SAN ANTONIO – It's the dreaded scenario that can snuff out a dieter's enthusiasm more than almost anything: the plateau.
That's what HEB Slimdown Showdown contestant Michael Mercado came across a week and a half ago.
KSAT 12 is following his progress in his quest to win $10,000 by losing the most weight in a four-month period.
Using a personal trainer and getting nutrition advice from HEB consultants, Mercado has lost a significant amount of weight and body fat, but he has chosen to keep his specific progress a secret.
He doesn't want the 12 other contestants to get any inside information or motivation.
That said, his traine,r Meagan Bailey with Nu-U Fitness, did admit that after a month of intense workouts and diet plans, he hit a plateau and stopped losing the pounds.
The solution? A change in workouts.
"We switched some things up like cardiovascular. We are doing a lot of high-intensity interval training which helps maintain muscle mass but burns body fat at the same time," Bailey explained.
It's a fine balance between eating enough to provide energy for the next day's workout, and not falling into the traps of Michael's traditional eating habits.
"I never thought like that before. I was just like fast food, fast food, fast food to satisfy my craving, then pass out when I watched TV because of all the food I'd eat," he said.
He says the life he's living is a giving him a look at what he calls "the new me."
He works as a case manager at the Haven for Hope homeless shelter, and says his clients are profiles in courage, giving him an example by which to dig deep.
Michael is blogging online about his experiences and challenges, as well as posting photos of his progress toward the October deadline in the hopes of inspiring others to adopt a healthier lifestyle.