Plateau, Interrupted


I’d not lost a pound, or even an ounce since switching from South Beach Phase I to Phase II. Sigh. I know, I know, I shouldn’t focus on the numbers. But two weeks of following the food plan, exercising like crazy…and no weight loss were working my nerves. Big time. So rather than heading to the nearest pizza buffet (an old behavior) I headed to the Internet and my trusted books in search of answers.

People who know much more about fitness than I do tell me it’s 80% nutrition and 20% exercise. (Are you proud that I remembered that, Chris? Steve? Micah? Dave?) Remember, I’ve been on South Beach so I assumed I was rocking the nutrition. Wrong.

For a few days I entered my food choices into LiveStrong.com‘s nutrition tracker, The Daily Plate (I use the free version). While all of my food choices were South Beach-friendly I was eating way too many healthy fats. Way to many. As in 35% of my food fell into the fat section of the pie chart. That’s a lot of all-natural peanut butter. Actually, it doesn’t take that much peanut butter to raise the fat percentage found in a day’s worth of food. Ooops.

After discovering I was thwarting all of my good efforts I dusted off my copy of Tosca Reno’s Eat Clean Diet: Recharged. Tocsa recommends a food plan that is 18% fat, 50% healthy carbs and the remainder protein. Um, ok.

I quickly went to work readjusting my food plan. Friday night’s grocery shopping expedition was all about further tweaking my food choices. Since Saturday I’ve managed to get my percentage of fat eaten down to between 20 and 22 percent.

Today is weigh-in Wednesday and I gave myself a pep talk before tippy-toeing on the scale. “You’ve only been on the re-defined food plan since Saturday. It’s only Wednesday. You can handle one more week of maintenance. You’ll show a loss next week. Hang in there with your fabulous self.”

To my shock and amazement, I lost 1.5 pounds bringing my weight loss to 15.5 pounds since beginning South Beach on June 9. And I’m 79.5 pounds below my top weight.

Calling the past few weeks a plateau is really a misnomer. My understanding of a true plateau is that it occurs when one is doing ALL THE RIGHT things and still isn’t losing weight because the body is in some sort of stabilizing mode. With patience, plateaus end. In my case, I had to re-educate myself, make adjustments where necessary, and plow ahead.

But the most important change I made is that I didn’t give up.

One day at a time.

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One Response to Plateau, Interrupted

  1. Alixandra says:

    Awesome post! I subscribe to both South Beach and Eat Clean principles! I’m on South Beach only to kind of reset my body and get rid of my cravings and sugar addiction so that I can be in control of what I eat rather than my body, etc.

    Blogging about it and posting information about a healthy lifestyle has also helped me. I’m educating myself while I educate others!

    Anyway, good for you for pushing through it!

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