I’m hesitant to call it a plateau. I did not stay exactly the same for months on end, and several weeks were cases were I legitimately ate way more than “losing” calories. However, I have been at this for 6 months, so it’d be time for a plateau, and my loss has significantly and almost suddenly slowed over the past two months (going from a 2 lbs loss every week to <1 lb). A week ago when I weighed in, I actually gained. And I was well within losing calories! The next day I weighed myself, it broke even with the previous week. So annoying.
Anyway, I didn’t want to have to deal with this “thing” long enough to feel safe calling it a plateau, so I took a good hard look at the weeks sporadic weeks since the beginning of the year that I lost 2 lbs or more. From looking at those weeks and implementing measures others have taken in order to break a plateau, I made the following changes:
* Eat more red meat. I know, most people would shy away from this, but I haven’t been eating hardly any red meat since January. I also haven’t been losing at a significant rate since January.
* Eat more real cheese. That’s right. The full-fat stuff. The only thing I can think of is the same reason red meat might work. Conjugated Linoleic Acid is a polyunsaturated omega-6 fatty acid that has been shown to increase metabolism and reduce belly fat (much like the EGCG in green tea). CLA is also only found in animal fat, and is more concentrated in the meat and milk of grass-fed animals, which I make a point of choosing.
* Exercise more and with more intensity, particularly with circuit and weight training. I picked up Jillian for the first time in months. We might be able to make it work this time.
* Vary my calorie usage from day to day. For example, eat 1200 calories one day, then eat 1700 the next day, 1300 the next, etc. I used to do better eating about the same every day, but I think this was more of a management issue than an actual metabolism issue. (I decided on this one because I lost more weight the weeks I had saved up points for some event where I spent a LOT in one day or several days in the week, but stayed within my budget, which brings me to…)
* Stay within my budget!!!
So all that being said, I implemented all of the above, and would have stayed within my budget if I actually worked out last night (oops), but it didn’t make much difference because this past week I lost over 2 lbs.
Now, I’m not a doctor or a dietician, and I’m not suggesting that this works for everyone. I also changed a lot of variables at once, so there’s really no way to know at this point if it was any one thing or combination of things that made the real difference. All I know is that when I did these things in previous weeks, I lost more. So I implementing them this past week, and I lost more.
Now yes, it is true that it will be much harder to lose since I am so close to goal (5.2 to my WW goal; 9 to personal goal!), and most people just learn to accept the slower rate, but there is really no reason why I shouldn’t lose 2 lbs in a week, as long as I’m being healthy about it, which I am. (And if you’re wondering, my fat consumption only takes up about 30% of my calories, which is within health recommendations, and the majority of it comes from healthy fat, even with the red meat and full-fat cheese consumption)
On to another week? 🙂