Weight Loss Support - So...is this a plateau?




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NESunshine
02-28-2007, 06:36 PM
so ok...
I've been hovering between 207 & 209 for a couple of weeks now...really almost 3 with no obvious gains or losses so I'm wondering if I've hit my first plateau. I'm sure it's just because i'm so close to onederland that I can almost taste it!...ahhh obstacles. Well here's what I've been doing...
I'm working out at the gym about 5 days a week (sometimes 6, sometimes 4 but I really aim to do something every day) doing 1-1.5 hours of fairly intense cardio each session and lifting weights 2 days. I've been trying to mix up my cardio routines so that I'm not doing the same thing every day. I regularly move between the elliptical, stairmaster, stair mill and treadmill at varying speeds and intensities.

Food wise I am between 1400 and 1500 calories a day. I'm a creature of habit so I eat close to the same things most days... here is what I've eaten today as an example

7:00AM breakfast - individual serving of egg beaters, scrambled with nothing added and 2 slices of whole wheat toast (with a teaspoon of brummel & brown yogurt spread)

10:00AM - snack - coffee, 1 mug black and an orange.

1:00PM - Lunch - 1 serving tuna w/1 oz of dill pickles (i know I'm weird) in a sahara whole wheat multigrain pita and 1 microwavable bowl of healthy choice soup (various kinds but all similar nutritionally)

5:00PM - Snack (still at work) - 1 dannon carb & sugar control yogurt and a light string cheese

7:00PM (or 9:00PM if i go to the gym after work) dinner - 4 oz grilled chicken (i buy the perdu pre-portion ones in plain or italian and grill it in the george foreman) a cup of some sort of whole grain, usually long grain brown rice and 1 cup of a veggie (broccoli, carrots, green beans etc) steamed with nothing added.

With all of this on fitday for today as an example I come in at 1467 calories, 33g fat, 188g carbs & 111g protein.

Following this pattern has helped me to lose the first 30lbs, I'm afraid if I cut too much more calories I will be feeling hungry and be tempted to binge which I want to avoid. Any advice on areas I can cut or add or up intensity to help me bust through what I assume is my first plateau?

thanks!


NESunshine
02-28-2007, 06:40 PM
oh ya, and I drink at least 1 full nalgene bottle (32oz) of water a day, usually more because I drink water in the mornings when I get up and more when i get home or go to the gym and I don't drink anything else except my coffee...

Ilene
02-28-2007, 06:47 PM
I think you're definitely on a plateau... Try playing around with your food calories by zig zagging and adding more intensity to your workouts, if that's possible and do more days of weight training...Good luck!


rockinrobin
02-28-2007, 06:51 PM
Sounds good to me. The only thing I could think of is you said you are a creature of habit. That you eat basically the same things every day. Maybe a day or 2 during the week you could change it up a bit. Maybe a little different breakfast. Fiber One cereal and skim milk? Oatmeal and skim milk?
Maybe for lunch instead of the soup, some fiber, like a salad? As you see I keep mentioning the fiber. Have an extra cup of veggies with dinner and less of the grains? About 5 weeks or so ago I added a lot extra fiber to my diet. I am also looking to avoid the dreaded plataeu. So I figured I'd change things a bit. It's been working for me so far.

3 weeks is also not that long. Sometimes our bodies just want to hang on a bit. Hang in there. You have done so amazingly well. This is just a temporary situation I am sure. I would try changing things up a bit in your menu, it can't harm. Trial and error. See how it goes. Good luck.

Mami
02-28-2007, 07:05 PM
Nevermind the plateau..how's the reaction to your cute new hairstyle been??!!

Me personally, I just dont know how you manage on those bland restrictive meals mami. Please don't take it the wrong way, but a teaspoon of butter or I Cant Believe Its Not Butter can't hurt, nor could 1 or 2 tablespoons of nuts in your yogurt, or some raisins in your oatmeal plus how about some fruit! You deserve to eat tasty filling things, and I think your body may be telling you that..as counter-intuitive as it may sound (and of course I'm truly no expert). How about trying 3 days a week eating 1700 or 1800 calories, with the following days a bit more restrictive. Considering how many calories you may have been consuming before you started, even 1800 is just a drop in the bucket, especially since you're also working out..quite vigorously I might add. My general point is that you might try easing up on yourself a bit. The weight WILL come off if you keep up a healthy lifestyle.

jtammy
02-28-2007, 07:19 PM
I agree that 3 weeks isn't really long enough to call it a plateau. Sometimes our body just needs some time to adjust.

Also, I agree with Mami that adding more calories (and healthy fats, IMHO) couldn't hurt. My weight is quite close to yours and I average between 1600 - 1700 calories per day. Unfortunately for me, I don't do nearly the amount of exercise that you do (Wish I did, but I don't :)). Why don't you try putting a couple of 1600 - 1700 calorie days in each week? Sometimes our bodies get so used to the same things that we need to mix things up some.

Reddalice
02-28-2007, 08:06 PM
Change it up! Cut back 300 cal and try a new and exciting activity.

cajungal328
02-28-2007, 08:29 PM
Well, I think your calories are good, but maybe you should cut back on the carbs a bit and increase the protiens and healthy fats. In terms of hunger, protiens are more satisfying than carbs. I have been following a lower carb diet for weeks now, and I find that I am rarely ever hungry between mealtimes... and the weight is coming off, just walking 30 minutes a day.

Also, could you be retaining water maybe?

ennay
02-28-2007, 10:13 PM
I'm with the increase it a bit crowd. You are still a ways from goal, dropping too low too soon gives you nowhere to go next.

When I plateau I have had very good luck with increasing calories to "maintenance level" (add ~ 200 cals/day) for 2 weeks and then dropping back to losing level and having things jumpstart

With your exercise, make sure you are continuing to push to new levels, especially with the weights. This is a good area to mix it up. If you've been doing low weight/high rep, go to a higher weight lower rep plan for a while or vs. versa.

Perhaps cut back on the cardio duration a bit in favor of one more weight session a week and a bit higher intensity.

Shake things up in the comfort zone!

NESunshine
02-28-2007, 10:18 PM
Thanks everyone! Mami the reaction has been fabulous! Its official, my hair's a hit...also I have very bland taste so to me what I'm eating isn't restrictive, I like the way everything tastes...I suppose it goes back to when I was little, I've never eaten butter...always some sort of margerine and the B&B is the one I like the best, I've been eating it for years...and I do eat fruit but this time a year the quality tends to be not as great and the prices really high so for now I keep stocked up on oranges and grapefruits, I never even tasted salad dressing until i was in my 20s, I don't really eat any condiments other than ketchup...I guess I'm just strange.
I'm going to try to do some more weight lifting and I like Robin's idea of adding in more veggies...I don't want to cut any more carbs...I'm a carb addict and I've found that this is a comfortable level for me so that I don't crave them and won't binge on them. Super low carb is just not something that works for me I guess.:D Robin I like the idea of upping the fiber...switching up for a salad and eating more veggies is defiantly something that I can comfortably do! I'm also gonna bust out my handweights and start using those more at home when I have down time!

thanks again...its so strange cause it really just a scale thing... I can actually feel my clothes continuing to get looser still and I feel fitter and healthier every day. Just gonna keep on pushin through!

Is that really me
02-28-2007, 10:25 PM
This may sound nuts, but try cheating for a day or two. Nothing gluttonous, but eat more than usual and maybe a few things you've cut out. But just for one or two days. Then try the zig-zagging of calories that Ilene suggested. Do 1700 one day, 1400 the next day, varying each day and maybe increasing your totaly calories up to about 1800 or so. This will jump start your metabolism. The body is a wonderfully adaptive machine; maybe yours has adapted to your routine right now and you just need to change things up. Also, eating a combo of proteins/carbs and good fats every 2-3 hours will keep your engine burning more consistently. Maybe cut back on the cardio and increase the weights some will also jump start things. Good luck!

Jo

FullSteamAhead
03-01-2007, 12:35 AM
hi nesunshine :)

luckily, we had that here today! First of all, I want to congratulate you on your current success! wowwww. Youreally are doing incredible!
As for the stall, well I am new into the game, I can only go by the past (even what works for me now). I dont know what it is, I just always had a hard time losing weight with too many carbs but I sure do hear you! I love them too!

With all the working out you doing, don;t forget your putting on muscle! Even though the mainstay of your workouts are aerobic in nature, still, muscle! We are all different and our bodies react differently, going by the past here and my history. I used to work out a lot!!! I hit weeks all the time where i would lose nothing! then the next week, maybe a 1b. or 2! then nothing again. thing is, I was putting on muscle and burning fat. Just like you saiddddd! my figure, even though the scale wasn't showing it at that point, wow! You can actually drop a size without it even showing on the scale! your doing fantasticcccccccc, keep it up :)

the other thought i had, and i hope someone else here can help shed some more light. It is along the same lines as "is that reallyme" said! THe body does ineed adapt! so far, its going good for me on the same plan but I knowww my body will adapt at some point and stop responding. I tend to think, shock it! not literally ofcourse, but shake it up! change your foods, meals, etc. Maybe try increasing proteins a week and monitor it to see what happens? or just altering your shedule a bit, as all the other posters have mentioned too! Ihonestly think your body may be a t that shake me up level, but either way, you are doing awesome keep it up :)

I heard we are only getting 5 inches snow friday! lol thank god! anyone else o n thoughts about shaking it up? have a great night all :)

MicheleKC
03-01-2007, 01:09 AM
I don't understand how increasing calories will help with breaking off of a plateau.

I also thought that a carb/fat/protein ratio was the goal. I think that around 30 grams of fat from sources like almonds and olive oil is also okay. I would stick to your eating plan and just lift more. I had to change my eating plan a bit when I started lifting more, to include more protein. I think that when you're finished exercising, have a snack with a carb/protein ratio that is 4 grams of carbs to every 1 gram of protein. I'm not an expert, but that's what I've read and heard.

Also, you might try eating the carb/protein combo at each snack instead of just all protein. Have just one slice of wheat toast in the morning and the other slice with your afternoon snack. I think that you might want to have more of your carbs in veggies. I think you need to add more veggies. Add some mushrooms and spinach and diced tomatoes to your eggs in the morning. Have some almonds with your orange in the mid morning. Eat more veggies at lunch and at dinner. Maybe cut back on the protein so your ratio would look more like 1467 calories, 33g fat, 188g carbs & 60-80g protein.

Some people swear by low-carb, but I don't think that any one method is better than another. I think it's calories burned and calories consumed, and then balancing nutrition for your energy needs and activity level.

aphil
03-01-2007, 10:02 AM
I don't understand how increasing calories will help with breaking off of a plateau.

Because your body can become "accustomed" to doing the same thing every single day. For instance, if you were a postal worker, and you had a route that basically had you walk the same routine that averaged 8 miles a day...the first few weeks would be hard-but 2 years later, your body would be completely used to that routine. If you do the same strength training routine week in and week out, with no changes in exercises, or weights, etc. your body gets used to it. The same thing happens with calorie levels, and with eating the same exact foods...the body can adjust and get used to many things-including its environment. My husband, for instance, works in glass furnaces-so when the weather is 60 degrees and I am putting on capris for spring-he is wearing a sweatshirt, because he is COLD.

If you are eating the same thing every day, and have the same basic calories each day-your body adjusts. A change up sometimes jumpstarts things again. The same thing with workouts-I often switch up my routine. One bicep routine might have traditional bicep curls, and the next time I might do wide angle curls or hammer curls-a small difference in the rotation of the arm keeps those muscles surprised-because they don't know what is coming next.

If she went from eating 1500 calories of the same thing every single day...and went to 1700 for a few days, then 1400 for a few days...and zig zagged a bit, along with varying her workouts-it is a great plateau buster.

I also recommend shaking up the workout! Some days my cardio is my dance lessons I teach...other days it is treadmill...and other days still it might be something else. :)

NESunshine
03-01-2007, 10:43 AM
Thanks so much again everyone, I think that mixing it up and adding in a bunch more veggies while trying to mix up my exercise routine is the route I'm gonna go. I totally understand the zig-zag the calories to keep my body guessing, that makes total sense to me. I don't literally eat the exact same thing every day...that was just one days example and some days it is more like 1700-1800 calories or so (usually on weekends...but I also do double the workouts on the weekends so i don't want to eat too little) I try not to set limits like 'low carb or no carb' because although I know I could go low carb and lose a bunch of weight but it won't be sustainable for me for the rest of my life...for me this isn't a diet its a lifestyle change that I need to be able to work with in the long term.
I mixed up my exercise last night, did a bit more weights, upped the intensity on my ellptical but cut the time down to 30 minutes and went straight to the big stair mill for my second 30 minutes of cardio. I doubled my vegetable last night so I had carrots and broccoli....yum...broc has been my favorite since I was a kid... I swear I was the only kid anyone could get to eat broccoli! I'm going to skip the soup today and brought a salad and I'm going to do double the veggies again tonight. I'm wondering...since I've been eating so much soup if maybe my sodium is a bit high and maybe I'm retaining some water? Either way with spring around the corner I'll be moving from soup to salad anyway...its a weather thing for me i guess.
Either way I'm busting through and not giving up so I'll keep you posted!
As for the weather coming through...we are supposed to start as snow in Boston but then go to pouring rain....which is just horrible here....booo!