Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Resisting the Plateau

I have not lost any weight since before Christmas.

For a while, I was blaming the week I spent making french-kissing, from my lips to my hips, butter toffee, drenched in chocolate and dusted it with crushed pecans.

It was supposed to be a gift for the neighbors, but uh...I ate it all. So I would make it again and then eat it again etc...

I really really really like butter toffee. A lot lot lot.

I gave up on the toffee ever leaving my house and thus, stopped making it and promptly returned to low carb, but the weight just wouldn't move.

It wasn't that much toffee, okay?

Plateaus and stalls are common in weight loss and, it seems, particularly in low carb. I think half the reason people abandon low carb is due to the unavoidable plateau somewhere between week 3 and 6.

"It's not working," they cry and then they quit in a huff. I see it all the time on the diet forums.

I know better, but this has been one heck of a long weight loss stall. Especially considering I've been exercising pretty consistently on top of all the low carb goodness. Two months with nothing? Not even half a pound? Really?

So I've been reviewing my options for busting through this stall.

1. Go ultra low carb. As in meat and egss and nothing else until a)I puke or b) lose weight, whichever comes first.

Not such an appetizing option in my opinion. Also, it's hard to be perfect with a family that doesn't low carb. Plus, adrenals = low blood sugar so I have to watch that too.

Perhaps I could do ultra low carb on alternate days or just on the weekends as a kickstart. Something to consider.

However, I have been cleaning up my diet a bit. Focusing more on low carb and less on low carb 'legal' stuff which always has more carb content. That and no snacking after dinner, which always seems to help.

2. Revisit my exercise program and look more at metabolic resistance training (a.k.a. strength cardio, high intensity interval training and interval training).

However, the adrenals don't like intense anything. I go too hard and I risk crashing (based on past experience and not wanting to risk any recovery gains I've made thus far). Heck, if I go easy I can crash so...eek.

Consider though that interval training's guiding principal is rest for twice as long as you work. That sounds right up the adrenals' alley. So I could crank out a hard minute on the elliptical and then coast for 2. Sounds doable.

On the strength cardio aspect of the concept, I would have to craft my own workout. I am not ready for P90X (I actually have no desire to ever do P90X but the principles it uses are the same as what I'm looking to do) or kettlebells and I don't have access to a gym with weights. I'm not sure I'm doing it exactly right but the routine I've come up with is something like:

SET 1

-10 plie squats

-10 plie squats with jump


-Hold squat for 10-20 seconds




Rest



SET 2

10 Burpees


Rest

etc...

Supposedly the science says if I do it like this, fast and hard with rest in between sets, that I will improve my insulin sensitivity for up to 36 hours after. Additionally, science seems to show that some kind of aerobic resistance is the best work out for insulin resistance. "Steady state cardio" (as trainers call it) is worthless for fat loss.

I kind of agree with the trainers after all these weeks of walking and ellipsing and low carbing and not losing weight.

Just can't make it too hard or else I will poop out. That will be the trick, to balance it all against what my body will actually tolerate.

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