Just Call Me The Plateau Breaker!

29 Mar


Haaaaaaaiiiii yah! Source: weheartit.com

As most of you would know, weight loss has been slow as wet week around here lately.  *queue crickets*  * queue tumbleweeds* *queue awkward coughing*

I mean, I HAVE been losing but it has not been as consistent as what I would like.   Look, I’m not looking for an unhealthy 5kg loss in a week but at this stage 500g – 1kg a week would be desirable rather than the 200g – 300g a week loses I have been experiencing.  1kg a month?  I find you offensive.

In an effort to get the weight loss flowing again I have been playing with my calorie intake.  Firstly, I tried increasing it to about 1600 calories a day but unfortunately that yielded little results.   Don’t get me wrong, this is a great idea for people who have been eating too little calories for some time and has worked for me in the past but, sigh, not this time.

Then, after reading Michelle Bridge’s book How to Lose the Last 5kg, I reluctantly decided I would try the old 1200 calorie meal plan.  I am not a huge fan of low-calorie diets but sometimes it’s necessary to shock the body back into weight loss mode.  I definitely would never go below this many calories.  That’s basically starvation and sends your metabolism into shut down mode and it hangs on to fat for dear life.  Do.  Not.  Want.

I haven’t stuck to Michelle’s exact meal plan but I have adopted the following principles:

  • 1200 – 1300 calories per day
  • No grains after lunch
  • Eating breakfast within 30 minutes of waking
  • 60 – 90 minutes of exercise (a mix of strength and cardio) a day, 6 days a week

For breakfast I have been having my quinoa porridge with banana (but I’m thinking of taking the banana out and having it when I get to work as I am HUN-GRY by the time I get to work after my morning cycle).

Lunches have been soups that I make on a Sunday night.  I make a big pot and then just freeze portions.  This makes life so much easier as you don’t need to worry about lunch every day being within your calorie limit.  Last week’s soup was Chicken, Veg and Barley and this weeks soup is Beef, Veg and Barley (features onion, paprika, celery, cabbage, zucchini, carrot, chilli and chicken stock).  Next weeks soup… who knows?  The anticipation is killing me!

I have two snacks a day and these are things like as small handful of nuts, 30g of cheese, 100g of cottage cheese, handful of steamed chicken, 100g of natural yoghurt or a hard-boiled egg.  I also have a cup of green tea with both of these snacks.  And water!  I have at least 2L a day, but that is nothing new.   I’ve always drank a lot of water… and if anyone needs to find me, I’m usually in the loo.   TMI?

Dinner has been 120g of lean protein (chicken, beef, lamb, pork or fish) and vegetables or salad.  I may also throw in some cheese or sweet potato depending on whether it is within my calorie allowance.

The first couple of days were tough, I ain’t gonna lie.  But I have gotten used to it and now I’m doing fine!  Hungry… but fine!  (But I’m always hungry, let’s face facts here people).

I have even managed to get that 69.9kg that I reported last week down to 69.2kg!  Oh hold me back people puh-lease because I am jumping for joy!

I am resenting not being able to eat more though (grumble) but I know this is only a short-term tactic to get the metabolism fired up again.  In the next week I will start to add more calories each day and get back to a more sustainable 1500 – 1600 calories per day.  I’m just hoping my body will continue to burn as well as it has been in the last week or so.  Time will tell!

I’ve also read a lot about calorie cycling recently and it may be on my “next to try” list should my current plan fail.

Has anyone given calorie cycling a go?  And what are your best tips for breaking a weight loss plateau?




21 Responses to “Just Call Me The Plateau Breaker!”

  1. Coffee&Claptrap March 29, 2011 at 8:33 pm #

    For me, eating Primal/Paleo interspersed with intermittent fasting yields the results I want.

    Never hungry either, sometimes I have to REMIND myself to eat! 🙂

    • Amanda March 30, 2011 at 7:12 am #

      I’m not sure about the fasting stuff but thank you for sharing! 🙂

  2. Shellet March 29, 2011 at 11:50 pm #

    Sounds like you are kicking that plateau in the butt! You are going to be at your goal weight before you know it 😀

    • Amanda March 30, 2011 at 7:11 am #

      Thanks Shelley! Can’t wait to start increasing these cals and get back to a normal level of activity! I’m doing this all so I can get to maintenance quicker!!

  3. Inertia (Jes) March 30, 2011 at 7:05 am #

    Calorie countingseems like such a daunting task – knowing how much your meat weighs and what’s what in the calorie world. I’d live to see a post on how you learnt the ins & outs of it all (i ou haven’t done so already!)
    Congrats on breaking the 70 mark too 🙂

    • Amanda March 30, 2011 at 7:09 am #

      It does take a lot of time but because I spent so long ‘dieting’ back in my day in have a fairly good idea on what’s in what. Calorie counting is rather annoying so that’s why I stick to the same breakfast and lunch every day for a week so I don’t have to do it! I just enter it all into CalorieKing on the Monday to make sure what I’ve got planned is in my limits so I don’t need to worry about it again. That’s why books like Michelle’s are good because they take the gursswork and counting out of the equation for you!

      • Jes (inertia) April 3, 2011 at 11:45 am #

        I might check out Michelles book – they’re mentioned quite a bit of VF.
        I’m currently trying to work on my portion control as I find calorie counting too confusing (therefore I just stop bothering) – I struggle with eating too much – usually more than my 6’3” 100kg male housemate.

      • Amanda April 4, 2011 at 11:39 am #

        Yeah portion control was always my biggest issue! How do I control the portions?! HOW?! LOL

        Her book definitely has some good tips in it!

  4. Nat @ nataliecartertalksfitness March 30, 2011 at 8:19 am #

    Well done! My tips for breaking weight loss plateus:

    – Changing your food intake (calories on a regular 4 weekly basis. You’ll need to try eating less and more.

    – Changing your exercise routine a least weekly (don’t get caught doing the same old thing day in and day out)

    -Ramp up theintenisty of your workouts or add another day of training. You’ll be surprised at the results

    – Be patient! Fat loss takes time, you really need to relax about the number on scale and worry about how your clothes fit or your body fat levels.

    • Amanda March 30, 2011 at 8:42 am #

      All excellent tips from the worlds best personal trainer! 🙂

    • Alex March 30, 2011 at 12:33 pm #

      ah Natalie is so good, i always visit her site for inspiration and ideas!

  5. Aster March 30, 2011 at 1:02 pm #

    Hey Amanda, great to hear about your loss! Personally I’m not a big believer in counting calories, but I eat clean for 90% of the time and then give myself a cheat meal every 5 days (so in a way, this is a sort of cycing as the clean food would be less energy dense than the cheat meal foods).
    I say if it’s working, that’s great, I have found with my clients that there’s no such thing as a one size fits all, some eating plans for my clients work better than others. What I have found to work really well from a personal point of view is going to a caveman style type of eating (meat, veg, lots of good fats as i don’t eat grains due to being extremely insulin resistant – any grain WILL make me bloat and hold onto fat!), I also take additional hormonal supplements with my food that help even out my hormonal profile and whilst I have been doing this, have dropped 4kg in the last 8 weeks (which for me is massive). It’s always good to question why something isn’t working and trying new things that will push past a barrier – keep at it!

    • Amanda March 30, 2011 at 1:08 pm #

      Thanks Aster! I am a reformed obsessive calorie counter so I hate counting everything to – much prefer to eat clean and not worry about it! But sometimes more precise measures need to be taken! Congrats on your loss! That’s great! I find that I am fine if I have my grains in the morning/lunch time but if I have them at night it’s bloated city. And you are so right – one size DOES NOT fit all. It’s about constantly changing and evolving and finding what works for you. 🙂

  6. Kristen March 31, 2011 at 4:12 am #

    Wow! Wow! Wow! So inspiring!! You go gurrlllll!! I am SO proud of you, and I might try out calorie cycling too…love keeping up with you on your blog! You make me giggle and feel hopeful instead of my usual grumbling and feeling bitchy. 🙂

    • Amanda March 31, 2011 at 10:33 am #

      Yay! If you’re happy then I’M happy! 😀

  7. Marisa's Low Carb Kitchen Talk March 31, 2011 at 8:09 am #

    Hi Amanda,

    I tried counting calories way back when but I found it too time consuming. I’m on a low carb diet and it’s been a slow and steady weight loss. I’ve plateaued in the past and what works for me is drinking 64 oz of water a day plus 30 mins cardio 4-5 times a week and the fat melts away.
    All the best 🙂

    • Amanda March 31, 2011 at 10:35 am #

      Thanks for sharing Marisa! 🙂

  8. Cooper March 31, 2011 at 10:21 am #

    Good luck babe. I’m on about 1200 to 1400 at the moment and it’s killing me as well. To be fair, I’m craving and snacking LOTS less but I enjoy a proper meal too much to keep this up forever.

    • Amanda March 31, 2011 at 10:38 am #

      It’s seriously hard work. And I totally agree! Not something you can maintain long term but good to get the metabolism fired up again! I’m starting to add calories back on over the next few days, thank god! I don’t know how Michelle Bridge’s does it!?


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