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Details for the record

This post is mostly for my own record-keeping, but I'm posting it unlocked in case the information is of use to someone else.

The second long plateau of my diet seems to be ending, and I'm not sure why or how. For future reference (because this is bound to happen again), here are the salient facts as I can pinpoint them.

Regarding the plateau's onset:
  • Just before the plateau began, my average calories slipped lower by about 100 for long enough to affect the trend--four days or so.
  • The plateau announced itself in the same two ways as the last one: my appetite vanished, and I stopped having hot flashes (nice upside, by the way)
  • The six-week plateau began after I'd incorporated a significant change to my macronutrient balance (from higher carbs to higher fat and protein)
  • The plateau persisted while my net calorie intake was always consistently well below the maintenance level for my goal weight
  • In the plateau period, I increased my exercise burn by an average of 150 calories per day. I ate those calories.
  • My stress level rose as I stretched my budget and schedule to accommodate the exercise sessions, while at the same time, my job was in a high-pressure phase
  • The weather was absolutely awful. The sun didn't come out for the whole period

About the plateau's apparent end:
  • I saw the sun once or twice.
  • After six weeks on the plateau, I tried doubling my net calorie intake for two consecutive days. It was like force-feeding. It was kind of fun, actually.
  • After the two-day joyride, I cut back far enough to experience hunger for two more days (about 150 calories below my comfort level).
  • During those four days I rested, reduced my exercise, and focused on slowing down, de-stressing, and relaxing
  • I started on a liver support herbal regimen (suspecting a bit of a load on my liver from the dietary change)
  • I started taking extra minerals in colloidal form
  • I did some EFT tapping to relieve any unconscious obstacles to my continued weight loss (fear of hunger, fear of change, and a bunch of other stuff)

The weight has started dropping again. I'm feeling warmer (though major hot flashes haven't started up again, knock on wood), and slightly more energetic. My appetite has re-normalized (I'm hungry by mealtime, but not all the time). My clothes are getting noticeably looser from one day to the next, and the scale concurs.

Conclusion: I don't know which, if any, of the above things caused or ended the plateau, but evidence of 250 days of dieting suggests that too few calories for too many days causes a metabolic shutdown, and that stress is a very important factor that I need to monitor and manage more carefully.

I feel rather as if I've started on a whole new diet. It's good to know that I can. Lifelong maintenance demands this skill, and I plan to cultivate it.

Crossposted from Dreamwidth, where there are comments. | Comment at Dreamwidth.



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