For the past six weeks I've been chronicling on my blog my weight loss journey from the dreaded weight of 199.8 lbs on my way to my goal of 160 lbs. At 184.6, where I am today, I've hit that dreaded first plateau. This seems to happen to most people who are reducing calories to lose weight and can be very frustrating because it seems that the results do not reflect the effort you're putting in on the diet. This has happened on every diet I've been on and probably the same for you.
At this point, one of two things typically happens. You either get so frustrated that you quit the diet altogether or you reduce your calorie intake further and lose a few more pounds. The problem is those pounds lost are probably lean muscle instead of the fat you want to lose.
About three weeks ago I stumbled across some research information about what was termed the "missing link" for long term diet success. I knew I was missing something and everyone I ever knew who went on a diet program was missing something because we always ended in long term failure. So, I read and listened and searched, and it just made sense.
This new program focuses on what is really going on inside our bodies when we reduce caloric intake and why a little hormonal reaction that you've probably never heard of dooms doctors to long-term failure.
I will not go into the science of it all, but what happens when we cut calories is that we signal the body that we are heading into semi-starvation mode. The body reacts by lowering Leptin levels (the hormone that allows us to burn fat), slowing our metabolism, storing fat, and burning lean muscle for energy. All of which are the exact opposite of what we want our body doing. After a few weeks of losing some weight we hit a plateau and our metabolism is so low that we can not move forward. We end up quitting and quickly put on any weight we may have lost.
The Missing Link
The answer was found by Joel Marion. You can look out his credentials below. What he found was that you have to trick your body into thinking that you're not starving by having "cheat" days each week and strategically adding specific carbohydrates during the week. This keeps the Leptin levels and your metabolism high and at a peak, fat-burning efficiency.
The "cheating" (a day when you eat anything you want) is absolutely essential to both physiologically and psychologically being successful and reaching your weight loss goal.
I've been following this exact plan (including the exercise part I've blogged about) except for the "cheat" day, and I've experienced exactly what most people do – initial weight loss (15 lbs) followed by a plateau .
The best part about adopting Joel's program is that you start the program with a "CHEAT DAY" !! That will either be tomorrow or Thursday. I'll keep you posted, but I'll encourage anyone who has failed in the past to lose weight and keep it off (and that's almost everyone who tried to lose weight) to check out this terrific program. It is inexpensive and based on many testimonials, very effective.