Our total weight today is 537 pounds. The good news is that we weigh 4.1 pounds less than we did last week. The less-than-good news is that we weigh only .1 pound less than when we started.
Except for Amy, who has consistently lost weight this cycle, we are in a rut. We seem to be moving between two weights, week after week, which is one of the reasons we’re using our weight three weeks ago as a base in order to tally our victories/losses. It doesn’t help to lose 2 pounds, only to gain it, and then lose it, and gain it again.
In weight loss circles, this is called a plateau. Your body has gotten used to its new lower weight, and you now must do more to get the same results. You can work out more. You can eat less. When I was 20 pounds heavier, I could cut out one daily ice cream (notice I did not say all ice cream) and the weight came off. I ran a mile. The weight came off.
But now, those same things barely keep me at my current weight. And since my hobbies are eating, sleeping, and reading book (while eating), it’s been hard to find a way to burst through this weight plateau.
Luckily, on any given day, there are a jazillion articles written on how to lose weight, some of them on this very issue. Culled from these articles are some of the most common tips:
- Keep your math straight. Remember, losing weight is a simple matter at heart. You have to burn more calories than you take in. If you overestimate the amount you exercise and underestimate the amount you eat (something I’m pretty sure I do), then you’ll have problems on the scale.
- Build some muscle. Apparently, muscle will burn fat more efficiently. So pick up those weights and build some biceps.
- Get more active during the day. Okay, maybe you can’t spend more time at the gym. But you can burn more calories by just getting up and moving around during the day. I try to wear a pedometer each day and make sure that I walk at least 10,000 steps. I take the steps instead of the elevator. Cleaning house, gardening, or washing the car can all burn some extra calories.
- Watch restaurant binges. It’s tempting once you’ve lost some weight to give yourself permission to return to some fun things, like meeting friends for lunch. But watch those restaurants! Portions tend to be larger, and there are those added temptations such as chips and bread and dessert.
So hitting a plateau is not the best thing in the world. But the good news is no one has had to go buy pants in a new, bigger size 🙂