Do You Think You Have Hit a Weight Loss Plateau? Maybe Yes, But Maybe No

Day 191

Starting Weight: 77.8 kg
Weight Before Running: 79.1 kg
Weight After Running: about 77.7 kg
Final Weight: 77.3 kg

This was a very good day and the second day of solid weight loss in a row. Yesterday, I took off .4 kg (Day 190). On Day 191, I followed up strongly and lost .5 kg.

The past couple of days both included a 90-minute run and have resulted in completely erasing the .6 kg of weight gain that I encountered on Day 189, which was a badly needed break day. Although the results of that break day were terrible, that is all forgotten now after 2 of the best recovery days I have had in a while.

The figure of .4 kg or more of weight loss became hard to achieve after I lost most of my weight during Pentamize full mode. So at around 80 kg or less, my typical weight loss on a decent day is more like .2 kg than .4. You might experience this same thing after losing a significant amount of weight. Some may think this is some kind of weight loss plateau. I would caution you not to jump to any conclusions. Let me give you an example.

Let’s say my typical weight loss when significantly overweight was a pound a week. As I start to lose weight, I may reach a point where that dramatically reduces to less than half a pound a week. In the short term, such a slim average weekly weight loss could even result in weight gain for a couple of weeks. You may think that you have hit a plateau at that point. But it could just be that your rate of weight loss has slowed down, not that you have hit a plateau.

I suggest continuing to track your daily progress. Don’t jump to any conclusions because one bad day can set you back way more than a week if your average daily weight loss is very small. Keep in mind, though, that even a small average daily weight loss is good. Continue to monitor and determine your typical average daily weight loss, not necessarily your overall average. Why? Because, as I said earlier, even one bad day can foul up your mean average weight loss. Instead, see if the days where you are sticking to your system are still resulting in weight loss. Even if it’s a smaller amount than before, that is still good.

I found the reduction in average to be completely normal and don’t consider that a plateau. However, make sure you are actually sticking to your plan. If you have started to exercise less or eat more, that would not be a plateau, either. That would be cheating. This is not necessarily intentional cheating. The reason I developed and use Pentamize tracking is to avoid accidental cheating. The more you track, the less likely you will accidentally cheat without even realizing it.

Weight Loss Tip: Not Eating When You Are Moderately Hungry

Day 190

Start: 78.2 kg
Weight Before Exercise:: 78.8 kg
Weight After Exercise: 77.6 kg
Final Weight: 77.8 kg
Result: lost .4 kg

After the disastrous break day yesterday, which saw a gain of .6 kg, I had a good recovery today. My final weigh-in saw a loss of .4 kg. This was after another 90-minute running session.

As far as diet goes, I ate a little bit less than what I would have wanted. At about 8:30 at night, I was moderately hungry but certainly not starving. And I decided not to eat anything else the rest of the night.

It’s true that the term “moderately hungry” is very subjective. I can’t put an objective number on such a phrase. The point here is not to give you a precise scientific tip for weight loss because this area is just too subjective. However, there is a tip in here that you can try to iron out for yourself to help lose weight.

The idea is to first categorize how hungry you are and also to consider how much energy you realistically need at a particular time of day. If you are starving and know you have to eat something, then eat when you know it is necessary. Just try to be careful not to eat more than the amount of energy you will need until the next time you eat.

However, there will be times when you feel that you are moderately hungry but definitely not “starving.” This is the time when abstaining from eating can be the difference between gaining and losing weight or at least breaking even. This is what happened to me last night. I considered myself moderately hungry and certainly would have felt good eating a little more. But it was the perfect time to abstain from eating because I was going to sleep soon, anyway.

Sleeping soon means you don’t need much energy since you are just going to be sleeping. The added benefit is that eating at night can be bad in general, anyway. So as long as you are just moderately hungry at night, that is often going to be just the right time to say “no” to the food.

I have certainly had my share of midnight snacks. And we all know they probably are not good for your weight loss or maintenance efforts. It was during my Pentamize full weight loss mode that I started to consciously employ this method. I would gauge whether I was truly hungry or had a slight hunger pang. If I had a slight hunger pang earlier in the day, I would often have a small snack since more energy would be needed to get through the rest of the day. But if it was close to bedtime, I would abstain from eating if having only a slight hunger pang. This was easier to do since I wasn’t going to need energy to sleep. And to add to that, I would also sleep early at times.

So consider how hungry you are and the time of day and how much energy you need the rest of the day when deciding when to eat or not eat. Everyone has a different time schedule and different subjective feelings of “moderately hungry.” So there is no precise formula that can be drawn up here. The best that I can say is to use these two main factors and at least sometimes decide not to eat when you realize that it is not necessary.

First Break Day In Weeks

Day 189

As I mentioned in yesterday’s blog post, it was high time to take a break today. My body was not feeling good during yesterday’s 90-minute run. It was bad enough that I actually decided during the session that there was no way I was going to work out today.

The run was not of the high-intensity variety. So I don’t know why my legs were hurting so much. It may have been the wind that got to me, as it was blowing pretty hard. Realistically, though, it’s way past time to take a break. It’s been long enough that I don’t even remember when my last break was. But it has been somewhere around 3 weeks.

After a moderate weight loss yesterday, my expectation today is to gain a little. This happens on almost every one of my break days, so it’s an easy prediction to make. Short of starving, I just can’t maintain my weight without exercise. Months and months of Pentamize tracking has proven this for me. Of course, some people don’t have to exercise to maintain their weight. But if you are reading this blog, there’s a pretty good chance you are not one of those people unless you are just reading for general information.

Things are going even worse than expected. I was doing okay, but by 8 at night and trying to limit my food intake, I was up to 79.3 kg. This is a disaster. The only thing I can do now is go to bed early and hope it burns off during sleep. I was not going to starve. That’s for sure. So I have to accept this result and get back to work tomorrow.

I tried my best to get some extra sleep, and some of the weight did come off. However, a lot of it appeared to come off due to urination. I couldn’t really sleep at 9 at night. So I would lie there a while, get up and go to the bathroom, and then lie down again. But I probably didn’t actually sleep until after 11.

Before finally falling asleep, I had weighed myself again 2 times just to see what was going on. I dropped to about 78.9 quickly and then 78.7. So I was expecting to drop a lot more overnight. But that initial drop must have just been short-term water loss, as my weight didn’t drop much while sleeping. I weighed in in the morning at 78.2 kg.

The frustration with break days continues. I understand gaining some weight with no exercise. But even without grossly overeating, every break day is a potential disaster. There is no ready way to explain this, and I think it’s just part of my life that exercise is necessary. It gets tiring at times, but things could be far worse. At least the exercise does work as part of my overall weight maintenance plan.

Roller Coaster Ended In Small Weight Loss

Day 188

Beginning Weight: 77.7 kg
Weight Before Running: 78.8 kg
Weight After Running: 77.0 kg
Final Weigh-In: 77.6 kg

Yesterday was a little disappointing but not too bad. I gained .1 kg. Today is important because I need to try to get back on track. However, overall, things are really progressing nicely in this recovery period. I have now had a few days in the 77 kg range after hitting a max of 82.8 from the vacation period. So I have now lost about 9 pounds since the middle of February, which is when I finally got back to my normal diet and exercise regimen. That is about 9 pounds in roughly 6 weeks.

A figure of 9 pounds in 6 or 7 weeks is well within a reasonable range. There’s certainly no race here, and that is over a pound a week, anyway.

One of the things I have always noticed since creating my Pentamize system and even before that is that it’s really easy for me to gain weight and not easy to lose it. And it takes much longer to lose the weight than to gain it. Take my recent vacation. I put on about 12 pounds in 3 weeks. Now, compare that to my recovery period. It’s now 6 to 7 weeks, and I have lost about 9 pounds. That 9 pounds of weight loss is still lagging the 12 pounds of weight gain even though it’s twice the amount of time. So my past observations are holding up yet again. It’s easy and fast to gain weight and much harder and slower to lose it.

I had a crazy roller coaster ride today as far as weight goes. First, the 90-minute run produced great results. I dropped 1.8 kg, which is the most in several months. I did have 1.7 a couple of days ago. The early spring weather is definitely making me sweat more. I can feel it on my skin by the end of a run, mainly because it causes my shirt to stick more.

Despite the great run result, I had a gob of water and went all the way back up to about 78.5 kg pretty shortly after the exercise session was over. Then, the roller coaster continued into the morning. I dropped dramatically overnight and ended up hitting 77.6 kg. That made for a nominal weight loss of .1 kg. So the 24-hour period ended well despite the roller coaster.

It’s about time now for me to a take a break day. My body was just crying to stop for about an hour during that run. I managed to keep going by slowing down a little. As usual, though, I don’t slow down so much that I lose the benefit of the run. In my experience, walking even for 90 minutes doesn’t do much for me. So it has to be jogging if benefit is to be expected, at least for me. This is why I kept going at a slow pace, but definitely at a jogging pace.

Tomorrow will definitely be a break day, and it’s just not time to think about whether I gain a little weight. The goal is to watch my diet closely and try not to overeat. However, there are no plans to exercise because my body needs it badly now.

Example Of Why I Am Always Checking My Weight

Day 187

Beginning Weight: 77.6 kg
Weight Before Run: 79.1 kg
Weight After Run: 77.7 kg
Final Weight: 77.7 kg

After a great weight loss of .4 kg yesterday, I think it’s time to slow down. This will definitely not be a cheat or break day, though. I think I’ll run for only 60 minutes and see how things go.

I wrote the first paragraph above earlier in the day. But when checking my weight before the run, I was kind of surprised to see that my weight was 79.1 kg. This prompted me into a decision to go back to my normal run time of 90 minutes.

This situation is a perfect example of why I am constantly checking my weight. If I had not done that, the day likely would have been a disaster. As it turned out, I still ended up gaining .1 kg on the day. But that is very minimal weight gain and nothing to worry about.

What would be troublesome for me is only checking my weight once a week like a lot of people recommend. I don’t know who comes up with such advice. But it doesn’t seem to be something from the real world. I don’t just check my weight daily. I check it more than once every day. The last time I went weeks without checking was my vacation, and I gained 12 pounds. Now, most of that was because I was not following my plan. So all of that weight gain was not due to not checking my weight on a regular basis. It was due to the natural tendency to cheat on your diet and exercise regimen because it’s hard to keep up the same schedule on vacation. Nonetheless, is anyone going to argue that not weighing in actually helped me? Look at today. I almost certainly would have gained more weight if not checking before my exercise session.

You brush your teeth every day (presumably more than once), you wash yourself every day, and you do other necessary things every day. Weighing in is one of those things. You are just adding one more thing to the list. Today’s example shows how it can help you decide how long you need to work out.

Someone tried to tell me there is no reason to weigh in on a daily basis. Yet, he is not overweight and does not get overweight. Meanwhile, I am the one who had just recently lost about 60 pounds. I don’t get my Pentamize techniques from reading other books. I got them from my own real-life testing and successful weight loss. I don’t need someone who doesn’t even have a weight problem try to tell me how to lose weight when I have already done it. The more you monitor yourself, the more you know when you can eat less, eat more, exercise more, or exercise less. Only if you have some kind of serious OCD problem would you possibly have to abstain from daily weigh-ins. The truth is most information on weight loss is garbage. Telling people with a weight problem to weigh in only once a week is the height of stupidity. Sometimes, the truth needs to be told in a harsh way. And this is one of those times.