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Having a Plateau in Your Weight Loss?

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Having a Plateau in Your Weight Loss?

Have a plateau in your weight loss? Plateaus are more common than you think. Throughout your weight-loss journey or muscle-gaining journey, you can hit a plateau and it’s basically where your body is getting comfortable with what you’ve been doing: How you’re eating, how you’re working out, and using that energy. I wanted to go over some reasons why people experience plateaus, because once you know the reason, you can overcome it!

Amount + Quality of Food

When I start working with clients, I don’t dial in on calories or portions. *GASP!* A nutritionist that doesn’t focus on macros and portion control? I’ve never had to focus on that with any of my clients! Sometimes, I’ll take a little peek and see the balance of macros, but that’s it!

With plateaus, that little peek inside your balance of macros can be helpful. If you aren’t eating enough, your body will want to hold onto any weight. Our bodies are smart, and if it feels a “famine” is coming, it won’t want to lose any weight. Make sure you aren’t undereating!

Many people are used to “dieting,” so they may start to go back to their old ways after a couple of months of “being good.” This is something you have to ask yourself and be honest. Make sure you aren’t going back to those bags of Doritos. Honestly, I haven’t seen an issue with that in my clients. Most people LOVE the way they feel and their “new normal” so much that they don’t ever want to go back feeling like crap.

If you feel you aren’t creating a healthy LIFESTYLE {aka you’re just dieting}, you most likely aren’t on the right track. We shouldn’t want to “escape” from living healthy. If you want to escape, you’ll easily go back to old unhealthy habits.

Eat more carbs. *Another GASP!* Aren’t carbs bad for your health? Carbohydrates that come from real food, like sweet potatoes, butternut squash, broccoli, etc. are SO beneficial to our health. People are so addicted to a low-carb diet right now, which makes me laugh because it’s just the current cool trending diet, and it can be beneficial for some people! BUT, don’t think that all carbohydrates are evil.

Eating a low-carb diet can actually inhibit and slow down your thyroid function. Thyroid function is a MAJOR part of our metabolism. Slow metabolism = bigger chance of plateau. Chris Kresser says it best,

The main reason why carbs affect thyroid function so directly is because insulin is needed for the conversion of the inactive T4 hormone into the active T3 hormone, and insulin is generally quite low on very low carbohydrate diets.

Not only is thyroid a big part our metabolism, but our HPA axis (hypothalamus, pituitary, and adrenal) plays a role too! Cortisol is made from our adrenals and if our adrenal health isn’t working efficiently, a low-carb diet can aggravate elevated cortisol. Chronic elevated cortisol = More stress (and inflammation!) = Plateau. Stress (external or internal) can cause a plateau!

P.S. it also could be your eating too many carbs, this is where a sneak peek into your macros can be helpful. But from what I see, a lot of people are carb-phobic right now + they aren’t getting enough.


One of the biggest things that I see in clients or just at the gym is that women LOVE the cardio section. Remember that little hormone I mentioned… cortisol? Chronic cardio workouts can easily trigger that chronic elevated cortisol. When you hit a plateau, you need to continue working out, but you need to switch it up!

I’m a heavy weights girl! Doing more strength training will help build stronger muscles, which boosts your metabolism and you’ll use more caloric energy throughout the day.

You also need to make sure that you are not overtraining. “You mean you don’t have to exercise every single day”? RIGHT! Always schedule in a couple days during the week for rest days because this is where the re-building process occurs in your muscles! These rest days can include some gentle moving and stretching, like yoga, which is also restorative to release stress.


If you’re running low on sleep and you hit a plateau, this may be the reason why. Ghrelin, our hunger hormone, is increased when we’re sleep deprived. We tend to eat more when we don’t get proper sleep. You are more likely to cave in to junk food as well.

Not only does it impact hunger hormones, but remember that stress hormone cortisol we were talking about earlier? Skipping on sleep will create an elevation in cortisol, which can impact your ability to lose weight. Cortisol makes your release insulin, and chronic high insulin will make you store fat/keep the fat there (hence, your plateau!).

If you’re struggling with a plateau in your weight loss, make sure you’re working with a clinical nutritionist like myself, so we can pinpoint what’s going on and tweak things for you to continue on your weight loss journey! Stubborn weight loss can be so frustrating, but it helps us get in tune with what our body is trying to tell us!

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Lahana Vigliano

Lahana Vigliano is a Certified Clinical Nutritionist and CEO of Nuvitru Wellness. She has her Bachelor's Degree in Nutrition Science and Masters Degree in Nutrition Science and Functional Medicine. She is currently pursuing her doctorate degree in Clinical Nutrition. Lahana and her team help support women who struggle with weight loss, hormonal imbalances, digestive issues, chronic fatigue, and many other lingering issues that leaves women not feeling their best. She uses food as medicine, as well as herbs and supplements when needed, to support her clients. She looks at the whole body holistically making sure women are understanding how nutrition, sleep, stress, and their environment impact their health. Connect with her on Facebook + Instagram (@nuvitruwellness).