I'm talking weight plateaus. Over a range of acceptable weights. Not one goal weight, but a range. I find my weight plateaus are only good for 3-6 months, then I may have to adjust or tinker a bit to keep my normal weight.
Nobody told me I'd have to do that. Whoa!?
1. Weight ranges vs a goal weight ( I still have a goal weight, but keeping a range is key 115-125) and minding my plateau weights.
2. Staying food sober, yes I'm a Food Addict in 5+ years of recovery. It's a disease I manage every meal.
Weight maintenance, for me, is about the daily choices, that evolve into the weekly and monthly outcomes. Both scale and non-scale. Both. BOTH. How easy would it be to return to the Food Addiction via lies I told myself about intuitive eating? I needed an abstainer plan. How easy would weight gain be by not hopping on the scale? See my gainer graph below. Easy.
So EZ to pop off a long plateau without my abstinence based food template. My body has no other choice to save itself. Even with a solid abstainer food template,over the past 1 year, I gained somewhere between 5,7 or even 8 pounds . And yes, daily weighing. Frustrating, yet regain is common for many reasons in long term weight maintenance.
Recently, I've lost 3-5 pounds (going from 125's to 121's) and I'm headed to the next plateau (119) maybe? I feel better in the 119's, so I'm shooting for that. I get what I get. I do not throw a fit.
If you are approaching weight maintenance or returning to it, be sure to have a look at your plateaus and get a good idea of what you can do to maintain within a range. Check with your doctor, too for screening for diabetes, bone loss, and other disease states.
Weight plateaus are pretty normal. Embrace it. Use the stable weight to practice habits & behaviors.
Use plateaus to pivot to the next lower plateau, or maintain the plateau weight lower.
Use plateaus to make decisions within a few months of what is and is not working.
Use plateaus to sharpen your abstainer skills, cooking at home skills, medication changes, exercise adjustments.
Use plateaus to protect your body organs from further diseases of obesity.
For me: Hormonal ( post menopause), glucose management, possible change in thyroid meds, change in sleep amount, changes in food total amounts, changes in activity. And, there will be more root causes if you are managing other disease states.
Ugh....But time was on my side, so I experimented around, and didn't go back into the food addiction. I could have easily said, forget this, I'm high on the scale anyway I might as well eat XYZ binge foods, who will know? I would know, Food Addiction is a disease that keeps you from your given gifts. The brain space taken up by addiction keeps us from our jobs, families, pets and communities.
Studies estimate that 40% of this obese population have food addiction. Using the right tool(s) is essential. Going back to food addiction was not an option for me. Staying on a plateau IS a great option, IMO. Since I know that food addiction could come back in a second, I kept my basic LCHF food template and abstainer mind and tinkered.
SO many variables.
I have started to reverse the gain, but it took 9-10 months to figure out an effective for me tool (time restricted eating window).
I think its our bloggy friend Jan (from Low Carb Diabetic) who has said that trying plans often resulted in weight loss in the first few months, but would the weight just come back several months down the road?
1. Is the change sustainable?
2. Can I find a plateau for 3-6 months at a time?
I have a weight plateaus in maintenance, loss and weight gain. (mine are 116, 119, 121, 125, 131, 139, 142, 148, 152, 161, 176, 181, and finally 187. It looks like I may have even topped out at 192 before I took action.
So doing the work to stay on a plateau is super key. Otherwise, weight gain after loss is just no fun. I've yo-yo'ed for about 40 years.
|Weight gain graph, moderating all foods 2007 to 2011|
Notice how my plateaus jump higher as I go up the scale. My poor body had no choice but to take the carbs & sugar and store them to protect my eyes, heart, liver, kidneys, and extremities. My hormonal system was just doing what it could to protect my body. Amazing and wonderful in a way.
I'm not binge eating, I'm not using the temporary or long term gain to eat Paleo or LCHF junk food. My food addiction is safely into long term remission. I'm not on the edge of relapse or lapse or having binge urges.
I am inside my acceptable range. After a lot of work. LOTS of work.
What's working now:
1. The best prevention I have to to stick with my normal food template and my routine. My body will choose between the 125, 121 plateau and the 119 plateau. Although, I'll be shooting to stay solid at 119, if I can choose. I'm short and small boned. 5'1".
2. Prepare my mind for the next 3-6 months.
3. Staying food sober
|Embracing the plateau June 2016, keeping 63 pounds off, Hawaii|
What didn't work in the past:
1. Eating all the things and lying to myself about York Peppermint patties, M&M's and Skinny Cows being OK because they were in my WW points range. Nope, ALL the nopes.
2. I did not look at my progress over time to make changes that would stick.
3. I was deep, so deep into letting "The Disease" -aka- Food Addiction rule my life and health. Scale up? Might as well eat whatever "my body told me to eat". Of course it was junk. The disease leads itself to lies to stay alive. False fixes ruled me.
|March 2011, my desk, just before becoming food sober|
I'll bet I'm not alone on long term maintainers using plateaus to keep their health- weight and disease states in check. Comment below how you use plateau's to your advantage. As hard as it is. I know how much work it takes.