So, you’ve been doing the SHAPE Program exactly as written with great results. Then one day, the scale stops moving. A few days go by, and nothing changes. Then your stall turns into a week, two weeks or more. You’re probably wondering what in the world went wrong. Why are you experiencing a weight loss plateau when nothing has changed?
Before you call your SHAPE practitioner, here are some things to remember:
1. SHAPE is NOT a “weight loss” program.
Weight loss is a natural result of following our anti-inflammatory protocol. Just because you’re experiencing weight loss plateau doesn’t mean metabolic healing has also plateaued. Your body is still detoxing, inflammation is still decreasing, and your immune system is still becoming stronger. Think of this time as a rest period while your body adjusts. Stay the course, and eventually your body will honor your efforts as it heals.
2. Your brain may be recalibrating.
We don’t know the exact mechanism here, but the SHAPE Program is about total health transformation from a neurological level. The brain will assess whether starvation is occurring, and whether it needs to create excess fat for storage during a perceived famine. Your SHAPE practitioner is trained to address this before it becomes a problem by conducting a regular urinalysis and making adjustments in food intake. Once the brain realizes you are not starving, this rest period or weight loss plateau will end.
3. You may be losing inches or dropping in size.
The SHAPE Drops can help your body convert excess fat to lean muscle, resulting in a decrease in size but not necessarily a decrease on the scale. Lean body mass is denser than fat, so 3 lbs. of muscle will take up less space than 3 lbs. of fat. Be sure to measure regularly and pay attention to how your clothes are fitting during a weight loss plateau. You may be surprised to see that you can wear a smaller size at the same (or even higher) weight.
4. You may be cheating without realizing it.
It’s important to read and reread your Program Guidebook to be sure you are only eating the foods approved for Phase I. It’s equally important to learn to read labels properly. Sugar and other toxic ingredients are hidden in many food products, even if the label says, “natural” or “organic.” Terms like “sugar free” or “fat free” do NOT mean SHAPE-approved. In fact, it more often means that the food contains toxic ingredients and shouldn’t be consumed in any phase.
5. You may not be eating enough.
It is imperative you eat the recommended portions as listed in your Program Guidebook or as adjusted by your SHAPE practitioner. You’ve been told forever that in order to lose weight you need to eat less. While this holds some truth, it is unhealthy to eat less than the recommended amounts. If the brain receives a starvation signal, the body will hold on to every bit of fat or build fat cells in order to survive, resulting in a weight loss plateau. You may find eating more food will actually help you shed more excess toxic fat. Always eat the amount of food recommended for your unique metabolic needs. In addition, the quality of calories you consume plays a significant role in this program. Diet soda may only have 1 calorie, but it is one of the most toxic calories you can put in your body.
6. You may be exercising too aggressively.
Exercise is important for good health and weight management. But there is a level of health that is required for exercise to be most effective for weight reduction. Combining the reduced food intake in Phase I: Fast Track Cleanse with aggressive exercise could send a starvation signal to your brain, so work closely with your SHAPE practitioner to make necessary adjustments. The SHAPE Program will help you gain a new level of health so that exercise can work to your greatest benefit. You can learn more about exercise and the SHAPE Program here.
7. You may not be getting enough quality sleep.
Insufficient or poor-quality sleep contributes to weight gain, a weight loss plateau, lower levels of serotonin, fatigue and common inflammatory diseases like heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes. Most people need 7 to 9 hours of uninterrupted sleep per night. Talk with your SHAPE practitioner if you are having trouble sleeping, if you work nights or if you have extenuating circumstances that disrupt your sleep. They can adjust your program and/or provide supplements to help.
8. For women, you may be ovulating or on your cycle.
Hormone fluctuations due to ovulation or menstruation are normal, but they can create short periods of fat storage that are necessary to provide energy to those active reproductive organs. Remember, the body prepares for pregnancy during ovulation, and this preparation can lead to a weight loss plateau. When there’s no egg fertilization, the uterus has to shed that extra tissue and blood. This all requires a lot of energy, and women’s amazing bodies know exactly what to do, when to do it and how to do it. While it can be uncomfortable, it’s also pretty cool. Embrace it!
9. Progress is usually slower the second time around.
The exact reason for this is unknown, but if you’ve completed the SHAPE Program once (or more times) before and have regained some of the weight that was lost previously, your progress may be slower this time. Be patient. The occasional weight loss plateau is normal. Remember this wise adage: “Slow and steady wins the race.”
10. You may be dealing with an emotional block or be holding on to false beliefs.
Emotional stress plays a tremendous role in your physical health. False beliefs about yourself can hold you back from realizing your goals. As you physically detox, you may experience an emotional detox, as well. Consider working with a counselor or therapist, or begin journaling, meditating or developing your spirituality. SELF ReClaimed is an amazing tool that can help guide you toward discovering and releasing the emotional blocks and false beliefs that might be standing in the way of your success and creating a weight loss plateau.
The Mental Well-being Checklist is a great way to evaluate your mental health and well-being and determine whether you might benefit from adding MOOD Balance or other emotional support on your SHAPE journey.
11. You may be experiencing metabolic imbalances.
Hypothyroidism, leptin resistance, insulin resistance, adrenal fatigue, leaky gut, food sensitivities, digestion issues, pH fluctuations, immune dysfunction, infections, yeast overgrowth and endocrine imbalances (estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, polycystic ovarian syndrome, endometriosis, etc.) are metabolic issues that can affect your progress and lead to a weight loss plateau. Be honest and open with your SHAPE practitioner about your health history. Get any necessary bloodwork done, and follow your practitioner’s recommendations for additional supplementation and other treatment methods to correct these imbalances.
Throughout your SHAPE Program journey, your weight reduction may slow down at times. Remember, you did not gain 20, 50 or 100 pounds in a few days or weeks. It takes a lot of work over a long period of time to regenerate a healthy body, but it is possible. Hang in there, even when you’re experiencing a weight loss plateau or rest period. It will pass. Honor your body and give it the love and kindness it deserves to heal.