Break Your Fat Loss Stall with Amy Berger | Workshop PART 1 – Adapt Your Life® Academy



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fat loss stall

Break Your Fat Loss Stall with Amy Berger | Workshop PART 1

This is the number one most common query I get when people contact me for help: “I’m doing everything right, I’m doing all the keto things. Why can’t I lose weight?” or “I started keto, and I lost 10 pounds the first month, and the scale hasn’t moved since. What am I doing wrong? Is tis a stall?”

Patience is key

You have got to be patient. In this day and age of Amazon and grocery delivery services, we are so used to instant gratification, instant delivery, that if something else in life takes more than 12 seconds, we start to think, “Something’s wrong,” or we get really impatient. The human body is not Amazon.

A personal assessment

If you think that you might be in a fat loss stall, then obviously, you are trying to lose body fat. You think that you are too heavy or too large and you would like to be smaller, that’s we can assume that. The first question to ask yourself is, “Should I be trying to lose weight?” Is it appropriate for you to even want to lose weight or get smaller or change the size or shape of your body? Do you have an accurate body image? Body dysmorphia is when you are extremely unhappy with your physical appearance. It is not so much health-related, it is really physical appearance-related. It is a distorted or incorrect perception. You might be very slender, but when you look in the mirror, you see someone who is very, very large. It works the opposite way too. You might be someone who is very heavy or in a much larger body, but when you look in the mirror and you see yourself from high school, 20 years and 200 pounds ago. Body dysmorphia is an inaccurate perception of how you actually look and of your actual physical size and shape. It is really important to know whether or not you have an accurate perception because if you don’t, maybe you don’t actually need to lose any fat. Maybe you are driving yourself crazy and working really hard to accomplish a goal that you have already accomplished, or maybe you don’t need to accomplish it.

There are different ways to determine if you’re at an appropriate weight. You could consult a doctor or a personal trainer. It has nothing to do with your scale weight. I would recommend a body composition analysis, which is not just your scale weight, but it actually distinguishes between body fat, muscle mass, water, and bone. Your body fat percentage might be more important than your total scale weight. Why are you trying to lose weight? Is your current size or shape or weight interfering with your quality of life? For some people, no. For some people, these are vanity pounds. I don’t say that negatively. If you feel that you would be happier or you would find yourself more attractive if you were smaller or a different shape, that’s fine. There’s nothing wrong with that. That’s a personal judgment call. How critical is it for you to lose this weight? Is it a matter of your health, is it literally a matter of an illness or not, or is it just that you would like to be smaller?

Is it really a stall?

If you have determined that you have excess weight to lose, you don’t have body dysmorphia, you really do need or want to lose a significant amount of weight, and that scale hasn’t moved in a while, is it actually a stall? It might surprise you to find out that just because your scale weight isn’t changing, that doesn’t necessarily mean you are stalled.

How long have you been at the same weight? If you are getting on the scale every day, once a week, or a few times a month, how long has it been since that number moved at all or moved substantially? We don’t measure stalls in days to weeks, we measure stalls in weeks to months. If there have been three or four days where you haven’t lost any weight, you are not stalled. I know that you would feel frustrated and feel disappointed because you’re doing all the right things, but three or four days without weight loss is not a stall. Two weeks without weight loss is not a stall. Two months… now you might be in a stall. Is anything else changing? Forget the scale. Forget your weight. Does your clothing feel looser? Have you noticed your size and shape? Are rings falling off your fingers? Sometimes loose rings are a dead giveaway. Have you had to adjust the notch on your belt? If any of that is changing, you are not stalled. Your scale weight might be stalled, but your progress is not stalled. The changing of your size and shape and physique is not stalled.

Size and shape can change even when weight does not

People get so fixated on the number on the scale, and they get so frustrated and so demoralized, and yet, in the same post, they’ll say, “My pants are loose. I had to go to a new notch on my belt.” You must understand that your scale weight does not always tell the tale. Your scale weight is not the best way to assess how things are going. You might think you are stalled because the scale figure isn’t changing, but if your clothing is getting bigger, congratulations, you are not stalled. You might be losing inches even if your scale weight stays the same. We see this all the time. Your number on the scale might stay the same, but you go down a dress or pants size – this is not uncommon. The human body holds onto water and fat in strange ways.

If you are working out, building muscle can transform your physique but your weight may stay the same. An improved physique is what most of us want anyway. We don’t really care what the scale says, we care how we look and feel in our own skin. We care about the clothing we can fit into, and, of course, we care about mobility, we care about being able to get up and enjoy and move about life. When you exercise and tax your muscles, they hold on to water. Sore muscles retain water. And so, guess what? You gain weight. Your scale weight goes up due to the water, but you haven’t gained body fat. Your scale weight is your overall weight. It is not the fat that you carry. That is why I recommend that body composition because otherwise, you don’t know how much of this weight is actually fat versus muscle or bone mass. You may have had osteoporosis, but now that you are eating a healthy, nourishing low-carb diet with lots of good protein and minerals, you may be rebuilding bone mass. Maybe my weight is increasing for a reason you should be thrilled about it and celebrating instead of beating yourself up because your weight went up. Don’t let the scale play head games with you. If all of these positive things are happening, you are not stalled. I don’t care what the scale says.

Non-scale victories

While you might be doing a keto diet to lose body fat, there are many other benefits you may notice, which we call “non-scale victories”. These include:

  • Blood sugar control
  • Reduced sugar cravings
  • No more or less frequent intrusive thoughts about food
  • Stabilized blood pressure
  • More energy
  • Brain clarity and focus
  • No more heartburn or acid reflux
  • Less turbulent premenstrual syndrome
  • Reduced joint pain
  • Gout healing
  • Improved hypoglycemia
  • Changes in PCOS and infertility
  • Heightened libido
  • Fewer or no migraines and headaches
  • Reduced swelling and fluid retention
  • Clearing of skin problems
  • Improved symptoms of lymphedema or lipedema
  • Mood stability and a more positive mental outlook

If you notice any of these changes, then while your weight loss might be stalled, your progress is not. Improving your health is not stalled. Potentially getting off certain medications is not stalled. All of this good internal stuff is not stalled.

Notice the small things

Notice some of the small things which may be totally unrelated to your body weight. Everybody is a little bit different, but for the most part, when people go on a low-carb or ketogenic diet, it regulates appetite and hunger much better than any other way of eating any of us has ever tried.

Most of us are diet veterans. Keto isn’t our first rodeo. It’s not the first time we ever tried to lose weight, and yet, keto feels so different from all of those other past attempts. There are biochemical reasons for that, but ask yourself, are you able to go between meals without snacking? Are you having fewer sugar cravings? If you were somebody who constantly had to have a granola bar in your purse or something in your gym bag because you battled to go one hour without eating, you would get that blood sugar crash and become irritable, are you now able to go very comfortably between meals?

Maybe, you don’t think about food, possibly for the first time in your life. You just go from meal to meal and you don’t really think about food in between. I have not done a ketogenic diet my whole life, I know the difference between this and hunger when I was younger. I would be eating lunch and thinking, “I can’t wait for dinner” or having breakfast and thinking, “I wonder what’s for lunch?” That doesn’t happen anymore. I’m able to go for a longer period of time without food even crossing my mind. Maybe you can do that now too.

Do you have more energy? More pep in your step? Especially if you had joint pain or something like that, are you able to move around a little more?

Here’s a big one, have you been able to reduce or stop taking any medications? And not just prescription drugs, think about all the over-the-counter stuff. We all know people whose purses or briefcases or gym bags could double as a small pharmacy. They’ve got the antacids in there, they’ve got aspirin, they’ve got headache medicine, they’ve got cough medicine, allergy pills, and everything under the sun. If that was you not long ago, has keto made a dent in any of that yet? Have you been able to completely stop any of your medication? (With the doctor’s blessing, of course, never do that on your own). If it’s non-prescription stuff, if it’s the counter stuff, do you notice, “Hey, wow, I haven’t had to take an aspirin in a month, and I used to take four a week.” Or, “This roll of Tums has been in my purse for three months. I used to go through one of these a day.”

These are not such small things at all. They are huge things. There are people who eat sugar all day, it’s like a constant stream just trickling in. If that was you six months ago, a year ago, two years ago, and now that’s not you, that’s amazing. That’s a non-scale victory and it’s not small at all. That’s a huge thing.

The reality of weight loss

We all want our weight loss journey to begin at our highest weight and go straight down to the goal weight with no bumps or hiccups or stalls along the way. That’s the ideal. That’s what we want. In the real world weight loss actually includes several small fluctuations along the way. I’m sure many of you can vouch for this. You’ve been through this. Maybe you lose a little bit of weight, you stay the same for a bit, lose a little more, stay the same, maybe you gain a pound or two, stay the same, then lose it again. It’s bumpy, and it’s squiggly.  It’s up, it’s down, it’s the same for a week, then it’s down more. When you step back and zoom out and look at that chart and the big picture over time, the line is moving downward.

If you get on the scale every day, you are going to see these little bumps up and down. It’s going to drive you crazy when you get on the scale every day and see that unless you appreciate that this is a long-term process and it’s gonna be bumpy. Here is the good thing: if you expect it to be bumpy, then when it’s bumpy, you don’t feel disappointed or frustrated or angry. You say, “Oh, Amy Berger said this was going to be bumpy, and it’s totally bumpy. I guess I’m doing something right. I guess it’s working exactly the way it’s supposed to because she said it was going to be a little squiggly and it’s squiggly.” If you enter this with the proper expectation, you set a realistic expectation for how it’s going to go, then when it goes this way, great, everything’s going according to plan. If things are a bit bumpy, it doesn’t mean that you are doing anything wrong. It means that you live inside a human body. The human body sometimes does weird, wacky, frustrating things, especially the human female body.

Be patient

You have to be patient. You are not going to lose 50 pounds in two days, and if you do, please go immediately to the hospital because something is probably wrong. If your weight loss slows, It might not even be a stall with everything I said. Forget your scale weight, forget the scale. If you are taking your measurements with the tape measure or you’re just trying on an article of clothing that’s tight every now and then or your joint pain is getting better, your headaches are coming less frequently, your PMS wasn’t so bad the past few months, you’re a man, your erectile function is a little better than it used to be, maybe you’re much better if you have diabetes or pre-diabetes and you’re watching your blood sugars, those are getting better. All this good stuff is happening. You might think you are stalled, but you are totally not stalled. On the inside, your body is responding incredibly well to a ketogenic or low-carb diet.


I am not a doctor. I am a certified nutrition specialist. Nothing that I share is medical advice. I am not diagnosing or treating or preventing anything. Watch the full video here.

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