Thursday, July 10, 2008

"I'm Not Losing!!!" Help for Stalled Results

It happens to Every One of us.

You are working your hardest - putting all of your efforts into your workout regimen and supportive meal plans. Maybe you see some initial results and they suddenly Stop or maybe you are still waiting TO see them.

In either case...You Are Frustrated!

One of our beautiful FYM's April pointed out a question I had posed for you in the "Burn the Belly Fat" post:

1. Step back and ask yourself, is what you have been doing working?
If no, then why continue?"

She was VERY concerned for she did not want to give up on Fit Yummy Mummy and felt this question may have been asking her to do so.

Not the case at all.
First, if you are following a fat loss system - such as Fit Yummy Mummy - and it makes you feel good in everything you do...

for example, April shared:

"I love this workout."
"I love this eating plan."
"It is the only thing I have read in a long time that I believe I can do for life."

These are tell tale signs that the issue does not lie within the system itself.
If April had told me a different story on how she felt about FYM, then yes, maybe it is not for her.
(And I must make a note here, that Yes, I do realize Fit Yummy Mummy is NOT for everyone - there are a few women who have shared that they just cannot make this type of commitment.)

So at this point it becomes a matter of taking some time to troubleshoot.

And Yes, we ALL have to do this from Time to Time....I do it, Tina Martin does it, Susan Pearson does it. It would be fantastic if our bodies would simply positively adapt to the strategies outlined in Fit Yummy Mummy in a linear fashion and take us straight to the results we are Dying to achieve - no curves, no bumps, no rolling backwards on the hills - Just Stay on the Fast Track to Results!

Nice to imagine this, right?

Sorry to say, this is not how it works.
Each of our bodies are so drastically different, our lifestyles are different, our fitness histories are different. All of which must be considered and accounted for as you begin ANY type of fitness plan.

As for Results....

Remember: Successful "losses" are all about burning more calories than what you take in - or eat.
The purpose of the FYM Lifestyle System is to set you up for success by teaching you how to boost your metabolism and maintain the habits that allow you to burn more fat and calories 24-7.

There is no One Way to do this and following any plan that leaves out all factors will only lead to short lived results and long term frustration.

Sometimes we simply need to step back and take another look at our habits and even our beliefs about what it takes to achieve results, just to see what could be preventing us from moving forward.

Then of course comes the question of "How are you Measuring your Results?" Please refer to this article:
"What's Up with the Scale?" to gain a better understanding of why the scale is not the end all be all of your results.

The Question of the Month: What is holding you back?

What follows is a brief troubleshooter list you can use to find some answers and continue to move forward. And yes...all of these possible saboteurs have to do with the Calories IN - what you are or are not eating.

NOTE: Exercise is not a part of this list for simply you are or you are not following a consistent, progressively challenging program. Out of all the women who post about feeling stuck - everyone of them has listed that they ARE following through with their workouts. If you are not, then this could be one of the possible culprits - one you will add to your list to work on in order to break out if this "stalled state".

Unsuspecting Saboteurs

~ Mindless Eating
We've all been there, done that. Unaccounted for calories quickly add up when we eat without paying attention. This mainly happens as we eat with a distraction. Most common distraction -TV. We get into trouble when eating foods out of containers - or not realizing we go back for seconds. Doesn't matter what the food - more of anything adds calories - its just that the unsupportive calories add up MUCH faster.

~ BLT’s – Bites, licks and tastes
Moms - we are SO guilty of this one.
Yes, even picking foods off your child's plate (or even finishing your child's meal) adds extra calories.
How about when you are cooking?
How often are you taste testing or plain old taking big bites. These calories still count.

~ Drinking Calories
Yes, water is the best choice when it comes to what you drink.
However, there are many of us who choose to drink beverages that contain calories. Calories which quickly add up and take the place of lower calorie, higher thermic whole food meals - the more thermic the meal...the more calories you burn via digestion - the better off your metabolism is.

So how often and how much are you...

~ Drinking "coffee shop" coffees
~ Milk
~ Juice
~ Vitamin Waters (these are loaded with sugar BTW - take a look at the food label - Crazy!)

~ Drinking Calories: Alcohol
Another silent saboteur!
I have never seen my bodyfat drop as fast as when I cut out the alcohol. Now I could write pages about this topic (and yes, I know I need to) but to keep it simple and to the point, not only are alcoholic drinks loaded with calories but once in your system - your body's prefered source of energy is ALCOHOL. You know that warm feeling you get after a drink or two? That is the alcohol being absorbed directly into your bloodstream. This then becomes THE energy source for your body....meaning Fat Burning has slowed or even stopped. No matter how stoked your metabolism is...for as long as alcohol is in your bloodstream - fat burning is no longer a priority.

Calories in Alcohol
Beer: 105 - 190
Wine: 100 - 130
Shot of Liquor: 90 - 130
An 8 oz. Margarita - 430

It is also important to take note that when alcohol is consumed, it is highly likely additional food is consumed, and rare that it is a supportive choice.

~ Condiments

AmberLee created a Great post on this topic: Condiments
Condiments count toward your calorie intake. As I shared on AmberLee's post, the unsupportive condiments we tend to use are SUPER high in calories as we use WAY more than the suggested portion size.

EX - Salad Dressing. The Biggest downfall for women who are truly making better choices as they prepare a very healthy salad. Well 2 Tablespoons of Light Ranch dressing is 70 calories.
You see light, you pour it on using about 1/2 to 3/4 cup and are suddenly eating 150-200 calories of condiments. BTW - I used to do this too...

~ Too much Fruit, not enough veggies
Fruit is wonderful for you, packed with all sorts of essential vitamins, minerals and fiber. However fruit still needs to be eaten in moderation and balanced with veggies for they are lower in calories and help control your calorie intake.

~ Portion Sizes
When you begin a supportive nutrition plan, it is important to take note of what portion sizes are best for you.

Even though you are making healthy choices, if you eat too much of the good stuff - it still adds up.

It was not too long ago that Nancy was frustrated with her stalled results, ended up keeping a journal for a few days and her son helped her realize she was mis-measuring her protein servings.

Instead of 3-4 oz of protein – about 120-150 cal
she was eating more like
6-8 oz of protein…240- 300 cal

~ Eating out more than 2 twice a week
Anytime you eat a meal that was not prepared by you, you must assume that on some level it is off - whether it be portion size or the way the meal was prepared (sauces, butter, etc.).

"But Holly, you said it is okay to have a cheat meal 3-4 times a week!"
I sure did, but if you are eating 3-4 meals out a week - that would mean you are eating super clean the rest of the time. All meals and snack at home are on track and absolutely supportive. We know that this is just not the way it works. Eating out too often quickly loads up the unnecessary calories.

~ Lack of planning meals ahead of time
It is highly unlikely that you will be able to stay on track and eat the right balance of foods at the right time if no effort goes into planning your meals. Planning ahead is a MUST for successful results. I understand it can seem tedious and take time and effort, but aren't your results worth it?

Knowing what you will eat and having it ready to grab and go makes your life easier and your results come much faster.

~ Not Eating Enough

A word on this topic.

As women we are notorious for NOT eating. It is a quick way to lose weight - initially. I hope that as a member of ClubFYM you are aware and have read several posts as to why Not eating enough calories can hinder your results.

At this point, if you have been moving along and feel everything else is on spot -except for this detail, the fact that you really are not eating enough (1200 calories or less) you find that this may be preventing you from results for you know you read that not eating enough slows your metabolism.

This culprit may or may not be what it affecting your results. Reason being....if you truly are in a caloric deficit - eating MUCH less calories than you burn - you will see a dramatic drop in weight. The "too good to be true" results pour in.....but a few weeks later they stop - and you find it harder and harder to lose and eventually begin to gain it back.

So what's the deal?
Sure not eating enough can negatively impact your metabolism...however, you will see weight loss. The problem arises when you KEEP eating less calories - yes, your body can begin to store some of those calories away as fat for you go into starvation mode - will be unable to keep eating such LOW calories.

You will begin to Hate having no energy and you will begin to experience extreme cravings and hunger.

This will lead you to Eat....and eat more than what you had been accustomed to eating, this in turn leads to increased calorie intake - which leads to stalled results or weight gain.

It is a cycle and one that can be remedied by consistently taking in the "right" amount of your body a chance to get off the roller coaster and your metabolism a chance to adjust to a healthier way of eating.

Your Solution for Results?

Food Log - take note of the culprits listed above and play careful attention to how they impact your daily intake as you log over a 3-5 day period. No, you do not have to be extreme and write down every single calorie. But by simply writing down that you do drink 4 Starbucks a week, eat out 4 times a week and have 2 glasses of wine a week...this knowledge is enough to arm you with the ability to see where you need to cut back if your intention is to continue to move forward with your results.

And "cut back" is defined by you. Maybe it means instead of 5 drinks a week - you are going to have 3. Maybe it means you are going to eliminate it from your nutrition plan for 3-4 weeks just to see what an impact it has on your ability to see fast results. Totally up to you. But if you are frustrated, know that some movement forward on these habits needs to take place. The degree of this movement is up to you and how fast you would like to see results.

Final Thoughts to you....

Small habits really do add up. It is NEVER just one thing or one habit, but rather the accumulation of many little habits.

The most reassuring news you can receive at this point is that by simply focusing on ONE habit at a time, changes will happen and the results will begin to spill over.

Habits take time to develop - as the saying takes 21 days.

Your body takes time to adjust.
Many women come into the program overexercises and underfed. It takes time - time to develop totally new habits that you can practice with consistency - time for your body to first heal itself - and then time for your body to begin to respond in a positive fashion.

There will also be times during your fat loss journey where you see great results for a period of time, they slow down - You stay consistent and troubleshoot - they speed up again - you feel great as you continue to move forward - your results slow down again - you stay consistent as you take the time to troubleshoot and make a few slight adjustments - you begin to see results again - Etc.

(Note - this is a Journey....not a destination: as human beings we are blessed with the gift of having a dynamic and ever changing life.)

Time - the aspect of your fitness plan you must embrace.

This experience is a process - there is no END result.

Approaching a lifestyle change with this type of mindset has the potential to hinder results as well - for we tend to get too caught up on the # on the scale or comparing ourselves to others and completely lose sight of all the wonderful changes that have taken place - that cannot possibly be measured on a scale or fit into a pair of skinny jeans.

These intangible results are the ones that must be embraced for they provide you with the type of motivation that keeps you moving forward no matter where your external results may be.

So not only will I ask you to take a moment to go through the list above and pick 1-2 areas to focus on, I will also ask that you take some time to make a list of all the positive changes that have taken place in you, in your family, in your life.

Be grateful for these changes.
Understand the role they play in your journey and never lose sight about what this is truly all about.

For additional accountability and support - Join The 12 Week Summer Transformation Challenge - Deadline to enter is July 31st!


Anonymous said...

sometimes we all need a jolt start up again to get motivated especially when we reach plateaus in getting ourself fit and trim i am the most un- motivated person for exercise but i keep on pushing slowly and results show up little by little

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for todays message - those coffee shop coffee's are a killer and need to just kick the habit ! Helped to keep me motivated for another few days !

Marie Lefler said...

Thanks for you words of motivation. Holly, if you could please email me my online menu planner code so I can get more on track.

Thanks, Marie Lefler
TC page 2, July 1