You'vecut back on calories,torched them off at the gym,and until now, been handily rewarded with an ever-increasing slide down the scale. Then, bam! You hit a weight-loss wall,and those last few pounds won't budge. It's tempting to change tactics completely. But busting through a weight-loss plateau is all about tweaking the diet you're on, not launching a whole new one. When Tufts University researchers recently tested the effectiveness of four different weight-loss plans on 160 people, they found that the diet didn't matter so much as your ability to stick with it. Of the 25 percent who lasted a year, all lost at least 5 percent of their total body weight, regardless of whether they were using Atkins or The Zone to do it. Of course, all the scientific studies in the world won't make you feel better when you're staring down at a scale that's stuck just a few pounds shy of your goal weight. To get you through that sticky wicket, we found six different women on six different diets with just one thing in common: They're stuck too. But with the expert strategies we've lined up, they won't be for long. And neither will you. Also check out WH's "My Big Fat Diet-Busting Day" for more dieting experiences from real women. Erica Rosenthal, 25, 5'9'' Current Weight: 170 Ideal Weight: 155 The Diet: Weight Watchers The Plateau: Off and on Weight Watchers for nearly 4 years, Erica, a marketing coordinator, came within 3 pounds of her goal weight last summer, then grew complacent and lost much of her progress. Factor in a slew of Christmas cookies, a boyfriend who fell off the weight-loss wagon with her, and lots of dinners out — and by New Year's, she was re-upping last year's weight-loss resolution and redoubling her efforts. She'll down a bowl of cereal with skim milk for breakfast, grab a salad with grilled chicken for lunch, snack on Gummi bears, and, at night, heat up a frozen meal if she's not out on the town. Erica also rejoined her gym on January 1, and power walks for 30 minutes three times a week in the hopes of burning off extra calories. She's trimmed off much of what she regained, but still has 15 stubborn pounds left to lose. "Basically, I've been on a diet on and off since I was 11 years old," she says, "and I'm a little tired. Weight Watchers is the first program that didn't feel like a diet to me. I just hit some roadblocks with it and I'm feeling discouraged." Diet Diagnosis Learn New Math: "Find satisfaction in the right places," says Carolyn O'Neil, R.D., author of The Dish on Eating Healthy and Being Fabulous! For example, instead of eating a whole bagel with the allotted 2 tablespoons of tasteless fat-free cream cheese (230 calories) for breakfast, have a half bagel with just a bit of the real stuff (130 calories). "You'll cut 100 total calories, and the fat in the regular cream cheese will help keep your hunger at bay," O'Neil says. You'll also accrue fewer points, which means more for later. Form a Tag Team: Your significant other may be the best thing that ever happened to your life, but he can be the worst thing in the world for your diet. "Never compare weight loss with your boyfriend or husband," says Cynthia Sass, R.D., and author of Your Diet Is Driving Me Crazy. One of nature's dirty little jokes is that men are more likely to lose more weight in the same period of time than women. Find other ways to encourage mutual weight loss, Sass says. Treat each other with impromptu foot rubs instead of brownies, or trade your weekend restaurant routine for a movie or card game. Fitness Fix Gab and Go: Add 15 minutes to your three power walks to burn about 100 extra calories. "Once you're dressed and ready to go, why not go the extra distance," O'Neil says. "If you're bored, grab your cell and phone a friend." You won't even notice 15 minutes has elapsed. In fact, you could probably go even longer.
......5 more pages on their website! Read more at Women's Health:http://www.womenshealthmag.com/weight-loss/lose-weight-faster?page=1#ixzz1x6IgDybL