfied, getting into your exercise groove, getting more sleep, learning to relax, and practicing those #PsychTricks — until you notice your weight hasn’t budged in a week! You get a sinking feeling that your hard work isn’t making a dent, but then you remember what you’ve learned about plateaus. Plateaus are a normal and common part of the journey.  

You sigh, a little relieved, but still frustrated. You follow suggestions like these in hopes to push through. Still though, you can’t help but feel frustrated by this mental hurdle you’re trying to push through!

Learning how to let go of the frustration in moments like these can be a real step forward. If you let the frustration simmer, that’s extra stress your body is holding onto, and you already know how stress can affect your weight loss journey.  

When you’re feeling the frustrations of the plateau, here are some things to try:

Acknowledge how you feel

Been there, done that? You know you feel frustrated, but have you really accepted it?  Often we can be frustrated about feeling frustrated, compounding the feeling! It’s normal to feel this way when you make changes or feel stuck. Acknowledge how you feel, and let that be enough.  It’s okay to be not okay sometimes!

Look at where you’ve been

Have you ever been hiking a mountain, and your face is stuck at the ground beneath you? You feel like it will never end, you’re not getting anywhere, and your legs burn?  Then something makes you turn around and look at just how high you’ve climbed. You’re so far away from the start, you can’t even see it.  Suddenly you have the energy to keep going, knowing you are making progress.

Your weight loss journey is like that. You might be getting caught up in the day-to-day scale that’s not budging, knowing how hard you’re working, and still feeling at a stand-still.  Take a moment to reflect on how far you’ve come. Maybe you can see it in your weight graph, in how much you’ve changed your habits, or how your clothes fit. Get that bigger perspective to see you’re making progress, even if it seems flat.

Accept the toughness

If the weight loss journey were easy, Noom probably wouldn’t exist!  Losing weight can be tough in that it takes patience and persistence. In a world of instant gratification, it can be hard to accept that changing our bodies takes time and consistency, yet just acknowledging that can help make it easier to bear.  It takes some of the pressure off. You can also look at it as developing a useful life skill. What else could you accomplish with this kind of patience and persistence?

Acknowledge yourself

If you do nothing else from this article, make sure you acknowledge (and appreciate!) yourself.  You’re putting in the time, effort, and money to make a positive change in your life. Why? You might ask. Acknowledging myself isn’t going to get me anywhere! Isn’t it? Think about a kid learning to ride a bike. What if each time they took off, lost their balance, and fell, all they got was, Why even bother to keep trying. you’re just going to fall again!  Why are you so clumsy?!  It’s doubtful many of us would know how to ride a bike with that attitude!  Instead, a kid gets encouragement: Keep trying! It takes a lot of practice! Get up, and let’s try again!

To be successful in anything new and challenging, you must learn to be your own supportive cheerleader. That takes time so Noom coaches are in your corner as you learn to push through the slow times of weight loss, and stay positive and focused on the destination!

Meghan Helbick, MS, RDN, LDN