RCRW4D4: Busting Through Set Points

142.2 lbs this morning, which continues the downward trend that started back up with yesterday’s 142.8 lb weigh-in. Where were these numbers when I needed to take pics and write down 3 week stats on Sunday?

Oh well. Losers can’t be choosers, I guess. I am just glad that I have finally broken through my 143 pound set point. I’ve been here for about a week and a half since my Week 2 weigh-in.

I tend to lose fat in chunks with set points at 148, 143, 138, and 134 pounds. These are weights at which my body historically likes to hang out for a week or two without budging on scale weight when I am trying to drop body fat. If I raise my calories up to maintenance at any of these points, I can easily maintain indefinitely as long as I keep my activity level about the same. I usually have to be nearly perfect on diet and water and bump up cardio (frequency, intensity, and/or duration) temporarily to get things moving again.

I realized I had hit the 143 set point last week when I bounced between 143 and 144.5 for several days in a row with no change to my diet or workouts. That is a large part of the reason that I decided to modify my training for the remaining 3 weeks by cutting out the easy home cardio and doing only the effective stuff at the gym or outdoors. It’s also why I am doing a little bit of carb cycling with regular carbs on RCR circuit days and slightly lower carbs on cardio interval days.

So if you have been stuck for more than two weeks at the same weight after a few weeks on a program, don’t despair. Follow these steps in this order:

  1. Take a look at your diet and make sure you haven’t been fudging it a little too often on your intake.
  2. Drink your water–around a gallon a day. Then drink another cup or two on top of that.
  3. Work a little harder when you exercise. Give up the easy, fun cardio and go straight for the middle to higher intensity stuff that makes you heave. If you’ve been doing the SAME form of cardio for several weeks, switch to something else.
  4. Try to get at least 7 hours of sleep every night.
  5. Work out in the morning to maximize the benefits of your raised metabolism throughout your waking hours.
  6. Add in one to three extra cardio sessions (20-30 mins each) to your program.

I know the feel-good, politically-correct mantra when it comes to fat loss is “Progress, not Perfection”, but when it comes to busting through a set point or plateau where NO progress is being made, I say PHOOEY on political correctness and bring on the tough love.

Suck it up and work on the Perfection (or at least 90% compliance) for just one week and resist the urge to check Progress until that week is over. I think you will be pleasantly surprised. Once the fat loss train starts chugging again, you can happily ramp back down and go back to the baseline workout program until the next set point hits you.

1. 3 egg whites/1 whole egg omelette with 1/2 c. mushrooms, 1/2 c. sauteed spinach, and 1/4 c. mashed cauliflower
2. 3 oz. eye of round steak, 1 c. spinach, 1/2 c. five flavor eggplant, 2 corn tortillas, 3 T. jalapeno salsa
3. 15g walnuts, 20g raisins, 1/2 green smoothie
4. 1/2 c. light soy milk, 3/4 scoop protein, 1 peach
5. 1 boiled egg, 1 chicken wing, 2/3 c. peas and green beans
6. 4 oz. tilapia, 1 c. Brussels sprouts, 1/2 T. ANPB

* YF Flex (15 min)
* RCR HIIT Run #3 (30 min)
* SS Cardio – Bike @ Lvl 8 (15 min)
* SS Cardio – Run @ 6.5 mph (15 min)

2 thoughts on “RCRW4D4: Busting Through Set Points

  1. Maggie, sorry about the las comment… I’m from Dominican Republic and here we go direct to the point… just to say that you are a incredible woman, we share a loot in common.. maybe in different levels, but as I can read you are PERFECT!!!! about the exercise… I’ll start P90X next week… I’m happy how I am right now… but I really want that body from the 90’s I have… do you thing this is the program for me? I’m 5’11”, 170 pounds, I take some rides skating (not as I want), and I spend a loot of time at home since I have my office here… so… what you think??

  2. Great tips!!! I have fun into the same problem. i’m definitely going to try your suggestions. Thanks!!

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