Min Jee is doing great!
I know I know, you have been asking me for quite some time “but what’s happening with Min Jee?”. I was mum…. why? Because we were benchmarking!
As you know my LeBootCamp Diet approach is a healthy lifestyle that does not imply deprivation, that is respectful of your body and that ultimately works because of that!
I started working with Min Jee on March 17th of last year. She was morbidly obese, had a body fat of 60% (yes you read me right) and weighed 231 lbs (she is 5″1).
Here is a picture of our first day together:
She was supposed to get gastric bypass surgery in the days following our meeting. I begged her to give me one month of her life to help her get in shape without having to do any surgery, without depriving herself (she had tried it all).
She gave me her commitment. I gave her my guarantee that she would lose weight forever (we are not in the Biggest Loser here where you lose and regain post-show, suffer from deprivation, grueling fitness regimens, verbal abuse and more), without depriving herself and without suffering. Again this is not a freak show where we starve people, make them take diet pills, or push them to the brink of complete exhaustion).
After a few months of coaching she was down to 35% body fat and 176 lbs (October 17th, 2014). She had lost over 50 lbs in 7 months. A great achievement….but….her skin was loose and I knew we had to benchmark this weight to guarantee she would never, ever, regain the lost weight.
For years we have been told that we should break a plateau when we stop losing weight.
We have been told to eat less, and move more when we hit a plateau.
This has led to our feeling guilty when our weight loss curve does not seem to go in the right direction. Well, the guilt trip is over! In studying thousands of Bootcampers’ weight loss data we found out that plateaus are here for a reason: Our body needs plateaus.
Why? Let’s think this through together: when we lose weight, many things change in our body, not only our weight of course but also our fluid levels, our nutrient levels (potassium, calcium), our hormonal levels, etc.
Those changes would occur faster than our body could adjust to them if we lost weight continuously. When our body is off balance it resists weight loss. It is its way of saying “stop I need to fix a few things here”.
Now, if we, as dieters, ignore this signal and force additional weight loss at the same time, what do you think will happen? We will indeed lose more weight by starving ourselves and maybe going to the gym more often, but this behavior will lead to more imbalances thereby leading to new plateaus, harder to get out of, and generating fatigue, mood swings and more.
So the next time you reach a plateau, love it, embrace it, enjoy it. Give your body time to adjust. When all is back in balance your pounds will start dropping again. This game of patience is hard in our age where we want instant gratification but it is well worth it!
So, end of October I told Min Jee we would stabilize her weight at 176 lbs for 3 months (about one month for every 20 lbs lost). We would not change anything to her diet or her fitness regimen. We would let her body adapt and create a new highest point.
This is her in October (on the right of the picture of course!).
Our big success was the holidays! She did not gain anything at all though she did splurge here and there. And very important: Her skin has had time retract and look more toned.
Today is the first day of our BOOSTER Phase, a phase I have created to help get out of a Benchmark phase when the body is ready.
During the 7-day BOOSTER phase Min Jee will eat veggies, fruits, nuts, seeds, fish, seafood and will stay away from meat, rich ready-made dishes, fried foods. She will get back into a more active fitness regimen. She is so motivated it is a total pleasure to work with her!
We will share the result of this BOOSTER phase with you next week. Expect amazing results!