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P is for Plateaus

Lisa Eirene

About Lisa Eirene Lisa lost 110 pounds through calorie counting and exercise. She swims, bikes, runs, hikes and is enjoying life in Portland, Oregon. Her weight loss story has been featured in First Magazine, Yahoo Health, Woman's Day and

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  1. Courtney

    Great post! One of the other major issues with counting calories is that it is an estimate. Packaged foods always under report calories. The other issue is that 10 chips may weigh more than the indicated portion size, thus containing even more calories. A cheapo food scale helps immensely.

    1. Lisa Eirene

      Thank you, Courtney! YES–calorie counting is only an estimate. It’s harder when not eating processed foods too because it’s even more of a guess. One time I measured out a serving of tortilla chips (I think it was 17 chips in a serving or something) and then I weighed it on my scale to see how many ounces it was because the bag had the ounces too…I was surprised at how off it was. A serving wasn’t 17 chips, it was more like 10 if you go by weight.

  2. Roz@weightingfor50

    This is a fantastic post! I don’t know too many people on a weight loss journey who haven’t hit the “big p” at some point. Have a great Wednesday Lisa!!!!

    1. Lisa Eirene

      Unfortunately, plateaus just come with the territory. It’s important to not be discouraged (the hardest part of the equation).

  3. Jess

    Awesome post! I’d also like to add that when I hit a plateau I stop using the scale as my indicator and start using other things. For example, I lost next to nothing last month (a pound, all month!) BUT I now fit a pair of jeans that didn’t fit at the beginning of the month. That was more motivating than a number on a scale, especially because it was proof that my strength training was working. I may have weighed the same, but my body compostion was changing.

    Unfortunatly, I am becoming more efficiant at my beloved boxing classes. I got through 2 classes last night with no problems, which means I need to find a way to kick it up a notch!

    1. Lisa Eirene

      YES! That’s a good point I should have included. Sometimes it’s less about the scale and more about how clothes fit–or you can lift more weights than last month, run more miles without walking, etc. Fitness and health is definitely not just the number on the scale.

      I’m sorry your boxing class is too easy! I feel the same way with swimming now. Still love it, though.

  4. Barb the French Bean

    Hey, thanks for using my cartoon! 😀

    And, yes, plateaus are absolutely dreadful. Still trying to get over mine and prevent my weight from shifting in the wrong direction.

    1. Lisa Eirene

      Thanks for making it. Your cartoon illustrated EXACTLY how it feels!!

  5. Jodi @ Jodi, Fat or Not

    What a great post! Usually advice about plateaus just amounts to “change something” – but this is really detailed and wonderful! the last few months for me has been frustrating…the weight doesn’t come off as easily as it did in the beginning. As much as I love my cardio, I know it’s not going to do much for me weight-loss wise at this point…so strength training it is!

    1. Lisa Eirene

      The weight definitely slows down, which is frustrating. I hear ya, Jodi! I was a cardio addict too and I’ve resisted switching things up but I’m so glad I did. It was exactly what I needed.

  6. Miz

    when I had clients hit plateaus 99% of the time they’d slacked off a bit and hadnt even realized it till they tracked (food workouts intensity—one of those)

    1. Lisa Eirene

      Thank you Carla! YES I agree. There have been many times where I’d slacked off too–being lazy with my calorie measurements and half-assing workouts because I was burned out. Sometimes a break is what it takes to get back on track.

  7. Karen@WaistingTime

    One thing that sometimes helps me, and yes, I’ve often been stuck, is to vary my eating more. I tend to get into a rut and eat similar things and about the same amount each day. I think our bodies adjust to that. So I might try to have a lower calorie day then a higher calorie day, etc.

    1. Lisa Eirene

      I’m with you, Karen, I get into food ruts frequently. I’ve been trying to vary the types of food I eat to keep it interesting but sometimes it’s too easy to be lazy. I like your idea of high calorie day then low calories day.

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