I have been at a weight loss plateau for months now. I've added exercise time. I've added strengthening activities so I'm not just doing cardio. I've added biking so for cardio I alternate between biking and running. Little changes like this are supposed to help break through a plateau.
Guess what! This has not worked for me.
I think I need to change my eating. I have been eating in the same calorie range for a while now, generally toward the bottom of that range. Every now and again I'll have a wild day and some skyrocketing out of the top of that range. This is infrequent, but it happens.
This week is not a good indicator of where I am weight-wise, thanks to my gain from fluid retention. I had some higher calorie days last weekend, probably out of my range one of those days, maybe even two of the three. The combination of how far out of my range I was, would not account for weight gain. It's just impossible for me to eat that number of calories. I expect that this Saturday my weight will still be up. If it goes down even a little I'll be happy. If it's even higher (compared to my weight earlier in the week), I may scream. Since I weighed in when I shouldn't have, I'm sure that compared to last Saturday my weight will be up. I'm sure it's a guarantee at this point. I didn't count my weight from the other day (when I shouldn't have weighed) but compared to that I am hoping to be down.
Weight loss is so easy when you start....As far as numbers are concerned. If you make changes you'll see changes in numbers. Yay! I know that actually making those changes can be very difficult for some people, but seeing a drop in numbers is very encouraging.
When you've lost 160 pounds, as I have, losing weight becomes more and more difficult. The closer to your goal, the more the body resists. If you continue to eat in the same calorie range, you body adjusts.
I think calories is my problem.
The simple math is that a pound is 3500 calories.... In order to lose a pound a week, a calorie deficit of 500 must be created daily. I cannot possibly subtract that many more calories from my day or else I'll be eating far too few.
On a typical workout day, I burn over 500 calories through exercise. Well, hey, there's that magic number! However, if I'm subtracting it from what I'm eating, my net daily calories are....too low.
I've looked into this off and on throughout weight loss. I'm made adjustments and seen changes. I've made adjustments and seen no changes. I know I have extra skin, but I doubt it's that much. Given my body fat percentage, I still have fat to lose. I am in the "normal" range but I can go lower, so I suspect that I am still capable of losing fat.
I just have to figure out how.
I follow a calorie range set by SP when I log my info... My range is 1200-1550. Most days I eat between 1250 and 1450. I've not seen results doing this. I'm thinking of playing with my calories and seeing what happens.
I did some calculations and according to other formulas for weight loss, I'm eating less than I should. A lot less. I fear adding calories because I'm so insanely terrified of weight gain. But maybe adding calories is what I need to do. Both formulas that I used had me eating more calories than my suggested range on SP. Interesting. However, there was a difference of nearly 200 calories between these two formulas. THAT could make a difference. I'm going to check out formulas a little more and see what else I find. I'm afraid that the higher calorie suggestion is going to be too high. I'd be okay with the lower suggestion being accurate. I do not want to eat more calories than necessary!
Next week (since we are partly through this week and I won't have a current weight until Saturday), I'm going to start zig-zagging my calories to see how if it works. If I'm eating the same overall calories during the week, I shouldn't see a gain.
I will note that I've seen lots of info on zig-zagging and....I'm not about to do the extreme form. I've seen some daily allowances as low as 500 and as high as 2500. Um...NO WAY! Eating less than 1200 calories in a day is, in my opinion, stupid. It is unhealthy to go below 1200 for a woman. No female should go on a diet plan that suggests less than that. Sure, you'll probably lose weight initially...But that's because you're starving yourself. Your body will catch-up with you and in the end, you're going to do more damage than good. Now, doesn't that seem silly?
So...JM uses zig-zagging on the Biggest Loser, or did at one time...At least that's what I've read. Apparently there's a podcast (which I'm going to look for) in which she discusses it. JM is pretty on top of it when it comes to knowing about health and such. I look at her as a reliable source. She's had personal success, helped others to success, and does not condone unhealthy methods of weight loss. The notion of zig-zagging is that it will keep the body guessing. The body gets used to eating the same number of calories every day, which can result in the good ol' weight loss plateau.
What I will do is use the number of calories I need for the week and divide them out.... No less than 1200 on a given day. I'll figure out what works (I'm sure there must be a program that does though....I'm not a fan of math) and divide it out over the course of the week. For example, three days I might eat 1200 calories and two days I might eat 1800, and then eat 1600 two days in between. I'm not saying this is my specific count because it's not. I'd have to sit down and figure out what works for me...Those numbers are just an example. Chances are, my top number will not be as high as 1800. I'll still be eating a healthy number of calories per week, it's just the individual days that will change.
I just have to figure out which number of weekly calories is correct (ha! THAT should be fun... more formula research for the girl who is not a mathematician).
If I'm not changing my weekly calories in a bad way, then I shouldn't gain any weight. At worst, I should stay the same on this plan. If that happens, then I'll know it doesn't work. No harm done, since I'm hanging out on this fabulous plateau.
I'm still concerned with my overall health...Eating healthy and continuing to exercise (especially bodyrock - LOVE). But? I do want to lose some more weight. And I'm pretty sure that what I have to lose cannot all be skin. If I were to have a consult and the surgeon said he could take that much weight off of me in skin alone, I'd be shocked. Here is where I will, again, say that surgery to remove skin is NOT a method of weight loss. However, it might be a factor in my weight at this time because of where I've been, what I've lost, etc. I am not looking into the removal to lose weight. I'm looking at it to get rid of ugly skin that annoys me.
Has anyone tried zig-zagging? I'm interested to know if it's worked for you.... I'll keep you posted on whether or not this plan works for me!