In reading through all the blogs we monitor and Facebook groups, rarely does a week go by when someone posts how incredibly frustrated they are because they have stopped losing weight. After hearing the specifics of what they are eating, it’s easy to see that their caloric intake is extremely low. When this happens, the body can very quickly go into starvation mode. Although there is much debate as to whether this is fact or fiction, I personally experienced this situation ten days into a cleanse and weight loss program.
For the first ten days I was dropping on average a pound a day but then it all stopped No more weight loss over the next three days. I immediately started doing some research and reached out to my social networks for help. In many cases, I heard very supportive responses like “Don’t look at the scale”, “Keep at it – be strong”, and “It’s the lost inches that matters”. Then one person asked me, how many calories are you taking in a day? Hmmmm….hadn’t really thought about that. I was following my weight loss program for two of my meals each day and then assuming they healthy lunch I was providing was sufficient. However, based upon USDA guidelines for my age and activity level I should have been taking in 2,600 calories a day. However, my math showed less than 1,000 calories a day. My new friend suggested something mind blowing to me, “EAT MORE”. My analytical mind could not rationalize how taking in more food could lead to continued weight loss.
After more and more research, it actually seemed like a possibility. In addition to two shakes a day, my main food source each day had been a plain green salad with no dressing. So I found a great reference that showed how to get the required nutrients from a 400 – 600 meal. This chart quickly let me know that I was not getting any proteins, starches or fats during lunch. And I realized that fats – as bad as they sounded – are (in moderation) a critical component of your daily nutritional intake. In addition, I started added in some snacks (e.g. raw almonds, half pear, avocado) throughout the day. All of sudden the weight loss picked up again and so did my energy levels. Over the next two weeks I dropped another 12 pounds bringing my total weight loss for the month down 22 pounds. With the increase in energy, I increased my cardio workouts and have never felt better in my life.
So as odd as it may sound, if you stop losing weight be sure to check your caloric intake levels. The first indication may be that you have no energy to do anything.