My last weigh-in was on the 31st of May. And I didn’t do one at the end of June. That’s for a good reason. I had nothing to report. My weight had stalled since Mid-May. Nothing was happening to the numbers on the scale not down and also thankfully not up.
I had hit the well-known weight-loss plateau everyone who goes on a diet and an exercise regimen hits sooner or later. I have read a LOT about weight-loss plateaus since then. One very interesting piece of information says that this plateau happens to most people when they have lost about 10% of their original weight. I started at 83 kg and stalled at 76 kg. That’s pretty close to those estimated 10%. Most important reason for this is that your body takes that stalling time to adjust. Adjust to what I asked myself? To your new healthy way of living, eating and exercising, and your new metabolism regimen due to your previous weight lost.
Nonetheless I was discouraged. I wanted to lose again. I read tons of tips to break the plateau. Most were reasoning about changing your workout regimen in order to keep your body challenged. I incorporated some Tara Stiles yoga, walking and even jogging, and cycling to my exercise. I also read that keeping a food journal could help to identify some pitfalls in my diet, like maybe I was eating way more than I thought. I already kept a journal at my fitness pal (MFP) and couldn’t find a reason for my stalling weight-loss there. I ate 1200 calories a day and worked out five times a week. Other tips included to be patient and stick to your healthy habits. Sooner or later one would start losing again. That was not what I wanted to hear. After all I had consistently lost about 1 kg per week over a period of 7 to 8 weeks. I didn’t like it to just stop.
Two weeks into June I started a new job. I am a Sales Advisor with H&M now. I am walking and moving things about all the time during my working hours. My activity level increased from moderately active to very active.
Ultimately I think that increasing my daily calorie intake did the trick. I stumbled across a very informative post on MFP about weight-loss and the caloric deficit that is necessary to achieve this but also how important it is not to eat too less. Now this is where my problem may have been. With the 1200 calories and working out five times a week not eating back the calories I burned during exercise I was not nourishing my body correctly, although my primary goals was to be healthy not slim. I upped my calorie intake to 1700 calories per day (still creating a deficit with that) and monitored it closely until I got a feeling of how much food I could consume to reach this number.
Now I banned counting calories as well as the scale as it was driving me crazy. I have hid the scale in my wardrobe and told my BF I was not allowing myself to step on it twice a day anymore. I work out only three or four times a week, as with the new job this is easier to maintain for me.
I measure myself once a week on Monday morning. I step on the scale and take measurements of my neck, biceps, waist, stomach, hip, thigh and calf. I realized I cannot force my body to shed the pounds, I will have to be patient and stick to my habits. It’s been hard to come to this realization. I will have to trust my body that it will start losing again, when it is ready.
So today, when I stepped on the scale there was this number: 75 kg. I already expected it as my measurements with the tape the last two weeks signaled in this direction. It means a sudden 1 kg or 2.2 lbs down after 6 weeks waiting patiently. I am happy about this. And I hope my body has adjusted and will keep shedding weight some more. I hope this is the break of my first weight-loss plateau. If I understood correctly, there might be some more to come.
I have no pictures for you this time because as you can imagine not much happened to my appearance. Nonetheless I hope you will not let yourself get discouraged of your healthy way of living once the scale does not show the effect you expect anymore. Keep doing what you are doing. Be patient. I know, I know. It’s not what you wanted to hear. But still.
Have you had similar experiences? How did you break your weight-loss plateau?