What keeps someone going through a plateau?

We all get there. We all reach it at some point: the plateau. When our weight loss stalls, and we reach a point, typically 10-15 lbs shy of our final goal, where no matter what we do, our weight won’t go any lower. It’s annoying. It’s aggravating. And while it may be all of these, it’s something more important: feedback.

It’s our body telling us that what we’ve done to that point has been great to get us to where we are. But to get a little more, to lose a little more, we need to do more. We need to really think about that goal. Is it realistic? If we are at a healthy equilibrium, is it a good idea to reduce our food intake below a level we are currently comfortable at to reach an arbitrary number?

I had to face this realization recently. My goal weight is 165 lbs. I haven’t seen that since last year. My weight has hovered steadily between 168 and 172 lbs. In the past month and a half, it’s been upwards of 175 lbs. I know why: I’ve been eating larger portions, I’ve allowed myself to drink alcohol at social functions, and I haven’t been as strict with my diet as I used to be/should be. I’ve accepted all of those things, and I am slowly reigning myself in to get back down into my comfort zone of the 160’s.

When I was 160 lbs for a few days back in 2017, I was being VERY strict with my Paleo, not allowing myself to drink alcohol at all, never varying from my very strict diet, and honestly, I missed out on a few things. Was it worth it? At the time I thought it was, but in retrospect, not really. While I look back at the photos of myself from that time and think I was probably at a weight I’m most comfortable with, the level of deprivation was pretty high. Maybe too high.

Really think about what your target weight is, and why you set it to that. Think about how you feel at your plateau weight, and if it is something you still really want to get past, think about what you need to do to lose more weight. Typically, it will mean eating less, and being more careful with your macros. Every time I’ve hit a plateau, I’ve been able to break it by analyzing my food intake in not only amounts, but in makeup as well as fitness level and (this is my secret ingredient) sleep amount.

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