Weight Loss Support - Stalled for 3 months...advice please.

09-07-2011, 07:16 PM
I am seriously at a complete loss about what is wrong. I started my lifestyle change in January and had decent success. By June, I was down 32 lbs and making some great progress...

But since June, I've stalled out almost completely. I am always within 161-164 lbs without fail, no matter what I do. I've tried calorie cycling, I had a two week period of maintenance, I'm drinking tons of water, I eat enough(always between 1,400-2,100 calories depending on exercise), I am active, I always have at least a 400-600 calorie deficit.

I will be honest that I wasn't exercising much in the beginning, but I do have an active job. I burn about 2200 calories per day on days that I work as I am constantly walking and moving around(this information is from my Bodymedia tracker). However, I decided a few weeks ago that maybe I needed to add in more dedicated exercise so I've been doing so for a few weeks now. I take brisk walks, I jog, and I do free weights, often twice per day for 30 min per session...(first thing in the morning and in the evening) Bodymedia says I now burn about 2,600 calories per day.

Still...the scale has not changed. It's been nearly 3 months. I honestly don't know what I am suppose to do that I'm not doing? I was 164 this morning.

Advice please?

09-07-2011, 07:41 PM
The first thing I noticed is when you said you were eating 2100 calories somedays. 2100 calories is an awful lot!

Exercise is a funny thing and you don't always burn as much as you think you do (especially if you go by calculators which can be horrifically inaccurate at times) so be very mistrustful of weight loss calculator.

From what you've said, I imagine you aren't burning what you think you are but you're still eating a lot. Remember that you lose weight by eating less and get fitter by exercising. I'd advise decreasing your calories and sticking to that number regardless of how much exercise you're doing. Maybe 1500-1600? (feel free change it up a little if you want, but don't think "Aha! I did two hours of exercise today so I can have a second portion." You need to be confident that you've created a deficit regardless of how much exercise you're doing, just think of exercise as an added bonus.

Also note that the more you exercise, the more your body adapts and becomes more efficent with dealing with your activity levels.

Other than that the only thing I can think of is making sure you weigh your food to control your portions.

I hope this helps you.

09-07-2011, 07:43 PM
Since your BodyMedia says you're burning 2600 per day, I am at a loss as well. Perhaps you should make a doctor's appointment to check out your thyroid. I hate to leave it at that, but it seems to me that you're doing all the right things and should be losing something.

09-07-2011, 07:46 PM
I understand what you're saying. I keep the calories in line with how much I am burning and how much exercise I get. The 2,100 would be for days that I burn 2,600+ calories.

I don't use online calculators, I go by the Bodymedia armband which tracks various things about your movement and activity level and is usually considered fairly accurate.

Then again, high days like that are definitely not the norm, maybe once or twice per week.

09-07-2011, 07:46 PM
I forgot to mention inches, are you measuring those? Sometimes weight loss can stall because you're building more muscle which is replacing the fat loss and therefore not showing up on the scale. A sure fire way to know if this is happening is measure yourself because muscle takes up far less room than fat so although your weight won't change, you will get leaner.

I'm not all that familiar with bodymedia and how accurate it may or may not be, I'm just giving you advice on what helped me get through my own stall. Kinda a tough one because you've tried the most of the recommended stuff (calorie cycling, taking a maintainance break ect.)

09-07-2011, 07:59 PM
Maybe your body has decided it's at goal? Every body is different and you never know what will be the perfect weight. Maybe you could try getting one of those body fat tests done to get a more accurate BMI for your own body. You might find that all that's left to do is tone things up.

Love this article.

09-07-2011, 08:03 PM
Well, there in lies another problem. I still have quite a large amount of fat to lose on my abdomen. Unfortunately, my arms and legs have slimmed up nicely, but my stomach measurements haven't changed at all! My belly has always been my problem area though, but even now, after losing 32 lbs, my belly could rival that of a 6 month pregnancy(I've never been pregnant). My waist, even at 163 lbs at 5'7" is still 42 inches!!!

09-07-2011, 08:21 PM
You need to tighten up (decrease) your calories. We're the same height, and my heaviest weight was around 170. I decreased my caloric intake to around 1650-1700 for those first ten pounds (i.e., to get down to 160) and then further dropped incrementally to lose the remainder of my weight. I did all of this while running 3 miles/day, 6 days/week, plus burning calories in my daily activities.
Step up your exercise with a concerted, focused effort, and try eating 1600 calories daily. Hopefully after a month you will see results!

09-07-2011, 08:29 PM
Numbers are just that, numbers. I wouldn't rely on them to base your calorie needs with exercise. I would stick to a solid number (ie. 1600-1700) and go from there. Chances are you are probably just eating too much, unfortunately!

09-07-2011, 08:34 PM
I will try decreasing my calories. I use MyFitnessPal to track my calories, and as you may know if you are a member, when you track your exercise, it adds "exercise calories" to your total for the day, using the logic that in order to keep your desired deficit, you should eat them back. So if I have it set at 1650, it'll add how every many calories I burn to my total for the day, which is what is confusing. They are pretty hardcore about eating your exercise calories too, lol.

But I am willing to try anything right now.

09-07-2011, 09:20 PM
For goodness' sake, don't eat your burnt calories back. You're not losing because you're not creating an adequate caloric deficit given your current metabolic rate.

09-07-2011, 09:46 PM
Yeah, I agree about not eating your exercise calories back, alas.

09-07-2011, 10:58 PM
I don't use online calculators, I go by the Bodymedia armband which tracks various things about your movement and activity level and is usually considered fairly accurate.

Unfortunately there is no armband in existance that can give you an accurate picture of how many calories you're burning in a day. It is an estimate and the estimate is based on a formula.

The forumula can be off for a number of reasons but if three months has gone by it doesn't matter what the reason is it is clear the Bodymedia armband is not accurate for you.

The answer, as mentioned by others, is to reduce calories. Also - be wary of how you are calculating caloires. Weighing is most accurate. Measurement can be off quite a bit. Pre-packaged foods are allowed to be off by a fair margin as well.

09-08-2011, 12:20 AM
I was going to reiterate a few things that have already been mentioned

- There is no way to know how many calories you burn. Even monitors are notoriously unreliable. The only way to know is trial and error. If you aren't losing, you are probably overestimating how many calories you burn.

- Yes, weigh. I try to get away with the easiest calorie-counting method possible. But as soon as that stops working, I know I have to tighten things up. I usually eyeball, but if I stop losing, I start measuring again. If I continue to not see results, I know I need to start weighing.

- Try mixing up your micronutrient ratios? I do much better on a medium-carb (150 g), high-protein diet that anything else. That *may* help address the fat loss issue you're having around your abdomen. (maybe).

- Don't eat back burned calories, even if MyFitnessPal tells you to! I know what you mean- they REALLY make it hard to ignore their "requirement" to eat back burned calories. That's one thing I don't like about it. (Another being they give you a green or "ok" number if you under-eat on protein, which I don't like. They shouldn't incentivize not getting enough protein.) Anyway, just ignore it. Or don't add in your exercise at all. You know how much you've worked out, they don't need to know.

Good luck!! :hug:

09-08-2011, 07:36 AM
You also need to keep in mind that at 161lbs, you are getting closer and closer to goal. Yay! The downside to that is an extra 200-300 calories from miscalculations will be enough to slow down/stop progress. The smaller you are, the tighter you must get.

09-08-2011, 08:25 AM
I agree with the other posts. I just wanted to add that my rule of thumb is to add back *half* the calories of my exercise (and even then, I don't count my minimum goal for the day). I like being able to earn a tablespoon of peanut butter or whatever. But by only rewarding the extra exercise and by only eating back half, I can be pretty sure that I'm adding to my deficit rather than undermining it.

09-08-2011, 09:21 AM
A lot of things can effect your Body Media read, like temperature. I burn a lot more calories on days when I work and I'm hot and sweating a lot, which I don't think are true calories. If the temperature is more comfortable at work, I burn fewer calories, but the work doesn't change that much.

The other option is the calories you enter. It can only be so accurate. Make sure you're verifying manuacture serving size by measuring/weighing it. They may say a serving size is 30 grams but your serving is actually 35 grams. I've started overestimating my calories more, unless I am certain of what I have due to weight and/or measure.

Maybe reducing calories, even by a couple hundred, and looking more closely at serving sizes will help.