The dreaded STALL

11 Nov

No matter what type of WLS, diet, or program you are on, you WILL have a STALL. I repeat, it WILL HAPPEN. Now, I know what you’re thinking, you’re thinking “Oh, I know it happens to everyone else but it won’t happen to me because I will do x, y, z”…well, news flash, it’s going to happen to you no matter what you do. Even if you follow all the rules, drink all the water, eat all the protein, and exercise, you will stall. I found an interesting blog post that explains a stall biologically:XXL-Model, übergewichtige Frau auf der Waage

A “stall” a few weeks out is inevitable, and here’s why.

Our bodies use glycogen for short term energy storage. Glycogen is not very soluble, but it is stored in our muscles for quick energy — one pound of glycogen requires 4 lbs of water to keep it soluble, and the average glycogen storage capacity is about 2 lbs. So, when you are not getting in enough food, your body turns first to stored glycogen, which is easy to break down for energy. And when you use up 2 lbs of glycogen, you also lose 8 lbs of water that was used to store it — voila — the “easy” 10 lbs that most people lose in the first week of a diet.

As you stay in caloric deficit, however, your body starts to realize that this is not a short term problem. You start mobilizing fat from your adipose tissue and burning fat for energy. But your body also realizes that fat can’t be used for short bursts of energy — like, to outrun a saber tooth tiger. So, it starts converting some of the fat into glycogen, and rebuilding the glycogen stores. And as it puts back the 2 lbs of glycogen into the muscle, 8 lbs of water has to be stored with it to keep it soluble. So, even though you might still be LOSING energy content to your body, your weight will not go down or you might even GAIN for a while as you retain water to dissolve the glycogen that is being reformed and stored.

Breathe, and fuggedaboudit for a few days.

Well um, that explains a lot! Rapid weight loss is a shock to our body. And it needs to stop and rest at certain points to resume it’s biological processes in order to continue fat loss. So if you’re doing everything right, it may still happen. Think about the weight loss journey like long staircase. As you climb up, you may initially be able to climb 3 or 4 stories before you need to stop at a landing and rest. Then you regain your energy and can climb up another story or two before you stop and rest again. You will eventually make it to the top of the staircase as long as you keep pushing through, however, you might need several landing breaks and that’s ok.

So, remember that if you had the vertical sleeve surgery, you will likely lose 65-85% of your excess weight in one year. So I know that by one year, I can expect to lose between 100 and 125 lbs. Having lost 43 lbs in 6 weeks, I’d say I’m doing pretty damn good. In fact, I’ve ALREADY lost 28.6% of my excess weight! So, don’t focus on the number, focus on the plan. Stay motivated, know that it WILL come off in time, exercise, eat your protein, drink your water and don’t pay so much attention to the number on the scale…oh who am I kidding, you’re not going to stay away from the scale — but just try not to get too terribly frustrated when you get on and see a number you don’t like, because chances are, in a week or two, you’ll say goodbye to that number forever, and by next year, you won’t even remember what that number felt like!


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