Pushing Past a Plateau
Weight loss is not always a linear process, and it's perfectly natural for you to lose weight in fits and starts. Usually, if you stick with the program for a few more days—or even weeks, in some cases—your weight loss will resume. You may just need some minor adjustments to get the scale moving in the right direction again. Here are some things you can do to hopefully push past this plateau:
• Remember to journal. Write everything you eat down.
• Cut your Net Carbs. If you have progressed beyond phase one, decrease your daily intake of Net Carbs by 10 grams. You may have exceeded your tolerance for carbs while losing weight and inadvertently stumbled upon your tolerance for maintaining your new weight. Once weight loss resumes, move up in 5-gram increments again.
• Count all your carbs, including lemon juice, sweeteners and so on.
• Find and eliminate “hidden" carbs in sauces, beverages and processed foods that may contain sugar or starches.
• Increase your activity level; this works for some but not all people.
• Increase your fluid intake to a minimum of eight 8-ounce glasses of water (or other non-caloric fluids) daily.
• Do a reality check on your calorie intake.
• Bye-bye booze. If you've been consuming alcohol, back off or abstain for now.
If these don't make the scale budge for a month, you're truly on a plateau. Frustrating as it is, the only way to outsmart it is to wait it out. Continue to eat right and follow the other advice above, and your body (and your scale) will eventually comply.
To be a genuine plateau, the pause in weight loss must meet the following criteria:
• No weight loss or loss of inches for at least four weeks.
• You haven't altered your exercise regimen or made any other significant lifestyle change.
• You're not taking any new medications (including hormone therapy) that may be interfering with weight loss.
• You can honestly say you've adhered to all aspects of the program.
How to Handle a Plateau
First, stay calm. Don't give up and return to your old way of eating.
Remember two things: First, your body is not like anyone else's. It has its own system, its own agenda and its own timetable. In the long run, your body nearly always responds to consistency and patience.
But in the short run, your body may decide to go its own way, for its own reasons that we may not be able to understand. Be patient; you can afford to outwait it.
Secondly, the number of pounds lost isn't the only way to measure success. I hope you've followed our advice about measuring your chest, waist, hips, thighs and upper arms. If you're losing inches, the scale will eventually catch up. Do your clothes feel looser? Have you tried on those clothes that “felt a little too tight" just a few weeks ago? Look at the other markers mentioned earlier. Are you feeling better than you used to? Do you have the energy to do what you want to do? If so, then something good is happening to your body. Be patient, eat right, and you will almost certainly see results before long.
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