When I started dieting, I had a lot of fat to lose. I had some very specific goals in mind on how I wanted to look, the fitness levels I wanted to reach, and even strength levels I was shooting for. I used two diets to lose the weight. One was the Atkins Diet, sticking very close to their plan of extremely low carbohydrates. The second plan was following the Body for Life theory of combining sensible eating with some very serious exercise. I followed the same exercise plan during the Atkins Diet, also.
I used the Atkins diet for over 3 months and did two cycles of twelve weeks on the Body for Life plan and still use most of its ideas today. On both diets, I hit severe plateaus about 4 weeks into the diet. I stagnated on my weight loss for 10 days on the Atkins diet before I took some extreme action and almost two weeks on the Body for Life plan.
I do not know if any of the rest of you have hit this issue, but when I was on the Atkins Diet I became very constipated at the same time I hit my plateau. I was frustrated by the lack of losing weight and I felt awful because of the constipation. This is when the yucky part of my diet comes up.
I talked to my trainer at the gym about my frustration with the plateau and even mentioned the constipation. His first question was about how much water I was drinking. He guessed I was dehydrated, which might account for the constipation and slower metabolism. I was drinking about 14 to 16 glasses of water per day, so that was definitely not the issue. His next suggestion was to try a colon cleanse. He gave me a sheet of paper with some wicked ingredients to try. I do not have the sheet anymore, but I remember there was a lot of lemon juice and hot peppers involved. The plan he gave me recommended fasting except for their wicked beverage for several days. I chose to pass on that one. I could not imagine trying to work, exercise, and stay sane without eating something.
It did cause me to ask around at the fitness center and go talk to a natural food and supplement store about other alternatives for a cleanse. I ended up trying a product that did not require the extreme change in diet and was a lot milder on ingredients called Isagenix Cleanse.
If you have never tried a cleansing product, I will warn you the effects can be a bit disgusting. I spent a lot of time in the bathroom over the next few days, but not in the extreme amounts a few people who had tried the lemon/pepper combo mentioned. The bowel movements started off looking normal, but by the end of the cleanse cycle they were a wicked looking black. It would have been a bit scary if the herbalist who recommended it had not warned me.
Obviously, that ended my constipation issue almost immediately or at least within 24 hours. I was expecting that result, but I was surprised by the secondary results over the next few weeks. Those few days of the cleanse gave me a 3 pound weight loss, but I knew where that came from. The next three weeks I lost weight at the rate of my starting period on the Atkins Diet, and it was fat loss, not muscle loss. I monitor my body fat percent closely with electronic calipers so the scale does not fool me.
I followed the same path when I hit the plateau on the Body of Life section of my diet. The results were not as dramatic on the weight loss, but it did end the constipation and my weight loss went back to normal speed instantly, which is all I really wanted.
I know doing a cleansing cycle is not for everyone, but it is something to consider if you hit a stubborn plateau or get that icky plugged up feeling. If anyone has tried other cleansing methods, you can share your results. I bought my first set of Isagenix through the local store, but reordered from http://www.timetocleanse.com/isagenix-cleanse/
because they were cheaper.
If you have never heard of cleansing, you might want to read the articles on WebMd or Wikipedia before you try it. Here are the links to a couple of their articles:http://www.webmd.com/balance/guide/natural-colon-cleansing-is-it-necessaryhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colon_cleansing
Just remember, I did warn you the results are not pretty, but they are effective when you are stuck in both senses of the word.