Sooner or later, it seems to happen to every dieter. After a period of steady, or even spectacular, weight loss, the downward trend halts.
You have landed on a plateau. Weeks go by, and the needle on the scale refuses to budge.
This appears to be my situation. Back on August 27, I weighed 216.8 pounds. Yesterday, September 17, I weighed 215.6 pounds — up a few tenths from the previous week.
Granted, it isn’t much of a plateau — yet. I’ve read of others who have been stuck at a weight for years while still trying to lose. Dr. Atkins’ rule was that you had to go at least four weeks without losing pounds or inches before you could call it a plateau. By that definition, I haven’t reached a plateau.
But this is the closest I’ve come so far. If not an actual plateau, it’s at least a significant slow-down.
And an aggravating one.
On the positive side, I am not gaining, and I have lost 45 pounds since March. That’s 17.3% of my body weight. I recall reading somewhere that people often stall after losing 17-20% of their starting weight. It makes sense. Your body doesn’t know why you are eating less than you used to. There could be a famine going on. Down-shifting the metabolism to conserve resources is a survival mechanism. Our ancestors whose bodies didn’t down-shift that way probably aren’t our ancestors. One long, hard winter would’ve finished them off.
As far as I can tell, I’m eating the same as I ate when I was steadily shedding pounds. Since August 27, I have consumed an average of 1,930 calories and 36 net grams of carbs per day. As for exercise, I have robustly continued to avoid it, but I am busier now that the fall semester has begun. I walk more, climb more stairs. I even pace while speaking in front of class.
Still, some regular exercise might be worth a try. I have no faith in exercise as a weight loss method — not in the sense of burning off body fat. It might do that, but it also makes you hungrier. But I suspect I have lingering insulin resistance, and exercise is said to help with that, especially if you build muscle. Reducing insulin resistance could help reduce me.
Then again, I bought four new pairs of pants to start the semester, and would like to get a few months of use out of them.
No need yet to go to extremes.