How To Get Past a Weight Loss Plateau

Pink scale with a tape measure.

You know what it’s like. You work out hard, watch what you eat, and do all the things.

But at some point… you hit the dreaded plateau.  

There is no worse feeling than when you’re putting in the time and doing everything “right” only to hit a wall with your results.

If you want to push past that plateau and shake up your system, the Protein Cleanse is the perfect way to do it.

Push Through The Plateau With The Protein Cleanse

What Is a Weight Loss Plateau?

A weight loss plateau is the moment on your weight loss journey where, despite your best efforts of healthy eating and your regimented exercise routine, the scale refuses to budge.

Don’t give up just yet—many things can influence a plateau. Metabolism, hormones, sleep patterns, and mental health are factors that can impact your weight loss efforts.

Addressing the body as a whole can help break through this challenging weight loss stall.

What Causes a Weight Loss Plateau?

Weight loss plateaus are often misunderstood, and the root cause may not be solely related to diet and exercise.

When you consider this idea from a purely holistic perspective, your body does so much more than just eat and exercise. Think about it— What kind of calories are you taking in? Are your hormones balanced? What are your stress levels or sleeping patterns?

These are questions you need to be asking yourself if you want to achieve healthy weight loss, especially if you’re at a standstill. So, what really causes weight loss plateaus? Let’s dive into it:

  1. Slow Metabolism - Metabolism is the body’s ability to convert food into energy. Some people have a fast metabolism, while others do not. A slow metabolic rate is often associated with difficulty losing body weight.

    Many in the diet world believe a calorie deficit is the answer. However, this could not be farther from the truth. Low-calorie diets can actually hinder weight loss efforts and contribute to plateaus. How?

    Your body needs calories for energy and nutrients. Without these, your body goes into survival mode, storing the few calories that you do have and metabolizing them much slower. This is why I never suggest counting the number of calories you eat [1].

    Plus, 80 calories from a banana and 80 calories from a bag of chips are two very different things. One provides nutrients... the other doesn’t.

  2. Unbalanced Hormones - Plateaus can also be influenced by hormone health. How? Because hormones, like leptin and thyroid hormones, control both appetite and metabolic health (think from a whole-body perspective here).

    Imbalanced hormones like insulin and leptin may disrupt appetite control resulting in intense cravings, often leading to weight gain.

    Thyroid hormones are like the engine of your metabolism. They determine how fast your body burns calories. When thyroid hormone levels are low, metabolism slows down. This means your body doesn't burn calories as quickly, leading to symptoms like fatigue, weight gain, and difficulty losing body fat.

  3. High Stress - Stress can hinder your weight loss goals. This may sound like a stretch, but where do you think the term “comfort foods” came from?

    Historically speaking, during times of stress, humans have resorted to sweet, high-carb foods, like bread and cookies, to stay full during times of famine or war. So it’s only natural that in times of despair, you reach for some cookies or ice cream. This hinders your weight loss plans for obvious reasons.

    However, another key element of chronic stress is that it triggers the release of cortisol, a hormone directly linked to fat retention. And do you know what puts our body in a high-stress state? Constant strength training, High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), feeding your body fewer calories than it needs, and poor quality sleep. This high-stress state often leads to weak immunity, low performance, and, you guessed it... inability to lose weight. [2]

  4. Not Getting Enough Sleep - Sleep is vital for overall health, but the average American gets less than the suggested 7 hours of sleep each night [3]. A recent study showed that adults who received less than 7 hours of sleep had significantly higher rates of obesity and a higher body mass index (BMI) [4].

When navigating weight loss plateaus, it's important to consider other factors aside from diet and exercise. While these healthy habits do play a vital role when following a weight loss program, being too extreme can cause more harm than good. When assessing plateaus, it’s crucial to address the WHOLE body, and that includes metabolism, quality foods, hormones, stress, and sleep.

How Do You Break A Weight Loss Plateau?

As a holistic nutritionist for nearly 20 years, I would be doing you a disservice if I told you to limit your calorie intake and engage in strenuous amounts of physical activity.

Diet culture has pushed this for years and we have evidence that this only works in the short-term when it comes to weight management.

So, how to get past a weight loss plateau? It’s the opposite of what you’ve been told for years.

If you want to achieve long-term weight loss results then you need to:

  • Stop Counting Calories - Stop with the food journals and insanely small portion sizes. Your body deserves more than this.

    Eat as many calories as you want from fruits, vegetables, and healthy whole grains. And no, you don’t have to limit your caloric intake from any of these foods. Your body needs these calories and carbohydrates for energy.

  • Stop Eating Processed Junk - Processed foods made with refined sugars, artificial sweeteners, food dyes, inflammatory oils, gums, enriched flour, and processed grains will make you gain weight and live an overall unhealthy lifestyle.

  • Balance Your Hormones - Exposure to environmental chemicals, poor dietary choices, and chemicals found in our beauty products can destroy your endocrine system, the system responsible for balanced hormones.

    If you want to balance your hormones naturally, you need to prioritize sleep, a proper diet, manage your stress levels, and exercise in a way that is not strenuous The exercise part applies more to women than men here. Because of our cyclical nature, our bodies don’t do as well under constant stress the way men do.

    For more on balancing your hormones naturally here is a great blog post.

  • Manage Your Stress Levels - When you are in a constant state of stress, your body is in a state of “fight or flight.” In this state, cortisol is spiked to help you survive. The body perceives danger and your energy resources are purely used to stay alive.

    Your heart rate increases, your muscle strength increases, and your focus Is sharpened to protect you from threats. Now this response is great in a life-or-death situation. However, when this state is prolonged, cortisol is at a high activity level.

    When cortisol is persistent, our energy is drained and it prevents the body from functioning optimally in various bodily functions, like digestion, skin repair, and immune function.

    Finding modalities to help manage stress levels through journaling, being mindful, breath work, and self-care practices helps lower the body’s stress levels and keep you in a calm state.

An Effective Strategy To Combat Your Weight Loss Plateau

If you want to push through the plateau, try the Protein Cleanse, a cleanse with enough protein to sustain you during your workouts.

This cleanse is nutritionist-formulated to have 38g of plant-based protein and 24g of fiber per day from real ingredients found in nature. You’ll drink cold-pressed juices and smoothies made from fruits, vegetables and healthy, raw fats.

Every flavor in the Protein Cleanse is delicious. They are our top-selling flavors! Each day you'll drink 3 refreshing cold-pressed juices and 3 creamy smoothies to keep you fully nourished and energized so that you can maintain a consistent fitness level.

Try the Protein Cleanse and see real results like:

  1. A more toned body composition

  2. Having better stamina for cardio

  3. Eliminating that stubborn stomach bloat and belly fat

  4. Increasing your daily energy levels

Keep Losing Weight



  1. 6 Mistakes That Slow Metabolism

  2. What is Cortisol Creep? Can HIIT Stress You Out?

  3. Sleep Statistics 2024

  4. Sleep Deprivation: Effects on Weight Loss and Weight Loss Management

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Bio image of article author Lisa Testa, M.S.

With over two decades of expertise in the field of Health & Wellness, Lisa Testa, M.S. is an experienced nutritionist who has dedicated her career to empowering hundreds of clients on their journeys to weight loss and natural healing through the transformative power of raw food nutrition.

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