If you’ve tried dieting and exercise but hit a weight loss plateau, it’s time to try the following tips to get your weight loss plan in high gear.

One great way to shed pounds fast is interval training. Interval training alternates high intensity exercise with moderate intensity exercise. For example, instead of jogging at 4 mph for 40 minutes, try sprinting for 3 minutes as quickly as you can. Then walk for 2 minutes to recover your breath. Then repeat the sprinting and walking pattern to really challenge your body.

It is essential to keep changing up your workout routine to lose weight. If you do the same activity day in and day out, you won’t challenge your body enough to get it out of its comfort zone. Try alternating weight training with a good cardio workout like aerobics or jogging to maximize your results.

Vitamins are key to losing weight. Be sure you’re getting enough nutrition to keep your body from craving foods that might throw off your diet plan. Nutritional supplements help you get all the vitamins and minerals that are essential to the success of your diet plan.

If your diet is the culprit of your weight plateau, your body may have adjusted to operating on a lower calorie intake. Try varying the foods you eat. Add lean protein sources and eliminate starchy foods like potatoes and white bread products.

Try to get at least eight hours of sleep a night in order to lose weight quickly. Studies have shown that irregular sleep patterns increase hormone levels in the body that are attributed to weight gain and fat retention. There is a reason they call it beauty sleep!

Avoid empty calories like soda, wine, beer and liquor. It will speed up your weight loss tremendously, since a glass of wine or beer can contain anywhere from 150 to 200 calories and up.

If you want to achieve weight loss and keep it off, you need to make lifestyle changes instead of dieting. Learn to control your portion sizes and stave off cravings. Do you find yourself wanting a pizza at 9 p.m.? Instead of thinking that you are depriving yourself, change your thought pattern and realize by not ordering up fast food, you’re helping yourself get one step closer to looking and feeling great. Have a piece of low fat cheese instead and be happy with yourself in the morning.

Weight loss isn’t easy. It takes a sustained effort over a long period of time. But each milestone you celebrate on your journey, whether it is dropping a dress size or getting in the best shape of your life, make the time and effort worthwhile.

Improving your health will give you the energy, strength and longevity you need to make the most out of your life and your interactions with your family. It will be much easier to keep up with your grandchildren if you maintain a healthy weight. Weight loss will reward you with good health and a positive body image and an overall better quality of life.