Friday, August 3, 2007

School is back in session

Today I'm trading in my witty writer hat and busting out the old school marm garb. My glasses are on, the bun is sufficiently tight...let's get educated. What's the lesson you might inquire? PLATEAUS!

It happens to almost everyone, no matter the weight loss program you choose, and it has happened to me in the past. This time I'll be prepared to trudge on and break through to the other side by having listed, right here, everything I've learned. Will it work? I don't know. Even if these suggestions don't work for me, there's a chance they'll work for someone else so I shall proceed as planned.

Note: I am not a nutrition expert; I don't even play one on TV. These are just my thoughts and advice from personal experiences or conversations with others...carry on.

Here is what I've learned to be true from both my numerous attempts at WW and from what my trainer has told me. YOU HAVE TO EAT. That's why the new points system WW has, though scary to most, still makes sense to me. It's allowing us to eat more than it has in the past and people are having a tough time comprehending how you can lose weight and eat MORE. Your body only shows losses for so long when you start cutting back its food. After a while it's going to slow your metabolism and hang on to the food you give it. The body is phenomenal and it adapts. You have to keep it guessing and never let it get too comfortable. You have to feed it so that it never feels like you are starving and that it needs to kick into survival mode. After a few weeks, maybe months, your body is going to be a well oiled machine and it is going to efficiently use every nutritious thing you give it. It will even more effectively use the NON-nutritious things you give it. Anyone that's been eating healthy for a while knows, eat crap and you'll feel sick. You're body has re-learned what isn't good for it and it tries to purge it from your system.

On the note of "keep your body guessing," here are my suggestions:

Don't do the same exercises week after week. If you've been riding the bike for a few weeks, switch and do treadmill or elliptical (if you can, I can't). If you've been casually walking on the treadmill then up the speed, up the incline, make it harder. If you've been lifting weights then change machines, lift differently.

Don't eat the same foods all the time. It's easy to get in the routine of eating the same things every day because you know the points/calories and it's easy, but you're body can get entirely too used to that too. If you do the same job every day, don't you just start going through the motions? If you drive the same route every day, haven't you ever ended up at your destination and not remembered half the trip? Toss in a new task to your day or an extra errand on that route and you have to think and act differently. Eat something different and your body has to do the same thing.

If you are exercising more you should be drinking more. 64 oz of water is the minimum for an average adult at rest. When you exercise ESPECIALLY IN THE SUMMER you need far more water than that. My trainer wants me drinking at least 100oz a day...working out or not.

Have a cheat day! I'm not saying eat whatever you want all day long, one meal perhaps. There was a lady at one of my past meeting locations who had lost over 100 pounds and had kept it off for 5 or so years (I've referenced her in another post). When they asked her how she'd break plateaus she said she'd eat fat. She'd have a big ol' burger or whatever she was missing and shake things up.

So there you have it. Not very entertaining as far as posts go, but hopefully I scored points for informative.

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