The Dreaded Plateau

March 21, 2011·

So, as I continue on my journey of really once-and-for-all getting healthy to the point at which I am happy with my level of health and fitness, I am learning A LOT along the way. I guess you could say that means this is a good learning and growing experience, otherwise what’s the purpose? Right?

Well, I’ve lost 16.8 pounds so far, and realistically, to get to a weight I’d be comfortable with, I need to lose another 10, but to get to a weight that I really want, I need to lose another 18-23. I’m not on any crazy crash diets or doing any of those “fad” things – I’m watching what I eat, counting my calories, and exercising.

If you’re not good at math (which I am not) this part may get a bit confusing, but this is something I’ve just recently learned. If you know this already, you can move on to the next paragraph, if you don’t, just maybe then you’ll learn something. So, to make something rather complicated sound basic here’s the deal:

  • 3,500 calories = 1 pound
    • Basically, this means that for every 3,500 calories you eat, you gain 1 pound, for every 3,500 calories you burn, you lose 1 pound
  • The average person burns between 2,000 and 2,500 calories per day WITHOUT exercise (that’s just doing your daily stuff like, being alive, breathing, showering, etc…)
  • They say that the average woman should eat around 1,600 and 2,000 calories a day and average man should eat around 1,800-2,200 calories a day.
    • So basically, if you don’t exercise at all and eat around 2,000 calories a day, you’re going to maintain your current weight
    • Do know that these numbers are based on averages – not taking into account metabolism, height, weight, etc… but they are good representation
  • So, basically to LOSE weight, you need to subtract 500 calories from the average daily caloric intake to burn more calories than you eat during a day

There are a lot of websites that can help you figure out a more specific number, here’s one that I used.

So, for the past two months I’ve been eating about 1,300-1,500 calories a day and burning somewhere between 2,000 and 3,000 calories a day. (I go to the gym a minimum 5 days a week, most often 6 days a week. I’ve learned that a rest day is SO incredibly important – but those days I’m at the gym, I’m burning a lot more than on days I’m not… duh).

When first heading out on this lose-weight path, the weight comes off like BOOM! POOF! Where’d it go? It’s so easy and you really feel like you’re on a roll. And then, BOOM! POOF! It stops. And you hit… dun dun dun: THE DREADED PLATEAU. The dreaded plateau is when your body gets comfortable with your current lifestyle and says to you, “Nah, I don’t really feel like losing any more weight. I’m gonna hang out here for a while.”

It’s one of the most frustrating things in the world. I know that you have to just keep your body guessing and eventually the weight will come off and the plateau will end, but until then, my golly it’s a process.

I share this information just to 1) Get it off my chest, 2) Share my experiences, and 3) Hope that there’s someone out there who’s reading this and knows exactly what I’m talking about and can either learn from me or heck, I can learn from them. Is that person YOU?

All for now.