Weight Loss Plateaus

I got a great question from a reader:
“i was looking at your weight loss log & i seems that you never really plateaued or temporarily stopped losing weight. congrats on your weight loss by the way! ive made a huge plateau right now and i think im going back to calorie counting to get off the final 20 pounds – any feedback on how to stayed on the weight loss train without getting off periodically?”

Oh yes…..I plateaued A LOT during my weight loss journey. If you look at the dates in my Log, you can probably see that I didn’t always “weigh in” each week. In reality, I weighed in once a week EVERY week for the two years I was losing weight. However, if the scale didn’t budge, or I gained weight that week, I didn’t log it, I just wrote down whatever it said the following week. The reason behind this was that for me, I didn’t want to get discouraged by seeing my log go up and down, up and down. So I just recorded losses.

In a previous post, I said my friend Rachel (above) started Weight Watchers. She’s weighing and measuring every Saturday and logging it online. I think that’s fantastic. It shows her progress on a graph too. So if she happens to plateau or gain a few during her time at WW, the graph will show that.

There was a time when I plateaued for MONTHS. It was really frustrating. After seeing so much progress each week, to be at a standstill for weeks (sometimes months) of hard work, it was discouraging. Keep at it! Don’t get discouraged.

The above picture was taken at my 27th birthday (I think) when I weighed about 175.

The advice was I was given by my personal trainer to get over my plateau was pretty simple: DO WEIGHTS! A weight training program is the FASTEST way to lose weight when you get stuck. And it’s important to mix things up!


Hunger is generic: you need food, any food that’ll make hunger go away. Cravings are specific: you want a particular food. [“Eating the Moment”, pg 21]”

The next time you are faced with the desire to eat, ask yourself “Is it HUNGER? Or is it CRAVING?” Sometimes it’s hard to distinguish the difference. 

I crave sweets. Like I posted in a previous entry, my trigger food is sweets (candy, cookies, ice cream…anything sweet). QUESTION: How do you resist your cravings? Something I did was to have sweets in the house that can’t do too much damage to my waistline. Small dark chocolates that satisfy my sweets craving but aren’t 300 calories a pop. I do NOT have things in the house that I cannot resist! For example, my boyfriend LOVES M&M’s. He’ll buy a huge bag from Costco and it will taunt me the entire time it’s in the house. Michael says, “Well why can’t you just have a serving of it?” Why can’t I? I have no idea. If it’s in the house, I will think about them ALL THE TIME! 

If you have ever been on a diet, you will understand this next comment. How many times have you realized you have overeaten or “cheated” and you just give up and say “Oh well, I might as well just keep eating! Today is ruined anyways!” It’s happened to us all. Don’t fall into this trap! Many, many times I’ve felt guilty after I’ve slipped up. Try not to beat yourself up to badly. It’s not the end of the world to have one bad day. You can make up for it the next day. Go for a walk during lunch in addition to your regular workout, or instead of having dessert, have some sweet fruit (like strawberries) to balance it out.

I’ve never done Weight Watchers but friends of mine have and they’ve told me a bit about it. Apparently you get a few “extra” points each week that you can use one day when you go over your allotted points. I think that’s a good system! 

Note: The above picture was taken last summer when we were having dessert at Papa Haydn’s. http://www.papahaydn.com/ It is THE best dessert place in Portland!!