Just Call Me The Plateau Breaker!
As most of you would know, weight loss has been slow as wet week around here lately. *queue crickets* * queue tumbleweeds* *queue awkward coughing*
I mean, I HAVE been losing but it has not been as consistent as what I would like. Look, I’m not looking for an unhealthy 5kg loss in a week but at this stage 500g – 1kg a week would be desirable rather than the 200g – 300g a week loses I have been experiencing. 1kg a month? I find you offensive.
In an effort to get the weight loss flowing again I have been playing with my calorie intake. Firstly, I tried increasing it to about 1600 calories a day but unfortunately that yielded little results. Don’t get me wrong, this is a great idea for people who have been eating too little calories for some time and has worked for me in the past but, sigh, not this time.
Then, after reading Michelle Bridge’s book How to Lose the Last 5kg, I reluctantly decided I would try the old 1200 calorie meal plan. I am not a huge fan of low-calorie diets but sometimes it’s necessary to shock the body back into weight loss mode. I definitely would never go below this many calories. That’s basically starvation and sends your metabolism into shut down mode and it hangs on to fat for dear life. Do. Not. Want.
I haven’t stuck to Michelle’s exact meal plan but I have adopted the following principles:
- 1200 – 1300 calories per day
- No grains after lunch
- Eating breakfast within 30 minutes of waking
- 60 – 90 minutes of exercise (a mix of strength and cardio) a day, 6 days a week
For breakfast I have been having my quinoa porridge with banana (but I’m thinking of taking the banana out and having it when I get to work as I am HUN-GRY by the time I get to work after my morning cycle).
Lunches have been soups that I make on a Sunday night. I make a big pot and then just freeze portions. This makes life so much easier as you don’t need to worry about lunch every day being within your calorie limit. Last week’s soup was Chicken, Veg and Barley and this weeks soup is Beef, Veg and Barley (features onion, paprika, celery, cabbage, zucchini, carrot, chilli and chicken stock). Next weeks soup… who knows? The anticipation is killing me!
I have two snacks a day and these are things like as small handful of nuts, 30g of cheese, 100g of cottage cheese, handful of steamed chicken, 100g of natural yoghurt or a hard-boiled egg. I also have a cup of green tea with both of these snacks. And water! I have at least 2L a day, but that is nothing new. I’ve always drank a lot of water… and if anyone needs to find me, I’m usually in the loo. TMI?
Dinner has been 120g of lean protein (chicken, beef, lamb, pork or fish) and vegetables or salad. I may also throw in some cheese or sweet potato depending on whether it is within my calorie allowance.
The first couple of days were tough, I ain’t gonna lie. But I have gotten used to it and now I’m doing fine! Hungry… but fine! (But I’m always hungry, let’s face facts here people).
I have even managed to get that 69.9kg that I reported last week down to 69.2kg! Oh hold me back people puh-lease because I am jumping for joy!
I am resenting not being able to eat more though (grumble) but I know this is only a short-term tactic to get the metabolism fired up again. In the next week I will start to add more calories each day and get back to a more sustainable 1500 – 1600 calories per day. I’m just hoping my body will continue to burn as well as it has been in the last week or so. Time will tell!
I’ve also read a lot about calorie cycling recently and it may be on my “next to try” list should my current plan fail.
Has anyone given calorie cycling a go? And what are your best tips for breaking a weight loss plateau?