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

Week 28: And I’m back on this journey :)

Hey folks

After struggling a bit for just over a week, I’m back in the game so let’s get straight onto this week’s report card

What’s Erika done well this week?

  • After putting on 2 lbs in 10 days, I’ve now lost this and I’m back to 229 lbs and that 100 lb weight loss
  • I’m back to doing intermittent fasting between noon – 8pm
  • I’ve started doing exercises to tone my legs, stomach, hips. Yes, I’m working towards a Harry Potter themed medal where you can claim it for doing something 9 3/4 related so this month, I’m aiming to do all of this as specific exercises to tone up on top of cardio
  • My head is back in gear. I’d like to think that this is actually my biggest achievement because I was starting to slip. I’ll tell you how I did this in just a moment

What could Erika improve on?

  • Nothing for this week 🙂

Erika’s next target(s):

  • 6 lbs until my BMI is in the 33s
  • 9 lbs until I’m weighing less than 100 kg
  • 30 lbs until I’m in Onederland (yes, I’ll be less than 200 lbs)
  • 32 lbs until I’m no longer obese as I’ll be overweight

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So guys, as I said last week, I hit a wall two weeks ago. I don’t actually quite know what happened when I hit the 100 lb weight loss goal. It was so huge for me and I instantly relaxed but I need to use this experience going forward. Why? Well, my next big goal is to get out of the obese range (32 lbs to go until I get there) and what I need to be careful of is not just stopping! Not just thinking “Oh, you can eat anything now!”…. because I still want to get into the normal weight range.

I could have just eaten and eaten but I sensed that I was getting out of control…. not in a bingeing way but snacking here and there. So I did one simple thing. I restricted my eating window. I got back into doing intermittent fasting and this one act instantly cut out the evening snacking that was starting to creep in. Once I did this, my mentally just got back to where it was before. And hey, after braving the scales last Thursday and seeing I’d put on 2 lbs, I’ve lost that already. I wonder what I can achieve this week!

Are you on a weight loss journey? Do you want to be but not know where to start? Please feel free to comment about your progress or what you think the barriers are for you.

Love Erika xx

Recordable weight loss since blogging:Still to lose:Current weight:BMI:
79 lbs71 lbs229 lbs34.8
Plus 21 lbs lost prior to blogging

How to stay positive when weight loss slows down…or plateaus

So, you know you’re eating healthily, you’re moving your body much more than before, you’ve been seeing the scales drop every week without fail for months on end and, then, BAM!! The numbers don’t drop so quickly or you may find that they don’t budge at all. What do you do?!

This where I’ve been for the past few weeks after dropping an average of 3lbs a week since mid February. My last recorded weight losses are:

  • 3rd October (6 days ago) 1lb
  • 25th September (14 days ago) 2lbs
  • 15th September (24 days ago) 2lbs

Now, of course, this is STILL weight loss but it’s just very different to the past few months. And I won’t lie when I say that I really hoped to be under the 230 lb mark by now. So, if you can relate, here are some things to check or try out:

  • Check that you’re slowly reducing your overall calorie intake as you need fewer calories the lighter you are….just make sure you’re not consuming the same calories as when you started out
  • Are you eating enough or too much? It can be easy to under or overestimate so some careful calorie checking can be a good idea.
  • Are you being honest with yourself? Those extra bites of whatever can soon add up.
  • Is your metabolism slowing down a bit? Perhaps you body is getting too used to this new way of eating. You can try eating more calories for a few days (often called ‘cheat days’) to wake up your metabolism and then drop back to what you’ve been doing.
  • Try out new exercise! Rather than walk, try out jogging or high intensity workouts. Shock your body into wondering what’s happening to it!

But don’t give up! There’s no point thinking “Well, what’s the point of sticking to this healthy lifestyle if I’m not seeing BIG results?” You see, if you mix it up a bit as described above or stick to your healthy way of eating, you WILL see the figure on the scales budge. Think about how far you’ve come. Look back at old photos. Grab the tape measure to compare the new you with the old measurements. Think about all those mini goals you’ve achieved so far. You’ve got this and you’re still on track for achieving all those other goals too.

Have a great weekend everyone

Love Erika xx