4. Up your protein quotient.
There is some evidence that shifting fat and carbohydrate calories to protein calories may help preserve BMR during weight loss. But don't overdo it—20 percent of daily calories from protein is as high as you should go.

5. Shake it up.
Many fitness gurus claim that surprising your body with a change in diet, workout, or both can jostle you out of a weight loss rut. The science is pretty thin here, but the advice is reasonable because variety can keep you interested. Instead of constant dieting, you might try alternating calorie-cutting days, for example, with less-restrictive maintenance days. Switch to a new type of exercise. Alternate aerobic workouts with light weight training. A change may be just what you need to get the progress rolling again.

6. Recharge your drive:
If your motivation is flagging, write down all the reasons you originally wanted, and still want, to lose weight. Look at the list every day. Also let friends and family know what you're up to, and ask for their support.

7. Reconsider the skin you're in:
A plateau is an opportunity to reassess whether further weight loss is worth all the work it will take—and to reconsider whether you may, in truth, now be at a perfectly healthy weight and don't need to go any lower. If you do choose to stop where you are, turn your focus toward maintaining what you've achieved and keeping your body in good shape. Remember, eating well and being physically active are good for you. Do a little of both every day, and you will be a total success.

More Ways to Stay Healthy: David L. Katz, MD, is a professor at Yale University School of Medicine and the author of The Way to Eat (Sourcebooks).


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