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Getting Off the Weight-Loss Plateau

What to do when your dieting plan hits a wall

Dieters who finally muster the determination to start exercising to lose weight frequently find themselves facing a seemingly insurmountable obstacle. After steadily shedding pounds on a diet-and-exercise plan, their weight suddenly refuses to drop further.

Weight-loss plateaus occur commonly, says Karen Collins, a registered dietitian with the American Institute for Cancer Research in Washington, D.C. In the first of four health briefs from the Detroit Free Press, Collins says that the first step to breaking through the plateau is to readjust the balance between calories consumed and exercise spent burning them. This might be done by increasing the time or intensity of a workout or revising the diet.

Weight-loss plateaus can also be a sign that your body is getting into shape and becoming more efficient during exercise. This means that the same workout burns less energy than it did when you started weeks or months earlier. A feature from the San Antonio Express-News explains how to estimate levels of exertion during exercise to determine if it's time to ratchet your workout up a notch.

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