This week, we are going to discuss plateaus in weight loss. According to Weightlossforall.com, ”While you lose weight, you likely are cutting back on your calories. Although calorie-cutting helps you lose more pounds, it also can decrease your metabolism.” Livestrong.com goes on to include how exercise can be a factor in plateaus. “Once your body becomes too accustomed to a particular type of exercise, your muscles adapt and you will not lose as many calories.” So, according to this, we have to watch our calories, but adjust as we go and we have to keep increasing our workouts. Fun!
Plateaus happen. Your body has to adjust, much like your mind has to adjust to the physical changes taking place with your body. You will be getting compliments. One thing I have learned with my own journey that applies to many of us, if you have fought your weight for a period of time, the compliments are hard to take at first. Weight is often a barrier to physical contact or to make us invisible. I remember when I was first at goal in 2004, wearing more girly clothes that fit, I would have the door held open for me almost everywhere. It was always men and I always wondered what sick intentions they had going through their minds. I had to realize, hey they see an attractive woman and are being courteous. But, since I was heavy for so long and hadn’t had such attention, it was odd and uncomfortable for quite some time. Until my mind realized that I deserved such attention. Of course, everyone of every size deserves such chivalry, but sadly it isn’t always expressed.
How can you break a plateau in weight loss? Well, first you have to know what you are consuming to know if changes need to be made to your food. You can’t know what you are doing if you can’t look at what you are doing. In other words, track your food. Get a journal and write about your emotions, or at least your food consumption. If you have fallen into a rut of eating the same foods as they have become easy and give you more time in your schedule, find new foods. I have come to the realization that your metabolism slows down if you eat the same things all the time. Your body no longer has to think. It stands to reason that if your body gets ‘bored’ with a workout regimen that stays the same, it will do the same with regimented and similar food consumption. If your activity is becoming routine, switch it up. Now is a great time of year to get some new workout dvds. There are sales galore now. This is the time of year to get workout materials. And you may even want to get different clothes to wear during your workout. You may be bored with the same workout outfits and not even realize it.
Celebrate your successes! You won’t want to keep going if you aren’t giving yourself enough credit for all that you have accomplished. Remember this thought, what would you say to your best friend? Would you tell her to give up? Would you tell her she deserves to not lose? Would you tell her to eat whatever she wants? No. But I bet those thoughts go through your mind. Recognize and reward your successes, just not with food.
I have said it before, but I think it bears repeating. Look online for new websites and recipes. Switch up your food. You will enjoy the new tastes and your body will enjoy the new nutritional variance. And you will enjoy the scale the following week.
If you take any medicine, you may want to look at the side effects for weight gain. You may also have lost enough that your body needs less. Contact your doctor if you have any concerns. You will also get a boost if you make an appointment and your doctor congratulates you on your weight loss and efforts!
And lastly, realize that your body can plateau for no reason at all. It’s cruel, but it’s true!
My week was very inactive. I had 2 asthma attacks and felt like crud Tuesday through Sunday. I also started taking prednisone. Lovely! I worked out only Monday and was happy to see that despite being laid up quite a bit, I still lost .5 pounds! So, I am proud that I didn’t eat my sickness, which has been a pattern most of my life. I stuck to my program, but didn’t track. I am back on that wagon today. I am ravenous, as the prednisone is kicking in. But, I only take it through Wednesday, so hopefully that urge will calm. I am now down 11 pounds in the month of January. I am happy with that. And, I will be happy if I go to a more appropriate number of .5-2 pounds per week.
Here are my January and February pictures side by side. I can see some changes! Yay!