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Can someone explain why plateaus happen?

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Old 01-21-2010, 10:57 AM   #1
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Unhappy Can someone explain why plateaus happen?

I am 16 months into my journey and I am in a major plateaus. I don't get why this happens or how I can get past it.

Over the holidays Nov-Dec I stayed within a 4 pound gain which I thought was realistic , at that time we had a death in the family and my regular exercise became sporadic but I didn't just throw in the towel eating and I keep up with my new habits of parking far away from stores while shopping and taking the stairs and such so December there was alot of shopping which meant alot of walking, carrying and such.

January 4th I started a Bootcamp program which is a 3 times a week 1 hour each workout. It is intense and I have been so sore but I am now in week 3 and I am feeling stronger already. How is it possible I am not losing weight? Since January I am back to being careful about what I eat and drink. Getting on the scale is proving to be a downer everyday and I am considering removing it for awhile.

I have been in the same weight range for months I am sick of it. This week I added 30 minutes cardio to the days I don't have bootcamp, any other advice or explanations?????
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Old 01-21-2010, 11:05 AM   #2
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My guess is that by adding the new fitness routine, especially with enough strength training to make you feel stronger already, that your muscles are storing more water and glycogen in them. If you have not gained weight because of that, but have plateued, I bet you've lost some fat. Do your clothes fit differently? Keep it up! The fat loss will outpace the water/glycogen storage soon and you'll see the inches come off!
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Old 01-21-2010, 11:23 AM   #3
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Are there other ways you can measure your progress other than the scale? I bet you have lost body fat and that you feel much better physically. I'd get a tape measure and see if your body has changed (waist and hip measurements). You can also have your body fat percentage tested.

The scale can be cruel and will lie to you.
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Old 01-21-2010, 11:29 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by matt_H View Post
The scale can be cruel and will lie to you.
Agreed....

My loss has stalled to 3 pounds in almost 6 weeks, but I've dropped a clothing size and 1.5 inches in my waist.

Plateaus do confuse me, though....

If it's all calories in/calories out then we shouldn't plateau, but obviously, some of us do.

Hang IN THERE!!! There is no way you won't see benefits from that much exercise!!!

Maybe you should think about investing in a body fat % scale too.

My guess is that your body fat is down quite a bit!!!
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Old 01-21-2010, 11:51 AM   #5
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The calories in/calories out philosophy has, IMHO, the same problem that the scale does: it doesn't exactly lie, but it doesn't tell you everything you need to know, either.

calories in/calories out, for example, doesn't include a timeline in its philosophy. "Take X calories in, burn Y calories, and in Z amount of time you will drop a pound."
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Old 01-21-2010, 11:59 AM   #6
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I agree with everyone - hang in there, keep doing what you are doing and the weight will show up on the scale at some point, but in the meantime, use measuring/clothing sizes, etc. to help quantify your progress. And you are most definitely making progress, even if the scale still needs to catch up with that.
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Old 01-21-2010, 12:07 PM   #7
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Plateaus can happen for so many reasons! There's stress, water retention, changes in routine, exercise, lack of sleep, the list goes on. And on and on. Sometimes they happen just because!

I feel your pain, as you know, and I hope something clicks for you soon. In the meantime, know that a lot of us have felt your frustration. Calories in/calories out is all well and good, but some people just have a harder time losing than others. Just like life, weight loss really isn't fair.
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Old 01-21-2010, 12:55 PM   #8
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A few years back, I lost 35 lbs. When the weight loss stopped, I began going to the gym... 6 days a week... about two hours a day. I was expecting to see a change for the better, but the scale continued to hover at 200... for almost one year. It was very frustrating to be working so hard for so long and not see it at the scale. Now, during that time, I was getting very compact, toned and solid....I went down two dress sizes and felt strong and more agile. Cellulite that I had my whole life (even when I weighed 125) was gone. But that wasn't enough, I still needed to see the number change. Eventually I became so discouraged that I gave up and gained back all of it. You may be experiencing a gain in muscle mass, or perhaps it is only a temporary water weight adjustment, in either case, try not to let the scale be your measure, but look for other signs of success to keep you motivated.
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Old 01-21-2010, 02:47 PM   #9
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Thanks everyone for your thoughts. Maybe a body fat scale is something to look into. I too am left scratching my head to with the calories in calories out theory. But I do take comfort in the fact that I feel healthy and strong. I can RUN for the first time in my life I can finish out the reps at Bootcamp with the two guys in camp and I leave there feeling like I accomplished something a year ago I could not have done or even tried in front of people. Thanks for the encouragement!
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