One of our most successful personal training clients, we will call her DT for anonymity’s sake, has recently slowed in her weight loss. Based in Sunninghill (I am her personal trainer) she has gone from 18 stone plus to just under 12 stone at present, but the law of diminishing returns is beginning to kick in. This law means that the fitter or lighter you get, the smaller those gains become, the harder they are to get and the slower they will come. Thus a 20 stone lady with some safe exercise and sensible eating will find it relatively easy to lose a kilogramme a week (the upper safe limit) and be consistently lighter from one week to the next. Similarly, her fitness gains will be marked and relatively quick. On the other hand, a high level athlete, like me (ha ha) will find it REALLY hard to go from 14 stone to 13 stone 10 pounds, as there is really not much fat to lose at this point. Also, fitness gains are now measured in seconds as opposed to minutes. Taken to it’s extreme this law of diminishing returns becomes more harsh, so for an Olympic 100m runner he will work for 4 years to get a gain of 1/10th of a second, if that.
The key here for weight loss is to be consistent in creating an energy deficit over the course of each week, while ensuring adequate and appropriate nutrition for exercise. Even under these circumstances the weight may stagnate for a few weeks, but the key is to be consistent and patient, while eating healthy food in small quantities reasonably often.
But why won’t the weight come off every week even if you are being good? There are many possibilities. Firstly, be sure to weigh under consistent timings and conditions. Did you weigh last week on your friend’s scales? Had you been out for a social meal the night before? If female, are you approaching the monthly cycle? Were the scales on the same surface? Did you weigh at the same time of day? Are you really stressed out this week…..?
All of these and more will have an effect on weight. At Diets Don’t Work our personal trainers have seen weight hold stable stubbornly despite perfect eating, only for it to start coming off after a trip away where eating was less than perfect. The key is to be patient, always weigh under consistent conditions, and remember that size and weight are NOT the same thing. One person may look great and thin at 14 stone with fantastic lean muscle and body shape, while the other looks awful, fat and wobbly at 13.5 stone, through lack of lean muscle tone and a high body fat percentage.
The best measure of all is to take that old pair of jeans that you had for years, and see if they are still getting looser. If so, great, continue! If not think why not, are you exercising well and eating with moderation? If so keep going and sooner or later the weight will come off.
And finally, don’t obsess, life is a) short and b) made for living!!