I believe this question will be helpful for every one so I thought I would share it! I get questions every week and sometimes it takes me a while to get back to them because I want to write an entire essay. So please know that if I haven’t gotten back to you yet, I will! It’s just because I don’t want to give you a short response. You all deserve the best answer possible. Below came from a reader…I’m changing her name for privacy.
Hi, My name is Susan and I am 50 and 5\’ 6\”. 18 months ago I weighed approx 223lbs. Today I weigh 162lbs, and am no longer on medication for high blood pressure or high cholesterol. However, I have been 162lbs (give or take 2/3lbs fluctuations) for about 6 months now, and I am really struggling to loose the last 14lbs or so to get to a BMI of 23, which is mid range healthy for my height. I am somewhat disappointed to find I am stil tecnically overweight after all that effort!! 6 months is a long time to plateau!! I stopped going to Slimming World about 4 months ago, as I felt there was not enough support to get me over this hurdle, and as you can see, I\’m maintaining pretty well but not losing. Exercise-wise, I go to between 8-10 1 hour sessions of body pump, body combat, body attack, circuit training per week. I have tried just eating less (obvious – to me anyway) but that didn\’t help, I have tried meal replacement shakes twice a day for 3 weeks, I lost 3 lbs the first week, nothing the second, and gained a couple of pounds the 3rd week, but that would probably be water retention at this time of my menstrual cycle. So I don\’t feel they are much help, and deep down I know it isn\’t the answer. I would welcome any comments from yourself that might help me get me just that bit further down the road I want to be travelling!! Thank you for reading my email, Susan x
Here is my response…
Thank you for your e-mail. First of all, congratulations on your weight loss! That is incredible! And one thing that should be congratulated even more is the fact that you are able to maintain the weight loss! That is one of the hardest things to learn…especially through a plateau when all we want to do is eat because of frustration.
Here’s the problem…when our bodies lose weight, and especially as much as you have lost, they get to a point where they just don’t want to lose anymore in case of famine. Even if YOU believe that your body would look good thirty pounds lighter…your body doesn’t agree! So this is when we literally have to start shocking our system so it has no idea what to do.
I can leave you with some suggestions. I’ll give the pros and cons to each suggestion…
1. Shock your body by taking a week or two week long break from working out–
I know this is scary to many people. But it’s a good way to see how stressed your body is. Sometimes when we push our bodies and stress them to the max with all of the working out that we put it through, we sometimes need to pull back the reigns so that our body has time to recover and relax. I actually do this a couple times a year. I’ll work out consistently four to five times a week every week, and then (especially around vacations and such) I simply take a break. Every time this has happened…if I am able to continue eating well, my body almost always drops pounds and gets lean. It basically is like a reboot to your system. We all have to remember that our bodies change and get stronger in the recovery time.
Pro: it gives you a week or two where you can just concentrate on making good decisions in your eating. You may do light stretching and/or light yoga, but other than that…this is to truly surprise your body, so don’t push too hard. Sometimes I believe that when we work out too hard, this is just another reason for Cortisol (the stress hormone that can trigger fat storage) to rise, inevitably making is easier to gain weight instead of lose. Taking a break drops the cortisol level in your body and allows you to release fat cells.
Cons: If you don’t feel strong enough to take the one to two weeks off and then get back on a workout routine! Sometimes taking a week long break especially with past tendencies, sometimes you find that you don’t want to start working out again. Don’t let this happen to you. Get someone that will hold you to this…some accountability is good!
2. You didn’t mention this, but you may already be doing it…make sure that you are counting your calories. Be careful of the things that you grab through out the day that you are unaware of…a cracker here, a piece of fruit there. Figure out the calories that you are taking in…
If you are too low…get higher. You are working out too much to get lower than 1100 calories a day.
If you are too high (for your height and your weight history I would say a good range for you is between 1100-1400)…then you know what the problem is. If you are at 1300-1400 a day in CLEAN food then I would say to drop it no more than 100 Calories and see if that small change helps enough.
3. Add Sprints. On a treadmill or outside, thirty seconds on and thirty seconds off sprints are definitely a fabulous way of losing pounds! Try them if you haven’t already.
Sometimes you just need to change up what you are doing.
4. Switch up your eating! For example…
Raise your carb intake two days a week, and low carbs for five days a week.
5. This is a huge one for me…If you only have BIG working out in your life…Add SMALL working out. What I mean is walking and moving through out the day! Get your body started from the morning till night. Nothing stressful, just a walk to work or walking to the grocery store. Women’s bodies are proven to need this kind of small movement through out the day!
My personal opinion…if you are anything like me…you are very hard on yourself and you are pushing yourself pretty hard. That’s okay…unless you’re stressed out about it. Take a break for one to two weeks and maintain a CLEAN diet. The longer I am in this I have found that if I can stay relaxed then my body responds WAY better than if I am stressed just to see results.
If your heart is in the right place then it will be easier to get to the end of the race! Love on yourself and embrace the amazing way your body has already responded to hard work. You are a woman to love and adore because of who you are NOW… not just tomorrow.
I hope this helps! Don’t hesitate to ask more.
I’m going to share your question if you don’t mind because I think there a lot of people out there that have the same exact question. I know that I did!!!
We went to The Hilton in Waikoloa this weekend and it was amazing! If you have never been and you are planning a trip to Hawaii, check it out! There are some cool things coming up soon for Tessa Van Wade Fitness! I can’t wait to share! And new videos are being made this weekend with my new way of working out!
For now I am going to share some questions from readers and my answers. Feel free to send me your questions to email@example.com