I have a close friend who's been struggling with weight her entire adult life and spent the best part of it on a weight loss and weight gain rollercoaster - she'd lose five pounds and quickly gain seven, she'd lose twelve pounds and then gain sixteen and so on and so forth. She must have tried every diet ever concocted but nothing seemed to help and she remained obese.
Upon reaching her mid-forties she was diagnosed with high cholesterol and blood pressure that went through the roof. The doctor delivered a prognosis that frightened her into immediate action. So she embarked on yet another diet plan which required her to exercise daily, it shrank her portion sizes by at least fifty percent, increased her water intake to twelve eight-ounce glasses per day, doubled her daily fruit and vegetable servings, completely eliminated saturated fats and processed sugars, decreased animal byproducts and tripled her dietary fiber. This diet plan also taught her how to embrace and live by a different philosophy about food, about eating and about exercise and body movement.
This plan which referred to itself as "a lifestyle modifier" rather than a diet plan worked, it really worked. She began shedding fat, losing weight, looking better than ever and feeling wonderful. Until ...
Until the weight stopped coming off. She couldn't imagine what had happened. She religiously followed every directive on the plan and she exercised as instructed. So why had she stopped losing weight? And why did her scale continue to show the same poundage day after day after day? My poor friend was frustrated, she was angry and on the verge of throwing in the proverbial towel.
"I can't do this any more!" she confided tearfully. "I quit!"
"I understand you feel frustrated," I responded. "but it may be you've just hit a plateau with your weight" I said and started to explain.
Often when you've been losing weight for a while you can appear to hit a bit of a plateau. This is when "all weight loss comes to an unexpected halt." At this time, usually the pounds showing on the scales are staying the same, yet often your body is changing and becoming leaner. Because your way of measuring results is from the scales you may not notice the difference. So, instead you need to focus on how much your body size is reducing and this is best done by measuring yourself.
"My waist dropped three inches, my thighs lost a sum total of five inches and each one of my upper arms is now reduced by two inches," she told me the following day. She was noticeably revived but still unsatisfied, "But I still wanted to lose more weight," she said.
"Okay, well let me share with you a couple of ways to move beyond this plateau". I encouraged.
Here are a couple of ways to get out of the weight loss plateau by making a few changes such as:
· relaxing, stepping back and give your body and mind a rest for a while;
· adding stretching and resistance exercises to your daily exercise routine which will strengthen your bone tissue, increase your lean mass, boost your metabolism and ramp up your fat burning;
"Why haven't you showed me all that years ago?" she questioned.
"I tried many times but you wouldn't listen," I said.
"I guess I wasn't ready," she recognized the truth in my statement. "But look at me now," she pivoted on one heel extending her arms outward. "I'm a size seven now. I'm slim!" she shouted with glee.