Help! I think my weight loss is plateauing…

Some people will find that the weight loss is very dramatic in the early stages of the diet, but after a while it’s just not shifting as quickly. What should you do if this happens?

  1. First thing: DO NOT PANIC! Ask yourself the question: are you really plateauing? Don’t just trust the scales. How do you look in the mirror? How are your clothes fitting? Have you been photographing and measuring yourself each week?
  2. Another reason not to panic is that you’ve lost a lot of weight quickly, so your body may need time to adjust. 
  3. Are you eating when you are hungry and stopping when you’re full? Where are you eating? If it is in front of the tv or computer stop it now as you will not be concentrating on what you are putting into your mouth and not realising when you’re full.
  4. Are you snacking too much? Remember we use pork scratchings and cheese as an aid to getting fat adapted, but as time goes on you should need to snack less. Always ask yourself this vital question, “Am I hungry or am I just eating out of habit and to keep my jaw moving?” Have you read this snacking article?
  5. Are you walking? You need to get your steps in. Have you read this article on the site already? But be aware you may be building muscle doing walking or exercise and muscle weighs more than fat. Consistent regular walking is vital to the SAF plan. I do not care how many times you go to the gym or swim or cycle, these activities all need to be on top of the daily walk. By getting into a regular habit you are changing your mindset as well as your body shape.
  6. Are you eating hidden carbs? Keep a food diary and share it with us. Include everything. Lots of carbs are hidden in condiments, a couple of squeezes of ketchup could mess you up! 
  7. One thing you could try is to reduce your protein and higher carb veg intake and increase your fat intake. As you progress through the 90-day plan portion size will reduce as fat satiates or fills you up quicker than sugary and starchy carbs. Sometimes if you lower the protein i.e. the size of your steak, but up the butter or sauce on top of it, plus have a few more leafy greens it works wonders to kick start weight loss again.
  8. Are you sleeping properly? There is more and more evidence that sleep affects weight loss and indeed mental health. Try to go to bed at the same time every night. Come off the computer or mobile phone at least an hour before you go to bed and do not take them into the bedroom. Make sure you have the curtains drawn and try to sleep in total darkness. Try to have the same amount of sleep every night. You need to create a pattern that your body recognises.
  9. Are you stressed? Stress can be a major factor in weight loss stall. Now don’t think we’re making light of this. If you have got deep-rooted stress in your life, it’s normal, even if it is undesirable. You can’t change many of the things that are linked with stress – things like bereavement or money problems. That’s one of the reasons we’ve introduced walking to the plan, because you need to get away from everything else for a little while each day, and just be free for an hour or so.

    The trick with stress is to change the way we react to the problems, not always trying to change or eliminate the problem itself.

    So, as well as the walking try and take up a hobby or go for a swim or lift some weights. Do this for your mental health, not physical fitness. Some people take up yoga. It doesn’t matter what it is, you just have to be a bit selfish and do something completely for yourself. Spoil yourself; you deserve it. Always finish your exercise or hobby at least an hour before you go to bed so as to relax your body and brain.

  10. Are you eating enough? Never ever be tempted to starve yourself or go hungry as that will stall your progress as the body goes into starvation mode and stores fat. Remember Jon’s mantra, eat when you’re hungry, stop when you’re full. We are firm believers in intermittent fasting as pioneered by Dr Jason Fung – but intermittent fasting is not starving yourself.

    We do not think anyone should do intermittent fasting until they are fully fat adapted which will take the full 12 weeks of the eating plan. Then you should only do it after consulting your Doctor, especially if you are on any medication for blood pressure or Type 2 diabetes.

    Then don’t go mad; start with a 16 hour fast building up over a couple of weeks to 24 hours one. When you are not fasting eat the food and the meals you have learned to cook from the plan. By eating every night at a regular time and not snacking your body will also be getting to grips with fasting. So, for example if you always eat at seven and then get up at seven in the morning you have effectively fasted for the best part of 12 hours. That is why brekkie is called BREAKFAST!

And finally: Follow the 90 day plan closely – it has been devised to give you maximum results. If you deviate, or decide to pick and mix, you can seriously undo a lot of the good that you’ve achieved.