Thursday, September 3, 2009
Crack the Weight Loss Plateaus
Here's the problem. You are doing great with the plan you have set up, and then you reach that point where nothing is happening. In my case, I was doing great, probably at the exact place I should be and thought to myself, "how about 5 more pounds?" Well, it's a fine goal and something you can work towards, however, I made the mistake of straying away from what was working. Instead of being patient and just following the tips I found originally for plateaus, I changed it it and screwed it all up. What worked: staggering your calories up and down, lower than higher, to trick your body a little bit. On Saturdays, I made it a higher calorie day, that incorporated a "free meal" where we could go out and I got whatever I wanted. There are websites you can find out more about the "calorie zigzag". Also, changing your exercise routine, adding to it or switching it up works. I alternated elliptical and running. Another thing, I have to say,I love Jillian Michaels, she knows her stuff! Her whole philsophy on exercise is fantastic! She has a book about conquering plateaus, and it's a good one for when you want to lose 5 pounds fast. The only problem is, there are no cheat meals of any kind for 30 days, which can sabotage you in the end. You can only deprive yourself for so long before disaster strikes! That was the problem with the book, Crack the Fat Loss Code, a book my sister told me about. Yes, the author's whole science behind it is great and I can totally see why it works. However, it starts with a carb deplete cycle the first week, where basically you can eat lean meats, veggies and cottage cheese. Oh, and no starch after 3 PM. That was tough, but I was up for the challenge and made it through, but by Thursday, you start to lose it! Then it starts an 8 week cycle. It eventually gets to where each day you alternate 2 starches before 3 PM one day, 1 starch the next. Then, 2 days a week, are your "carb up" days, the last 2 meals are ones eating things normally forbidden.(pizza, pasta, desserts) Here's the issue with that, when you deprive yourself, those two days come and you think you are home free and start eating anything and everything you want. Most nights for dinner, I was giving my husband steamed broccoli, chicken, and salad, that was pretty much it. It got old fast for him but he was trying to be supportive. There went the joy of cooking out the window for me. He was really sweet and patient about it though. I am pretty sure it was driving him nuts though. In the end of this 8 week cycle, which I repeated,over and over again, I ended up gaining weight. I call this diet, "let's suck every ounce of joy out of our lives that we possibly can." or the, "hey Rach, we are getting a pizza, no I will just have salmon and broccoli tonight, thanks" diet. (Love salmon by the way, but it's too expensive to have all the time) My husband could always tell when it was a "carb down" day because I was in a really bad mood. I also had no energy to work out. My sister tried it, saw the parts of this diet that did work,but also agreed, it just wasn't very realistic. She said her husband asked if she was ever going to eat dinner with them again. She also says she does what she can, but she also needs to live her life. I think that is excellent advice to follow. My husband is so great, and yes, let's face it,he is right 99.99% of the time. He asked when I wanted to try this fat loss code thing, "Why don't you just keep doing what your doing?" Yep, I should have. I've since gone back to the way I did things before, I've lost most of what I gained back. To summarize what I have learned from this is, stick with what works for you, have some patience with yourself and it will keep working!