I’m currently going through the physical and mental torture known as weight loss plateau. I’ve been on a weight loss journey for about 8 years, since my weight peaked at about 15 stone whilst at university. The plan that first helped me lose pounds was the Atkins Diet; I shed 2 stone in about 6 months and was on top of the world. Since then I’ve done various healthy eating plans and incorporated exercise (more intensely in the the past 2 years) but in I’ve not lost any weight (and kept it off) in about a year now. I’ve had long periods in my life where I eat carbs and where I don’t eat any, and I’m still undecided about whether I should eat carbs to lose weight or not!
When I get stuck in a rut or if I’ve gained a few pounds I tend to start a ‘no carb’ plan for a few weeks to quickly lose the weight. I eat burgers, steak, salad and nuts and go slightly mad in the hope that I’ll drop a dress size. Sometimes I will lose a few pounds but realistically, my energy levels are low, I get the meat sweats and I gain the weight back as soon as I go back to healthy carbs like sweet potatoes and porridge. If I’m not so lucky, I fall off the wagon in a glorious fashion in the form of some sort of sugar binge involving oversized bars of Dairy Milk and bags of Haribo. Not a long term plan really is it?
I spent a year or so eating ‘clean’. I didn’t follow any plan, I used my better judgement and avoided sugar whilst consuming healthy grains such as lentils, oats and quinoa whilst adding small portions of naughty foods like dark chocolate, cheese and the odd dinner out. With no foods off limits I slowly crept into dodgy territory where I would convince myself it was OK to eat a cereal bar after a workout, or even a bar of chocolate as a reward for exercising. So by allowing treat foods now and again, I ended up eating them as an everyday occurrence This plan doesn’t work either!
Recently I embarked on a carb-cycling plan which alternates between low-carb days and high-carb days followed by a cheat meal at the end of the week. The best of both words! I was certain this was the plan for me, I was excited to eat carbs and have a treat on a Sunday. I lost 6 pounds in the first two weeks but now I’ve gained most of it back again. What’s a girl to do?
The strange thing about all of this is that I’m currently the same weight as I was a year ago. So whether I live with or without carbs, my weight seems to level out about the same. I do enjoy eating potatoes, oats and fruit so I guess there’s no need to cut them out if they aren’t contributing to any weight gain, but what about weight loss? I’m really struggling to find an eating plan that works!