10 Ways to Break Through Weight-Loss Plateau
1. Don’t Let the Scale Be Your Guide
The number on the scale is just a number, that does’t tell us anything else about our body. It gives no feedback in terms of body fat, glycogen storage, lean body mass or hormone levels.
Our body weight constantly fluctuates throughout the day, due to ongoing biochemical processes and the fact that we’re made-up of roughly 60% water by mass. 
Consider the following examples:
- Low glycogen during a fast causes the body to remove excess water (as glycogen needs water for storage).  The scale reflects this change with a lower number, but nothing really happened. The body used up glycogen and therefore needs to retain less water so, it is excreted (water loss = lower weight on the scale). Side note: athletes use this trick regularly to make weight for completions and gain it all back with hours after the weigh-in.
- On other hand, consistent IF schedule combined with regular resistance training improves muscle mass, insulin sensitivity while burning more body fat. Muscle is denser than fat and holds more water (due to glycogen) which can show no change or even higher poundage (kilo) on the weight scale. The scale shows improvement in the first part due to water loss, and plateau or reversal in the second example. But this is inaccurate, as the real benefits of IF are actually gained in the second part. More muscle needs more calories for upkeep, improves body mass index (BMI) and enhances cellular efficiency, metabolic flexibility and energy production (mitochondrial). [5-6]
We’re not saying to avoid the weight scale, but simply use it as an indicator for your progress. In addition, focus on how your body feels, if it feels more toned, tighter and stronger then you are on the right track and give yourself some time to see the weight goal you are after.
2. Review Caloric Intake During Fasting
Checking what we consume during the fasting window is always a good place to start. A small lemon slice in water will likely be okay, as there are not enough carbs to break the fast. But, adding some cream to coffee or taking branch chain amino acids (BCAAs) will trigger insulin response stopping the fast. [7-9]
Some zero-calorie sweeteners can maintain the fasting state, but always check product ingredients, as some may do the exact opposite. 
If you are not already practicing clean IF (zero-calories during fasting window) perhaps its time to re-visit this strategy.
Related Post: Can Stevia Break Your Fast and Stop Weight-Loss?
3. Track What You Eat
It is always a good idea to be mindful of what we eat. Record all the food choices and amounts throughout the eating window. This generates an estimate of overall caloric intake, and whether we’re over-eating.
IF changes our eating habits, but the body will try to get its fixes elsewhere. Carvings of sweet and salty constantly come up during the eating window by making us think that we need more calories than we really do. Hence, we indulge more in our favourite foods and treats than we should. It happens to almost everyone, and reviewing what goes into our stomach is great way to identify such slip-ups.
4. Clean-Up Your Carbs
If you haven’t done this already, then plateau is a good time to start. Simple carbohydrates found in many processed foods like pastries, breads, and pastas provide plenty of sugar energy along with a high insulin response, but offer little else. The goal is to gradually substitute these simple carb options with nutrient-dense foods.
If you’re going to eat carbs, let’s ensure they have other nutrients. Nutrient-dense options are just as the name implies—wide range of different nutrients. We’re talking about Macros (protein, carbs, fats) in various chemical shapes (configurations), Micros (vitamins, minerals and various elements like electrolytes) as well as indigestible carbs like fiber (both soluble and insoluble variety).
Foods packed with many different nutrients (fruits, vegetables, legumes, pseudocereals, oats, nuts and seeds) take longer to process, create digestive benefits  in the colon and gut bacteria , and keep us satiated longer. 
A common breakfast options are cereal, toasted bagel with cream-cheese, or drive through breakfast sandwich plus hash browns.
Substitute them with oatmeal prepped on a stove (not from packets), microwave or soaked in milk or milk substitute, along with chia seeds, almonds and chopped apple. For a sweeter add spoon full of 100% real peanut butter with chopped banana—that will sure to satisfy the sugar craving.
5. Reduce Alcohol
Alcohol is a factor that can hurt our weight loss efforts, regardless of eating plan or diet. Even though alcoholic drinks don’t brake the caloric bank, they are empty calories without nutrients.
Drinking alcohol and over-eating often go hand in hand, as we gravitate towards food choices containing empty calories. Reducing alcohol triggers less overeating and weight loss.  Also, alcohol can affect fat burning process and may lead to higher body fat stores and weight gain. 
6. Manage Stress
Stress is an umbrella term for anything that the body engages in. Some temporary (acute) stress like exercise can be beneficial, but constant (chronic) stress can affect internal systems, misbalance hormones and lock up fat storage. 
Control stress by creating a management routine, or have a plan of what to do when feeling stressed. Things like: meditation, taking time to yourself, reflecting, mindfulness, exercise and breathing techniques, all show beneficial track records. Practicing these stress managing examples leads to weight loss. 
7. Improve Sleep Quality
Sleep is a major factor to our overall health, and lack of it can cause various issues and disease.  Our rest is interlinked with our internal schedule called circadian clock.  It controls our genes, hormones, body systems and other things, identifying ideal times for us to eat, sleep and be active. [18,19]
Sleep is essential to our ability to handle stress, recover from infections/injuries, digest foods and remove toxins. Unrestful sleep can trigger misalignments in circadian clock leading to less energy, less productivity, poor memory and learning, weight gain and metabolic disruptions. [18-20]
The break-through advise is to develop a consistent sleep schedule, including weekends. Design a good sleeping environment including cooler room temperature and blackout curtains. Avoid exciting the body with blue light by watching TV or other screen time prior to bed time.  These tips will improve sleep quality, realign our circadian clock and enhance metabolic activity including weight loss. [18-20]
8. Drink Water, Coffee and Tea
As water takes part in almost every reaction within our body, drinking more of it improves metabolism.  Higher metabolic rate equals greater fat burn. Drinking a glass of water before meals also reduces food intake and increases weight loss, even with low calorie diets. 
Coffee and tea are options that contain caffeine and polyphenols which increase energy and produce wide range of benefits including smoother fasting experience and greater fat burn.  This is especially true with green tea which contain catechin polyphenols that drive metabolic and fat burning pathways even further. 
Like coffee and tea, spices are loaded with potent polyphenols but don’t break your fast. Spices reduce hunger cravings and boost metabolism while burning body fat.  Spice-forward teas like Dupi’s Chai hold polyphenol rich spices that enhance fasting experience and weight loss.  We even have a green-chai blend for better stress management and sleep quality.