100 lb. Club - plateau venting

View Full Version : plateau venting

05-22-2009, 11:04 AM
I wish I had more patience, but I don't.

Its been two weeks now, and as of this morning, not only has there been no weight loss, but there has been a two pound gain!

I'm definitely staying within the calorie range and exercising. I've been lifting weights 3 or 4 days a week, but I don't think muscle gain alone explains the stubborn scale.

I have lost 1.5 inches on my waist since I last measured (maybe 2 weeks ago?) so I know there is something positive going on. I'm not really sure why the scale isn't cooperating.

I do remember the last time I got close to 300 pounds that it seemed to take forever to lose those lost 5 pounds. I'm not going to give up weight lifting, but damn I need to see some weight loss soon for my own mental well being!

05-22-2009, 11:58 AM
Gosh you are doing so well! I can understand your frustration and I sympathize. Hang in there! The scales can be evil. They know you are approaching a milestone and they want to torture you.

05-22-2009, 12:12 PM
I'll ask the usual questions (sorry if other people have already asked in another post).

How much are you eating each day?

Is the lifting recent, or have you been doing it for a while? (are you doing low rep / high weight lifting (ie. 5 reps) or higher rep / lower weights (ie. 15+ reps)

How do you track your food intake (by eye, by measuring cups, by food scale)?

How long have you been eating at a deficit (ie. losing weight)?

Some will point out that plateaus are normal, which they are. However, during this last weight loss I've come across a couple of things that have helped me avoid plateaus. The few times I've not lost, or gone up in weight, I can identify why (poor eating, no exercise, period - I know, that last one doesn't apply).

What I have found very helpful is that when I've gone 12 weeks with solid losses (no off plan days either) is to do a maintenance week. One week with little to no exercise, and more food (in my case about 3000 cals as I usually eat 2000 cals). I'll go up a couple of pounds, but drop them immediately afterwards. For me, it allows my body to rest/reset - whatever. I come off it with renewed energy and keeps me going. The other thing is being a little anal about food intake. I plan a day in advance and rarely deviate. I tend to do a lot of batch cooking/freezing and use a foodscale to keep track of how many calories I'm taking in. I keep some 'go to snacks' already pre-portioned (homemade beef jerky recently), that I plan in and grab to keep me going.

Duh - one more thing. Don't weigh yourself the morning after a lifting day, as you're liable to be up just because of that. I'm a daily weigher, and I'm up two pounds this morning due to yesterday's lifting. It will be gone tomorrow, so I don't worry about it. However, if I was a weekly weigher I'd definitely pick a day that was not preceded by lifting. Sore muscles = water retention to rebuild them.

05-22-2009, 12:14 PM
After I start lifting weights, it takes about a month for my body to react. I don't know if it is the water the muscles use to repair themselves or what, but lifting weights iniitally adds some weight and then there is usually a big drop off. I hope this isn't the case for you, I hope things turn around soon for you. But this might explain what is happening. Also, if 300 is your set point, then it may take a little more effort and patience to push past it.

This may or may not be helpful...

05-22-2009, 12:18 PM
Aww...hang in there..you know you are doing the right thing, so just stick to it and maybe change things up a bit, and it'll come off. You are doing so well....keep going and it will happen....you will make it happen.

05-22-2009, 12:26 PM
As long as you are losing inches - something very positive is going on. The weight lifting maybe the contributor. Hang in - You've come a long way - That is great!

05-22-2009, 12:35 PM
Hello Matt, Congrats on your weight loss. Really, the 1.5 inches lost on your waist is a really big deal. Sometimes I think this is more important than the scale. I paniced myself this morning, no movement on the scale, so am going to take my measurements too.
You have done an amazing job so just get through this.
On a personal note, I read one of your posts last week, thanks but.... about accepting a compliment, and for the first time because of your post, I just said thank you. So thank you for your insight. Keep up the good work!

05-22-2009, 01:45 PM
How much are you eating each day?

I try to shoot for between 2000 - 2200 calories a day. This is under my rmr for my weight and I also try to get plenty of walking and weight lifting in each week.

Is the lifting recent, or have you been doing it for a while? (are you doing low rep / high weight lifting (ie. 5 reps) or higher rep / lower weights (ie. 15+ reps)

I've been lifting weights for about a month now. I try to pick a weight where I'm struggling to make the 10th rep. I usually do two sets on about 5 or 6 different muscle groups.

How do you track your food intake

Pretty much just counting calories and looking up how many calories are in the foods I eat. Some of it is guestimating, but I'm generally more likely to be conservative (assume something is more calories) than less.

How long have you been eating at a deficit

Thats a bit more complex. I started losing weight initially this time around in 2007. I lost 100 pounds and then gained back like 20. I then lost like 30 more and then gained that back too! Since February of this year I've been losing weight steadily again. In fact, it appears as if this week might be my first gain since February.

05-22-2009, 03:48 PM
If it were me, I'd likely raise the calories a bit (assuming you're not guessing on too many things). Either do it for just a couple of days, then back to your regular... or raise it a bit permanently. I don't see why you shouldn't be able to do say 2200 - 2500 calories at your weight. I looked back at my start into lifting and I was over 300 lbs at the time, averaging about 2300-2400 cals at the time and still losing quite well. It's important when you're heavier to make sure you give yourself some wiggle room as you get lighter.

Some people find when they start lifting weights that they unconsciously eat more on those days. That's why I'd be really careful of the guessing. ie. that you're not grabbing a handful of nuts or something higher calories and not counting it. I almost always follow a lifting session with a protein shake with some fruit in it. That usually curbs my desire to eat more afterwards.

The other option is to eat 3000 cals a day for a week, then go back to where you are now. However, don't freak out when you gain a couple of pounds (almost overnight).

The last option is what other people suggested, just chill for a couple of weeks and see if things start moving again. Good luck with whichever you decide.