I often get asked how I cope with working in the Cafe and not being able to eat the things I make.
When I first started it was actually easier than it is now, for me to just bake without tasting or trying. The trouble starts when I realised I was losing weight really fast and really easily, so obviously my brain has started thinking that it might just be okay to try a really thin slice of that chocolate cake I just made. If I do give in, I pay for it by stalling with the weight loss for that week which frustrates me intensely as at this point I’m stalling more and more.
The stalling – or plateau-ing – is normal. As your body adjusts to its new metabolism, you’re going to need to be patient, the kilojoules/calories you were eating before might have been low enough for them to add fuel to your weight loss, but now that you’ve lost all that weight you might need to drop the count a little bit! Not too much, mind you, you don’t want to put your body into starvation mode, that’ll slow everything down!
The fact of the matter is, everyone will plateau at one stage or another during their weight loss journey, it’s normal so don’t freak out. This week, for example, I’ve been stuck at 62.5kg, I haven’t budged and it’s driving me crazy. I just keep reminding myself that my body is adjusting to my new weight: I’ve lost nearly 20kg in 7months – I know that doesn’t sound like a lot but it is – and no doubt, it’s affected my ability to lose weight. I remember reading an article somewhere – and if I find it again I’ll post it up here – in which the researcher had come across a young woman who had weighed around 120kg. She’d gone onto a diet – not necessarily a LC diet, but just an eat-less one – and cut her regular KJ/calorie intake by 50%. So, let’s make up some numbers here to make it easier; say she was eating 12,000kj a day, well above the average adult 8,700kj (in Australia anyway), and she cut her intake by half so she started eating 6,000kj. Much better certainly, but remember that the human body is like a car: the bigger the car, the more fuel you need; the smaller the car, the less fuel you need. Now, fuel = food, so the lower your weight drops the slower the weight’s going to go unless you cut your kj back even further. For example, at 120kg the woman now eating 6,000 is going to experience dramatic weight loss; assuming she’s losing weight safely at about 3.5kg a month (at most!), she’ll be dropping weight like she won’t believe. Say that she halves her weight in a year and a half, that’s great, but now she faces a new problem: her new kj count is slight too high to maintain the weight loss speed. That’s okay.
Remember this isn’t a sprint race, it’s a marathon. Pace yourself. If you lose weight too fast you risk harming yourself and putting yourself at risk of various health issues! If you feel like you’re losing too much too fast, slow down. You’re in control here, so take charge and make sure you’re doing right by yourself! So make sure you’re eating at least 5030kj per day: any less and you will end up in starvation mode and put yourself at risk of plateauing even more or worse, doing yourself some serious harm.
As your body slows with its weight loss, you can either speed it back up by cutting back on carbs – go back to your earliest limitations, if you like – increase your exercise regime and drink more water. Avoid cheat days until you’re losing steadily again, but above all don’t blame yourself, you’ll get through this! You’re a fantastic marathon runner, not a sprint racer.
Here are some resources you might want to look at: