About a month ago, I had posted on my personal Facebook page that I was on track to be down 100 pounds far before christmas.
It was an empowering accomplishment to consider, and the question was met with a unanimous positive response. Personally, I didn’t know how possible it would be because, even though my rate of weight loss had been incredible up until that point, I knew that I would have to slow down at some point.
I calculated out about how much weight I needed to lose per week to be on track to hit the 100 pounds by Christmas, and within a couple weeks, I was 3 weeks ahead of pace.
3 weeks ago I was ahead of pace, but I seem to have hit a plateau. The scale has remained within the same 4-7 pounds during that time.
This is frustrating because:
- I’m currently weighing in at around 307 pounds. 68 total pounds down. 7 pounds from seeing that 3** number disappear forever.
- I’ve lost the cushion I had created on the plan to reach 100 by Christmas. I’m competitive. Especially with myself.
I have been talking with some fitness minded friends and doing some reading on fitness plateaus. In general, the advice starts with a few questions:
- If you’re on a diet, how well are you complying? Are you cheating more than is allowed? A friend recommended the myfitnesspal application for me to track my food intake for the next couple days. (I hate the idea of tracking calories, so I’m definitely resisting)
- How are your workouts going? Are you really still going after the workouts like you had been when things were new, exciting and shiny?
- Are you getting enough sleep?
If you can say that you’re eating right, that you’re still killing it at the gym, and you’re sleeping enough, then it’s time to adjust your diet or exercise and incorporate something new to your routine.
If you had been weight training with the same sets of reps and goals (even seeing gains!), drop the weight and do a higher rep set. Maybe incorporate some sprint training. Do something that your body will be like, “oh, I haven’t done that in a while, I like that.”
I don’t know enough about making radical changes in your diet to break plateaus, so I won’t go into any specifics, but I will certainly keep researching things.
As I look at the above 3 questions, I can’t answer all three of them completely confidently.
- I’ve still been sticking to my eating plan, but there have certainly been more cheat days beyond my allotted one day per week.
- I’ve still been going to the gym multiple times per week, but there have been times where I haven’t pushed myself as hard as I know I can.
- I don’t sleep enough. I can answer that one emphatically.
I set some rules for myself so that I can get back into things.
- 10 is bedtime, no excuses. This gives me the 7 hours of sleep that I need. The past three weeks have probably averaged less than 6 hours of sleep per night.
- Make sure all of my groceries are ones that will comply with my diet plan. If cheat foods aren’t around, you can’t cheat.
- Cheat food/drinks are reserved to 1 day per week. This is where I think I lost a lot of my momentum. There are a lot of excuses to have alcohol and sweets beyond my normal Saturday cheat day. This rule is going to require a TON of self control.
- Change the workouts around. Mix in interval training and high rep sets at the gym.
How does that look? How do you break through your plateaus?
I’m not an expert at this, and I’m just reporting what has/has not been working for me, but I love this journey and where it’s taking me.