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When I think of weight loss, I try to imagine what would result in someone feeling good in their own skin – I imagine it as a mixture of athletic muscle with a low level of body fat. Sometimes people are only concerned about the number on the scale.

In my 20’s when ‘getting huge’ meant something to me, the number on the scale told me I was ‘obese’.  This was despite my bodyfat being around 6% at the time (I guess muscle really does weigh more than fat, right?)

I could ask you to live in a small cave by the sea to be healthy, but who wants to do that? (except maybe hermits that already live there – they don’t take kindly to sharing, either!)

The following articles include information that gives you

(A) the tools to control your own weight, but also

(B) the understanding of why ‘one diet fits all’ does really anything but.


Before you start anything, you need to understand what you want to accomplish and that the people on Worlds Biggest Loser have no life other than losing weight.  You have a life.  Adjust your expectations accordingly:


Another post that explains that the best way to measure your improvement of health and fitness does not come from the numbers on a scale.

A more honest look at what it takes to combat the social pressure of having weight to lose and feeling judgment when eating in public areas:


An explanation why Calories in DOES NOT equal Calories out:


Even I enjoy a dessert or forbidden fruit from time to time.  Read my strategy to make sure I eat it guilt free and that it makes no impact on my waistline.


Because you have an individual chemistry – you can discover what foods to use – you just need to listen to the messages your body is sending you


The article everyone keeps asking for – how to get rid of the ‘loose bits’ at the back of the arm.  This explains how diet and lifestyle come hand in hand for certain physical alterations.


Weight Loss Plateaus. We all have them.  Moving through the plateau is not always so easy – especially in the case of Weight Loss.  If we stop and take a closer look at these plateaus, we might gain an understanding of why one person loses weight faster than another and why when it feels like a plateau, it might actually still be progress.

Weight Loss Plateaus can and often do affect everyone trying to make a positive change

Weight Loss Plateaus can and often do affect everyone trying to make a positive change

Plateau Reason #1:  Being a woman

While being a woman has many benefits (from what I hear) such as getting doors opened for you, jewelry purchased in your name and having people on bourbon street at Mardigra asking if you would please remove articles of your clothing in exchange for some shiny beads, it also has some complications.

The Spice Girls.  One of the first leaders in the 'girl power' movement...  Well, after Cleopatra, Amelia Aerhart and perhaps Susan B Anthony.

The Spice Girls. One of the first leaders in the 'girl power' movement... Well, perhaps after Cleopatra, Amelia Aerhart and maybe Susan B Anthony.

This particular complication happens around once a month and tends to interfere with ones ability to hold a steady weight.  Water retention, appetite fluctuations and energy levels all can vary (and that’s just for starters, right ladies?)

Plateau Solved:

While I am not a big fan of the bathroom scale (see my post on the evils of the bathroom scale here) however, if you must weight yourself, do this:

Weigh yourself once a month


Put a big star next to that weight and repeat this mantra ‘any other weight at any other time of the month is statistically invalid and unreliable”.  Then put your scale somewhere you wont look for it until the same time next month (perhaps the top shelf next to the old towels you use for those guests you don’t really like or think are particularly hygienic?)

By measuring yourself just once a month you at least stabilize any hormonal/energy /mood factors that might interfere with your progress.  It certainly beats the hell out of watching your weight yo-yo throughout the month only to realize you actually DID make progress and that those two pounds you gained last week didn’t really have to put you in a bad mood all day after all… and you didn’t have to take it out on your nice husband who just wanted to do something nice for you and how was he supposed to know that you now hate cupcakes when last week you loved them and no, he didn’t think you looked like a heffalump and could he please have the remote back and sleep in the same bed and not on the couch again… please?

Where was I?

Plateau #2:  Your body has adapted to the meals you are eating

Definition of insanity – doing the same thing and expecting different results.

As your body loses fat, it breaks it down into carbohydrates which get used as fuel for activity and daily living.  However, there is such as thing as homeostasis – this means that the body finds a point in which it is happy being where it is and until something changes, nothing needs to change.

Lets say I started drinking 12 glasses of water a day.  That might improve my health a certain amount.  However, if I drank that water and increased my sleeping hours, I might improve it even more!  That is if I didn’t wet the bed from the increased water intake, of course.

That's gotta be at least 8 glasses, right?

That's gotta be at least 8 glasses

If you have been losing weight and found recently that you are hitting a wall in your weight loss, take a closer look at your diet, stress and lifestyle factors.

Plateau Solved:

Got Metabolism?

Take down a diary but write down how you felt after each meal.  The meals that have you feeling energetic and upbeat for a longer period of time and had you fuller and more satisfied with smaller amounts are probably going to help break your sticking point.  A high energy level means a high metabolism.   You might do better with a higher protein diet, you might respond better to more vegetables on your plate (unless you are between the age of 5 and 8, in which case all vegetables are poisonous and are only to be fed to the dog under the table).

Frequency of Feedings

By looking at how often you are eating, you may find that you could space out your calories and your meals bit more to keep your bodys energy levels high and your meals small and steady.  By doing this you keep your insulin levels steady and your body fat burning

Living la vida low-stress

If you want to lose weight, lose the stress.  Stress can come in many ways, sometimes just not taking care of projects we know we should be doing can cause stress.

If your body is constantly in fight or flight state of alertness then you will retain fat as an energy source.  fat storing aside, stress is a killer.  Its a killer of workplaces, a killer of relationships and a killer of people.  Do everything you can to reduce this.

Quick Stress-Reducer:

Take two minutes to breathe and relax – park and get out before you get home and walk around the block speaking your mantra – whatever it is.  Examine meditation – practice relaxing the muscles in your face, especially those between your eyebrows… you know, the ones you are ever so slightly tensing right now… yeah, those ones (unless you have had botox.. in which case, just try not to act as suprised)   Ok, all eyebrow-related tension gone?  Doesn’t that feel better?  Now take a deep breath and feel that moment of stress reduction. Remember and repeat next time you have a moment to take for yourself.


These are just a few ways you can try to break a plateau. Examine your own body and how it is reacting.  Things change, and if your weight isn’t then its time to reevaluate.  The same diet will not work the same way the whole time.

And remember that if you lost 5 pounds the first week, that may not happen every week – in fact, you may gain some from week to week (remember that whole hormonal fluctuation thing?)  The most important thing is that you keep discovering and keep exploring – the results are just a matter of time.

So stay true to the course, watch what is happening to you and around you, and as always – be curious!

Yours in health,

Jamie Atlas

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  • Mineh Sep 20, 2010 Reply

    When it comes about to weight loss I think about all the many ways which are out there. But the biggest theory is what is good for me is not good for you.

    It is important to note that help is out there only if you believe you can and have the mindset.

  • Andrea Nov 7, 2010 Reply

    I just found your blog and will definitely try all the perfect lunges exercises. Would love to see the super advanced video, if you have it.
    Also, I can’t go by without mentioning that your accent rocks! 😉
    Oh, now you might be wondering where I’m from… well, if you just think a little bit you’ll realize that to be looking into perfect butt I gotta be Brazilian. 🙂
    Nice blog!
    Big hug

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