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Totally Together

How to Bust Through a Weight Loss Plateau

March 5, 2013 by  

Six 10-Minute-or-Less Exercise Moves/Videos for busy Moms


I have been trying to lose the same 8 to 10 pounds for 2 years. I’ve had plateaus before, but nothing like this — and I was truly getting frustrated. I tried blaming it on my thyroid (it’s fine), my potassium (it’s fine), lack of Vitamin D (it’s okay, too), and getting old (that’s true, I’m older than I used to be!).

But these last few weeks I’ve gotten through this tough spot, and actually feel better and more motivated about working out and eating properly than I have in a good 6 years.

I am certainly not an expert, and am only going to share what has begun to work (FINALLY!) for me. I got motivated after reading through Sandy’s Fitness Friday posts last month, and decided that once and for all March was going to be the month to finally lose the 8 pound blanket so I can be more comfortable and confident this summer.

There are many different reasons to lose weight, and I know that my 8 to 10 pounds is nothing for those who need to lose more. I find weight loss and working out to be somewhat personal, but really had an AHA! moment when I read what Sandy wrote about needing to be held accountable for my diet and exercise. I have pretty good habits already, but found that I was mindlessly eating throughout the day when I wasn’t even hungry. I’d finish the end of a kid sandwich, or pop a few too many tatertots in my mouth while I was preparing lunch.

Since I write cookbooks, I’d justify my large portions and crazy taste-testing — it’s for work! I’ve got to keep making sure it’s perfect! 😉

But I do believe the largest culprit these last two years has been alcohol. I began having a glass of wine or beer every night. I’d again justify that “I worked hard! I deserve this!” and mindlessly fill my glass or say yes to another drink. And that’s not good for me. It might be okay for you, but for me it means that I am no longer in total control of my snacking and am more likely to down a bag of tortilla chips or talk Adam into a late-night icecream run. And each beer is about 250 calories, each glass of wine is about 125 calories, and each shot of whatever is about 100 calories (and when it’s  mixed with margarita mix? a LOT more!)


The stuff that was okay for me at age 22 isn’t okay at 36. I remember fondly eating and eating and eating. And then washing it down. And washing it down again. But if I’m going to have MORE “good ol’ days” in the years to come, I needed to stop and take charge of my health.

And I need to be a proper role model to these three girls I’m raising.


Anyway. I’m getting sidetracked. I do that a lot.

So! My non-stop reading of personal development books has led me to read a lot of diet and fitness books. I usually take bits and pieces of what makes sense to me and leave the rest. These are the favorites that I keep returning to:

8 Minutes a Day by Jorge Cruise

Body For Life by Bill Phillips

The Dukan Diet by Pierre Dukan


I do the best when I eat whole foods that are low in sugar and high in protein. I feel the best when my carbs come from vegetables and fruit. I bet you probably do, too.


I wish there was more of a revolutionary secret. There really isn’t. I am intrigued by Dr. Dukan’s protein-only days — they seem to really do a good job of getting you back on track when you have a free-for-all day. I think the Body for Life workout is a very good one, and I feel the strongest and most healthy when I workout that way. I like the food and flax recommendation from 8 Minutes a Day and like the basic exercises and photo descriptions.

I have been tracking (loosely) my eating and working out since January– it’s taken 3 months of me writing it out to realize that if I just stopped eating crap the plateau would finally break. It’s annoying to me that even though I KNOW what to do, I just don’t sometimes.

I’ve been eating a lot of 1 minute muffins, have been drinking tons of water, choosing to fill my plate with lean protein and leafy greens, and have limited my eating between 7 am and 7 pm. That’s about it.

The difference between successful people and unsuccessful people is that the successful people do the things the unsuccessful do not. — Brian Tracy

I’ve found a few quick workout videos on You Tube. I’ve been trying to pick 2 or 3 a day to do, and really like the following:

3 Minute Mini Walk

5 Minute Ab and Obliques

10 Minute Muffin Top and Quick Cardio

10 Minute Tank Top Arms and Shoulders

10 Minute Bikini Abs (planks, no crunches)

10 Minute Tank Top Arms (different than other video; I like to switch them up)


What about you? Have you found that you have needed to increase your protein, or your workouts after a certain age, or after having children? Have you needed to change your mindset about food and exercise?

Why is it that we *know* what the answer is, but continuously talk ourselves out of it?

Post a comment · 9 Comments »


9 Responses to “How to Bust Through a Weight Loss Plateau”

  1. Sandy Cooper on March 5th, 2013 7:18 pm

    First of all, thanks for linking to me, girlfriend! What a nice surprise.

    Second of all, LOVE Body for Life. That book and those workouts pretty much shaped my thinking about eating and working out. It was the first “real” program I ever did right after I had my daughter (14 years ago!!) and it whipped me into shape. I was BUFF.

    Good for you for finding those things that are sabotaging your weight. Sometimes it takes just a few small changes to see real results.

    I’m working through “The Plan” and not really liking how I’m feeling–very tired most days. I hate that.

    Keep me posted on your progress.

    • Stephanie on March 11th, 2013 6:52 am

      I really like BFL, too.
      The constant ups and downs are really frustrating to see — how one day of eating/drinking off can actually result in 5-7 pounds of water weight for me that then takes 3-4 days to disappear again. Your writing has always been quite helpful to me, Thank You!

  2. Shirley @ gfe & All Gluten-Free Desserts on March 6th, 2013 8:00 am

    Steph, as much as I love the cocktail or glass of wine, they seem to have very negative effects on me, too. In many regards … willpower/motivation, sleeping, and more. Wine even more so than a cocktail although I know that its supposed to have more bennies. Thanks so much for sharing the videos! I’m a big fan of Leslie Sansone and when I’m getting in the right amount of movement in my life, I’m doing her videos M-F (usually the 2-Mile Walk Away the Pounds for 30 mins), but it’s been a while and I’ve not seen this mini-walk video … I LOVE it! Bookmarking and will do daily (hoepfully a few times a day) until I get back to doing her videos. Will check out the other videos, too. For feeling good and flexibility, nothing beats my daily yoga videos though. I’m getting ready to add the PM yoga to my routine. Thanks for always being so real and sharing so much with us all! You inspire us!


    • Stephanie on March 11th, 2013 6:53 am

      I like the walking videos, too! Thanks for the nudge to break out some yoga this week. :-)

  3. Ginny on March 6th, 2013 3:25 pm

    I am so happy that you posted these videos! That cardio muffin (just made myself laugh at that as a recipe title!) top workout is a good one! I’m all sweaty now.

    I have used “I’ve got no time to workout” as an excuse for about 4 years, now. But I just did that mini walk and the muffintop workout and am prety proud of myself. thank you!

    • Stephanie on March 11th, 2013 6:54 am

      HA! now that would be a funny recipe name! :-) I’m happy to help….

  4. nike free run on March 11th, 2013 12:27 am

    It’s a nice post.Thank you for sharing.

  5. tamee on March 18th, 2013 4:21 pm

    I’ll have to try your version! I make mine with 1 mashed banana, 1 egg, 1-2 Tbs of cacao powder (plain ol’ Hershey’s cocoa powder works too, a dash of vanilla, a couple drops of Stevia and a 1/2 tsp baking powder. I top it with 1Tbsp of peanut butter. So yummy!!!

  6. Amanda Austin on March 20th, 2013 7:04 am

    It’s funny that I found this post, because this is exactly what I went through about a month ago! I had been at the same weight for at least 6 weeks even though I was walking daily and counting calories and doing the high protein, low carb stuff (which, you’re right, does make me feel much better — had pizza and rolls last night and almost couldn’t leave the table.) nothing was working and I was getting frustrated, and then I read an article about how losing weight is not easy, but it’s certainly not “hard” or “Impossible”…going through chemo is hard…losing a limb is hard…etc. etc. now I know it’s all relative, but it did get me thinking and adding more cardio into my daily routine. I started running/walking/elliptical for 30 minutes with my heart rate UP and the weight started dropping again. I just lost another pound this morning! Keep up the great work and I’m so glad I found this post and some of theses suggestions :)

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