“How do I get past a weight loss plateau?”

Whenever I hear that question my first instinct is, “is it really a plateau?”

For some a plateau is when the scale weight isn’t moving at the speed it use to move at before. For others it’s staying at the same weight for 3 days, and for some it’s staying at the same weight for months.

I think the first step to getting past a plateau is to be honest and ask yourself whether it really is a plateau. Personally I define a plateau as my weight staying the same for over 3-4 weeks while I’m doing the exact same things.

Exact. Same. Things.

If there’s been ‘cheat days’ or events here and there I don’t consider it a plateau. I like think of it as breaking even. I worked hard, and went out the celebrate so the ‘damage’ and ‘hard work’ broke even.

But there certainly have been times where I was doing everything right, and my weight just wouldn’t budge.

By definition if you’re not losing weight, then you’re not in a caloric deficit.

So how do you get past it? You gotta create a caloric deficit by either:

1) Eating less. Audit your everyday foods and cut another 100kcal, maintain it for a week and adjust from there.
2) Moving more. Exercise, or more steps, or just simple being more active such as walking, taking the stairs etc.
3) Being mindful of bites, licks, and tastes. They seem harmless but can easily add up.

Plateaus happen naturally and not because you did something wrong, but it’s likely that you lost enough weight that your old caloric deficit is now your maintenance calories.

So the simple answer?

Gotta create that caloric deficit again.

“How do I stay motivated?”

You gotta do something you like.

I think that’s the ultimate answer. I know I know, In the past I’ve said motivation is fleeting, and that it comes and goes, but I’ve been giving this a lot of thought lately and I think it’s possible to get it stay longer.

All of my failed diets in the past during my morbidly obese days, they all had one common theme...

... I hated it.

I’d be lying if I said I was OK with it. The only reason I’d be ok with it is because I was expecting results from it. I sure wasn’t expecting to be on the diet for the rest of my life. I wanted to get what I came for, and get outta there as soon as possible.

So what happened with my latest diet? The one that got me out of morbidly obese territory and into a normal weight within 2 years?

I didn’t hate it.

Yep, I’m being careful with my words. I didn’t hate it. I don’t love it, but I really don’t mind it at all. Many have told me, “oh you have to weigh all your food? And put it into an app? What kind of life is that? I could never live like that...” and they’re right.

Perhaps they can’t, but I can. I really don’t mind weighing food, inputting it into myfitnesspal, reviewing my food on a daily basis and cross checking that with my daily scale weight. I don’t mind it at all. If anything I feel comfortable.

I feel comfortable knowing I’m in full control of my weight. Will this suit you? I have no clue, but if it doesn’t I highly recommend you to not force yourself to like it. I’ve been there before. Trying to force myself to love a particular method because there’s so many testimonies about it, but in the end it was just prolonged misery for me.

So my current take on motivation?

You gotta do something you actually like. Or at the very least something that you don’t hate. That along with being realistic about the journey. Acknowledging that the journey doesn’t end when you hit your weight goal, and understanding that maintaining weight is as much work as losing weight.

I think that helps you to stay motivated.