As March rolls around, your New Year’s weight loss resolutions may be in the rearview mirror. If so, you’ll have plenty of company: According to a study conducted by the Statistic Brain Research Institute earlier this year, only 9.2 percent of people surveyed felt they were successful in achieving their 2016 resolution.
But what if you’ve stuck to your diet and exercise program, and still aren’t seeing results? Fox News spoke to Los Angeles-based personal trainer Astrid Swan and dietician Ashlea Braun to get their thoughts on the most common reasons for weight loss plateaus, and how to push past them.
1. Your body has adjusted to the amount of exercise you’re doing
Over time, your body adapts to the exercise you’re doing, Swan told Fox News. “Once you get to that point of being comfortable, that’s when you need to push it and start taking it up a level,” Swan said.
Swan recommended challenging yourself with new elements to your workout, such as taking a new class or going to a fitness bootcamp.
2. You’re not eating a balanced diet
While calories are an important part of weight loss, so is paying attention to an overall balanced diet, Braun told Fox News. At The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, where she works, dietitians typically recommend a primarily plant-based diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables — which also tend to be lower in calories, Braun said.
3. You’re eating more than you think you are
Most people tend to underestimate the amount of food they consume, Braun said. To stay vigilant, you can track your food intake on an app or just via pencil and paper, Braun said.
4. You’re not eating ENOUGH calories
Oddly enough, sometimes eating too few calories can be the problem. If you’re eating too little after upping your number of workouts, you may affect your metabolism, Swan said. The solution? “Make sure that you’re not skipping meals, that you’re eating a proper amount of lean protein and fat, and really dissect what’s going on with your diet,” Swan recommended.
5. You’re not actually in a plateau
When you first start an exercise or diet program, you may lose a large number of pounds right away, Braun said. You’ll then slow down to a healthy 1 to 2 pounds a week. This doesn’t mean you’re in a plateau, though it may feel like it if you’re weighing yourself often, Braun noted. Make sure you set realistic expectations and have a sustainable plan in mind.