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Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Hitthing those lovely plateaus and the devil...I mean the scale. :)

Today I thought I would touch on hitting plateaus and why I really wish we didn't put so much emphasis on that damn scale.  I did a little research and here are some of the reasons I feel like the scale should be avoided.  Especially if you are an every day offender.  I can see weighing in once a month, every other week and MAYBE once a week.  But the everyday stuff needs to stop.  I am telling you, if I weighed myself every day, I would be a hopeless mess.  I would have cried, cussed, hit something OR someone (most likely Ray, I like to blame him for my mood swings :o) ) and I would have given up!!!  I mean no way would I ever think that someone that weighs 150 pounds could wear a size 4 or get into a size 27 jeans.  To this day, I go by how my clothes fit and how I look in those #selfies that annoy some! ;) BUT....If I didn't take selfies to gage my progress, I wouldn't see how I TRULY look.  And if just one of my progress pics, gets someone off the couch and sweating to JM, then my job here is done!

Now onto my lovely research!  I know that when I started this last journey to get some definition and those last 10 pounds off, I got super discouraged, at times.  I remember working out and then going to try some pants on and they were tighter!  W. T. F.  How could that be.  Was I seriously gaining weight from eating healthy and working out????  I remember telling my sis this and she said, sometimes when you start a new workout regimen, you gain some weight.  She is a marathon runner and this has happened to her.  She also told me to check and see if I was eating enough calories.  I was eating 1200.....NOT ENOUGH!!!!!!!!!  Please believe me when I say this, your body needs more than 1200 calories a day!  Especially if you are working out. Once you dip below 1200, your body goes into starvation mode.  This means your metabolism starts to behave like a snail...NOT GOOD!  I kid you not, when I upped my calories from 1200 to 1430 (net) the pounds came off and the muscles appeared! I just wish it didn't take me 41 freaking years to figure this out!

So here are some reasons you might be plateauing or even gaining weight:

 Not eating enough calories. It may seem counter intuitive, but eating too little can actually stall your efforts to lose fat. As Cathy Leman, a registered dietician and creator of NutriFit! says, "...if there is a severe restriction in calories, the body may counteract this reduction by slowing down its metabolism." Be sure you're eating enough calories to sustain your body if you've increased your activity.


Eating too many calories. It may seem obvious, but we sometimes eat more after starting an exercise program to compensate for burning those extra calories. Most of us think we're eating a healthy, low-calorie diet but, unless you're keeping a food diary, you don't know how many calories you're really eating. Most people are surprised when they start keeping a journal and adding up the calories--it almost always turns out to be more than they thought. Keep a food diary for at least a week or use an online tracking sight like Calorie Count to get a sense of what and how much you're eating. If it's too much, you can make changes in your diet to reduce your calories. And try to avoid the mindset that says you can eat whatever you want since you're doing all this great exercise. To lose weight, you still need to monitor your calories.
 
(I am SO guilty of this!  I never took into consideration all the crap I was "snacking" on as I was making dinner.  OR...the little bites here and there, that I took from the kids.  I am now a dedicated MFP user and it helps SO much)!!
 
You're gaining muscle faster than you're losing fat. If it seems that you're getting bigger after you've started a weight training routine, it may be because you aren't losing body fat as fast as you're building muscle, a common problem. Genetics can play a role; some people put on muscle more easily than others. If that's the case for you, don't stop training. Instead, you might simply adjust your program to make sure you're getting enough cardio exercise to promote weight loss and focus your strength training workouts on muscular endurance by keeping the reps between 12-16.



Water can alter your weight by as much as 10 pounds (or more).
Think you just lost a few pounds from that serious spin class? Don't get too excited—it's just water loss due to sweat. And the amount of water in your system has a heavy influence on the number you see on the scale.

"Water makes up approximately 65-90 percent of a person's weight, and variation in water content of the human body can move the scale by ten pounds or more from day to day," says Jeffrey A. Dolgan, a clinical exercise physiologist at Canyon Ranch in Miami Beach, Fla. This is one of the main reasons diuretics are so popular—they flush the water out of your system, resulting in only a short term weight "loss"—but they don't help to change your body composition in any way.
 
(So just ride it out and avoid the "magic" but not really "magic" pills.  Your body will adjust and let that water go)!!


 
A lot of factors can influence your weight—including your workouts.
Have you ever noticed that right after (or even a day or two after) an intense workout the scale goes up? That's normal, and it doesn't mean you've put on ‘weight,' Dolgan says.
"A person's scale mass is a combination of muscle, fat, bone, the brain and neural tract, connective tissue, blood, lymph, intestinal gas, urine, and the air that we carry in our lungs. Immediately after a workout routine, the percentage of mass in each of these categories can shift as much as 15 percent." Intense workouts cause variability on the scale due to factors like hydration status, inflammation from muscle damage repair (we call this delayed onset muscle soreness), even the amount of intestinal by-product or urine and blood volume, Dolgan says.
 
 The scale says nothing about your fitness level or body composition.
As noted above, the scale can't tell you how much of your body weight is muscle versus fat, which means if your goal is to improve your fitness level, it's not the best tool for measuring improvements.
It's true that many people either gain a little weight or don't see any change on the scale for as long as 4-6 weeks after making a significant change in their level of exercise. This is often explained as "gaining muscle while losing fat" but that isn't quite accurate. This extra weight is usually water.

When you start doing more exercise, your body begins storing more fuel in your muscle cells, where it can be used easily and quickly to fuel your workouts. The process of converting glucose (carbohydrates) into fuel that your muscles actually store and use (glycogen) requires three molecules of water for every molecule of glucose. As your muscles are building up glycogen stores, your body has to retain extra water for this purpose. That's what causes most of the initial weight gain or lack of weight loss. This is a good thing—not something to worry about.

However, despite what the scale says, you are actually losing fat during this time. The extra water retention will stop once your body has adjusted to its new activity level. At that point, the scale should start moving down. You'll end up with less fat, and muscles that can handle a larger amount of
 
I know that the above happens to me, when I go balls to the wall, with my squats.  Those thighs of mine BURN and they swell..  BUT...a few days later they go back to normal and get just a tiny bit smaller. 
 
I hope that this post helps those that are struggling a bit.  Or if you are feeling defeated by the scale or your routine.  Sometimes I just shock my system, to get through a plateau.  I change up all my meals and my workout routines.  It kind of wakes up my body! 
 
Happy Hump Day everyone!!  I must say I am LOVING the nice weather here in IL. :o)
 

 

 
 


28 comments:

  1. I'm a new follower and I just have to say you've got me so inspired!

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    1. You are SO sweet!! Thank you for that!!!

      XO

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  2. THANK YOU for this post!!! My scale recently died couldn't be revived with new batteries even & I have made the decision not to buy a new one!!!! Now, I don't know if I will never buy a new one but I'm definitely not planning on it anytime soon!! I've become obsessed with that stupid thing!! I'm increasing my workouts & staying on track with me eating so I figure my body will change regardless of that number!!! I'm going to gauge by how my clothes fit...I must say it's been a week since I've weighted myself & I feel like a HUGE weight has been lifted!!! I did feel a little sad I couldn't weigh in this am for my weekly weigh in but I will survive!!!
    P.S. I didn't know you lived in Illinois....so do I!!!!

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    1. You are very welcome!! Like I said, the scale is the devil, to me! HATE IT! And you are right, you will survive!! :o)

      Yep, I am in Springfield! Where are you?

      XO

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    2. It is to me as well!! Never really thought I had too much of a problem until I was telling my husband about that I weigh every day & he was like you're insane lol!!
      I'm in Fairbury, Il which is about 45 min from Bloomington/Normal area!! You aren't too far from me : )

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    3. We aren't far from each other at all!! We need to get some IL girls together for a day of eating, drinking and visiting! :o)

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  4. You do not know HOW BAD I needed to read this today! I never have any intention of giving up, but there are plenty of days I feel defeated...and lately it is more often than not. So THANK You for the reminder! I will keep on doing my thang...

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    1. You are so welcome!! I feel defeated too, at times. I think it is just the nature of the beast. Nothing that you we want so baldy, is ever easy! You keep on rocking your thang, girlie!! :o)

      XO

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  5. I wish water weight was real weight! That shit pisses me off!!!!! lol!!!!! Great post though :)

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    1. Thank you! AND....ME TOO!!!!!!!!!! But then that damn stuff just creeps back on! NOT NICE, WATER!
      xoxo

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  6. You've done it again, Lori! I really needed to hear this...I am guilty of weighing myself everyday (except on the weekends, when I indulge on my cheat days ;) and I have an unhealthy relationship with that thing...You have totally inspired me to have my hubby take the batteries out of it and hide them, so I can't weigh myself! Seriously, thank you. You know, I feel like we would get along so great if we lived close to one another!! You speak my language, and I love it!

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    1. Thank you Jenna!!! Don't you dare let your hubby give you those batteries! I have seen your pics, you look AMAZING!! I mean off the charts fabulous, girlie! I wished we lived closer too! We would have a ball!
      xoxo

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  7. What a post... A GREAT ONE!!!

    I was an everyday offender, but have switched to once a week because of the wreck it made me. Starting somewhere.

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    1. Yeeeeees!!! I am telling you, if I owned a scale, I would weigh all day long. Every time I went to the bathroom or ate or worked out, I would be on there! Just based on the fact that I am a recovering bulimic, I can't do it. I am in too good of a place to take steps back. So proud of you for only weighing once a week! xoxo

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  10. Awesome post. I'm guilty of some of that stuff. I'm a little addicted to the scales as well. Thanks for sharing! Have a great day friend.

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  11. Just had to pop over to let you know, Lori, that you totally inspired me for my post today! Thank you so, so much for that! I even gave you a little shout-out ;) because you truly are my inspiration. Thank you for all you do. I really, really appreciate it!!

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  12. A few weeks ago I was depressed because the scale was not moving.So I called a dear friend who is dieting and working out with me. She told me that I wasn't eating enough calories. She told me to eat more. It didn't make sense at the time but I am glad I listen. I started eating more calories and the scale began to move again.

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  14. How do you know how many calories to consume each day? You are such an inspiration! I love reading your blog!!

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