A lot of people have the same questions, or very similar ones. I am not a Doctor or an expert, my answers below are given based upon my personal experience, thoughts and opinions.
Variations of these two questions are coming up quiet a bit this week:
"Hey man, can you help me out? Impressive feat, btw. Though I have to say that the weight loss seems a lot more expedited than what is considered normal. My cutting is going at a snail's pace. I barely shed 1 pound every week (2 if I'm lucky) and most weeks the scale doesn't even move. Like the past 2 weeks. Surely, I can't be plateauing so many times. I workout 6 days a week (3 days strength training with resistance bands+hiit for 65 minutes and the other 3 days include kickboxing (40min) and 2xcardio (30 minutes). Feeling demoralized. Could you help me out with the diet? I read that you do insanity workouts. Thinking of starting the p90x from next week in a last ditch attempt to shape up."
Okay, first thing that comes to mind.
WoW! This person is working their butt off! Which is impressive and takes a lot of dedication.
The words; "Feeling demoralized: kind of cuts deep though, as there is so much success and goodness in this comment / question. Obviously, one has the strength to do these workouts, which is huge. To me, the key part of this whole question is:
"Like the past 2 weeks. Surely, I can't be plateauing so many times. I workout 6 days a week (3 days strength training with resistance bands+hiit for 65 minutes and the other 3 days include kickboxing (40min) and 2xcardio (30 minutes)."
The short story / answer is... Congratulations on your fat loss and congratulations on your muscle building! A pound of fat lost + a pound of muscle gained = a "plateau" or little to no change.
A lot of people say that "muscle weighs more than fat." Well, this isn't true. Not the way that you say it. As 16 ounces = a pound. 16 ounces of muscle, 16 ounces of fat, 16 ounces of feathers, a pound is a pound, is a pound. Now, what that pound does, what that pound looks like and how that pound acts, that can vary depending on what it is. With that said, the person who asked the question above is doing a lot of strength training which builds muscle and sheds calories. Whoa... it does what? Yes. The answer to the problem can be found within. If you are shedding calories AND building muscle at the same time, at the same rate, the chances of hitting a plateau or only seeing limited results are very high. Think about this. They say a pound is approximately 3,500 calories. If you do several cardio workouts and you burn 3,500 calories, without doing strength training... so you are just burning, not building. You just lost a pound. Mathematically speaking. If however, when you start pushing yourself like I was doing here in this post than all of a sudden, you are building muscle and burning calories. So, Fat cells are being eliminated, but muscle is being built.
This isn't a bad thing, as muscle looks and acts so much better than a pound of fat does. Just keep this in mind and don't allow yourself to feel demoralized. A lot of people have told me that I shouldn't just be doing cardio. That I would burn more fat and look a lot more toned if I did strength training and lifted weights while I was doing cardio. This is all true. However, I was on a time crunch. My goal was to lose 84 pounds in 84 days. If I started lifting heavy, I would still lose weight for sure, but I would slow the slow the process down. And that wasn't in the cards for me. I did Insanity to shed calories, as I knew it was designed as a 60 program and that it moved the participants an insane amount! I needed that. P90X has three variations, a lean, a doubles and a regular and a lot of ladies like the Jillian Michaels workouts. Whichever works for you, even if that means you take walks around the block. Movement = additional calories burned. I wanted to move, I wanted to burn and eliminate calories as fast as I could... so I limited my calorie intake and I increased my physical activity levels!
I am still moving towards my goal of 166 pounds, as I'm not there as of yet. However, as I posted on https://www.facebook.com/RebootSupport this morning, I was wearing size 42"+ pants on January 12th, 2013. This morning I put on a 30" pair of Hollister jeans that hasn't seen the light of day since 2007... the year I married my sweet wife. WoW! That was and is an amazing feeling!
The next question that is being asked a lot:
"This is a nice blog, and im going to have to save it to read more at a later time. I never did the weight loss betting sites before, but i give it a try. cant hurt right?"
I've never looked into or did the weight loss "betting sites" like diet bet, or others, but I know some people that did and do. The two sites that I did had registration fees, and I guess you could look at them as "betting" but it is more against yourself. I looked at it as, the goal was going to happen. It was like sticking money in the bank, or investing on a sure thing, with a much higher payout!
The first site, HealthyLoser says; "All participants who lose at least 15% of their Body Weight will win Cash." To me, that is huge. And something that I knew I would do, I knew that I would lose at least 15% of my body weight. Why did I KNOW it, because I was unhealthily fat, and I wanted to get my life back. I was just that determined. It was a change that I was going to do, with or without an incentive from HealthyLoser. This just added to my motivation and gave me yet, one more goal to shoot for! Their site; http://www.healthyloser.com/Contest_Details_US.html gives all the details. Also, since I was so determined to hit the 15%, when I found HealthyWage's 10% challenge, it only made that much more sense to me to sign up for that one too. I'd get $300 for losing 10%, I just had to let them hold onto $150 of mine for 6 months. Well, that's a pretty decent return on a short investment. A much higher guarantee or return than the current bank interest rate on a savings account or checking account. I just went here http://www.healthywage.com and signed up. These two, were no brainers for me, as I knew for sure I'd be losing that much, just getting my life back in line and getting healthy.
Best of luck to all of you and on whatever your goals may be! Feel free to swing by https://www.facebook.com/RebootSupport and drop me a line / message. It will be great to see you shed the pounds too!