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How to Help Your Clients Deal with A Weight Loss Plateau.

Dealing with the impact of a dietary plateau on a patient/client is a dreaded but familiar event for professionals providing weight loss services.  A weight loss plateau is defined as two or more weeks with no weight loss.  A plateau can result from a period of non-compliance or when a new equilibrium or balance point has been achieved within the body.  Patients/Clients need to understand that a weight loss plateau is a natural occurrence, even if she/he is 100% compliant with the plan.

The key to helping patients/clients defeat the plateau is to first get accurate information regarding their adherence to the plan.  Review and have conversations regarding their food diary entries, behavior modification changes and their perception of how they are doing on their journey.  Using motivational interviewing techniques will allow you to gain information that can help explain if the weight loss plateau is being caused by non-adherence.   Even moderate to intermittent non-adherence to your programs’ plan can easily result in a weight loss plateau.

If you can be reasonably certain that non-adherence is not the culprit, then it is necessary to look at the next possibility.  The patient/client may simply have reached a point where the imposed energy deficit from your weight loss plan has finally diminished.   Patients/Clients who are following your plan, need to understand that the plateau is not a failure but a brief stop in their journey of weight loss.  If you patient/client has a considerable amount of weight to lose, they should understand that weight loss plateaus may occur several times during the active weight loss phase of their journey.

To get the weight loss process going again there are several options available, but the goal should always be to return the patient/client to your weight loss plan with the surety in results that it provides.  One successful option that gets the weight loss needle moving is a short-term plan that increases protein intake, reduces carbohydrate intake and still provides a range of “real foods” to satisfy.

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Lesley AsendorfHow to Help Your Clients Deal with A Weight Loss Plateau.