Let me tell you about a recent client of mine who literally freaked out when she all of a sudden stopped losing weight and didn't understand why.
"Wayne, I need your help! I saw a post of yours on weight loss plateaus and I think that maybe you can help me. Well I hope you can anyway haha"
My initial thought was that this person didn't see any results one week and is now freaking out about it. But, that wasn't the case when I had my video consultation with her and went through her weight loss journey.
"I started dieting in March, I have been in a calorie deficit, and lost 30 pounds. My goal was to come out of quarantine looking bomb as F&$K. At the end of August I hit a plateau and I'm freaking out I won't lose this extra 15 pounds, it's been 4 weeks of no results."
As soon as she said 4 weeks, I knew that she hit a plateau. It's possible to hit a plateau after 5 months of straight dieting. This situation is why I love my job. I now got the chance to educate this girl on what to do to help her lose that last 15 pounds.
I love clients like this as well. I can see that they are determined and ready to do whatever I say and put in the work. A hardworking adherent client is a client that will see the best results, in my opinion.
"This is all you have to do, so no need to freak out anymore" I said.
I first educated her on the problem....
"When you diet, your metabolism slows down. What happens here is that the number of calories you normally expend slows down too. So, the number of calories you have been consuming for the past 5 months has matched the number of calories you expend. All we have to do is figure out what your maintenance calories are and hit that for the next 4 weeks. Are you okay with maintaining your weight for 4 weeks?"
"I mean, I kinda want to lose the weight now" she said.
I told her, "If you want to lose more weight now, we can reduce more calories but, to me, that is not healthy. Your metabolism will decrease even more, you'll probably lose more muscle mass, your immune system will decrease and that's not good for the current situation with COVID. If we increase your calories to maintenance and hit that for 4 weeks, we'll increase your metabolism, maintain more muscle mass and increase your immune system."
"That makes so much sense, because I did get sick last week, but it wasn't COVID, thank God. Okay, so this is just a patience game so I can be healthier and lose weight safely?", she said.
For October, we re-calculated her macros and actually did a bit of fine tuning to her diet to help her with hunger, maintaining muscle and having more energy for work, training and hikes on the weekends. After 4 weeks of maintenance and nearly 4 weeks of dieting she has lost 6 pounds and is so happy she got in touch with me.
In addition to learning about plateaus and what she needs to do when she plateaus again, I educated her on diet breaks. Diet breaks every 6-8 weeks for 1-2 weeks helps physiologically and psychologically. She took a 4 day one for Thanksgiving and will do the same, maybe even a longer one, for Christmas and New Years.