YOUR WEIGHT LOSS PLAN IS, WITHOUT A DOUBT, GOING TO STALL
I’ll bet that’s not you wanted to hear. Is it? But it’s true. At some point (probably several points), no matter hard you work at it, your weight loss plan will appear to stop working.
Now the good news; it always does. It’s part of the process of losing weight. Without those stalls and plateaus you’ll never be able to keep the weight off.
Forget what you hear from the TV “experts” and make believe “specialist” whose pitch always ends with “Now buy our crap for only 3 easy payments of $19.95”.
The magazine articles? If you’re reading it you’ve already bought their crap.
Most people quit before significant weight loss occurs because they’ve bought into the hype about losing 10 pounds a week and 100 pounds in a month. And when it doesn’t work they blame it on their metabolism or their genetics or some other non-existent problem and give up. Then they go looking for the next magic pill and do it all over again. Often ruining or, at best, screwing up their metabolism in the process.
Here’s a novel idea:
Learn how your body actually works and do it right this time!
Stalled progress (a plateau) is an important and necessary part of the process.
Here’s how it works:
Your body doesn’t like change (it’s called Homeostasis). The body gets comfortable and efficient at a certain point (in this case weight) and does everything it can to resist getting out of that comfort zone. Think of it as your body’s current “Set Point”.
When you forcibly make the body change by losing weight the body will tolerate your meddling for a while. Then the little gremlins in your brain that keep things running smoothly say “Wait a minute, things have changed. Put on the brakes until we can figure out what's happening make these adjustments”. The first thing the body will do to get back to homeostasis is slow your metabolism (comparatively) to burn fewer calories. Then it will increase hunger! (sneaky little twits)
The little gremlins in your brain need time to get feedback from all the mid-level managers spread throughout the body. Then they get down to adjusting the necessary valves, pushing the buttons, flipping the necessary switches and reading all the dials. All this takes time. Meanwhile, all systems are on hold until they are finished. Otherwise known as a plateau.
All this tweaking results in a new “Set Point.” That’s the new normal.
Now your body will let you continue-for a while. Assuming you don’t act like a wimp and quit.
If you don’t wait out the plateau and let you body reach a new set point you will gain the weight back and probably more.
The more weight you lose and the faster you lose it the harder and faster your body will try to resist. There is no magic formula for determining how long a plateau will last or when it will come. Everyone is different. But keep in mind we may be talking about weeks.
Some things to keep in mind:
· You probably didn’t gain that extra 30 pounds in a month. What makes you think you can lose it and keep it off in a month?
· The part of the brain that controls physiological functions really doesn’t care much what the part of the brain that contains conscious thought thinks about all this. The little gremlins in there almost totally ignore what you “think” about it or “wish” for. You have to follow their rules.
· Losing around one to two pounds per week is considered healthy. But the losses are not linear. You may lose 4 pounds one week and nothing the next week. That's not a plateau. That's just because there are a lot of variables that affect body weight from day to day. Losing at that rate also helps prolong the time when your body has to establish a new “set point”. But it won’t postpone it indefinitely.
The plateau will still happen eventually. Learn to live with it.
Let your body do what it is built to do. Have patience. Do it right the first time and stop the yo-yo lifestyle.