Dieting to lose weight is a quest for many women. It’s also a difficult one. Most women in pursuit of a goal weight find that it is not a straight-forward journey. There are many plateaus along the way as their body adjusts to its new size and gets acclimated to the new needs of its muscles and metabolism.

During those periods of no weight loss, a dearth of positive energy and hope can set in. Some dos that have worked for women in the midst of these plateaus include remembering their weight loss history. Keeping before photos remind some weight-loss seekers to take heart at seeing how much they have lost and to remind them where they wish to go. Others use the carrot of a specific thing they wish to do once the weight is off.

While these two means of moving the rut needle focus on the past and future, others stay in the now. One useful thing to do is to find the fun factor in workouts. Another useful technique is to develop self-awareness, thereby focusing on how a high-octane breakfast, for example, fuels you for your day far more effectively than a fat-fest.

Key Takeaways:

  • To keep their weight loss plan going, it’s good to reflect on how far you have come and remembered why you’re doing it.
  • Shifting your focus can also prove beneficial to your weight loss struggle.
  • Having fun and treating plateaus as an endurance test can also help with weight loss.

No one ever said losing weight was easy. (And if they did, they were lying!) But no matter how prepared you think you are for the ups and downs of weight loss, the frustration of seeing the same number on the scale—over and over again—can’t be underestimated. These eight women hit their fair share of plateaus on their way toward healthier, happier weights. Here’s how they powered through.

‘I Think About How Far I’ve Come’

Cortland West


“Whenever I feel like giving up—trust me, I still do sometimes—I just remind myself of the girl in those pictures and how unhappy she was. I just never want to look in the mirror and see her again. That keeps me motivated. I’ve come too far to let a plateau hold me back.” —Cortland West, 24, lost 80 pounds

‘I Remember Why I’m Doing This’

Vivian Wolf


“It sounds cheesy, but you really have to find your ‘why.’ Last summer I realized that this year I would turn 45, celebrate my 20th wedding anniversary, and go on a mission trip to Peru. I knew I had a year to get my act together for myself for the first time since I had kids. I didn’t want to be overweight for those milestones, and I didn’t want to struggle with dragging my overweight body around the mountains of Peru when I wanted to be there to make a difference in the lives of others. So, along the way, when my weight loss stalled, I’ve focused on that ‘why’ and it has helped me push through.” —Vivian Wolf, 44, lost 40 pounds

‘I Shift My Focus to Getting Stronger in the Gym’

Jessica Hudson


“The process of weight loss takes time, and to pass the time waiting for a break in a plateau, I shift my focus to getting stronger. For example, a better, stronger squat means healthier glutes. I believe it’s much more difficult to care about a plateau when you understand that mentality prioritizing performance is still contributing to your health.” —Jessica Hudson, 29, lost 38 pounds

‘I Remind Myself How Much Better I Feel When I’m Making Healthy Choices’

Kenzie Pittman


“I reignite the flame by repeatedly telling myself how amazing I feel when I do work out, or how much healthier I feel when I eat things that bring me fuel and energy. Positive self-talk is something that has helped me through this whole journey, and sometimes you just have to say these things out loud to yourself in the mirror.” —Kenzie Pittman, 26, lost 45 pounds

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