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We asked a nutritionist for tips on how to overcome the weight-loss plateau

2020-01-07

Losing weight is hard work.

You have to make changes to your diet and find time for regular workouts -- but there's nothing more satisfying than watching the number keep going down each time you step on the scale -- until you hit the dreaded weight loss plateau. When you've experienced some success, seeing your progress slow or stall completely can be even more frustrating.

The only real way to bust through that stubborn plateau is to amp up the intensity of your exercise routine to burn more calories or cut your daily calorie intake even further.

Not sure how to pull that off? We spoke to our nutrition expert to learn about the best tools and products to rev up your workouts or help you eat less so you can push past that frustrating plateau for good.

Why does it happen?

The weight loss plateau happens to everyone who's trying to shed extra pounds because you lose muscle along with the fat, which, in turn, slows down your metabolism and leaves you burning fewer calories. So the same diet and fitness plan that saw you losing weight steadily at the beginning is no longer enough to trim the rest of your unwanted pounds.

Equipment to shake up your fitness routine

Burning more calories is one of the most effective ways to get your weight loss journey on track again. If you're working out for 30 minutes each session, bump it up to 45 minutes. If you work out three to four days a week, you can increase it to five or six days to boost the number of calories you're burning.

Or, you can choose smarter workout equipment for your training sessions. Because, basically, you just need to switch it up to overcome the plateau.

Yes4All Vinyl Coated Kettlebell Weight Set: $63.99 at Amazon

Introducing kettlebells to your training routine can take your conditioning to the next level because they offer a full-body workout that uses up to 600 muscles and has both cardio and strength training benefits. A 20-minute kettlebell workout can burn more than 400 calories and build muscle to jumpstart your metabolism and really maximize your exercise time.

LOMA Premium Balanced Weighted Jump Rope: $19.80 at Amazon

Jumping rope is a classic full-body cardio workout, so it burns a serious amount of calories in a short amount of time -- the average person can actually burn more than 200 calories per 20-minute workout. If you really want to train hard, a weighted jump rope is your best bet because it can increase your calorie burn even further and work the muscles in your upper body, too.

Tonal: $2,995 at Tonal

You can jumpstart your fitness routine in a big way by adding weight training. That's because it builds muscle, which helps speed up your metabolism, so you burn fat and calories more efficiently. Not sure how to get started with weight training? This home gym system uses digital weights and smart technology for super-charged upper and lower body workouts with up to 200 pounds of resistance. It has a virtual personal trainer feature to take all the guesswork out of planning a workout and help you get stronger and leaner in a hurry.

Prosource Fit Multi-Grip Heavy Duty Doorway Trainer: $32.58 at Amazon

High-intensity interval training can rev up your metabolism because it calls for alternating high-intensity cardio sets with strength training exercises at a 2:1 ratio. You can run in place, sprint on a treadmill, or do jumping jacks for the cardio sets, then use a doorway trainer for strength training sets that include pullups, chin-ups, and tricep dips.

Curbing your appetite

Increasing your workout intensity isn't always enough to get you past that weight loss plateau, so you may have to adjust your diet, too. Cutting your number of daily calories can be a good start -- but you shouldn't go below 1200 calories per day, or you can put yourself at risk for overeating.

Fortunately, these products can help you keep the hunger in check.

NOW Supplements Psyllium Husk Capsules: $15.42 at Amazon

Increasing the amount of soluble fiber in your diet can help you feel full longer. That's because it plays a role in the regulation of the hormones that affect appetite control, which means you won't consume as many calories each day. Whole grains, seeds, cereals, and fruit skins have plenty of soluble fiber, but you can also take a supplement like this one that contains natural soluble fiber to help you eat a little less.

Orgain Organic Plant Based Protein Powder: $26.49 at Amazon

Getting more protein into your diet is another way to cut the number of calories you eat each day. Protein can stimulate the hormones that curb your appetite while also lowering levels of the hormone responsible for hunger. Getting 15 to 30% of your daily calories from protein can help you eat fewer calories, and protein powder is an easy source because you can mix it up in a delicious shake with water or milk for breakfast or a post-workout snack.

Brita 20 Ounce Premium Filtering Water Bottle: $34.99 at Amazon

You'll feel fuller if you drink water before a meal, which reduces the risk of overeating. Drinking water before a meal can help you feel full, so you're not tempted to overeat. In fact, having a couple of glasses of water before lunch or dinner can actually help you eat 22% less than you would normally. Having an easy-to-carry water bottle to take with you on the go helps you make sure you drink enough water every day.

Jennifer Blair is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.

BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. BestReviews and its newspaper partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links.

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