A weight loss plateau can really knock you around. Here’s what to do.
It has been a difficult couple of weeks. There have been other factors intruding as well, but my easy weight loss has slowed down. What seemed simple and effortless has been hard. I’m doing the same things but I’m not getting the same results. I’ve hit a weight loss plateau.
When I started out I lost 2 Kg (4 pounds) in a week. I’d seen those sorts of figures on diets before. My wife would struggle and work at it but I would just lose 2 Kg a week. It wasn’t every week – but it was many of them, and the other weeks I’d still lose 1 Kg anyway. I hated diets. I didn’t like diet food. I never ate those sorts of things so it was tough on me; but we all do these things to support our partners. It was a real blessing that I’d lose the weight so easily. This time was pretty much the same – until now.
A weight loss plateau
Over the last few weeks my progress has slowed. I had a 1.2 Kg loss one week and then put 0.5 Kg back on the next. Fortunately I then lost 1.9 Kg but that was followed with a 0.3 Kg loss. If you’ve been in a similar situation you’ve probably found it frustrating. At least the trend is still downwards but it is easy to give up your goal and “fall off” the plan in the face of a weight loss plateau.
What to do
The trick in these sorts of situations is to not give up. That’s step one. If you don’t get past that one you’re lost. Please keep going. It is still possible even though it doesn’t look like it.
The maths works. You might hate maths. You mightn’t be good at it. None of that matters. It still works and it can work for you. We still need to have “calories in” less than “calories out” in order to lose weight. In my case, the problem is I’ve lost a lot of weight. Too much weight is bad and losing it is a good thing. The catch is, as you lose weight, you not only feel better and healthier and more alive but you also require less energy to achieve all that. The reason is you are carrying less weight around with you. The consequence is you are burning fewer calories (less weight to carry around during the day). This causes a weight loss plateau to happen. You are still eating the same foods and doing the same things – but it doesn’t work anymore. Your activity level doesn’t cause as many “calories out” as it used to.
We need to upset the apple cart. The weight loss plateau can only remain as long as you keep things the same. If you were reluctant to exercise when you weighed more, now might be a time to reconsider it. If you were exercising, look at adding a bit more. Otherwise, we’re back to what we eat.
For me, I was able to add a little bit of exercise (mostly the exercise bike in front of ‘tele’ at times of a night. I also dropped my dinner calories. As you know, somewhat ridiculously, I have been having a lot of success eating takeaway. It flies against conventional wisdom but it has been working for me. You have to pay attention to the calories in what you choose, and leave out fries and (non-diet) coke, but it works. To my absolute horror, I found some of my worse days followed home-cooked diet-friendly recipes. They are not all as good as they ought to be and white meat sometimes provides more calories than red meat! It is amazing what you find when you read the label.
So, I’m on a little bit of exercise and a little less food. I’m not feeling hungry. I’m doing well. The balance has also started moving back in my favor. It can for you too. Bye bye weight loss plateau. Hello again progress.