Every now and again we all face this horrible nightmare during our weight loss journey; you walk into your bathroom with that great feeling that you have done all you can this week and you can't wait to see the rewards for your efforts showing up on the scale. Then, to your horror, the number is the same it was last week...or even worse, IT HAS GONE UP. Your head spins, your face gets hot, you fell a surge of rage rush through your body. You pick up your scale and while screaming, "I KNEW YOU WERE FROM THE DEVIL," you hurl that evil device across the room with all of your force.
Does this sound familiar?? I know I have been there more than a few times. It can be so frustrating to our efforts, and in a lot of cases this little problem can make us want to throw our hands up and quit. This is part of the "diet" trap. We have convinced ourselves that the only way to gauge our success is by seeing the numbers drop on the scale. But, please, take a step back from Satan's measuring tool and consider a few factors.
1. Where are you in your cycle? Could it be possible that you are retaining water? If so, stay calm my sister STAY OFF OF THE SCALE, and give it a few days. If you stay on your plan, you may even end up a few extra pounds down!
2. Are you under a great amount of stress? Stress is a proven way to make your body pack on a few, or hold on to the pounds you are trying to loose.
3. Are you getting enough sleep? Sleep deprivation can cause our bodies to skip the all too important "recovery" phase of our sleep cycle causing us to store extra fat.
4. Are you drinking enough water? If you are not, your body has no way of flushing out the excess. Up your water and see how well that works! Your urine should be virtually colorless, if not, DRINK MORE!
5. Are you eating higher glycemic foods? Some fruits and vegetables really aren't that desirable for weight loss. Check out the Glycemic Index, and try to pick foods with the lowest numbers. During weight loss, those foods will speed up the process!!
6. Where are you in your journey? During the entire first month your weight according to the scale can shift dramatically. Water weight is a finicky thing. Weigh yourself at the same time every day, and weigh less often. I read in a book to weigh on day one, and then not again for a whole month...I couldn't wait that long, but at least only weigh once a week for a while until your body gets into a rhythm.
7. Are you keeping track of inches? Sometimes you may not loose pounds, but you are still loosing inches. Remember THIS post when we discussed the differences in fat and muscle? If you are working out, you may be building muscle and that very muscle may be taking the place of fat. So you may weigh the same or more, but your body is still shrinking.
I challenge you to look for other ways to rate your successes.
1. How do my clothes look and feel?
2. How have my physical capabilities improved?
3. Are others noticing me looking happier?
4. Do I feel happier (other than when I look at the scale)?
5. How has my muscle tone improved?
6. Am I making strides in changing bad habits within my family?
7. Am I setting goals and achieving them outside of weight loss?
8. Am I setting a good example for my friends and family?
These are all things to think about each day. Forget the numbers and focus on the idea of Optimal Health!
There could be so many more factors to a plateau, but just keep in mind...if you are obeying the rules, and making good choices, you WILL be rewarded. Stay positive and do your best!