Feb Weightloss Update – Hit the plateaux

Curses! February has not gone quite according to plan, take a look:

It was all going swimmingly well and I’d been losing about 2lb per week throughout January, until about the 7th Feb, then I hit the dreaded plateaux that so many dieters encounter, and in fact I hit the exact same thing at the same point back in 2008. So what happened?

It’s a fairly typical scenario:

  • things are going well so you feel that the odd like cheat won’t hurt
  • portion sizes increase a bit
  • snacks between meals get a bit bigger
  • cheat day gets blurred a bit with the preceding and following days
  • you go out a few times during the week and have some things you wouldn’t normally.

And so it is. In many ways, I blame the Zone diet for being too good! It almost encourages you to cheat, because losing weight becomes so easy when the weight just falls off, you’re eating good and tasty food and you’re rarely hungry.

Looking at it another way, I’ve just switched to maintenance mode 6 lbs too soon. In February I’ve:

  • eaten out at restaurants
  • had takeaways
  • been to the pub
  • drunk a bottle or 2 of wine at home
  • had chocolate on more days than I can remember (oops, there goes the New Year’s resolutions!)
  • been to the cinema and eaten far too much pick & mix!
  • drunk full fat milk every day, several glasses of
  • had cheese almost every day (I love cheese!)
  • every Saturday has been cheat day
  • had popcorn several times
  • had sticky toffee
  • eaten fatty foods like sausages, lamb, chorizo, peanut butter, coconut cream, crisps and cheese dips, roast pork, meat balls, double cream
  • the list goes on…

And yet… I’ve still lost weight in February, and whilst I’ve hit a plateaux, I’m not putting any weight on. Which is pretty amazing considering the list above!

EDIT: if it doesn’t translate into American, this is “Pick & Mix”:

So really I need to decide: am I happy with my weight and the balance of food that I am eating (yes to both by the way), or do I renew my efforts to get to the 12st7 (175lbs / 80kg) I originally had in mind? Remember it was an arbitrary target. I have already lost 2.5 inches off my waist and 5.25 inches altogether, although another inch or 2 off my waist wouldn’t hurt.

I think on balance I would prefer to lose that last 6 lbs, I just now need to think over what time scale?

{ 9 comments… add one }
  • Sue 28 February 2011, 7:18 pm

    Yikes…the foods I mean, not the plateau. That’s more (goodies) than I eat in a few yrs (she says after pigging out on almond, cashew, chocolate nut mix after a stop at Trader Joe’s this morning…oops). But you know me and the Zone. 🙂 Sounds like you have it figured out. I’ll just think of you as my Zone buddy who’s also getting back on track after a few indulgences. You’re right about the Zone making it almost too easy to eat a little extra here and there.

    What is pick & mix anyway? I think I’ll google it. 🙂

  • Sue 28 February 2011, 7:20 pm

    Just googled Pick & mix. Now I see…

  • Colin McNulty 1 March 2011, 8:52 am

    Hi Sue, almonds are my “go to” snack for sure, I reckon I must be on about 3x normal zone fat intake + the goodies and still not putting weight on, so from that perspective, it’s all good.

    I’ve updated the post to include a Pick & Mix photo. To be fair, I’ve only had a bag once this year. The main problem is: sugar is addictive! The more I have, the more I want. I need to get that back under control and the weight will come off easy enough.

  • Mick 1 March 2011, 9:50 pm

    Hey Colin,

    Glad to see you occasionally cheat on the zone. Most people live on bread, cereal, pop (soda), biscuits and crisps so an occasional pick n mix is fine.

    Started a blog myself:


    Let me see what you think.

  • Colin McNulty 2 March 2011, 5:38 am

    Hey Mick, how’s it going? Nice blog, some good food pics and picks there. I might try a few of those ideas.

    Yep everyone cheats, in fact this year for the first time I’ve been following a cheat day once per week. Mostly I’ve still been trying to eat clean in that cheat day though, if that makes any sense? E.g. it’s been loads of fruit and cream and cheeses and such (rather than biscuits, chocolates and sweets)…. mostly. 😉

    To be honest the jury is still out on this one. I find sugar highly addictive and if I have it, I want more of it. Which is why my cheat day is starting to bleed into other days. Perhaps I just need a strict cheat day, lol!

  • Leights 2 March 2011, 9:07 pm

    Hi Colin , and everyone else,
    Messaged you earlier, good effort so far, seems we have the same sweet tooth, and the love a bottle of Red or two !
    Second day completed, 5 block brekkie no problem, carbs at dinner a struggle !
    Work at the end of week, so plastic tubs at the ready !
    Promised myself a glass of red on Sat night.
    Happy Blocking !

  • Colin McNulty 3 March 2011, 6:47 am

    Cheers Leights, who doesn’t have a sweet tooth and like a glass of plonk or 2? 😉

    I used to beat myself up about it, but then one day I realised, it’s just evolution messing with me. We’ve been genetically conditioned to like sweet foods and to go to extraordinary lengths to get it, you only have to watch the documentaries on TV where some African tribesman climbs a roapy old tree to stick his hand in a bees nest for the honey, to realise that. Shame our genes haven’t caught up yet to deal with the vending machines every damn office has!

    Plastic tubs are dead useful too. I make all my food for the day in the morning (only takes 15 minutes) then take it to the office, leaving my money in my car. That way, the food I take is all the food I can eat and I’m not tempted by the snack machines or tuck shop.

  • Kris @ Kris Health Blog 7 March 2011, 9:43 pm

    Hello, just stumbled upon this site.

    I think you did really well losing more than 10 pounds. Don’t beat yourself up too much about not hitting your target, you still did well.

    I can imagine that if you’re doing crossfit too, then your body composition is still improving even though the weight isn’t going down as much as you would like. Maybe you’re adding muscle at the same time.


  • Colin McNulty 8 March 2011, 9:03 am

    Hi Kris, thanks for the comment. Yeah maybe, but I’ve been doing CrossFit for 4 years, so I doubt it has improved much since Xmas. I’m on my way back down now though, although it’s inches loss that’s more important than weight.

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