When you have lost a significant amount of weight, there almost always comes the time when you hit the dreaded plateau.
What's that? Well, basically, you're following the plan as you always (almost always) have done but somehow it seems to have stopped working and the weight stops dropping off. It can last for weeks and can be incredibly demotivating and demoralising. People have given up because of it. It's not a good time.
Basically, your body seems to have become used to the intake/output pattern and there's no longer such a calorie deficiency so the weight loss slows (which I can live with) or stops (which I can't).
The strategy is to change what you're doing. Some people say 'shock' your body - personally I don't like that term but I know what they mean. Do something different; for example
- Up your type or level of exercise or, if you don't have exercise built in, start some. It doesn't have to be organised stuff - not everyone has time for that. Take the stairs rather than the lift, park the opposite end of the supermarket carpark so you have to walk across or, even better, walk there and back (if it is possible). Jog into the kitchen rather than walking. In other words, look for opportunities to increase your level of exercise doing what you already do. Of course, if you can, more organised exercise is always a Good Thing as long as it works for you.
- Keep a strict and honest food diary for a few weeks and then analyse it carefully and make any necessary changes. It's easy to let things slip through the net after a while. Linked to that - get off the alcohol! Alcohol is one of the most destructive things when you're trying to lose weight. It's empty calories, it's easy to forget how much you have had it and dampens the inhibitions that enable you to make healthy choices. It's baaaaad, man!
- Eat enough. That might sound daft, but eating too little over time can be counter productive and almost always creates cravings and a backlash at some point - and your body doen't like it!
- Get enough sleep and drink enough water!
- Up your protein and lower your simple carbs. If you're constipated, go wholemeal/wholegrain and get that water down!
Slimming World has a strategy for when you hit a plateau. They call it Extra Easy SP. Essentially, you restrict your free foods to those that are either 'speed' or 'protein' and these are clearly indicated in the hand book as are the SP rules. It's low-ish carb in that it cuts out rice, pasta, potatoes and starchy veg.
So here's the rules:
Eat only S and P foods. There's loads of them but check your handbook as you might be surprised by some.
Have two As and one B as usual
Have up to to ten syns BUT
DON'T syn anything that is on the 'free' lists but not S or P
(you can still have condiments, herbs, stocks, fry light, etc, that are on the free list)
It's a bit restricting but you don't need to go hungry and cooking your meals from scratch really does help. That's the reason for this post. If you've managed to get to this point without falling asleep, here comes the helpful bit (I hope) - links to SP plans and recipes in here and elsewhere that I will use as a resource and will add to as and when.
Beany bacon and sausage breakfast bake
Tomato baked eggs
Cheese, bacon and onion toastie
Cheesy broccoli soup
Cheesy chorizo and mushroom omelette
Cheesy tuna on toast
Chicken and chickpea soup
Chicken and veg soup
Crustless quiche for one
Lentil and veg soup
Mushy pea soup
Roasted butternut squash and red lentil soup
Roasted butternut squash and butterbean soup
Roasted tomato soup
Smoked salmon pate/dip
Spicy red lentil soup
Tuna, tomato, cucumber and bean salad
Cheesy steak wrap pasty
Curried chickpea cake with tomato sambal
Salmon curry in a hurry (just the salmon part without any rice)
Turkey tomato gratin
A stir fry sauce
Quick and easy salsa