Have you ever noticed how easy it is to put weight back on?
You lose some weight, turn your back for a second and then bam – you’re back to where you started. Annoying isn’t it? We all have a ‘normal’ body weight, a weight at which our body prefers, and will do it’s best to maintain.
This is what we call the ‘set point theory’ – when your body does everything it can to return back to whatever ‘normal’ was. Problems arise when we try to move away from this ‘set point’, your mind is wanting to do one thing, but your body has other ideas.
Generally, your body likes what’s familiar and doesn’t always like being taken out of its comfort zone. Your body is like that friend who needs the most amount of coaxing to leave the house on a Saturday. You want to take them for a nice sociable meal and a drink. But they’d much prefer to stay at home with a movie and a takeaway.
The idea of leaving the house is not attractive. But once they’re out they’re glad they left the house and everyone has a great time (full disclosure – I’m describing myself). Well, that’s like your body’s resistance to weight loss when you try to instigate something different, your body resists. You’ll feel hungrier and your metabolism might slow down. So maybe you lose a few kgs, you’re feeling good, but then you hit a plateau.
Weight loss stalls, you get frustrated, maybe you quit
Sound familiar? I think this is a huge reason why so many ‘diets’ fail because the plateau is so widely misunderstood. It’s just part of the weight loss journey an integral part in fact.
During the plateau, when weight loss stalls, your body is just adjusting to a different set point. It’s like when you’ve got your friend in the cab. They’re slowly coming round to the idea of an evening out of the house. Quitting your diet mid plateau then is like turning the cab around.
The longer you maintain this plateau, the less pushback you’ll feel once you’ve maintained your new ‘set point’ for 6 – 8 weeks, you’ll be well placed to attack another fat loss phase and see more progress, the longer you keep your friend in the cab, the less they’ll complain and who knows, once you’ve eaten you might even be able to persuade them to push on for some cocktails.
So next time you hit a weight loss plateau, ride it out! The longer you maintain that set point, the more your body settles in which will make your next weight loss phase a breeze.