For those of you who do not follow this blog, it is important for you to know that for the first time in my life I have started struggling more than usual to lose weight. Last year I put on quite a bit of weight and since then I tried my usual work out and clean eating strategies but nothing was working. Finally towards the end of March I successfully lost 2 kilos in 1 week, I thought I had triggered my metabolism, but after that week, I stuck to the diet and workout plan and nothing happened anymore. People on the community told me not to stress, so I continued with the eating plan for another 5 weeks and NOTHING happened. This is known as a plateau.
Let me tell you this, nothing is more depressing than knowing you are eating clean and working out and seeing no changes. I cried every Saturday morning for 5 weeks. It sucked! For most people small diet changes (not even exercise will show changes in your weight, but not for me.
What is a plateau?
A plateau is when your body adjusts to my activity VS my food intake. Your body does everything in its power to keep things as they are. GREAT right? So where another person might see massive changes if they were following my routine I would see absolutely nothing. The reason behind this is because (as I stress very often) that everyone is different. I am what you would consider an athletic person. My resting heart rate is below average and my body adapts to change very quickly. I work out quite a bit and this all makes a difference when it comes to weight loss.
How I broke my plateau?
I stopped thinking about weight loss and started thinking about enjoying food and exercise. I decided to try out my interpretation of the FITT philosophy. When you eat well and work out your body soon adapts to your ways, the FITT philosophy helps you measure your own activity and make changes so that you can continue to improve.
I applied FITT to my workouts in the following way:
Frequency: I started to work out more (not that more necessarily works for everyone, sometimes you need to work out less!!!)
Intensity: I worked on keeping a high heart rate during my workouts (Again, not ideal for everyone. Remember I’m considered to be an athlete)
Type: I added (heavier) weights to my work outs. (I was doing body weight exercises before and this a good place to start)
Time: I started focusing on 3 hours cardio a week and about 4-6 hours of weights a week.
How I feel about my current weight loss?
I feel good. I only jumped onto the scale because my neighbour saw me and told me that I had lost weight and I didn’t believe her. I cried a lot when I saw the result. I even made my partner weigh himself to be sure the scale wasn’t broken.
This is what 6 kilos looks like. I don’t think it looks like that much in the photos, but it is a dress size on the top of the body, this is where I normally lose weight first. Yes! The unwanted loss of an entire cup size.
I have more energy that is for sure, but I don’t think it is the end of plateau’s for me. I think I will have to continue mixing it up as I go along. I’m keeping my cardio sessions consistent as I am working on a fitness goal with that, but the weight routines I’m changing every 3 weeks at the moment. Hopefully things will keep on moving, but if it doesn’t, it doesn’t matter either because I feel happy and healthy.
Want to lose weight too?
Make small changes and you will see big results. Start with diet. Small diet changes make big difference.
Small changes, great results, examples:
- I asked my mother to changed just her breakfast and in 1 week she lost 1 kilo! Read this post to learn more
- I asked my dad to switch white bread to wholemeal and his tummy bloat reduced massively after two weeks.
- Mario, was feeling tired everyday after lunch, I asked him to reduce his portions slightly and try not to each to many refined carbohydrates at lunch and he saw a difference too.
- My partner, does not follow my exercise routine, but eats the same principle meals as I do. After one week of working away of home, he came home and asked me to cook him a lean meal because he was feeling bloated, lethargic, and unhealthy.
- Michelle, lost 12 kilos in 2 months, by changing her meals and walking every morning for 45 minutes
Feel free to contact me with any questions you might have.