One of my friends posted a link to a fantastic article that kind of goes along with my "Food" entry from yesterday. I covered some basic rules for eating and weight loss, but i didn't include information about the dreaded weight loss plateau. You are just starting out or need a refresher course? Great, then that entry is perfect for you! Been at it a while and stuck? Maybe this one is better.
5 Reasons You Might Not Be Losing Weight is an article on Beachbody's Website (found via the Turbofire FB page and my awesome friend Sam) that covers some pretty awesome basics of plateaus. What really hit home to me though was the 5th reason which touches on eating more to lose more.
When you are losing weight, do you allow yourself cheat days? Cheat meals? How often?
Do you stick to the perfect 1200 calories every single day? Ok fine, but do you workout on top of that? Consistently eating only 1200 calories a day and working out on top of that without eating any calories back seems like a great idea in the beginning, but not so much when your body gets used to it and plateaus. Why? Because you are starving it. Your body needs a minimum of 1200 calories a day, if you are burning 500 calories a day, then you need to make sure you are eating some healthy foods to make up for that loss to keep you around the 1200 mark in the very least.
That's not to say that every day you can walk on the treadmill for an hour and go out and binge eat, but your body needs change and it needs you to keep it moving and guessing.
This article says to eat MORE calories to lose weight, and it's hard for any of us to wrap our heads around that, but it's true. I'm a firm believer in cheat days and calorie cycling. I still have plateaus but i can work my way out of them a lot easier with higher calorie days. A normal week for me includes 1 high calorie day, 1 medium/high calorie day, 3 medium/normal calorie days, and 2 low calorie days. My cheat day obviously being the higher calorie day and my lowest calorie day is near the end of my week when i take a day off from working out.
That's a lot of words to simply state - DON'T STARVE YOURSELF! You will not lose weight that way long term, you will not keep that little bit of weight off, and you will not like the person you see in the mirror. No matter what you have come to believe "1200" is not the magic, problem-solving number that we all make it out to be.
But...don't do this ;-)