Why Do Stalls Happen: The Rest of the Story

I’ve been getting many request to please finish this series on Why Do Stalls Happen,  so what I’ve decided to do is send anybody a copy of this entire paper with the rest of the chapters included. As of this time I won’t be posting the rest of the paper on this blog.  In fact, I won’t be posting on this blog much longer, I’ve decided to start a new blog in the near future, and am spending some time getting that ready.  I’ll give you updates on my progress on how the new blog is coming along soon.

In the mean time, feel free to contact me at whyguys@comcast.net and get your copy of the rest of the paper on Why Stalls Happen. Sorry for any inconvenience.

Your friend, Terry (Whyguy)

 

Why Do Stalls Happen Chapter 4: Body Weight Set Points, and the Attack of The Set Point Monster

Continued from Chapter 3

If you’ve hit a weight loss plateau, or your weight loss has stalled  due to hitting a set point, then this next section will be of particular interest to you. Not only did I have to deal with the fact that I had lowered my BMI, due to loss of mass, but I was also battling a set point, and The Set Point Monster.

Note: I’m holding off on talking about starvation mode until Chapter 5. I’m separating the two because they I think each deserve special attention.

In simple terms, a set point is nothing more than a weight in which the body is comfortable being. Once we move out of that range, the body does everything it can to maintain that weight through a complex process of brain, nervous system, and fat cell interaction. It does all of this on an unconscious level. When we are trying to lose weight, this unconscious biological process can sabotage our weight loss efforts causing a weight loss plateau, or stall. I’ve come to calling this unconscious process “The Set Point Monster.” This monster can be a killer to any diet. It slows down the metabolism, zaps our energy and motivation, and can drive us crazy with hunger and cravings.

Before I explain set points in more detail, let me explain a little bit about the way hunger is supposed to work. Hunger is the body’s way of getting us to:

  • Consume more calories and nutrients
  • Replenish our energy supply
  • Regulate weight

If I were at my ideal weight, and had a healthy metabolism, on the days I burned off more calories I should be hungrier than on the days I did nothing. This seems obvious, and it explains why, on some days, after you have worked out, or had a particularly grueling day, you often feel ravenous. You have used up more of your body’s energy supply, and the body is desperately trying to replace those supplies. More

Why Do Stalls Happen Part 3: Lowered Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR), Destroyed my Metabolism

How dieting destroyed my Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR), and contributed to my weight loss stall, or plateau.

Continued from chapter 2

My next question was; why am I eating the same foods I was in beginning of my diet, but not losing weight now? Did something happen to my metabolism, did it slow down, and if so, why?

BMR: Quick facts.

The basal metabolic rate (BMR) is the rate at which your body consumes calories for basic metabolic functions at rest. Including:

  • Internal temperature
  • Repairing cells
  • Pumping blood
  • Digestion
  • Breathing
  • Other functions

BMR doesn’t take into account exercise or calories burned through other activities. Your BMR’s affected by the amount of muscle mass you have. The more muscle fiber, the higher your Body Mass Index (BMI) will be. Muscle, even at rest, burns more calories than fat and other tissues.

Note: This is why strength training is so important, the more muscle you have, the higher your BMI, and the higher your BMR is going to be.

You can use this calculator to calculate your own BMR. Calculator. More

Why Do Stalls Happen: Part 1: Opening Comments

Has your weight loss stalled, peaked, and puttered out? Have you reached a point in your diet where the scale just won’t budge no matter how hard you try, even though you know you are doing everything right? If you’re anything like me, you’re probably so frustrated you’re ready to chuck your diet and scale out the window—I almost did. But if I would have given up, and not taken the time to learn why these things happened, I never would have broken my 8-month stall, and gone on to nearly reach my goal of losing 100 lbs. As of this writing, I’ve lost 94 lbs.

This blog post is a culmination of my journey to figure out why stalls happen, and what can be done to get the weight loss moving again. I had originally posted this information on the Atkins forum on a thread titled, Why do Stalls Happen: What I’ve learned. The thread became very popular, but it also became very long, and was soon embedded with so many comments that the post grew to over 240 pages. It wasn’t long before I got numerous requests from people to condense this information into one easy to understand post without comments. The original thread got so discombobulated that only the very brave, and perhaps foolish, took the time to sift through the post to get to the heart of the information. Thus, because of the requests I’ve had, I’ve decided to posts this thread on my blog, but not in its entirety. Therefore, if something seems missing in my blog post—it is, I left out the comments. Consequently, some of the information might seem out of place, and repeated often. In editing this, I did my best to keep the flavor of the thread without changing it much. But it is my hopes that you will find this information readable, and as useful as the many others who have used these techniques to break their stalls have—including myself. More

Why Do Stalls Happen Part 2: Introduction: Plateaus Defined, and The Truth about Ketosis

What you are about to read is my quest for understanding of why stalls happen. While most of this topic will be referring to the Atkins Diet. that I have been on, it is still relevant to anybody on any diet. When I first started Atkins, I was quite successful, I lost 70 lbs the first 8 months on the plan, but then the weight loss stalled for the next 8 months. During this time I didn’t lose any weight, and would go up and down the same 5 lbs. This became very frustrating, and I was on the verge of quitting. However, I was lucky, I had the Atkins forum members, my support system, who refused to let me quit. In addition, Colette Heimowitz, Atkins nutritionist, helped save me from myself. She helped me come up with a plan, tweak my program, and explained to me about stalls, plateaus, and set points. With her guidance, I was soon losing again, but I wasn’t satisfied with knowing how to make changes, I wanted to know why stalls happen. Thus, the journey began. I spent several weeks pouring through books, and countless web pages on this subject; the problem was I could never find a definitive answer in one place. Therefore, I had to piece the puzzle together, and as I did, I gained a clearer understanding about why the body eventually refuses to let the weight go, and how to get things moving again. This puzzle is by no means complete; there are numerous medical reasons for a weight loss stall that I won’t be going into.  Instead, I will be focusing on how set points affect us mentally and physically. In addition, I’ll be talking about the importance of knowing your Basal Metabolic Rate, (BMR), and the role these numbers play in helping reach your goals. Also, I’ll be talking a lot about starvation mode on the body, and why eating less is not always the right solution when it comes to losing weight. In addition, I’ll show how hunger and compensatory behaviors sabotage our diet. Finally, I’ll provide 25 tips and strategies that I used to help break my stall. More

The Season of Change

Standing atop the dunes of the Indiana lake shore, I stand alone like a beast of the wild, surveying the emptiness before me. The cold bite of winter is long gone, but her fading teeth marks are still felt upon my fiery cheeks. The waves crash with the rhythm of war drums, drowning out the caws of gulls that fight on the lakes edge over a meal of rotted meat. With the keen eye of a hawk, I watch the day wave good bye against the backdrop of the Chicago skyline across the lake. The setting sun brings me no magic, no majestic picture painted just for me by the hand of god, and no lilac and lace mixed with hues of gold and crimson—–no, on this day the sun sinks like a rock onto my heart; matching the block of cement deep within my chest.

The wind rages against me, and sand tears at my flesh, trying to steal a piece of my soul. My eyes swell with tears of pain, or maybe it is just the agony of a lovesick heart trying to break free from its cage—I know not which. In either case, I weep. More

Twas the Night Before Atkins

Twas the Night Before Atkins

Twas the night before Atkins and all through the land
Not a bad carb could be found, not by woman or man.
The celery was placed under pillows with care,
In hopes that the whoosh Fairy soon would be there.

The dieters were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of thin bottoms danced in their heads.
As I looked in the mirror, and jumped on the scale,
I was morbidly fluffy, this much I could tell.

When down in the kitchen there rose such a clatter,
I sprang down the stairs to see what was the matter.
Away through the house I flew like a flash,
My belly did jiggle and so did my ass. More

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