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eek! weight loss rate slows down?

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Old 09-09-2006, 07:50 PM   #1
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Default eek! weight loss rate slows down?

! I just realized something while reading a post here, the rate of weight loss slows down as you get closer to your goal right? So if I start losing 1 lb per week at 260 pounds, will that mean I'll be down to half or quarter pound a week by like 180, 160? or even before then?? Because that would be awful! Plus add on plateaus, bumpy periods off-track - it would just become so difficult both the weight loss itself as well as staying motivated! Should I instead aim to lose more than a pound a week, like say 2 lbs/week until I hit 220 or something like that, and then slow my body down a bit or allow it to slow down on its own?

I'd really prefer to keep it at 1lb, mostly for skin issues and because I figure it took my body so many years to get used to this size, I don't want to shock it now. But I don't want to create future difficulties for myself. Is my thinking accurate or do you think I'll be okay if I keep it at 1lb now?

I guess it would be different maybe if I only had 20 or 30 pounds to lose, but at 100-120... it's a whole other story isn't it.

Thanks in advance!
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Old 09-09-2006, 08:10 PM   #2
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Your body is going to lose when, where, and how it wants. We can't control it. You'll probably have weeks where you lose 2 or more, and weeks where you lose nothing at all.

If you're losing weight (at all!) you're doing something right. If its going slower than you want it to over a period of at least a few weeks, try adding more activity or eating a bit less (but still meeting those nutrient requirements!). If its going faster than you want it to over a period of more than a few weeks, eat a bit more (but try to avoid junk, if you can). Trends over a few weeks are going to be a lot more useful for you than things that happen in just one week, because your body (like everyones) is unpredictable sometimes.

Weight loss does slow down as you get closer to goal - your body requires fewer calories to just exist, so you have to work increasingly harder to lose weight, and there is a point beyond which its impossible to go (for example, at 120 lbs to lose 2 lbs a week your body might require you to eat less than 1200 a day or exercise 3 hours per day, which you wouldn't be able to do safely or healthfully...so your loss will be slower).

Hope that helps!
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Old 09-09-2006, 08:11 PM   #3
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Forgot to add - some peoples bodies just "hold on" to more weight once they get lower...your body is used to being at a bigger size, and it doesn't want to get smaller, so it gets harder to overcome that mechanism as you get to smaller and smaller weights.
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Old 09-09-2006, 08:19 PM   #4
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Thanks Mandalin, that does clear some things up!! Basically right now I've been exercising consistently (going on week 6!!) and generally eating healthy, enough to have lost 8.5 ounds these 5 weeks. So I think if I paid more attention to food, I would probably lose at 1.5-2 lbs per week.

But what you're saying is that it doesn't matter where I start off at as long as I am exercising enough and eating appropriately according to my body's needs, that's what will affect the rate of my weight loss? So whether I start at 2lbs or 1lb doesn't really matter?
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Old 09-09-2006, 08:37 PM   #5
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Lets put it this way.

The things you might do NOW to lose 1 lb a week are drastically different than the things you'll have to do 80 lb from now to lose 1 lb a week. You can adjust what you are doing to lose the weight (to a point) as your body stops responding to what you're doing to maintain your 1lb a week loss, but your body is going to slow down your loss to a crawl toward the end all on its own, no matter how many lbs per week you were aiming to lose before you got close to goal weight.

The only way it might have an impact - if you're more used to the behaviors required to lose 2 lb a week (such as calorie restriction or whatever plan you opt to follow), they'll be easier when they are what is required to lose 1lb. So right now I'm very used to exercising 6 days a week, though I probably could be losing weight at my highest without it, because I know it will be required later on when my weight loss slows. does that make sense?
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Old 09-09-2006, 09:49 PM   #6
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mandalinn is giving you very good advice. There really isn't any set way to tell how much you will lose each week. I lost 2 lbs. a week most weeks and sometimes one or nothing. Whenever I hit plateaus I had to change my exercise routine some. More intensity or more incline on the treadmill. Added in the exercise ball and jumping rope. Towards the goal line, I only lost 3 lbs. or so per month. Now that I am on maintenance, nothing has changed.
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Old 09-09-2006, 11:56 PM   #7
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You're getting good advice. I would add this: If you only focus on the weight you're losing (or not) you're more likely to drive yourself crazy! Find other things to measure your progress: such as fitness! My body can do so much more now that I weigh over 100 pounds less -- and I work it more! Or clothing sizes! Or how about overall health!

This isn't just a weight loss journey, it's a lifestyle change, and if you continue to define yourself by the weight on the scale you may be missing out... plus, plateaus are HARD, and I like to have other things to focus on...
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Old 09-10-2006, 09:10 AM   #8
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Thank you ladies

I was just worried that my body would model its future weight loss after the rate I'm losing at now, so for example, if I am losing 1 lb now, it would lose 0.5 pounds later/week on average. Vs. if I ws to lose 2 lbs /week now, it would lose 1 lb per week later on average. But I suppose that doesn't make too much sense.

I'm my 6th week into this (6 weeks ... I can hardly believe it!) and I'm still figuring it out. It's funny because I thought I'd fine tune my process much earlier than this, but I guess it's as Mandalin said, it's hard to gauge our bodies' response based on only one or two weeks.

Wyllenn, I am actually making other goals I've already been able to ride my bike (enough muscle), which I was absolutely ecstatic over the other day! I can see more muscle when I flex my legs, I am seeing changes when I exercise, and I am just so darn proud of myself when I think - 6 weeks, you've been doing this for nearly 6 weeks!! Yeah, so far mine have a lot to do with exercise which makes sense, as one of the primary reasons I want to lose weight is so that I can participate in an endless list of physical activities/sports. But I know other changes will come too!
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Mini-goal 1: Reach 257lbs
Mini-goal 2: Reach 222lbs
Mini-goal 3: Reach 209lbs
Mini-goal 4: Reach 199!
Mini-goal 5: Reach 179 lbs (overweight BMI category!!)
Mini-goal 6: Reach 160lbs
Final goal: Reach 145lbs

Mini exercise goal 1: Begin running September 2012
Mini exercise goal 2: Celebrate graduation with a 5K
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Old 09-10-2006, 09:48 AM   #9
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FWIW my doctor just told me that even though I am working out a lot, to crank up the weight loss at plateaus, to try making the stuff I am doing harder as well as varying types of things I am doing. Since fall started and our outdoor pool closed I had to change my workout style anyway. Well I did it... for one week so far, and already I am seeing the scales start to go down. Things such as switching from my own shallow water aerobics (all I could do in our pool) to a deep water class, which I will also combine with a shallow water class... and adding the cross-trainer to all my walking, increasing the strength training, etc. I am feeling new muscles stretching and stretching HARDER. And I was already doing an average of 70 or more minutes a day of workouts; they were just starting to get not that difficult for me.
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Old 09-10-2006, 10:06 AM   #10
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Mandalinn is giving out some great advice! But just keep in mind that even if you were (and I'm not saying that you will ) to drop to a .5 lb a week weight loss........then that would still be something, right??!!

My advice is always, always keep at it, keep with it, keep on going through plateaus, slow weight loss and other troubles, because eventually those stubborn pounds will be forced to leave!
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Old 09-10-2006, 12:07 PM   #11
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beautifulone -- having goals of being able to do activities/sports is, I think, going to take you far! That's great!
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