Khloé Kardashian gave birth to her daughter True in April, and she’s been pretty open with her fans about how hard she’s working to get back to her pre-baby shape. Now, Kardashian has a new update: She’s hit a weight loss plateau.
Kardashian, 34, shared on her app Monday that while she’s already lost 33 pounds, she wants to lose 17 more. “I get really discouraged,” she wrote, adding that she then tries to think about how she was able to lose a significant amount of weight in 2013. “I try to remind myself how long it took the first time to lose all my weight,” she said. “I have about 17 pounds left to lose, and then I want to tighten my muscles back up.”
Kardashian says she’s “still eating healthy (when I can) and working out, but some days are harder than others. But, for now, I’m just not putting pressure on myself and enjoying being a mommy. I know I’ll hit my fitness goal — and it will feel soooo good.”
Weight loss plateaus, when a person stops losing weight despite eating well and exercising, are actually really common, says Fatima Cody Stanford, MD, instructor of medicine and pediatrics at Harvard Medical School and an obesity medicine physician at Massachusetts General Hospital. “Everyone’s body after whatever intervention, whether it be behavioral change, medication, or surgery, will have this point where weight loss plateaus,” Stanford tells Yahoo Lifestyle. “It’s very standard.”
Unfortunately at this point, “many people get frustrated,” says registered dietitian Albert Matheny of SoHo Strength Lab and Promix Nutrition. “It’s one of the big reasons why people give up on their goals — they’re not seeing the results due to the changes they’re making,” he says.
There are a few reasons why this can happen. One is that “your body gets to the point where it recognizes that this is where it wants to be,” Stanford says. “It’s based on signaling in the gut and brain that says, ‘This is where I’m happy.’”
Another is that people may not be as aware of the changes they’ve made and their potential impact. “A lot of times, when you step back and look at the changes you’ve made, maybe you’re not making as big of a change or enough of a change as you think,” Matheny tells Yahoo Lifestyle. “You need to make sure that what you’re doing really does add up and puts you on track for what you want to do.”
Hormones also change over time (including after pregnancy), and it may simply be harder for you to lose weight doing the same thing you did in the past because of this. “What worked in the past may not work any longer,” says Matheny. “As you get older, that old routine may not work the same.”
That leads to an important question: What are you supposed to do about it?
For starters, Stanford recommends making sure your goal is realistic, and checking in with your doctor to make sure they agree. Then, “take a look at the quality of your eating,” she says. “Some people notice that meal timing makes a difference and eating too late in the evening can be a problem.” It’s also crucial to be completely honest with yourself. “Some people will tell me they’re being ‘very active’ but are only walking a mile a day,” Stanford says. Getting regular, good sleep can also help, she says, adding that it also doesn’t hurt to run your medications by your doctor to see if any of them could be stalling your efforts.
If possible, try to avoid setting a target weight, Stanford says, calling it “one of the biggest mistakes” people make in their weight loss journey. “I don’t know what a patient’s body is going to do and how it’s going to change over time,” she says. “If they don’t reach a target weight they’ve set — which is often not sustainable — they might get into disordered eating to try to reach that goal.”
But really, it’s best to start simple, Matheny says. “You need to get a really clear assessment of the basics of it, which are calories in and calories out,” he says. In that case, a nutritionist or other doctor might be helpful. But above all, says Matheny, “try not to get frustrated.” Change takes time.
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