Is It Bad To Plateau?

By Sean Flanagan

Some real quick food for thought today.   I think it was Alan Aragon that originally got me thinking about this.

When it comes to fat loss, plateauing is often viewed as a terrible thing.    “Damn those plateaus!”

This is really unfortunate.   Plateauing, while perhaps not as exciting as seeing change, is a really critical aspect of your success.

When you plateau, you’re practicing stabilizing your results (whether consciously or unconsciously).   If you went from 200 lbs to 190 lbs and you’re now stabilizing 190, you are reinforcing the skills that are important for weight maintenance.    How are you going to maintain your goal weight, let’s say of 150, if you can’t maintain 190?

That IS the end goal, right?  To get to a certain range and then KEEP your results?    You’re not planning on losing 30 lbs and then gaining it all back….are you?

In addition, if you’re maintaining your weight, then you’re at maintenance calories.   So you’re giving your brain and body a break from a calorie deficit.    This is really important long term for keeping you feeling good and mentally fresh.

At the risk of being pretentious as I quote myself (from Facebook).  “How to lose 100 lbs:   Lose 5 lbs 20 times.”

That’s not just a matter of breaking up big goals into bite sized chunks, though that’s important too.    But it’s also a matter of cycling between periods of change and periods of maintaining change.    Developing the experience of maintaining your results is absolutely critical.

So don’t resent plateaus.  If anything, plan for them.

Talk soon,

Sean

Sean Flanagan is a fitness & nutrition coach helping people implement habit-based strategies for lasting fat loss. In addition to co-running coaching programs with Amber, they have they’ve also co-written the free download “21 Habits for Lasting Fat Loss”, which you can download HERE:  http://seanflanaganwellness.com/21habits

4 thoughts on “Is It Bad To Plateau?

  1. This is SO true. For the past 6 months I’ve maintained a 20 lb post-divorce weight loss. Now I’m ready to begin the next phase and get down to a nice, comfortable weight. Instead of fighting with each and every pound, it’s just sliding off, easy as pie. When it slows down I’ll just get into a maintain state of mind again for a while or forever, if I’m happy with how I’m feeling.
    Started at 155, maintained 135 for 6 months.

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