While it may be frustrating, it is not uncommon to reach a weight-loss plateau in Phase 2 of the South Beach Diet, especially as you get closer to your target weight. While slow and steady weight loss is best for long-term success, there’s nothing more discouraging than not seeing any change on the scale. So if you feel you’re in a weight loss slump, try these strategies to get back on track.
- Try eating different foods. Sometimes people get into a food rut, eating the same things day in and day out, which may lead to overeating as a result of feeling bored. An easy fix? Add more variety by including different veggies and seasonings in your meals. And experiment with new recipes. This may be just what you need to start losing again.
- Get adequate exercise. Enjoy a fitness program based on interval training, during which you alternate bursts of intensive activity with periods of slower and less intensive activity that allows your body to recover. When you work at a higher intensity for part of the time, you end up burning more calories and fat in less time than you would if you were working out at a steady pace. You’ll develop more lean muscle mass too, which helps to further boost metabolism and that in turn allows you to get off that weight loss plateau.
- Write what you bite. In general, the South Beach Diet does not require you to count calories, carbs, fat grams, or anything else. But you may inadvertently be eating too much of certain foods that are known to stall weight loss. A good rule of thumb: Keep tabs on everything you eat in a journal, so you are aware of what you’re consuming each day. SouthBeachDiet.com's nutritionists recommend taking a close look at the amount of nuts and reduced-fat cheese you're munching on and cutting back on these items if you see you’re eating too much.
- Return to Phase 1. If you have plateaued for several weeks and still have a fair amount of weight to lose, it's fine to return to Phase 1 for a kick start.
Finally, it's possible that your weight loss has stalled because you've already reached your healthiest weight — even if it's not your desired weight. If your cholesterol and blood-sugar levels have normalized, your desire to lose weight may be a matter of cosmetics. In this case, rather than focusing on the number on your scale, focus on how much better you feel and how much healthier you are.