Something I often hear from members of my Slimpod community is this: “I’ve been doing so well with my weight loss but now I’m panicking because I’ve not lost anything for a while’.
So today on the blog it’s all about the dreaded plateau. We’re all familiar with the story if we’ve ever been on a diet and given up because the weight loss has stopped and we feel we’ve failed.
Although Slimpod is very different to a diet (for a start, there’s no wagon to fall off), the weight loss plateau can still kick in temporarily from time to time. This is a natural effect which shouldn’t be a concern for Slimpodders.
Just be patient, keep calm and carry on podding!
More and more research is being conducted on the weight loss plateau and importantly what to do about it.
Let’s first look at the scientists’ explanation for it.
The evolutionary reason for the plateau is what is referred to as the “set point theory”. Scientists suggest that a person has a 5 – 10% range in which they can lose or gain weight without their body needing to adapt.
In ancient times this was so that if a person was unable to find a reasonable amount of food for an extended period, they could continue to have energy to survive.
However, after losing about 10% of your body weight, there is evidence that your body produces less of the hormone leptin, the appetite controller, (which I speak about many times in the programme) and this causes you to eat more and produces cravings.
To make things worse, at the same time your body produces more grehlin (the hunger hormone) which signals to your body it needs to conserve more fat in case of famine.
These adaptations lower your basal metabolic rate (BMR) and decrease the amount of energy your body requires to perform basic functions like pumping blood around your body and breathing.
These adaptations occur until your body reaches equilibrium or “homeostasis”.
What can be done about the plateau?
Researchers suggest patience. And I’m sure this works because I’ve seen it for my own eyes with the many thousands of people who go through Slimpod Club.
If you give up and think ‘it’s not working’, the cycle of yo-yo dieting is more likely to continue because you then return to your old habits and gain the weight back – plus typically more.
For a lot of people this cycle of behaviour has become a destructive habit and the body doesn’t know whether it’s coming or going!
There is good news: more research has been published showing that after a period in a plateau, your body accepts the changes as your set point shifts to your new weight.
If you maintain your lower weight for a few months, you can then continue on your journey and continue to lose weight. According to researchers, this period of maintenance is crucial for your mind and body to catch up and feel safe enough to burn your fat reserves again.
Sustainable and long-lasting weight loss occurs when your mind and body work together and gradually lose weight.
Patience and positive self-talk will help you get to your goal as you allow your body to change at the pace it needs to be healthy and long lasting.
This is why baby steps are so important PLUS more self-love. If you begin to love yourself the size you are, it will really help with the process because you’ll be focusing on your wellbeing and a healthy lifestyle rather than what the scales say.
Join me on my live chat tonight on our public Facebook page (September 28) at 7.30 when I’ll be talking about how to make healthy habits stick and take you through the plateau!
Comment below if you’ve experienced the plateau and let me know how you’ve come through it.
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