Blog 4: Hitting a Plateau as Flat as a Hardwood Floor

In Fat Loss, Health Tips, Melissa's Nutrition Blog by Jarid

If you have dieted before you may have experienced exactly what I am currently going through right now, the dreaded plateau…. DUH DUH DUUUH! What kind of plateau, you ask? A weight loss plateau. It’s the fourth week and I am coming quickly up to the 28th day of dieting and I am so over it. You heard me correctly. I am over this diet. The first 3 weeks I saw steady weight loss of a total 8 pounds. Initially my goal was to lose 10 lbs total but after a quick loss within those first few weeks, I reassessed with my co-worker Kendall, who made my nutrition program, and determined that I wanted to go for a full 15lbs of weight loss. But circle back to the end of week 4 and the scale has not budged. WHAT IS THAT ABOUT?!

The good news is, if this is you too then I may have the answer. Sometimes when we go on weight loss journeys, there are weeks where our weight will plateau. This can be caused by a number of factors. For the general population, your weight loss could be stunted by any of the following:

  • You are not 100% with your diet
  • You are not 100% with your training
  • You are highly stressed – increases cortisol levels and body retains fat

If you are struggling with high stress levels, take some time out of your day to look at what is causing that stress. Figure out why you are feeling that way. Why does that thing make you so tense? Then take the steps to either eliminate the source. This may be an immediate fix such as “Oh well my house is super dirty, I’ll tidy it” or it may be a longer term matter. Regardless, take time to acknowledge the cause and then take steps to determine how you are going to eliminate it. Some individuals may benefit from taking time to meditate or do yoga. Others may be able to destress by going for a run or working out. Determine what works best for you and implement it.

Your training could be the factor that is causing you to not see weight loss because you are either not committed to it on a regular enough basis or you aren’t pushing yourself hard enough. For some, when you don’t train hard enough or frequently enough then your body is able to stay in a period of maintenance with its weight because the stimulus is not high enough to elicit a change. More importantly, when you are not being 100% with your diet, such as over eating in calories per day, then your body will remain the same (especially on a weight loss journey). If you are continuously eating at a maintenance or surplus amount of calories per day, then you will maintain or even increase your weight. If you are eating in a deficit, you should expect to see weight loss.

For my ladies out there, your weight will fluctuate based on where you are in your cycle. The female sex hormone estrogen peaks during the latter part of your cycle. Estrogen is the main hormone responsible for female sex characteristics, weight gain (mainly in the abdominal area) and lubrication of joints. When experiencing your menstrual cycle, estrogen is highest and therefore your body may retain weight during this time. So if this is you, don’t freak out. The 5-7 days will pass and you should start to see the scales tip in your favour if you stick to your regimen.

My current struggle lies within my diet and training together. I have not been super dedicated to my training the past two weeks and it is starting to show. I lack motivation to train and I feel worn down each day. I walk into the gym and am unsure where I even want to start. With my diet, I have felt all of the cravings and have given in to quite a few of them. I have also had a number of outing where my choices have not been the best. I have spoken about this scenario before but I will say it again – have a plan. That was the missing key these past few weeks. I have not had a plan going into the week for training or when I go out for meals on the weekends. I have been unprepared and let my judgement get the better of me. But you know what, that is life and I am only human. So despite wanting to be frustrated with myself, I am choosing to set S.M.A.R.T. goals in order to see changes for week 5. S.M.A.R.T. is an acronym for specific, measurable, attainable/action oriented, realistic, and time based. I recommend this method to many of my clients. Set goals for yourself weekly, monthly and yearly to continue to find your best self, in whatever form that looks like. When you think about your desires in this format, it puts everything in perspective and helps you focus so that you can prioritize your time day to day.

Going into week five seems crazy. I cannot believe that it has been this long already. We are almost at the halfway mark. If you have been following my journey this far, thank you! I appreciated the time you have taken to read these posts. (Continue into speech about who to contact for what)

If you want to try the program that I am following, give us a shout through our contact page or call 604-379-1144.  Our nutritional package is designed just for you and includes meal times that work with your schedule, a shopping and grocery list, and foods that fit your personal eating and life style preferences including vegan, gluten free, etc.  As my blogs show the mental battles that one can encounter, this nutritional package sets you up for a sustainable approach that allows healthy habits to form leading to great long lasting results.