By: Theresa Beeco
Anyone who’s ever worked a diet program for any length of time is familiar with “plateaus.” They are the things nightmares are made of- you’ve committed to getting healthier through diet and exercise, you’ve abandoned mimosa brunches with your besties and have screamed into your pillow as your partner eats a sundae next to you in bed. You get up early and stay up late to exercise. You are IN it.
You’re making progress and telling yourself it getting easier to portion control or to track macros and just when your neighbor is yelling across the hedge, “Hey! Have you lost weight?” BOOM. Your weekly trip to your bathroom scale turns into Groundhog Day- that SAME number is staring you down over and over, taunting you. Same effort put in, but same number. No progress.
You hop off the scale and hop back on, you move it to different areas of your house hoping tectonic plates have shifted and that the floor of your home is just uneven. Nope. You finally own it, you have plateaued. You’re worried, you’re frustrated, even disgusted. You scrutinize everything you’ve eaten and how hard you’ve been working out. The thought of, “How much more can I do? “Creeps in. The “Why?!” follows. You scour the internet for a tangible explanation.
The explanation is simple. When the calories you burn equal the calories you eat, you reach a plateau. To kickstart weight loss again you can increase activity or decrease the calories you eat. Introspection is equally important.
*Have I been as active as I’ve been telling myself I am?
*Have I underestimated my portions?
*Have I mixed my carb intake up with my protein intake?
*How have I been feeling lately?
The point of introspection is not to self-shame; it’s to create self-awareness. During a plateau, its important to remember its perfectly normal and that you are STILL in control. The same strength it took you to start a diet and exercise regimen (like La Chele’s Lifestyle Medical Weight Loss Program) didn’t suddenly disappear. Its easy to think that because you’ve hit a wall that your plan is no longer working. We may often ourselves that since we’ve “blown it,’ we might as well quit.
STOP! Be kind and reframe those thoughts. Remind yourself plateaus are temporary and look at your journey to wellness as a lifelong. Recall all of your efforts- all of that progress didn’t disappear and neither should your pride. You’ve got this!