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If You Don't Manage It...

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Are you experiencing a plateau? If so, I can tell you why, without ever looking at your program. You are eating as many calories as you burn. But you already know that.

Losing weight is NOT rocket science, contrary to how difficult we may lead ourselves to believe it to be. Plain and simple, burn more calories than you eat and you lose weight. How many more calories you burn than you eat determines how fast you lose it.

Fitness Trainer Tom Venuto notes three key strategies to blast through a plateau.

1. Check your compliance and raise your accountability. Immediately after a week of stalled fat loss, he says to look back over the week and ask yourself if you REALLY followed your original plan. Well, did you?

If the answer to any piece of your plan is ‘no’, implement strategies to correct your action. This may include, but is not limited to, keeping a journal (or using your trackers), weigh and measure your food, weigh yourself and take pictures of yourself. Find an accountability partner or group (hey, how ‘bout a spark team?) to hold you to your commitments. Turn in your results weekly. Above all Venuto says, ‘stop guessing and start measuring everything you want to improve. IF YOU DON’T MEASURE IT, YOU CAN’T MANAGE IT; IF YOU DON’T MANAGE IT, YOU CAN’T IMPROVE IT.’

2. Re-establish your calorie deficit. ‘After your compliance check, if you feel that you did follow your original plan faithfully, then you must assume that what used to be a deficit for you is no longer a deficit.’.

Remember that your calorie needs will change as you lose weight and that metabolism decreases with weight loss. Venuto suggests checking your calorie needs and adjusting your deficit on a weekly basis. There are two ways to adjust your deficit. Eat less or exercise more. As I mentioned earlier, this is not rocket science.

3. Get back to work with your adjusted strategy. After you've chosen your strategy of choice to re-establish your calorie deficit, go back to work for another week, with your new accountability measures in place.

I refer to this as making tweaks and adjustments to my program. Stick to your adjusted plan and see where you are in one week. If you still are not losing, adjust your plan; tweak it, stick to it and measure your progress. Continue this process until you have broken through that plateau. Now break out the fitness calendar and get back to the menu planner!
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    So true. I have to admit, I'm not as strict with food as I should be. The weekend camp trips really kill me though. That's where I need to make re-evaluations. As always, great blog.
    4268 days ago
    Very true. When you stop measurign and try to eyeball... your mind goes into denial.
    I burn approx 1530 a day before exercise. I have been burning ALOT of calories like7000=8000 a week. PErsonally I am told Im not eating enuff, so this week Im eating more. ALtho honestly - they arent the best use of my calories either. Thats the whole teeth thing too. But I appreicate you took the time to remind us... about what it takes ... to get what we want!

    Great post!

    4271 days ago
    Tam, you must be posting for me now... lol!! Thanks for giving me exactly what I needed to read at the exact moment I was open to hearing it. :-D Next time, you can just send me a spark mail, though!

    Hehe! Just kidding!!! Great blog. I have some work to do.
    4271 days ago
    There you go, talking all that good sense and logic. What's a silly little denial monkey like me going to do?

    One thing is for sure, it helped wake me up a little. I wouldn't hurt for me to actually put together a plan with some specifics. My success so far has been riddled with road bumps, certainly compounded by my lack of focus. The whole, eat less, move more... There is truth in it, but it leaves so many gray areas. I'm lost in a big gray fog, LOL!!! So, there's my first goal. Before the end of the weekend, I will write down 5 firm steps that I can (and will) stick to for the balance of the year.

    Thanks! emoticon
    4271 days ago
    Thanks for jolting me back to what it is I need to be doing. Over time, I get slack on measuring my food...and slack on my exercise routine. How am I suppose to lose weight if I'm not doing what I need to be. Ding...Dong...Reality Check calling!

    4271 days ago
    heyyyy I know that Tom guy....actually his BFFM ebook (yah for "find THIS WORD" in book scanning!) has been the cornerstone in my current program, not only for the hope that I can dissect this to something manageable, but that I can focus on the right ratios, that is healthy and possible for me to achieve my goals! Just plopping the calories and the recommend ratios into spark people (instead of the like 50 g pro it recommended for my calorie level) I know I am going to maintain my lean muscle and not be starving!
    4271 days ago
    Excellent blog, so true, so concise and well written. Love the reminder that losing weight is not beyond me. You certainly got that conquer the world attitude going on. Kudos.
    4271 days ago
  • no profile photo CD4228914
    I found out the hard way that I needed to eat more! I did the backwards thing when my last big plateau hit. All along I was increasing my exercise time and intensity but never changed my nutrition. Come to find out I wasn't eating enough and my body was holding onto whatever it could.

    Funny, I started eating more and started losing again. That is the last time I will let my number on the scale dictate my activity level.

    Meals and exercise based on my activity level and not the number itself is what has me the healthiest I've been since I was a kid. Great read Tam, thanks!
    4271 days ago
    damn, tam! once again, you continue to rock my sparkworld. sounds like you're really internalizing so much of this good're going to be such a wonderful trainer and coach. with your continued tweaking, measuring, and mindfulness, you will soon be physically where you wanted to be not too many months ago. you're 100% dead-on. in the immortal blog-words of ideborah, "losing weight is not rocket surgery." between my incredibly supportive, devoted, and wise sparkfriends, my path is lit with smiles, pats on the back, and a few laughs. it's all good, isn't it? enjoy your holiday weekend!
    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    4271 days ago
  • LLTS01
    Brilliant!! I will let you know how my changes impacted my weight this week since I had to lower my calorie intake by quite a bit. So far, despite my prognosis, I have not fainted from hunger!

    4272 days ago
    Thanks for the blog - We always need to be reminded of the things that we need to do. thanks

    4272 days ago
    Tam, excellent blog...a nurse friend of mine also said that the body adjusts for our exercise and diet routines, therefore we have to "shake things up" to get the weight loss going again.

    I think honestly that if we can mentally consider plateaus as blips rather than shackles, then it makes it easier to change our mindsets and healthy patterns.

    Plateaus = not Kodak worthy UNTIL we see them in our rear view mirrors, then we can whip out the camera and say SEE YA!!!!
    4272 days ago
    WOOT. I like this post. :)
    4272 days ago
  • LAURIE5658
    But Tam...its so hard *place whiny-ass voice here*!!!

    4272 days ago
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    Disclaimer: Weight loss results will vary from person to person. No individual result should be seen as a typical result of following the SparkPeople program.

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