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Mistake #2: Not Anticipating This Plateau

Why it's wrong: You can hit a roadblock after dropping just 5 percent of your body weight, says Bartolome Burguera, MD, the director of obesity programs at Cleveland Clinic. At that point, your body starts secreting hormones, like those that increase appetite, in an attempt to get you back to the weight you started at. "Your body also becomes more efficient, doing the same daily functions with less energy, so you burn fewer calories at rest."

What to do instead: Have a plan in place for what to do when you hit 5 percent weight loss. It could involve increasing your exercise time, adding resistance work if you're not already doing it, or cutting 100 to 200 calories per day until you get over the hump.