Weight Loss Support - My weight loss has stopped

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08-24-2011, 09:31 PM
I'll try to keep this as concise as possible. I started my weight loss journey on June 1st, 2011 at 226lb. Today I am 188lb, so I've lost 38lb in a little over two and a half months. I did this by counting calories; I eat 1300 calories each day. The only exercise I have done was during the last week in June. I stopped because of my work and personal schedule.

Well I started working out again last week, August 15th. Nothing extreme, three or four days a week of 30 min of cardio and like 15 min of strength training. Here is the problem: I haven't lost weight in a week now. I have been CONSISTENTLY losing 3lb a week and suddenly stopped last week when I started exercising.

Could it be because of the cardio/strength training? Certainly I have not gained muscle from like an hour of leg presses and free weights! Or could this be a plateau that I've hit that I need to figure out how to get through? If it's a plateau, I'm thinking about about intermittent fasting.

Any advice or opinions are much appreciated. :)

08-24-2011, 09:35 PM
Maybe days you work out you need to slightly up your calories to help compensate?

Also make sure you are drinking plenty of water- you can retain a bit of water when you workout :)

08-24-2011, 09:47 PM
Hi Beerab, thank you for your response. Yes, I drink plenty of water. 100+ ounces daily. I might try upping my calories on work out days. Thanks.

08-24-2011, 10:29 PM
Congrats on your incredible weight loss! Losing 3lbs. a week is astounding, as far as I'm concerned. Please give it some time...sometimes, the body holds onto water. It could also be from the heat. I would say keep doing what you're doing and give it a few weeks. Also, once you are lighter, you don't lose as quickly (sometimes) because you're carrying less weight around. Again, great job on dropping all that weight.

08-24-2011, 10:53 PM
it could be from retaining water... maybe try lowering your calories to 1200 (don;t go any lower) and see if that helps. try doing hiit intervals when you work out. i wouldn't stop with the weights.. even if the scale # doesn't change building muscle will make you smaller!

08-25-2011, 12:09 AM
It could be your body retaining water as it gets used to the exercise.

It could be your body needing a few extra calories on work out days.

It could also be... nothing and none of the above. Weight loss is not linear. Even for people who are consistent for a while, it does not mean it will always stay that way. Everyone has stalls. It's a normal part of the process. You'll work past it just like everyone else :)

08-25-2011, 12:22 AM
The odd thing is not that you haven't lost weight in the last week, but that you were consistently losing the same amount (and a very high amount) each week. It is perfectly normal to fluctuate for any number of reasons (I know there's a sticky about that somewhere... salt, hormones, exercise, heat, food passage, etc). Many folks will sometimes gain weight temporarily even when thay are perfectly on plan. I know it's very frustrating, especially since you were seeing such consistent weight loss before, but please understand that most of us have been through this and with time we try to get used to it (not always with good grace). If the scale doesn't move for another three weeks or so, maybe it's time to double check your calorie counts and things like that. But in the mean time it's much more likely that if you stick with the program you will start to see results again.

Congrats on your weight loss so far, and good luck!

08-25-2011, 12:24 AM
Drink more water! Also avoid salt, and any possessed foods, Carbonated drinks (Even if diet). You body will store the extra water because it's thirsty! You are suppose to drink half your weight in ounces like i'm 215 so i would have to drink 107 ounces. Just like fat, If you don't eat every 2-3 hours your body will retain it. But i think you know that :P

08-25-2011, 03:36 AM
This thread is a microcosm of why weight loss can be so confusing.

Eat more!

Eat less!

Eat less salt!

Drink more water!

It is important to differentiate between weight loss and fat loss. Weight loss is unpredictible and is rarely linear for a variety of possible reasons but almost alway has to do with water balance.

Fat loss is much more linear and until you get to very low body fat levels is simply and equation of energy (calories.) Unfortunately there is no reliable way to easily estimate current body fat levels.

Thus - I wouldn't worry about why your weight loss has stalled. You're definitely losing fat it just isn't being reflected on the scale. More than likely the scale will reward you soon.

What I would suggest is that you take regular measurements and pictures. Once a month is adequate. Use these as your true measure of progress and not the unreliable scale.

08-25-2011, 03:42 AM
I've also been losing everyweek and then last week I didn't lose anything. But the following week I dropped 4lb.

Just give it time, the weight will fall off ;)

08-25-2011, 04:02 AM
I stopped losing when I started exercising, but a while later, all of the extra weight slid off, and it ended averaging 3lbs/week for the time that I thought I was stalled.

08-25-2011, 04:20 AM
I've also been losing everyweek and then last week I didn't lose anything. But the following week I dropped 4lb.

Just give it time, the weight will fall off ;)

I also have had periods where I haven't lost followed by a woosh. Also, I always maintain or even gain a little when I first start exercising. I assume my muscles are a little swollen from the assault.

08-25-2011, 04:40 AM
sore muscles are swollen muscles. It's water retention

RJ 1980
08-25-2011, 09:28 AM
The same thing happened to me when I started exercising. Keep doing what you're doing, it may be water retention from the exercise. I can't imagine you are actually not losing (and not just at a little stall on the scale) with your calorie intake and exercise. Don't lower your cals; if anything I'd increase them a little. Good luck!

08-25-2011, 10:20 AM
If your diet hasn't changed, I would guess the exercise is either causing water retention or your metabolism has down-graded because the exercise is consuming enough calories to put your body in "starvation mode". If it's the first case, just keep going and it'll all even out - but if it's the second case, you probably want to up your calories, maybe just for a little while, to convince your body it has enough energy to carry out all its normal metabolic activities.

Based on how low your calories are and how quickly you've been losing weight, I would tend to think you need to increase your calories when adding the exercise. Just my 2 cents.

08-25-2011, 03:33 PM
Thank you all so much for the feedback. I appreciate it.

I'm hoping that it is water retention because of the exercising that I've introduced. I'm definitely not going to lower my calories. I do think I'll up my calories to 1500 on the 3 or 4 days I work out each week though. (I'm gonna love that increase!)

Yes it has been lovely losing three pounds a week these past almost three months. Everytime I would read posts on 3FC about people complaining about only losing 1lb a week, I was certain that they were doing something wrong. And now I haven't lost anything and I'm tremendously discouraged and disappointed and thinking I'm doing something wrong. But now I know this is a normal part of the weight loss process. I guess I just couldn't see it happening to me. Silly thought, I know.

JohnP, I am seriously thinking about Intermittent Fasting. I found a thread about it on 3FC and read all of your good input on IF. I'd like to do it because I'm not a breakfast person. I hate "wasting" calories on breakfast and would much rather eat a larger lunch/dinner. Still researching it, but am definitely gonna give it a try soon.

Again, thanks everyone!

08-25-2011, 03:37 PM
By the weight, this has been my weight loss trend for the month (I started tracking it daily in the "20-somethings" weight loss forum):

SW: 197
GW: 187

8/1: 197
8/2: 197
8/3: 197
8/4: 196
8/5: 195 (Hmmm, let's see what the scale tells me tomorrow)
8/6: 195
8/7: 195
8/8: 194
8/9: 194
8/10: 193
8/11: No Weigh-in (TOM)
8/12: No Weigh-in (TOM)
8/13: No Weigh-in (TOM)
8/14: 191
8/15: 190 (Started exercising)
8/16: 190
8/17: 189
8/18: 189
8/19: 189
8/20: 188
8/21: 188
8/22: 188
8/23: 188 (Oh no, I think I'm plateauing. I typically lose 3ish pounds a week, and only lost 1lb. UGGHH!)
8/24: 188 :-(
8/25: 188

Arctic Mama
08-25-2011, 03:53 PM
I'd bet money that the training is just causing a bit of water retention, whenever we give our muscles a good working over we retain a bit of water in the form of glycogen as they heal.

Please give it a good three or even four weeks of continuing what you are doing now before deciding something needs changing. Our bodies aren't regulated by programming and cogs, we are organic and remarkably adaptable, and those marvelous physiological adaptations sometimes make the scale look a little confusing. Take measurements, pictures, and be patient. If after a few weeks of this you still aren't seeing any real losses, perhaps testing out an increase or decrease of calories might suffice. But generally I'd expect to see your body start and stop weight loss as a matter of course - that your losses have been linear thus far is actually quite unusual!

08-25-2011, 03:58 PM
I'm really glad you posted this. I actually logged on with the intention of posting almost the identical thing! I usually exercise 3 days a week only for 30 mins. I recently started doing cardio 6 days a week alternating between 30 mins and 1 hour.
Since I upped the cardio I haven't seen a loss at all!! Although I do have pants that fit better. But come on!
2 days this week my bobybugg has indicated that i've had a calorie burn of almost 3,000 (I typically consume btwn 1500 & 1800). Maybe I'll drink more water, eat a little more on the days I do an hr and get rid of the scale!
I do take progress pics like John suggested and it is motivating. I suggest you try if you don't do it already.

08-26-2011, 01:58 AM
JohnP, I am seriously thinking about Intermittent Fasting. I found a thread about it on 3FC and read all of your good input on IF. I'd like to do it because I'm not a breakfast person. I hate "wasting" calories on breakfast and would much rather eat a larger lunch/dinner. Still researching it, but am definitely gonna give it a try soon.

As far as I am concerned IF is a game changer. The only downside to IF is the intial period of adjustment which if you're not a natural breakfast eater will be extremely easy.

There is literally no downside to IF. Our bodies are well suited for going short periods without food.

Keep researching. If you find out something that concerns you or have any questions feel free to PM me or post over in the IF support thread.

An added benefit to IF. Weight loss for many people is more linear.

Regarding your current situation - as long as you feel good I wouldn't change anything. At your current weight you have plenty of energy onboard to compensate for the fairly large deficit you're creating.


08-27-2011, 11:52 PM
Thanks JohnP. I actually started IF three days ago. Today was the toughest day, being that it is Saturday and I wasn't at work keeping myself busy enough to not think about food. I started getting hungry around 12ish, but I made it through to 3pm. I'll let you know if I have any questions about IF, thanks.

Still haven't lost any weight. It's getting really irritating, but I'll continue trying to push through.

08-27-2011, 11:58 PM
mzKiki: Sorry to hear that the scale has refused to move for you too. It's frustrating isn't it?? I'm feeling especially disappointed today. I've worked so hard and the scale hasn't budged, nor do my clothes fit better. At least your pants fit more comfortable! My clothes still fit the exact same. Boo!

08-28-2011, 02:53 AM
I just recently enjoyed some linear weightloss, decided to turn it up a notch by running more, and weight loss stopped AND i gained. I agree with the swollen muscles. I also agree take pictures. I am going to do that before I give up. IT always motivates me.