Weight Loss Support - Longest 'plateau' so far -what to do?




schubunny
06-28-2010, 11:01 PM
I've been on a plateau for exactly a month today.

This is the longest I've been on one and before that I would just have the occasional stall and then woosh.

I have tried..

-increasing my exercise by 15 minutes each time I went to the gym (60 minutes of cardio 4 times a week)
-reducing my calories to a few days in the low (1200-1300) and a few days high (1500-1800)
-Drinking more water also (2-3 cups more), thinking it is water weight.
-Using a different exercise machine, plus changing my routine in that 60 minutes I have
-Changing the foods I'm eating (more yogurt, tomatos, etc)

Nothing is working!!! My scale has yo-yo'd between 210-214 for this month, and my measurements have stayed pretty much the same and I don't get TOM as I am on birth control.

I've Googled and read every page about how to break a plateau, and I don't see any other options left except

-increasing my calories- *scream of horror*

:( I am scared to do it.

According to most calorie counters, I should be eating 1600-1700 a day, but that seems high (weight is 211 atm, height 5'7"-5'8").

My questions:

- Do you think I should try upping for a week?
- Are there any other methods to break the plateau I haven't thought of?
- Should I continue what I usually do and wait it out?

My problem is I'm becoming horribly discouraged and I am having negative thoughts that I wish would just go away. That 'giving up' feeling that makes it hard to keep on track and go to the gym.

Thanks for any advice. As usual, I love any you have, good and bad!


luciddepths
06-28-2010, 11:38 PM
ive found consistency is key... for me anyway.. when i stop weight loss, i just keep trucking. Then it goes! it doesnt go as fast its my body holding on but.. when im consistent i see better results :) so instead of for a fewdays of a lower cal count hang out with it for atleast a week. Your body doesnt adjust as fast as your mind :)

Wild Vulpix
06-28-2010, 11:46 PM
I disagree with the 'upping calories' theory. At least not perminately. Sometimes you need a big, nasty cheat meal to jar your system and get it to let go of that extra weight. (My father plateaued at one point a while back, and his friend came over and they had some huge, nasty meal as is their custom... and instead of gaining weight, the next morning he was 4lbs lighter :lol: )

Unfortunately, that's the only advice I have :(
Have you been doing anything different this month than before? New exercise routine? Are you losing inches?


schubunny
06-28-2010, 11:48 PM
ive found consistency is key... for me anyway.. when i stop weight loss, i just keep trucking. Then it goes! it doesnt go as fast its my body holding on but.. when im consistent i see better results :) so instead of for a fewdays of a lower cal count hang out with it for atleast a week. Your body doesnt adjust as fast as your mind :)


Yeah I could try that. I am personally a 'zigg-zagger' as I like to have a few days to be able to drink/eat more.

I will see what others think as well, but definitely keep this in mind :) Maybe a few a week the 1400 range will kick-start it.

schubunny
06-28-2010, 11:50 PM
Have you been doing anything different this month than before? New exercise routine? Are you losing inches?

I've added 15 minutes more to each routine, so instead of 45 minutes of cardio i'm at 60. That's about 100+ more calories burnt each time. And every time I go I do a different machine to keep my body guessing, but I've been doing that since I started my journey.

I lost an inch or so on my waist and arm in mid-June but the scale didn't change and nothing has happened with my measurements since.

Heather
06-29-2010, 08:34 AM
I wouldn't up your calories. I would just stick with what you are doing. One reason weight loss is so hard is because weight loss is not linear. It happens in fits and starts. The scale is :devil: and we give it a lot of power. Too much. Find other ways to measure your progress -- measurements, days on plan, and just keep going!

The only other thing I can think of is, do you write down EVERYTHING you eat/drink? Is it possible you're eating more than you had been?

rockinrobin
06-29-2010, 09:15 AM
Are you absolutely certain you are accounting for every bite, taste, lick,crumb and sip that enters your mouth? Can you measurements be off, are your portions perhaps bigger than you're accounting for? Have you had any cheat meals/cheat days? Any way you're underestimating your calories consumed?

I too would not up your calories. Ummm, no, taking in more calories is not going to create more of a calorie deficit which is what we're looking to do.

I for one think the consistency thing is the way to go. I would stay away from those high calorie days and find somewhere in the middle - say 1400 or 1500 calories and stick to that number like glue. Like glue.

You do this and you are creating a calorie deficit and that scale will have no choice but TO move. Eventually.

Hang tough. The rewards, they are coming.

Oh and as far as a big, nasty, cheat meal making you lose weight, I personally don't buy it. Not even a little bit. If someone loses weight after a meal such as that, I believe their woosh finally kicked in (and not because of the meal, just a coincidence). In other words it was the hard work done PRIOR to that big, nasty cheat meal. Just like the calories from a big, nasty cheat meal might not necessarily show up on the scale IMMEDIATELY. It takes time for a body to process these things.

mkroyer
06-29-2010, 10:59 AM
i second re-evaluating your measurment practices. Splurge on a digital scale. Start measuring every bite, lick and tast, to the gram... are you counting Splenda packets? Pam sprays? Chewing gum? Do you eat peanut butter or oatmeal? If so you NEED to measure these things with a digital scale.... measuring cups and spoons can be off by HUNDREDS (you heard me right) HUNDREDS of calories, with items as calorically dense as peanut butter. All these things can easily easily add up to several hundred extra calories a day that you didnt realize you were taking in, this bumping you up to maintenence without even realizing it. It would be a shame to put in all this extra work and effort, only to have it not pan out becuase you are just measuring wrong.
And please dont get offended...95% OF us hugely over-estimate our intake, even with measuring and weighing. It is the nature of the process...
Please also understand that i am only suggesting being so "OCD" about it, since you are plataued. If you are losing with no problem by eyeballing or using measuring cups, then keep doing it....unfortunately, you are not losing, and i think really buckling down on the caloric intake/measurement should be the very first place you look. Fat loss is, after all 100% diet. you HAVE TO be in a deficit to lose fat! if you are NOT losing fat, you arent in a deficit. Perod. Simple as that.


Good luck

chnkymonkey
06-29-2010, 11:17 AM
Agreeing with all the others - especially Mkroyer.

Also, what is the intensity of your workouts? Just because you are doing a different machine every day, doesn't mean your body hasn't gotten used to all those machines.

Have you tried interval training, HIIT. While on your machine, mix in spurts of very intense workout. Push yourself until you cannot push any harder, then push a little more. Back off to your normal speed (don't slow down or stop) and catch your breath before doing it again.

Are you weight training? If so, when was the last time you changed up that routine and/or upped your weights.

gardenerjoy
06-29-2010, 11:36 AM
I've just busted through my second plateau. What I did, both times, was essentially start a new diet. There are lots of them out there, so, I figured why not try a few and see if I like some better than others. I suspect what this really did for me was what others have suggested: get me to pay more attention to the details. I just tricked myself into doing it by trying something new which required that sort of attention.

It also helped that someone gave me this link during my recent plateau:
http://caloriecount.about.com/new-look-weight-loss-plateaus-b425152
It suggests maintaining for six months. I wasn't willing to do that, but I was willing to have that as a Plan B and that helped (considerably) to reduce the stress associated with the plateau. I think at my next plateau, which I fully expect between now and 180, that I may well take six months to maintain because I'm worried about maintenance and practicing sounds like a good idea to me.

schubunny
06-29-2010, 12:29 PM
Whenever I make a thread about plateau (which I have a few times, im guilty). Everyone asks me the same question -if I am logging every bite I eat. The answer is always yes.

As for exercise, I've been doing HIIT since I started in December. I really enjoy pushing myself at the gym, and I absolutely despise going at the same pace for an hour or so.
For weights, I am always increasing my reps and weights and changing machines to work different parts of my body.

I guess what I'm saying is.. is there anything else suggested other than the above mentioned? I probably should have said all this in my primary post but I am terrible for specifics. :)

In short, I pretty much have tried everything suggested on the board, to myself or in other threads.

Though one thing that keeps being mentioned here seems to be staying consistent. So, I will not up my calories, I will keep on my same zigg-zagging and just lower my higher days by about 200 cals. I personally do not like cheat meals either as it makes me feel bloated and (TMI) gassy, and disgusting for a few days after.

I hope this helps pin-point my post better and I hope this reply didn't come off cranky, I am a terrible morning person.

gardenerjoy
06-29-2010, 12:40 PM
Okay, one more idea that hasn't shown up in this thread, but did in another recently. How about mixing up the types of calories? In particular, if you aren't doing low carb now, try that. My newest diet plan is much lower carb than anything else I've tried. I can't say for sure, but I'm crediting that change as one of the reasons that my plateau broke.

mkroyer
06-29-2010, 01:31 PM
if you are absolutely 100% sure about your cals (you are using a digital scale? or measuring cups?-- you never said) then i suggest you cut your cals even lower (gasp!) and reduce your training volume (double gasp)
Dead serious. You dont have to train for fat loss. If you arent training you can cut your cals more. I know it seems counter-intuitive, but our instinct when we are stuck is always to workout harder, eat less, blah blah blah. Your body is prob already seriously stressed (hormonally)...adding intense training on little food is just very tough. SOmetimes to break through a plateau you just have to do something DIFFERENT. Also, lots of training on a large deficit can "mask" fat loss sometimes....
I was seriously overtrained and underfed for over a year, and then i took 6 weeks off of training (to help my body recover) and i Just focused on being dilligent about tracking my food itake, and cutting my cals more (since i wasnt training, it was ok to eat at 1100-1200), and voila! within a week i lost over 4 pounds ( i was already at like 138-139). The fat loss had been happening all along (albiet slowly) it was just that my joints and muscles were always so stiff and retaining water for repair, and my fluid levels and hydration and electrolytes and hormones and stress levels, and just everything were way outta whack. As soon as i let my body actually RECOVER, (like i said, strictly low cals, and NO training) i dropped all the "inflammation weight" and kickstarted my fat loss again.

well, sorry that was so long and prob made no sense

oh! and how much sleep are yuo getting every night, on avg? and is it good quality sleep?

schubunny
06-29-2010, 03:07 PM
if you are absolutely 100% sure about your cals (you are using a digital scale? or measuring cups?-- you never said) then i suggest you cut your cals even lower (gasp!) and reduce your training volume (double gasp)
Dead serious. You dont have to train for fat loss. If you arent training you can cut your cals more. I know it seems counter-intuitive, but our instinct when we are stuck is always to workout harder, eat less, blah blah blah. Your body is prob already seriously stressed (hormonally)...adding intense training on little food is just very tough. SOmetimes to break through a plateau you just have to do something DIFFERENT. Also, lots of training on a large deficit can "mask" fat loss sometimes....
I was seriously overtrained and underfed for over a year, and then i took 6 weeks off of training (to help my body recover) and i Just focused on being dilligent about tracking my food itake, and cutting my cals more (since i wasnt training, it was ok to eat at 1100-1200), and voila! within a week i lost over 4 pounds ( i was already at like 138-139). The fat loss had been happening all along (albiet slowly) it was just that my joints and muscles were always so stiff and retaining water for repair, and my fluid levels and hydration and electrolytes and hormones and stress levels, and just everything were way outta whack. As soon as i let my body actually RECOVER, (like i said, strictly low cals, and NO training) i dropped all the "inflammation weight" and kickstarted my fat loss again.

well, sorry that was so long and prob made no sense

oh! and how much sleep are yuo getting every night, on avg? and is it good quality sleep?

I usually eat food that is already pre-measured, of that makes sense. I have a scale but it's not digital and it is very accurate as I've tested it with a 5lb weight.

This may sound funny but I'm kinda scared to stop working out. Before I stopped and just never started again.

As for sleep avg 8-9 hours a night :) I loooove my sleep!

Shmead
06-29-2010, 03:25 PM
I usually eat food that is already pre-measured, of that makes sense. I have a scale but it's not digital and it is very accurate as I've tested it with a 5lb weight.

This may sound funny but I'm kinda scared to stop working out. Before I stopped and just never started again.

As for sleep avg 8-9 hours a night :) I loooove my sleep!

Packaged food calorie counts are pretty unreliable--there's no watchdog agency, or penalty if they are incorrect. I don't know what you are eating, but you might consider cutting out some of the packaged stuff and trying more whole foods, both for the accuracy in counting and just as a change in your system (so much of this process is trial and error).

ETA: and a digital scale is the best $20 you will ever spend. It will pay for itself in weeks when you can start buying things like yogurt and veggies in the big containers and serving them out to yourself. Plus, it gives you so much more flexibility: you have have whatever amount of something you want, not have to make it work in the individual package sizes you have.

Slim CB
06-29-2010, 03:56 PM
i second re-evaluating your measurment practices. Splurge on a digital scale. Start measuring every bite, lick and tast, to the gram... are you counting Splenda packets? Pam sprays? Chewing gum? Do you eat peanut butter or oatmeal?

Aren't things like Splenda and Pam zero calories? Please forgive my ignorance but I thought there was no limit on these things. Can anyone shed some light?

synger
06-29-2010, 04:27 PM
I think of weight loss as a series of long flights of stairs, rather than a ramp. Every now and then, there's a landing to rest on. This gives your body time to adjust to the changes you're putting it through, and gives you a chance to "practice maintenance", until you're both ready to continue the climb. I know it doesn't seem so to you, but four weeks isn't that long, as plateaus go. And if you are indeed working your plan, then the weight WILL begin coming off again.

audrina
06-29-2010, 06:08 PM
I've been experiencing the same problem that you are. I have been stuck around 202lbs - 210lbs for about a month now. I work out 5 days a week at a fitness boot camp [an intense workout where they are always changing what we do daily], and have just started counting my calories.

I'm planning on making some small dietary changes as well, working my BUTT off for two weeks and not weighing myself until two weeks from today. I'm hoping that if I work hard enough, make a few more changes and just stick to it I'll see some results and get out of this plateau.

rockinrobin
06-29-2010, 06:21 PM
Perhaps after a months stall, provided of course one is RELIGIOUSLY STICKING TO THE PLAN, it's time to adjust the plan. It could be that this plan is no longer providing you with a calorie deficit and this is what you need to do to MAINTAIN, for now. Perhaps. I personally would either lower my calories or increase the intensity or duration of my exercise or a combination of all of them. And if you're not already doing so, I would stick to whole foods, whole foods and more whole foods.

As far as Splenda and Pam having zero calories. Nope. That's a fallacy. The government is allows these companies to get away with saying that they are zero calories PER SERVING if they are under either 5 or 3 calories per serving (I forget which). The thing is their serving sizes are minuscule. For instance the Pam is like a 1 second spray per serving and most of us use way more than that.

Onederchic
06-29-2010, 06:24 PM
Just a bit on Pam, this is from their site, it shows a 1 second spray actually has 7 calories :o http://www.pam4you.com/pages/products/original/index.jsp

schubunny
06-29-2010, 08:10 PM
Interesting about the Pam... I didn't know that.

I will take a look this weekend for a digital scale, it should be about the same price in canada I hope.

It's not that I eat packaged foods (I used to, but I try to stay faaar away now). I am speaking more about let's say... if I have a slice of bread it tells you cals per slice or if I have some smoked ham, it tells me the amount of calories per slice, things like that.
Any whole foods like veggies and sliced fruit I measure out and then look up the cals online.

I know it is hard to get accurate calorie estimates, especially as I hear the calories shown are more than we think and I tend to Google a lot of items. A lot of us are probably eating less or more than we think when we jott down in our food journals. Is there any way to get around that?

rockinrobin
06-29-2010, 08:48 PM
There IS no way to 1000% accurately track calories. There just isn't.

Let's say a 6 ounce fuji apple has 80 calories, but if this PARTICULAR 6 oz apple is a sweeter one than the last one, well it may have a few more calories. So if your weights and measures are on target, there will still be some variables which we can not know about. For me, variables such as what I described has never been an issue and something tells me it isn't for you either. Again, as long as your measurements are accurate, I don't think this is why you are plateauing.

Have you considered taking your calories down to 1400 per day for two weeks?

Shmead
06-29-2010, 09:51 PM
This is part of the reason why I always eat the same things. Even if my calorie estimates are off, they are the same from week to week, so if I am losing weight, I have a deficit. If I stop, I don't have a deficit anymore. If I am too hungry to think straight, I have too much of a deficit.

I'd try lowering your calories and limiting starches and see how that goes.

schubunny
06-29-2010, 09:55 PM
Have you considered taking your calories down to 1400 per day for two weeks?

I've been given that suggestion. That suggestion and also I should give it another bit and it should start moving on what I'm doing now.

If nothing budges by next week I will start lowering it to 1400. I'm on vacation that week though, so hopefully I can stick to it instead of zigg-zagging. If I can't then I will do it the week after when I am back to work and more on my usual schedule. I'm planning on traveling out of town and eating some awesome seafood, so I hope I don't splurge!!

rockinrobin
06-29-2010, 10:54 PM
I've been given that suggestion. That suggestion and also I should give it another bit and it should start moving on what I'm doing now.


What it should do is one thing, what it actually does is another. So if it shows that it's NOT doing it any longer, then how can one assume that it will or should?

ars
06-29-2010, 11:37 PM
I had plateaued through May, then this past month I started having higher calorie zig zag days on the weekends (I like my wine during the summer) very near maintenance calories for me (up to about 2800) and the weight is slowly coming off again. My normal weekday intake is around 1600-1800. The higher calorie weekend days are the only change I have made. I'm not saying it will work for everyone, but it's working for me at the moment.

sweetnlow28
06-30-2010, 11:04 AM
I just broke through a three week "mini" plateau today :) So I wanted to share what I did. By no means, am I saying this will work for you as everyone is different.
For the three weeks I stuck to my plan of 1400-1500 calories and saw no change. This past weekend I took two days "off" and ate around maintenance levels (2000 - 2200). I allowed myself what ever I wanted within reason, then I made a regretful post about it on 3fc, LOL :dizzy: Starting Monday, I cut my calories down to 1300- 1400 and increased my exercise, doing a DVD at a higher intensity than usual. After two days, I broke through and I am down a pound and a bit today..finally.

I would say, stick with your plan a bit longer and if you don't see results, change it up a bit to get things moving.. Good luck, I know it can be frustrating :hug:.