What caused my plateau? How can I overcome it?

I’ve been in a plateau since February 15, and it is incredibly discouraging.  As I have mentioned this weight loss effort is the most recent in a long line of weight loss efforts.  This time started out very encouraging, with rapid weight loss at the start totaling 16 pounds lost in about 20 days.  Admittedly, this is fast, and I should be (and am) happy with that success.  However, the last 20 days I haven’t been able to move that number any lower, and it is very demotivating.

So what is causing the plateau?  Let’s look at my food and exercise diary from Feb 12 to now, to see what is going on.

Date Consumed Burned BMR Net
12-Feb-13 1,891 182 2156 -447
13-Feb-13 2,287 280 2156 -149
14-Feb-13 2,618 2156 462
15-Feb-13 2,163 500 2156 -493
16-Feb-13 2,961 334 2156 471
17-Feb-13 2,373 2156 217
18-Feb-13 2,439 585 2156 -302
19-Feb-13 1,923 2156 -233
20-Feb-13 3,056 780 2156 120
21-Feb-13 2,941 1,002 2156 -217
22-Feb-13 2,312 2156 156
23-Feb-13 2,369 390 2156 -177
24-Feb-13 1,785 2156 -371
25-Feb-13 2,323 501 2156 -334
26-Feb-13 2,199 565 2156 -522
27-Feb-13 3,150 170 2156 824
28-Feb-13 2,082 2156 -74
01-Mar-13 2,567 642 2156 -231
02-Mar-13 2,064 2156 -92
03-Mar-13 1,921 1,328 2156 -1,563
04-Mar-13 2,890 774 2156 -40
TOTAL NET -2,995
AVG NET/DAY -143

 

The evidence is clear!  Even though I have days like March 3 where I know I’ve burned more calories than I’ve consumed, I also have days like February 27, where I am way over on calories.  The two days cancel out for maintaining weight, but clearly my weight loss progress has stopped for non-mysterious reasons!

All in all I have achieved a total net deficit of 2,995 calories.  The theory is that it takes a deficit of 3,500 calories to lose 1 pound.  My ideal weight loss program achieves losses of 2 pounds per week, which amounts to a 1000 calorie deficit every day.  At this rate I’m getting a 1000 calorie deficit every 10 days, for a weight loss projection of 2 pounds every 10 weeks!

So, a change must be made.

I guess moving forward I feel better about the plateau because I didn’t feel like it was justified, but now that I look at the data I realize it’s the result of my choices.  I’ve been exercising well, that’s the good news.  What I need to work on is keeping my diet in control.  I need to exercise my willpower.

Thanks for reading, and good luck overcoming your plateaus!

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