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You’re losing weight at a nice, steady pace, and things are going well...then all of a sudden, the scale doesn’t budge. For a week, maybe two or longer, you don’t see your weight change, even though you know you’re following your eating and exercise program. Are you stuck at that weight forever? Time to panic? Not at all. You’ve probably just reached a plateau, part of nearly everyone’s weight-loss odyssey.

Generally, in the first few weeks of any reduced-calorie eating plan, you’re able to shed pounds more easily because you’re getting rid of excess water as your body breaks down fat. But once that extra water is gone, the weight loss can slow down, because you don’t have as much fat to lose. Consider it a sign of success: you’ve completed Phase I of your weight loss. Hold steady for a week or two, and you’ll probably be right back in the losing corner.

But if you haven’t lost more than a half pound in two weeks or so, it’s time to reevaluate your plan. First, make an honest assessment of whether you truly are following your plan. Are you continuing to:

* Write down everything you eat in your food diary?
* Add up the calories daily?
* Get some sort of programmed exercise most days of the week?
* Write down your exercise in your activity log?
* Check your portion sizes, using measuring tools if necessary?

If you answered “no” or just “sometimes” to any of these questions, your plan might need a tune-up. Try these strategies for recharging yourself:



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