The scale has stopped moving down for weeks and you’re feeling frustrated. Here are 12 tips that helped my THM weightloss stall.

woman standing in open doorway of her home with large wreath on front door holding a mug

Hey friend! If you’re reading this post, I’m guessing you might be feeling frustrated. You were enjoying all the amazing meals we get to eat on Trim Healthy Mama and watching the numbers on the scale moving down. You can see the picture that changed my life and learn how I discovered THM here. I’ll wait!

Losing that weight felt so good, right?!

Then, one day, you notice the scale isn’t really moving anymore. And a week after that, it’s still not moving down. What is going on?! Does this mean THM doesn’t actually work for you?!?

Please don’t give up hope! Rest assured that what you’re experiencing is totally normal. In fact, if you’re having a stall, that means what you’re doing is actually working! When you’re losing weight, every so often your body needs to take a little time to reset.

Why Your Body Stalls During Weightloss

There’s some evidence that as you lose weight, your metabolism slows down. You see, your body doesn’t really like to change. So every so often it just stops losing weight.

Frustrating, right?!

Sometimes the pause lasts a week or two, and sometimes it lasts longer. As frustrating as the stall may be, it’s something you need to go through to start losing again. Your body needs that pause to readjust to a new normal. You can read more about the physiology behind a weightloss stall here.

That time when I Stalled for 8 months

Yup. You read that right. On the road to my goal weight, I hit a stall that lasted for 8 months. Eight. Months. I was only 3 pounds away from my goal weight.

So, let’s back up a bit. Before that epic stall, I had three shorter pauses that lasted anywhere from one to two weeks. It was during the first pause that I started to hop on the scale every morning.

I know. I know! Don’t be a slave to the scale. I absolutely agree. But. I learned something by weighing daily that caused me to make a mental shift.

It turns out that the numbers on my scale fluctuate daily. Sometimes as much as 2.5 pounds! Hormones, water retention, not pooping, and other random factors I haven’t figured out can all lead to a higher number than the day before. And then one day, generally out of the blue, the number will be at a new low.

You see, I never know when I’ll see that drop (and I loved to see that new low number!). Sadly my body doesn’t give a dang which day I step on the scale when I only do a weekly or monthly check. Which is why I still step on the scale daily. I just don’t obsess about that number.

Now that I’m in maintenance, if I notice an upward trend for 3-4 days instead of that number bouncing up and down, then I know I need to make the same kinds of adjustments I did to break a stall. I’ll share those with you in a sec!

How I Broke my 8-month Plateau

Getting back to that 8-month THM weightloss stall. I tried all the tips I recommend below that had worked for my shorter stalls, but nothing helped. Part of me wondered if maybe I had unrealistic expectations for my goal weight? Childish me was ready to throw in the towel on the lifestyle.

Fortunately, the wise voice in my head reminded me: I feel great, my clothes fit well, and even if I’m not losing weight I’m not gaining any either. Which is no small thing when you’re 48 years old and perimenopausal!

So how did I break that 8-month stall? I channeled my inner Dory and just kept swimming. Okay, I didn’t actually swim. But I did stay close to 100% on plan. I regularly switched up my fuels. Basically, I just continued living the THM lifestyle.

And then one morning when I stepped on the scale the number had actually dropped! My body just needed longer to adjust to its new normal. I ended up hitting my goal weight about two years after beginning THM.

bottom half of woman's legs and bare feet standing tip toe on a scale

Tips to Break a THM Weightloss Stall

After 4 years of living the Trim Healthy Mama way, this is what I’ve learned to look at when I’m facing a stall (or noticing a gain while I’ve been in maintenance):

  • Eat close to 100% on plan. If you choose to eat an off-plan item, don’t make the entire meal (or the entire day!) off-plan.
  • Watch your portion sizes. Start by using a smaller plate. Then take 3 times the veggies compared to the main dish. If you’re actually still hungry, don’t completely re-fill your plate, just take a little bit of everything (including more veggies!).
  • Keep a food diary and look at the pattern of foods you’re eating. If you find yourself eating the same type of meal at the same time of day, switch it up.
  • Are you including non-starchy vegetables with every meal?
  • How often are you choosing to eat cake for breakfast? Are you watching the serving size (particularly cakes made from calorie-dense almond and coconut flours)? Are you eating other, less calorie-dense foods with your cake to fill you up?
  • How many desserts are you having each day? Yes, we can have some delicious treats on THM, but if you’re having them after every meal you may be abusing calories. Try skipping them for some meals, or try having a trimmy or a small FP shake instead.
  • Are you snacking at night? If so, are you actually hungry or do you just have the munchies? Try not eating past 8 PM and just have a hot peppermint tea (throw in a scoop of unsweetened cocoa powder!).
  • Are you eating enough? If you’re consistently still hungry after a meal your body may be in starvation mode and holding on to every fat store it can!
  • Are you including FP meals throughout the week? You may not need a lot of them, but they will keep your body guessing!
  • How about crossovers? Are you having them often, or not at all? I found throwing in an occasional crossover often gave my body a little kickstart to lose!
  • Are you having enough/too many E meals? The right number is different for every person. If you’re having 5-7 per week, try increasing them, If you’re having 10+ per week, try decreasing them. Basically, switch things up!
  • Are you always going up to the 45 net carb limit for your E meals? If so, try having some lighter E meals. Those 45 net carbs are a limit, not a goal.
  • What kind of S meals are you having? I know cheese is delicious, but try going easy on those heavy S meals. Start exploring light S and deep S meals. Remember: just because we don’t count calories doesn’t mean you should abuse them by adding all the fatty things!
  • Are you drinking enough water? Sippers are great, but plain water is good for you too!
  • Are you having too much protein? Excess calories of any kind will get stored as fat, even excess protein. As you lose weight, you may not need as much protein at each meal as you did in the beginning.
  • Take a look at how much dairy you’re consuming. Try reducing your dairy or here’s a meal plan for a dairy-free week.
  • Are you active or sedentary? Maybe try adding in some walking or other activity like the THM Work-Ins.

THM Resources

Celebrate Your Non-Scale Victories!

It’s easy to get caught up in the number on the scale, but your health and your THM journey can be measured in other ways too. When the scale isn’t moving, pay attention to your non-scale victories, or NSVs. They’re pretty amazing too!

Some NSVs I’ve experienced as a Trim Healthy Mama:

  • Losing inches even when I wasn’t losing pounds
  • Dropping clothing sizes even when the scale wasn’t moving
  • No more pain in my hips and knees
  • Being able to go hiking and keep up with my kids
Mom with son and two daughters standing arm in arm
  • My skin, hair, and nails became healthier
  • Reduced crackling and popping in my joints
  • Better sleep
  • More energy
  • Lowering my blood pressure and overall cholesterol levels and optimizing my HDL:LDL ratio

And my very best NSV? The day my engagement and wedding rings fit again.

woman's left hand with wedding and engagement rings on a solid background

Hope that helps! If you have any questions or suggestions, contact me or leave a comment! Follow us over on Instagram and Facebook to see everything we’re up to.

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2 Comments on THM Weightloss Stall: What to Try When it Happens to You

    • Hey Jessica! I didn’t realize you did THM too! That’s awesome. 🙂 It’s funny how just switching things up a tiny bit can help. Happy this helped you out!

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