Weight Loss Support - Mental Plateau Causing Weight Plateau?

04-16-2013, 09:15 PM
Lately I've been in a funk -- what I'm thinking of as a mental plateau. I'm still sticking to plan overall, but have noticed some bad habits creeping back in. Having a snack after the kitchen is closed (I'm not hungry -- just want something to eat), measuring food but making it a heaping half cup instead of a level half cup, etc. I realized that I'm just not as motivated as I was 3 months ago, which is a problem considering that I still have almost 200 pounds to lose. Of course, the little cheats here and there mean that while I'm still losing weight, it's much, much slower; i.e., I'm almost at a weight plateau.

Is this a common phenomenon to have a mental plateau cause a weight plateau? I'm assuming they're linked, but I may just be giving myself an excuse. If you've had a mental plateau, what tricks can you share to get my head screwed back on? Thanks, all.

04-16-2013, 09:18 PM
If your mental plateau is leading to behaviors that increase your calories, then that can be reflected on the scale. The change will be when you become honest with yourself about your behavior and make the necessary behavioral changes. You can keep the mental funk but change to behavior. Your brain will catch up.

04-16-2013, 09:25 PM
Betsy, yes yes yes!!!

I have had a few weeks that my weightloss stalled despite being perfect on my plan. During the weeks I was waiting for test results or getting ready for surgery, my blood pressure goes wild and my weightloss stalls to about half of my average.

Someone mentioned it could be cortisol released in my body which is a stress hormone.

So now I worry about worrying!! :)

I don't have any hints or suggestions for you as I am still trying to cope myself. But I wanted you to know it's not just an excuse.

04-16-2013, 09:34 PM
Try to imagine what you'll look like at your goal weight. Now imagine what you'll look like if you gain more weight. It's really self-hypnotism that worked for me when I quit smoking 30 years ago. Literally write down the benefits of losing weight compared to the negative results of gaining weight--and put that list on your refrigerator. Then read it over and over again until it is firmly implanted into your sub-conscience mind. .

What most of us don't realize is that our sub-conscience has a lot more control over us than what we think. In many instances more control over us than our conscience mind has. That's why people overeat--they can't quit smoking or can't stop the other bad habits they get into. The sub-conscience part of their brain is in control and the only way to stop it, is to make your sub-conscience mind believe something else which is why you want to write it down and read it over and over again. Try it, it really worked for me.

04-16-2013, 09:37 PM
Yep, my salads started getting real big. I noticed that, took the plunge and now keep an eye on the things that can creep.

the shiv
04-16-2013, 09:39 PM
Yes! This! I have now been talking myself down off the ledge for about 2 months. As an intuitive eater, my plan is eat when hungry, stop when no longer hungry. I lose weight doing this. And I know this, which is the frustrating part! But sometimes, other things like stress/depression/money troubles/work/life/whatever take over my thinking and I eat when I'm not hungry, and keep eating when I'm no longer hungry. So... I'm taking in more food than I need.

Got my head back round it today, and I must say it's all about the little challenges. I really have to step back from my life for a few minutes and work out if I really want what I'm about to eat. I'd been getting caught up in the bigger picture of what I'm doing... When what brought me success originally was just focussing on THIS meal, THIS workout, just THIS moment right now, blocking out everything else, and making the best decision I can right NOW.

That could be a way to tackle it, just concentrate on the meal you're preparing or eating at this precise moment and forget the rest. You can deal with later meals in the moment when you get to them.

And, congrats on recognising it for what it is! It's so easy to let these little things slide then wonder what went wrong, but you've pre-empted that issue by tackling it now. This is good! :)

04-17-2013, 05:38 AM
Yes! I've been going through this for the last 2 months and have pretty much maintained instead of actively losing. I find the monthly weight loss challenges on this forum help me a big deal and I'm now back to losing again (albeit slowly). I agree that it's just a case of getting bored but there's no other way to do this!

04-17-2013, 10:03 AM
Thanks, all, for both your replies and the support. I woke up this morning feeling much more encouraged (?), in control (?), able (?) -- don't know the right word, but it feels as though this is possible as opposed to the last two weeks of blah.

While I'm not happy that the weight loss for this month probably won't hit my 10 pound goal, I am happy that I didn't just give up as has been my pattern for so long.

04-17-2013, 10:31 AM
Betsy, glad you are more encouraged today. Yea, I think it is very common to have mental plateaus in weight loss & life in general.

You are doing great, keep feeling encouraged! Woot!

04-17-2013, 10:42 AM
Glad your feeling more on track today. I really think just saying it out loud (or typing here) and recognizing it puts you so much more in control. Thats why I just love 3FC.

04-17-2013, 11:25 AM
Betsy, I think that at certain points during weight loss our bodies fight a little harder to keep the weight, and the brain helps out by trying harder to convince us we're hungry when we aren't. But, after a while the body gets used to the new lower weight, and starts losing again (assuming you're still eating a deficit). Have you read anything about weight set points? I wish I had a reference handy, but I'm sure you can google it.

04-17-2013, 11:58 AM
I've taken 3 years 3 months to lose the 108ish pounds I have so far, and I hit several plateaus during that time - 2 of them lasted several months, where I just zig zagged up and down the same couple of pounds.

One thing that helped me (other than focusing on small goals and never really paying attention to the big number) was putting a big emphasis on non-number goals - like my fitness for certain activities I do, going down a size in clothing, having more energy in general, that sort of thing. It does help that I love to exercise, as that helps with some of my non-weight goals.

The other thing had to do is what you mentioned - stop fudging, measure every thing strictly, etc.