Saturday 3 May 2008

The Wall

Weight Chart

So as you can see from the graph above I’ve been battling a plateau for roughly the past two months at this point. For me the plateau has been 360 or as I’ve come to refer to them as ‘The Magic Number or The Wall’. At first I thought I was just having a lazy week after having a good one. Then I started looking at it more closely as it continued for several weeks and knew I had hit a plateau. I knew if I was serious about this that I would have to take steps to break through it.

First off I want to address the terminology being used because I really don’t like it. A plateau is somewhere that mountain climbers stop to take a rest, may take a few pictures and enjoy themselves, for them it is a goal. For people trying to lose weight a plateau is a point of frustration it is something that stops us and gets in our way. It certainly isn’t something that we strive for. So I say lets call it what it really is: a wall. Its something that we have to push through or climb over, it is in the end something to get past. Now that we’ve got that out of the way and are speaking the same language lets get on with the blog.

It’s my opinion that in order to beat something it is best to learn as much as you can on the subject. That way you have the best possible tools to achieve your goals. So off to the internet I went, I learned that ‘walls’ apparently come from two different possible sources. One of the possibilities even claims that other is a biological impossibility. I’m by no means a medical expert so I won’t even try and guess who is right in this and just present them to you as two separate concepts.

The first theory I came across on why we have these walls when working to lose weight goes something like this. The body needs a certain amount of calorie energy to get through the day. After all it has to do the basic things that we all feel are so important to continued life like: Heart pumping, Lungs expanding and contracting, the kidney’s filtering and so on. As we cut down our weight the amount of caloric energy we expend to stay alive goes down as well. .

The next theory is the so called “starvation mode” and it goes something like this: Our body detects the reduction in calories and interprets that message to mean that food is scarce. So it goes in to what could best be described as a sort of power saver mode and saves any extra energy it can. It makes sense in a lot of ways to me and would be a good survival method if food really was scarce. Sadly in this case the body is miss-interpreting the message.

Some people say that the second one is biologically impossible, like I said earlier am not going to try and figure out who’s right and who’s wrong. In the end the reason this happens is less important then what to do about it when it does happen. That’s the real reason am sure many of you are reading this blog entry so lets get right in to that.

During my search every link I clicked offered me a new method to push through the wall or in some cases several methods.

  • Change things up if you have been focusing mostly on cutting back the calories then switch to focusing on burning the calories through exercise or vice versa. If you’re already doing both try changing the amount you’re working out and increasing the intensity and or the resistance.

  • If you are not already doing so start a food and exercise log. Keep track of everything you eat, and the calories when possible. Also include in that what you do for exercise. It gives you a good picture of what you’re doing and not doing so you can really examine the
    changes you’re making to your life style.

  • Change some of your eating habits can help so try reducing the carbohydrate and fat in take and eat more protein calories. Just be sure to keep the daily protein calorie intake under 25% of your calories. You can also try having days that are less restrictive in your diet plan. That will sometimes help to keep the pounds coming off this is sometimes called “zigzagging the calorie intake.” Along these same lines you can also adjust the sizes of the meals you eat through out the day and instead of a few larger meals have several smaller meals / snacks through out the day.

  • I want to close with one site I came across that encourages you to hang in their and keep it up. Even though your not losing weight at the rate you might like. It is likely that you’re still losing, albeit gradually. This suggestion struck me personally as the height of stupidity and that it would only lead to further frustration. So don’t just hang in there do something about it make changes and try new things. Push through that wall and remember there will be another one at some point. You broke through this one and you will break through the next one as well.

Your friend in weight loss, who won’t give up, and hopes you don’t either.

1 comment:

Scale Junkie said...

I seem to have hit the wall at about the same weight. I can get down to 352 but then quickly bounce back up to the mid 360's and I've struggled to keep it at 360 for several months now. I'm using the same techniques you've blogged about and still doing research for more options.

My body is fighting me for every ounce. I'm sorry you're struggling with this too.

We can't give up, not ever, we will get over this wall very soon.