Long Term Whole 30 and plateauing


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HI! I'm sure this has been addressed somewhere but I couldn't find anything concise. I'll try not to be too long winded. :rolleyes:

  • Started Whole 30 January 2, 2015 and did 86 days!!! ...until a piece of pizza. :/
  • SO, I started a Day 1 again.

My question is regarding plateau and weight loss. I am experiencing many non scale victories with the 30. After trying to lose weight for the past 6 years (working out consistently during that time but eating too many simple carbs and drinking too many delicious craft beers) this FINALLY is something that is working for me. YAY.

  • However, I'm finding the fear creep in that my body is going to stop here where it always does. I've been flucuating between the same 20 lbs for the last few years.
  • What does the body do after 90 days?? Does the body keep on losing? Am I going to to push past this phase?
  • AND, will my body reset to follow some of the Whole 30 timeline days (for the love of Gosling, etc) or is there something else going on here?
  • I'd like to lose about 20 more lbs (not sure what that would be in terms of inches lost for me. I know the scale is an inaccurate measuring tool but it's a framework for me to use every 30 days when I measure and weigh).

Thanks in advance for any responses (especially you've had 40+lbs to lose)!

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Tom Denham

 

"If you follow the Whole30 meal template, you will lose weight that you need to lose at a healthy pace. The Whole30 approach is a long-term and permanent solution to being overweight. There are no short cuts that don't compromise your health and that don't increase the threat that you will gain the weight back. Please don't fantasize that you can take a short-cut without negative consequences. Just settle into Whole30-style eating and let the magic happen month and after month until you reach a really good place. I personally lost 2 pounds per month for 15 months in a row before I stopped losing weight. I didn't change what I was eating or the exercise I was doing. I just lost weight until I stopped losing weight. Your body has an ideal point and if you follow the Whole30 approach, you will reach your ideal point."

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HI! I'm sure this has been addressed somewhere but I couldn't find anything concise. I'll try not to be too long winded. :rolleyes:

  • Started Whole 30 January 2, 2015 and did 86 days!!! ...until a piece of pizza. :/
  • SO, I started a Day 1 again.

My question is regarding plateau and weight loss. I am experiencing many non scale victories with the 30. After trying to lose weight for the past 6 years (working out consistently during that time but eating too many simple carbs and drinking too many delicious craft beers) this FINALLY is something that is working for me. YAY.

  • However, I'm finding the fear creep in that my body is going to stop here where it always does. I've been flucuating between the same 20 lbs for the last few years.
  • What does the body do after 90 days?? Does the body keep on losing? Am I going to to push past this phase?
  • AND, will my body reset to follow some of the Whole 30 timeline days (for the love of Gosling, etc) or is there something else going on here?
  • I'd like to lose about 20 more lbs (not sure what that would be in terms of inches lost for me. I know the scale is an inaccurate measuring tool but it's a framework for me to use every 30 days when I measure and weigh).

Thanks in advance for any responses (especially you've had 40+lbs to lose)!

That's your answer up above.  After 90 days, the body will do what it always does if we return to what we've always done...pre Whole 30.    It will respond with rebound weight gain if we fall back into more off-roading than putting in the consistent effort to stay the course.

 

Some believe that the metabolism has magically been transformed after 30 or 90 days to handle refined carbs and sugars differently...that they've been given a free pass after 30 days to go on a food bender with no consequences.  It may take several Whole 30's before the realization hits that 30 days of off-roading and W30 restarts are not the way to go.

 

All we have to do is put in the consistent effort without fear to get there.  Maintaining a 40 lb weight loss is a major achievement.  Going Oooooo sooooo slooooow is the way to do that.   Don't ask more than 4 lbs a month from yourself. The body goes through a rebalancing process all the way through a major weight loss.   Try to speed that up by losing 10 lbs a month at the rate of 120 lbs in a year, you risk gaining all of it back within another year's time.   Losing lean muscle mass when weight loss is too fast - the body will rebel with intense hunger and see to it that every pound comes back with friends.   I consider that a nightmare.

 

The scale is only one data point.  It's not a measure of your lean muscle mass.  

 

Do you know what weight swings, the same 20 lbs over and over and over does to the body over the course of lifetime? It comes back in the form of belly fat, usually.   Constant rebound weight gain does not come back in the form of lean muscle mass.   Weight stability is the true measure of success.   The only way to get there is to go sloooooow.

 

As Whole 30 Mods and veterans will tell you, they've been able to maintain every single pound released without any rebound weight gain.   That's the BIG WIN.   It doesn't come with over-restriction or dieting, it comes from going at it with a sloooooow pace to WIN THE REAL RACE.

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It is entirely possible that you are going to need to stay pretty close to Whole30 for a marathon, not a sprint.  If you have cycled up and down and plateaued and gained and cycled again for your whole life, your body is maybe going to wait until it feels hormonally and metabolically safe to drop any excess weight.

 

Also, please consider that you are not the you that you were 5 years ago.  This is a realization that I have had to come to for myself.  I am 7 years older than I was when I lost my 90#.  Everything changes as time wears on, metabolism, hormones, body composition etc.  EVERYTHING changes....and you (or I) may never get back to the place we were 6 or 7 years ago because we are the human we are right now, made up of our experiences and decisions.  You may spend some time considering that while you are allegedly 20# over what you think you should weigh, maybe you are the right weight for your body and your lifestyle as it is Right Now.  ;)

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Also, please consider that you are not the you that you were 5 years ago. This is a realization that I have had to come to for myself. I am 7 years older than I was when I lost my 90#. Everything changes as time wears on, metabolism, hormones, body composition etc. EVERYTHING changes....and you (or I) may never get back to the place we were 6 or 7 years ago because we are the human we are right now, made up of our experiences and decisions. You may spend some time considering that while you are allegedly 20# over what you think you should weigh, maybe you are the right weight for your body and your lifestyle as it is Right Now. ;)

That rings so true! I know i spend a lot of energy pining for my thinner self from 5 ish years ago, when I was running more. I keep chasing that memory, but I'm 40 now and the body has changed for sure. I finally gave away the jeans I'd been holding on to for half the last decade hoping to fit back in them.

you are feeding your body today with the very best nutritious food you can. keep taking care of it, so it'll take care of you.

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It is entirely possible that you are going to need to stay pretty close to Whole30 for a marathon, not a sprint.  If you have cycled up and down and plateaued and gained and cycled again for your whole life, your body is maybe going to wait until it feels hormonally and metabolically safe to drop any excess weight.

 

Also, please consider that you are not the you that you were 5 years ago.  This is a realization that I have had to come to for myself.  I am 7 years older than I was when I lost my 90#.  Everything changes as time wears on, metabolism, hormones, body composition etc.  EVERYTHING changes....and you (or I) may never get back to the place we were 6 or 7 years ago because we are the human we are right now, made up of our experiences and decisions.  You may spend some time considering that while you are allegedly 20# over what you think you should weigh, maybe you are the right weight for your body and your lifestyle as it is Right Now.   ;)

Lady Shanny,  I've been wanting to ask you something about your long term success - maintaining your 90 lb loss.

 

I've been reading about those who rebound vs. those who do not - like you....so awesome!  The rebounders said that complacency set in about six months to a year after a big loss.   Did that ever happen to you.  They described it like the brain getting mushy or going soft - completely forgetting the hard work and struggle it took to accomplish their goal. (Similar to women and childbirth - completely forgetting the pain).  At some point, their determination evaporated and they regained every single pound back.   

 

Did this ever happen to you along the way and if so,  how did you overcome complacency?  I would like to know how you kept the mountain of momentum swinging in your favor all of these years.  Tell all.  Thank you.  :rolleyes:   I don't intend to ever find it again.  "I'm not losing it, I'm getting rid of it".  

 

e49aaebc29136ddcd8925e560b187a2b.jpg      

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Absolutely the "pain" of what I did has evaporated. I remember it being a big change but I don't remember a lot of the details. Like I was someone else. I quit smoking at that same time and I remember that being hard but I don't have a strong or detailed recollection of just how crappy it was.

The thing that I think has stopped me regaining (in fairness, after a couple car accidents and a severe neck injury, I've got about 10-15 pounds of it back over my lowest weight but I'm mostly alright with that) is that I have spent the last 7 years learning. About myself, nutrition, my reactions, fitness, health. The more you know, the less you can jam your head in the sand and pretend that you don't know what you're doing to yourself. For me anyway. I also have always liked to have goals to reach, whether it was Whole30 or running a certain distance or squatting a certain amount of weight. When I couldn't really dig as deep as I wanted, even just having a goal of walking the dog 5 out of 7 days for a month keeps me on the right path. When I stop trying, I'm done for.

And I would like to point out that "trying" looks different depending on circumstances. "Trying" while injured or sick or dealing with job loss or relationship issues or what have you is going to look different than "trying" when everything is lined up and ticking along perfectly. That's where it helps to have grace with yourself so that you can treat yourself appropriately for the circumstances at the moment.

We aren't static creatures. We'll never get somewhere and then stay there forever. We'll never always be able to run 5km or push a certain amount of weight or fit in those particular skinny jeans. It's like you say, Meadow, catch and release. There is no "there" there. There's only how we treat ourselves today affecting what tomorrow looks like.

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I believe you've found a style of eating that you can live with forever.  Good job on bouncing back through all of your injuries with good decisions.   You give all of us hope to carry on.   You light up our lives.  There's a song that matches those lyrics.

Thanks for sharing with us.

 

You, you light up my life

You give me hope to carry on
You light up my days
And fill my nights with song
 
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Long Term Whole 30 and Plateau -

 

There are many who've gotten rid of 50 - 75lbs  in 6 mo to a year.  Without a solid plan going forwards, they risk rebounding and gaining all of it back and then some.  Plateaus naturally happen.  The inches (skin) are catching up with the pounds and other chemical processes are going on.  Trading UP for lean muscle mass is preferred.

 

The brain turns to mush as many rebounders relate - it starts resting on its laurels.  That brain even lets them completely forget why and how they fought so hard - meal by meal, mile by mile and day by day to reach their goal.  

 

Those with true long term success like Lady Shanny and Tom Denham went Ooooooo  sooooooo  slooooooow.  They didn't rush the process.  How many from that B.L. weight loss show actually maintain their enormous loss a year or two down the road.  Those stats make me cry.

 

Everyone hits a plateau.   Don't look back over your shoulder or try to "eat back" to move a long term plateau.  "Cheat meals" eaten on a regular basis to rev the metabolism are a farce.   "Cheat meals" will help you fall completely away.

 

If you choose to off-road while you're on a long term Whole 30, own it.  Embrace it.   Don't call them "cheat meals".  No excuses, no rationalizations...yes, sugar and grains are addictive.   We knew that going in and we know that going out. Take complete responsibility for everything you choose to do.  Don't blame it on your relatives cooking or anything else.

Own all of it.  

 

If you hit a plateau - keep working your solid plan.   When you get rid of 10 or 110 lbs, you still need a solid plan going forward.   There is no finish line.   Don't blame it on sugar, grains, people and whatever you do, don't blame a Whole 30. Take complete ownership of yourself and everything will fall into place.

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