Day 153: The Truth About Weight Loss Plateaus- Are we to Blame??

This is an article I read a few years back and thought of it after months of screaming Plateau. I am Posting it here for anyone interested in reading it.

 

After months of eating healthy and exercising, you’re enjoying amazing results. But soon your weight loss slows to a trickle, and then to a full stop.

You’ve plateaued. Or have you?

 

The widely held assumption is that the body adjusts to a caloric reduction fairly quickly, making it harder for dieters to maintain a steady weight loss, ultimately resulting in the dreaded plateau — i.e. the several-week-stretch six to eight months into your diet when the needle on your scale refuses to move and you question whether or not it’s broken (or simply just plotting against you).

This is typically when you start to blame your body for adjusting to your new weight loss routine and either throw in the proverbial towel or double your efforts.

But according to new research published in The Lancet, the scale’s homeostasis has less to do with your body composition and more to do with slipping into old eating and exercise habits.

 

It would take the body three years to reach a metabolic plateau,” says lead author Dr. Kevin D. Hall from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. “If you stick to a diet exactly, you should expect your weight loss to continue for years, albeit not at the same rate.”

While it’s easier for our psyches to blame a waning metabolism than a lack of willpower, Hall’s findings showed that most people who experience a weight loss plateau six to eight months into a diet are reverting back to pre-diet behaviors.

In fact, Hall even found that dieters begin to regress as soon as a month after they begin their diets. “When people are seeing their plateau — which is also their greatest weight loss success — their habits are practically back to where they started.”

Within 10 months, not only have people come totally full circle and readopted their pre-diet habits, but they’re beginning to put back on the weight they lost and, here comes the worst part, they still report that they’re actually dieting.

“After more than a year of dieting, they’re typically a little heavier than their minimum weight and slowly creeping back up,” says Hall. “But if you ask them what they’re eating, most will say they’re still on a diet.”

 

The saying goes that success is 90 percent mental and only 10 percent physical, and dieting is no exception. We’re not just fighting the scale, we’re also fighting our old habits and, it seems, they’re often winning. So how do you suppress your body’s physical and mental propensity to resume your old ways?

Revisit your goals each week, says Susan Albers, Psy.D., psychologist at the Cleveland Clinic Family Health Center and author of “But I Deserve This Chocolate.”

“Make sure they’re measurable and process-oriented.,” says Albers. Instead of telling yourself (and sometimes even willing yourself) to lose five pounds in a week, make a to-do list of activities that work to help you achieve that goal.

“It just feels so rewarding to be able to cross something off a list,” says Albers. “It’s something tangible that you can see and helps you work toward your goal.”

Albers also suggests being more mindful of behavior to keep from slipping back into an old routine.

“So much of what we do is on autopilot,” she says. “It’s like when you change your password on your computer. It takes awhile to relearn that habit and, every now and again, you’ll type in your old password. It’s just ingrained in you, like any other habit.”

At the end of the day, it’s a little discouraging to know that we all seem to be kidding ourselves into believing we’re better dieters than we really are.

“It’s more disheartening to have false expectations set up,” says Hall. More often than not, we’re going to backpedal, sometimes unconsciously, and undo some of our dieting success. And that’s okay because, as Hall says, “it’s better to have realistic expectations and set out to achieve them.”

So accept that you’re going to have a few slip-ups, but be honest about where those pitfalls lie instead of pointing a finger at the scale. It’s the first step in recovering from a dreaded plateau and working toward your ultimate fitness and weight loss goal, whatever that may be.
Source (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/11/weight-loss-plateau_n_1004197.html?ref=healthy-living-body)

 

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Day 151: How to read food labels

Rule number of better eating is to know your food, which means, learn how to read your labels.

I think the biggest shock I got about healthy eating was just how little I knew about what went into my food. It was after I watched Michael Polan’s Food Inc. that I started really looking into what I ate and where it came from. After A while, it’s almost impossible for me to put anything in my cart without firt looking at the label and figuring out what is in it and how it will affect me once I eat it.

Reading labels might seem daunting at first by there are a few simple rules that will make it a breeze.

 

Ingredients List: ingredients on labels are listed in order of weight( the amount of the ingredient in the product). Look for foods containing unprocessed, recognizable ingredients.  If you can’t pronounce or don’t recognize some of the ingredients, put the product back on the shelf! Avoid foods where the first 4 ingredients is sugar in its many forms.

Serving size: This is where retailers trick us into thinking that something has less calories than it does. Suggesting serving size and what people actually eat are two different things. Make sure that you are adding your calories according to what you actually ate. Don’t assume the whole pack equates the calories written.

Calorie count: make sure you check the calorie count on food before purchasing. Also ask yourself if the calories provided is actually worth what you will be getting.

General Guide to Calories

  • 40 Calories is low
  • 100 Calories is moderate
  • 400 Calories or more is high

 

Total Fat:  Aim low: Most people need to cut back on fat! Try to limit your calories from fat.  For a healthy heart, choose foods with a big difference between the total number of calories and the number of calories from fat.

 

GMO or Organic: if this is important to you, make sure you check to see how your ingredients are grown. Understanding how this food is labeled will be your best guide

 

Day 150: Vegetarian? But how do you get protein??

Every vegetarian and vegan has gotten this question. Mostly its is from ignorance and the belief that protein can only be gotten form meat.

The simple fact is that almost every food we eat contain a little bit of protein and as a vegetarian, the challenge is only to mix the right foods to get sufficient protein.
Anyways since I will be starting the carb cycle, I will need to be seriously upping my protein. Protein is in everything we eat but there are some great boosters out there that do not have a lot of carbs in them.

Protein source for a vegetarian

 

–       Tofu

–       TVP

–       Tempeh

–       Eggs

 

Protein Sources and How Much You Are Actually Getting By the Numbers


Beans, Nuts, Seeds

1-cup garbanzo beans 14.5 grams (43g net carbs)

1 cup pinto beans 12 grams
(30g net carbs)

1 cup refried beans 15.5 grams

1 cup soybeans 28 grams
(7g net carbs)

1 oz. cashews 4.4 grams
(7g net carbs)

1 oz. peanuts 6.5 grams
 (4g net carbs)

1 oz. sesame seeds 6.5 grams
 (3g net carbs)

1 oz. pistachios 5.8 grams
 (2g net carbs)

1 cup tofu 22 grams
(2g net carbs)

1 cup lentils 18 grams (23g net carbs)

 

 

Dairy

1 cup yogurt 13 grams
 (16g carbs)

1 oz cheddar cheese 7.1 grams
(0g net carbs)

1 egg 6 grams
 (0g net carbs)

1 cup cottage cheese 10 grams (3g net carbs)

Mozzarella cheese 7 grams (0g net carbs)

 

Fruits and Vegetables

1 avocado 10 grams
 (4g net carbs)

1 cup broccoli 5 grams
(5g net carbs)

1 cup spinach 5 grams
(2g net carbs)

1 cup peas 9 grams
 (14g net carbs)

1 medium artichoke 4 grams
 (6g net carbs)

1 cup asparagus 5 grams
(3g net carbs)

1 cup beet greens 3 grams (14g net carbs)

 

This List isn’t extensive at all but it shows a great way that you can get in protein without all the carbs. You just have to make calculations about what you can combine and sacrifice.

On law carb days, you can keep your meals with veg and dairy and some tofu. The beans and legumes can come in on the high carb days.

 

 

 

Day 149: Carb cycling (low carb, High protein) New Plan.

When I don’t blog I realize that I am not usually on plan. And thus has been the last week.

Last week has had no runs, no workouts and borderline good eating. I did weigh myself and I am down about a pound. However my scale seems to be broken and so I cannot be quite sure how much I weigh. Time to get new batteries and if that doesn’t work, shell out some money and buy a new one.

I need to get back on track.  I am in a tug of war between setting goals and getting pissed when I don’t meet them or not setting goals and getting lazy because I have nothing to work towards. Both ends are not acceptable.

I know small goals are key and easier to work towards. So now I am trying to figure out what is small enough to accomplish and still challenging enough to motivate me.

 

Here is what I know.

I want to be out of the 160’s by the end of the end of February. This is about 9lbs. sounds simple enough but this plateau is driving me fucking nuts. I need a new plan and I finally decided on carbohydrate cycling.
This is a way to burn fat while maintaining muscles. This is done by getting the body to maintain Ketosis where the body burns fat instead of glucose for fuel for a few days followed by a high carb day, the goal being to replenish depleted glycogen stored and this also gives us a break and making the diet easier.

Carb cycling isn’t new to me. I did it once and I broke through a plateau with it. It’s a great way to get in a low carb diet without being too restricted.

I got this from bodybuilders.com and it seems to be a great way to cut fat and build muscles while lifting

The concept of carb cycling is simple.  There are two types of carb cycling methods I have come across.

Method #1: you have days of eating low carbs followed by a day of high carbs. And the cycle continues until you get your desired results. You have three days of:

–       High carb-  on this day, you will eat carbs in your total amount in weight. E.g. if you weigh 150lbs you can eat up to 150g of carbs. If you weigh 200lbs you eat 200g of carbs.

–       Low carb days- On this day, you eat a few carbs about 30-50g of carbs. All from whole grains, veggies and fruit.

–       No carb days- on this day you will try your beast to eat no carbs at all. (This is almost impossible for vegetarians because you will be mostly eating meat and cheese.)

 

Method #2: This is my preferred method and is sustainable on a vegetarian diet.

Instead of having a three-day cycle that has variable carb intake, in this method you have

–       3 days of low carb: On this day you eat a low carb diet of 30-50g of carbs. You have to make sure your carbs are from whole grains, fruits and veggies.

–       Followed by 1-day high carbs. Same as the first method, you eat you weight in grams of carbs. This isn’t a free for all. If you consume more carbs than you need, you might negate the whole process and gain weight instead.

Source blogspot

 Note #1: Along with managing your carbs, you have to watch your protein. Make sure you are eating your weight in grams of protein. Everyday. For me this will be 170 grams of protein. (I have to be honest. Nearly impossible of a vegetarian diet while watching carbs at the same time)
Note #2: you also have to watch your calories. For this program on your low carb days, you will eat 1200 calories. This is a bit low for most people but it can be adjusted according to your needs. With the amount of protein you will be eating, you will be pretty full and won’t be hungry at all. You will find that 1200 calories will be quite filling.
On your high carbs days, you will be eating at your maintenance, for me that is about 1800- 2000 calories. The increase of calories is to account for your increase in Carbs on that day. Use this day to treat yourself. Have a pizza on whole grain crust.

 

The cycle is followed until you achieve your goal. 3 days of low carbs followed by a day of high carbs. The genius of this method is that you don’t feel deprived.  You have a built-in cheat day and you can indulge without feeling guilty. I loved doing this because when I feel like cheating, I know I only have three days to go until I can indulge.
Fats:

On low carb days, your fat intake will be higher. That is ok as long as they are healthy fats from avocado, olive oil and nuts. On your high carb days, keep your fats to a minimum.

 

Exercise

Carb cycling really focuses on cutting the fat in your body and you will need to accompany it with strength training. Because of the low carbs and high protein, cardio will take a secondary role and weight training will be your primary focus. This just means you might have to run 3 miles instead of 13.

On your high carb days, you will intensify your workout to use up your carbs and the extra energy you will be getting. You can fit in your long runs on the day you are on high carbs days.

 

 

So far this will be my February plan. I am going to go for about 21- 28 days. I will be including recipes and sources of protein for vegetarians in the next few days. This is a journey of trials and errors. I am willing to try anything within bounds of reason. This worked for me great the last time and I could even feel muscles developing. I think I learned from my mistakes the last time and will be able to maintain it better this time round. Now off to menu plan.