No need to panic, a weight gain or plateau can have many reasons. Don't focus on numbers too much. How do you feel? How do your clothes feel? Just focus on being healthy. Don't step on the scale too often. I had a scale addiction... I only use it once every 2 weeks now.
As others have said, plateaus are just a part of weight loss. You can be doing everything right, and the scale doesn't budge. But pat yourself on the back, because - YOU'RE DOING EVERYTHING RIGHT!!! Do you know how hard that is? When you make the healthy food choices, instead of giving in to urges and empty calories, you've succeeded. When you go out and exercise even if you're too tired or too busy, you've succeeded. Instead of focusing on the scale, make a list of 5-10 other ways you're succeeding. Maybe you can climb a hill without panting. Maybe you can whip up a healthy dinner without having to labor over each ingredient choice. Maybe your skin looks better, or you're sleeping better, or you're just happier. All these non-scale successes are just as important as the pounds. The scale will catch up eventually.
Spark has some really good articles about plateau busting. One that worked for me was increase the protein and cut back on carbs. Mix it up, try something new, or just relax and let the plateau run its course.
Plateaus are a grim reality of weight loss. They come and go, and they last for unpredictable times. The only way I get through them is to tell myself, even if it is not showing on the scale, I am doing something positive. I am tracking, I am exercising, I am reshaping habits, I am getting healthier.
"Start from where you are." ~ Elle, AnAuthor
"Patience and perseverance have a magical effect before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish. "~ John Quincy Adams
If you focus on results, you won't see change. If you focus on change, you will see results.
For myself, it varied. I'd say my plateaus could last 2-3 months. And that's pretty normal.
Depending on how long you've been trying to lose and how much you need to lose, hitting a plateau is a normal part of the losing process. People keep thinking that as long as they are eating right and exercising, the weight should just come off each week ? Well, it doesn't.
While a safe weekly weight loss would be 1-2 pounds per week, there will be weeks you don't lose. there will even be weeks you gain ! And that doesn't mean you're doing anything wrong. The weight doesn't magically drop off week after week. Did you gain weight week after week ? Probably not. Well, weight loss is no different.
If it took you years to pack on the weight, you can't expect it to come off in a few short weeks or months.
So, if you haven't lost any weight in say 3-4 weeks, that really is normal. If you haven't seen a loss in 3-4 months, then you will need to take a closer look at your nutrition and exercise habits. you'll also have to consider how much is left to lose. The closer a person is to a healthy weight for their height, the longer it takes to lose those last few pounds.
How long have your plateaus lasted when you were exercising regularly, and following your diet? How long do you stay at the same weight before making a change in your plan? (I'm staying within my calorie range, and just added this week)
You don't drown by falling in the water; you drown by staying there.