Weighty Wednesday -- Plateaus: Good, Evil or simply Frustrating?

Everyone who has gained and lost weight has also experienced plateaus. By the Weight Watcher definition, a plateau is where there isn't a weight loss over a four week period.

I've been on a semi-plateau since Thanksgiving. I haven't stayed the same, instead I've lost/gained/lost/gained, etc. When I gain, it's usually less than the amount that I originally lost, which provides for an overall weight loss. The only way to verify this is by plotting my weight chart. overall there is a decrease in the chart, though not very dramatic.

Plateaus are a normal part of losing weight, and there are numerous reasons for them, which is why I think they are good, though frustratingly evil.

I will point out that I haven't done an in-depth scientific study, instead these are just my observations.

Why do I think plateaus are good?
  1. Plateaus show an ability to MAINTAIN a certain weight
  2. Plateaus happen when the body adjusts to a new weight after a weight loss
  3. Plateaus happen when a body loses weight and stabilizes at a previously stable lower weight
The body wants and needs to stabilize at a weight before it has the ability to lose more weight. Plateaus can happen at any stage of the weight loss journey. But think about it. Your body will lose weight in the same pattern as it gained weight. If you plateaued while gaining weight, it would make sense that you will plateau while LOSING weight. For example: Prior to my gaining so much weight, I weighed in the range of 135-145 lbs for YEARS. It only makes sense that my body was/is happy at within that weight range.

Plateaus are evil and frustrating.

. . . er, YES.

Eventually, if you maintain your low/balanced healthy diet along with exercise, you will eventually start losing weight again. But the problem is we want it NOW. Humans don't have the patience to wait. 

So when you reach a plateau and you want off it, then you need to do something to jump start it.
  1. exercise--increase time or intensity
  2. diet--track, track, track, and decrease the carbs and add more fiber, which means more fruit and veg while decreasing refined grains.
  3. Overall eat less food
I'm happy with my current exercise program and if I try to increase it, I'm afraid I'll burn out.

I should track better, but I don't want to go there again at this point in my weight lose journey.

I have a goal to reach my goal weight (130 lbs) by the end of February.  And I think I can do it, but if I don't seem to be getting there, I'll kick it into gear around Feb. 14th.

I REFUSE to regain the weight I've lost. PERIOD.

Plateaus happen. It's how you deal with them is what counts. If you freak out and start eating, then you need to buckle down and rethink your plan. Or you can learn from them, realizing that plateaus happen and if you keep to the program eventually you'll start losing weight again.

Later, Peeps!


Marilyn said...

You've done so great and have learned so much, Mags. We're all just proud as can be of you. I enjoy the sharing, too. Right now I'm preparing to hibernate, but the day's coming very soon where I've got to take off these five pounds I've gained since vacation, so I'll put it all to good use.

magolla said...

Thanks, Marilyn! It's definitely been a journey! I'm so glad to be straight up and honest about my weight loss journey. So many of us face similar challenges and I wanted them to know that they are NOT alone. None of us are perfect--that is what makes each of us interesting. But finding the courage to deal with our imperfections is challenging.