Weight loss plateaus: how to cope with them and how to break them

Hey folks

Today is all about that dreaded ‘P word‘ in this world of weight loss… plateaus. Our pounds are coming off, we’re celebrating change and then bam! Weight loss slows down or just stops. Your weight might even fluctuate over a range of figures on the scales and you may feel like you’ll never get out of it. Last week, I blogged about all the reasons not to give up but today I’m focusing on my approach to not getting frustrated when weight loss slows down and my thoughts about how to break them.

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What is a plateau?

According to Weight Watchers, it’s when metabolism slows down or halts your weight loss so that despite eating the same number of calories as you were, the scales aren’t really budging over a few weeks. This can be as a result of losing lean muscle tissue or physiological changes. But a plateau can also happen if you’re perhaps not quite focusing on your intake and exercise as much as before.

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So, how do I break a plateau?

First advice from me is to check whether you’re counting all those calories. It’s so easy for a biscuit or an extra spoonful of sugar in your tea to add up here and there. Portions might be getting bigger again or perhaps emotional eating is creeping in. So, take stock. One thing I’ve done before is to take photos of everything I’m eating because I’ve had days (this is pre-weight loss) when I realised at night how much I’d consumed. There were times when I couldn’t remember eating something! At that point, I didn’t have the motivation to do anything about it but it made me ‘food aware’. Other options are to write everything down or use a calorie app to track your food.

Second, if you really are sticking to good food choices, beware that you may be taking in the right number of calories for your starting weight but perhaps you need fewer now. So, use an online calorie calculator to check how many calories you need for your current weight.

Third, you’ll find a host of advice online about things you can do to raise your metabolism, from eating spicy food to calorie cycling (when you alternate between high and low numbers). From having a cheat meal to covering yourself in cling film so that you sweat away! Two consistent pieces of advice I’ve come across though are drinking lots of water and increasing your activity levels so that you’re burning calories and therefore increasing your lean muscle again. This might include high intensity workouts, going for long walks or parking at the space furthest away from the store…anything to get you moving more than you were!

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But I need a break from losing weight

And that’s okay. You see, we all need a break sometimes and it may be that you need to take out some time where maintaining is the right thing for your body and your mind. Celebrate your journey so far! Think of how far you’ve come and, when you’re ready to refocus, you can carry on from where you got to. Weight loss isn’t a race. There’s rarely a set time by which you need to have reached a certain figure. Be kind to yourself ❤

And you know, those pounds will shift at some point. Perhaps not this week, perhaps not next week, but they’ll come off. Hold onto the hope. And if you do lose a pound, remember my recent post, it’s never ‘just’ a pound!

Have a lovely weekend, everyone, and I’ll be back on Monday with my next weigh-in

Love Erika xx

Tempted to give up on the diet? This is what’s helped me :)

Hey folks

I wonder if you can relate to this. You’ve made healthy food choices, the pounds have been coming off quickly, you’ve sensed your clothes feeling loser, you’ve felt like you were conquering this ‘losing weight’ thing and then…..PLATEAU!! Whatever you do, the scales don’t budge or, if they do, you might lose half a pound. So, should you just give up? No!!

Next week, I’m going to talk about plateaus (how to cope with them and how to break them) but as I was starting to lose motivation recently, I thought I’d share with you what’s saved me from giving up and seeing the pounds creep back on. You see, I can visualise how things will be when I hit my target weight but it’s so important to reflect on these 10 reasons NOT to go back to where this journey began:

  • I’m not going back to my starting weight of 329 lbs
  • I’m not going back to my starting BMI of 50
  • I’m not going back when I couldn’t walk up the stairs without being out of breath
  • I’m not going back to the sofa squeaking as I sat on it
  • I’m not going back to wondering if I’d fit in that chair with arms
  • I’m not going back to feeling the fat on the back of my neck
  • I’m not going back to feeling uncomfortable even if I sat upright
  • I’m not going back to being clinically vulnerable re Covid and a BMI of 40+
  • I’m not going back to being unable to walk 100 metres without being in pain
  • I’m not going back to wondering how long I’d live

Yes, we should think about our long term goal although ideally split it into lots of tiny manageable targets but let’s not forget where we’ve come from. And let’s use that to keep us on this journey. Although I’ve used the word ‘diet’ above, I’m slowly appreciating that it’s really more of a lifestyle change really… which means having to make much longer changes rather than seek a quick fix.

Have a great weekend, everyone

Love Erika xx