Taking the Edge Off of Plateauing Pounds

Our 5-woman campus fitness & weight loss team, the Rampaging Regionals, has finished our third week of logging our progress, registering in with:

1,950 minutes (32.63 hrs) this week   /or/   99.48 hours for the past 3 weeks

AND

5.4 pounds weight loss this week    /or/    43 pounds lost for the past 3 weeks

We’re on the cutting edge of magnificence towards staying on track with our goals. But…

If you compare this week with the two prior ones, you might note that Week 3 doesn’t appear to be nearly as rewarding in weight loss, at least based upon the weight loss numbers. Some of us are dealing with stepping onto the scales of a plateau. Some us may even be feeling more like we’re stepping beyond that – onto a bleeding edge – covered in blood, sweat & tears from our efforts, while not cutting our anticipated weight. Somewhere along the way…

Plateaus generally come with rough edges.

You see, our bodies have been going through an adjustment period, with reduced caloric intake and increased or modified exercise. Our glycogen stores have now been released; our water weight retention has been diminished. Those things had to happen – and, boy, did they look good on the scales while they were taking place! Except now that we can’t count on a continuation of that same progressive rate, we’ve got to either be satisfied with slighter reductions in weight loss (or the dreaded plateauing), or we have to begin reworking our strategies (such as adding 15-30 minutes of exercise daily, even if we’ve maxed the “credit” we get as a team; or changing up our exercise routine to surprise our bodies).

Continuing forward can feel like a double-edged sword.

As we work through our 4th week at this point, our support systems may start getting a little shaky. Family members and friends are tired of us giving so much thought to food preparation (or maybe they’re tired of feeling guilty because they won’t play along). There aren’t as many big (numerical) victories to celebrate at our lunchroom table. Punching meals into my phone to calculate calories every day seems more like a monotonous hassle than it did the 3 weeks before. Yet…

Our team has to be determined to Stay on Track rather than Getting on Edge.

That’s a normal response. It’s what happens after a few weeks of reduced caloric intake, especially when it appears there’s not as much progress. Edginess creeps in, whispering in your ear where you can get a quick pick-me-up snack, throwing tummy tantrums as you try not to succumb to prior bad eating habits, screaming at your brain to either allow you to gnaw off a couple of your fingers or to bite someone else’s head off.

Stay calm. Step away from the edge.

Determine NOT to Edge out of Your Diet

The time you’ve determined to get back to fighting weight isn’t the time to throw in the towel from  the edge of your ring. Let me tell you a pet peeve that I don’t want to negatively impact you (or me!) – – I get a little irritated when looking for healthy diet ideas online, only to come across articles that advise me (and you) to “Stop Dieting!” That’s ridiculous advice! Why? Because the truth is – we’re ALL on some sort of diet. It’s just that some of our diets consist of some not-so-healthy food choices. People who read that tripe are tempted to throw their healthy dietary plan over the edge because some well-meaning “ex-pert” wanted to make what was perceived as a clever point using hyperbole. (That person obviously wasn’t standing on a plateau thinking of jumping over the edge!) If you’ve been working on a healthy diet plan, “ex” out that lame advice. Stick to your plan. Or check to see what revised tweaks may need to be made.

Are you skimping too much on calories to the point where you’re placing yourself in starvation mode? Then adjust with some healthy additional calories.

Are you eating larger meals, when spreading smaller snack-size portions throughout the day would better answer your body’s needs?

Have you had a health check-up with lab work lately to assure that your body is functioning at its maximum health capacity and metabolic rate?

Just remember – regardless of whether you toss out your current eating plan, you’re going to be left on a diet of some kind. Try to make those healthy diet calories maximally count towards enhanced edge-of-your-seat performance towards your well-being!

Supplement Your Edgy Cravings

Dieting is not meant to push you over the edge. First, take a look at your intake & assure it’s adequate. It’s not just about calories. It’s more about the types of food that you are placing into your body for nutritional use. Don’t allow yourself empty, sugary, junk food calories (even if you can stay within your daily caloric intake goal). Replace them with nature’s alternatives – lots of filling fruits & veggies. And be sure to get a protein with every meal, so you can continue to maintain muscle mass, rather than allowing nutrients to be stolen from your muscles. (Flabby may weigh less, but it doesn’t look nearly as attractive.)

Too many empty calories means you’ll be edging up a long, steep road without any fuel to back you – so you’ll soon be running out of gas (before your day’s journey ends)! Need an additional fuel boost?

Add Supplements to your diet – especially natural multi-vitamins & minerals. Take these with each of your meals to get an extra nutritional boost for body sustenance. This should help smooth those frayed edges.

Give Yourself a Financially Inexpensive but Emotionally Fulfilling Reward

Take the edge off by recycling your closet!  During those times when you’d like to be snacking, go to your closet & begin to prune the edges. (You heard what I did there, right?!)  Cull out your closet of all the clothes that no longer fit well because of the weight you’ve lost. If you haven’t worn them in awhile anyway, consider them outdated (for you) & send them to the Goodwill or some other charity for someone else to enjoy. Then celebrate with the fun part! Bring back to “front & center” the clothes that you haven’t been able to fit into for awhile. Find new ways to mix & match them with updated clothing items & accessories you’ve acquired since you last wore them. It’ll be like getting a new (or at least refreshed) wardrobe! (And trying on and sorting these clothes will keep your hands & mind busy – possibly for a couple of hours – as an added bonus, so you don’t feel like you have time to go get a snack.)

Make an Inexpensive Caloric Purchase when you’re feeling like a Spendthrift

Get off that slippery slope and go for an icy edge instead. (Please tell me you caught that one too.) Make yourself a low-calorie, but fulfilling, sweet treat.

skinny shakeI call this my Holy Skinny Cow! Shake (because there’s really no cow’s milk in it). It’s a much skinnier adaptation of a Wendy’s Frosty-type recipe that has been going around on Pinterest.

In a blender, combine:

1 cup unsweetened Almond Milk (I like to use the almond/coconut milk blend)
1/2 Tbs unsweetened Cocoa powder
1 tsp (or a little more) vanilla extract
2 tsp Stevia-in-the-raw
8-15 ice cubes, depending on how much you want to thin the chocolate)

See how you can gain some ground by taking the edge off?!

Calories = 50 or less!

(You could add some yogurt, a banana or protein to thicken & smoothen this, but you’ll also be adding calories, of course. How far you live on the edge is totally your call! No matter – it doesn’t really taste like a Wendy’s Frosty, but it can satisfy the sweet-tooth, chocolate craving, if that beast has been on your back.)

Smooth out those Spiritual Rough Edges

Fly off your Edge – not off the Deep End! Center yourself on spiritual issues, rather than physical demands. Take time for filling yourself with nourishment that comes from other places than food – e.g., meditation, devotion & prayer. You can learn to step out in faith & soar with the eagles, leaving your physical cravings behind. For me, this means spending interactive, meaningful time in God’s Word; talking earnestly with God in prayer; asking God to help me focus on kingdom issues, rather than the things I desire in this world (and don’t need, such as that Reese’s candy bar my son left as a temptation in my cupboard).

Remember, all plateaus have edges –

I’m hoping I can help make all of ours smoother.

At some point, we’ll be jumping off the edge of our scales (in celebration!) when these eventually break (the, um, plateaus – not the scales).  😉

Hoping I haven’t lost my edge,

-jody

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