what i’ve learned about how to get past a weight loss plateau
Every article I’ve read about a weight loss plateau does very little to offer mental options of recovery.
Most articles spend a lot of time trying to explain why you’ve come to a weight loss plateau but never really go into detail about how to bounce back into losing weight.
Of course you’ll have to consider the usual suspects: evaluating diet, re-arranging exercise routine, identifying underlying medical issues, & managing stress.
When you’ve exhausted all of those, you can come back and keep reading. I’ll wait…
Done? Alright.. let’s talk about the reality of weight loss. It’s not a linear process and there is a kind of plateau that involves the inability to find the strength to begin again.
Failing a dozen times at anything will begin to cast a thick-ass cloud of doubt over your ability to ever accomplish said thing–ever. Are you there?
my begin again plateau story..the short version
I have been trying to lose the pregnancy weight since I gained it almost 3 years ago. I manage to get down to a certain point and then life hits me hard and I am right back where I started. Whenever I am able to do well for long stretches of time then experience a slip up, it’s difficult to even think about beginning again.
Starting over feels like defeat. Getting back into the swing of losing weight feels futile–what’s the point? I’m only going to plateau again and have to restart, again.
what you need to know about a start-over plateau.
Truthfully, starting over is so much better than giving up. As starting over is the opportunity to succeed–giving up is accepting the idea that you are not capable, and that is not true.
When it feels really hard to begin again, I go back to these mental strategies to get me started. If you aren’t sure how to re-start your most recent failed attempt at weight loss, here are my exact re-start and recover steps.
Forgive Yourself & Give Yourself Permission To Start Again
What you not gone do: beat yourself up for being human.
Forget about yesterday. Stop going over your last mistakes. Have you ever heard the term, beating a dead horse? This is kind of what this is when you sit in your shit for so long waiting to smell the stink.
You had that cookie, you took one too many pieces of that birthday cake. So fucking what. You are a human. You’re not a robot. You’ll make mistakes and that is expected.
You are allowed to start as many times as you need to. Don’t follow nobody else’s timeline.
It’s over with, move forward. Forgive yourself for being human and give yourself permission to believe in your abilities to lose weight. Dust your pretty ass off and go again.
I tend to veer off track right around my menstrual cycle. It’s where I become the most vulnerable to sugar and salt cravings. I am the cliche of moody premenstrual syndrome and when I am down I turn to food to pick me up.
I’ve known this for quite some time but have made very little progress at creating a strategy to stay on track during my menstrual.
I’m determined now more than ever to be successful and I’ve already created a strategy for premenstrual success: add a sweet treat every single day of my period and include it in my meal plan.
You’ve fucked up but you’ve also learned a valuable lesson about yourself. Use the knowledge you’ve gained from going off track to keep you going for the next go-round.
Don’t Start Again With A “Fast” Or “Cleanse”
For whatever reason or the other, I tend to end a binge or a bad week and start again with a one-three day water fast. I say it is a way of “cleansing my palette.”| I don’t believe in this anymore.
Restricting ourselves from eating for 2-3 days is low-key punishment for over indulgence or natural human behavior.
We fucked up. But we should not make up for that fuck up by restricting calories, and/or not eating at all. It’s barbaric. Don’t do this to yourself!
Instead let’s focus on re-crafting and getting more specific with our goals. If need be take some time to re-evaluate your goals, think about your past mistakes and prepare for time.
Don’t Stall Your Re-Start To “Get It Out My System”
We love to promise that we’ll “start again on the first Monday of the full moon in Saturn” but, stuffing ourselves with craving food for another week, until the weekend or whatever your start day of choice is will not get you any closer to feeling satisfied and ready to begin again.
In fact, it makes it harder to continue resisting once you’ve trained your brain into giving in to all of your cravings.
Honestly, if you are unable to stop yourself mid-binge it probably means that you are not ready to begin the journey and that is okay. If need be, take some more time to develop a strong sense of “why” and then start again.
You can begin again at any point.
You are totally capable of achieving weight release.
Understand this process is not linear.
It may require some stops and re-starts. THAT IS OKAY. As long as you do do not give up on yourself, you will make it to your goal.
I’d love to hear how you bounce back from a weight loss plateau or failed attempt.