Weight Loss Support - Does OVER excersizing stalling weight loss?




camper67
08-01-2012, 03:22 PM
So I am wondering...I have lost about 60 lbs over the past 18 months. I started out working out about an hour a day, and eating around 1400/1500. Then at some point I started freaking out and thinking I needed to workout more to lose more. I have been working out 90-120 minutes 6 days a week for many months. My weight has hit a plateau at around 154-157 (fluctuates daily) and I haven't really lost anything else for so long...maybe just a pound or two. I posted on MFP and several people said to stop working out so much. Could that be hindering my weight loss? I am scared that I will gain if I stop working out so much, but I know I cannot continue to workout like this ...not for the rest of my life anyways. I am on MFP and do NOT eat all of my calories back from excersize. It has me set at 1220 cals per day, but I typically earn a TON more calories from excersize, but I stay around 1500 Sunday- Friday. I am thinking of downing my excersize but keeping my calories the same, but I am scared I will gain. Any thoughts on over excersizing and weight loss? I am at a healthy and normal weight for my height but would like to lose the last 9 vanity pounds. :-)


GardenBurglar
08-01-2012, 03:59 PM
Exercise helps me personally lose more weight and helps me get in the right place mentally to eat better, but some people find that they don't need to workout at all to lose. Food has a much bigger impact on weight loss than exercise, but studies have show that it is the most important factor in keeping it off.

I think its best to treat the losing phase the same as the maintenance phase (except for number of calories obviously) so that when you get there you will already have your everyday healthy habits set. I have gotten to goal twice before, but failed to maintain because I had a mindset that what I was doing to lose the weight was temporary and took unhealthy, unnecessary, and extreme measures to get there. Now I am not doing anything to lose that I don't want or can't keep up forever.

Another thing to keep in mind is that for many people the last few pounds come off VERY SLOWLY! Therefore, I don't really think your weight loss has stalled at all. Your body wants to keep those last few pounds for survival and will fight to hold onto them. This is the point where patience and persistence are your biggest allies.

I also don't think you are exercising too much. I work out for an average of two hours a day because I think working out is fun and it makes me feel good. I also do fun stuff like hiking, kayaking, hula hooping, and weight lifting. My only concern is many you aren't eating enough calories to be working out as much as you are. I know it might sound counterintuitive, but sometimes upping calories a little really makes the weight come off faster, especially when combined with exercise.

Sometimes when I need a calorie reality check a daily calorie requirement calculator (http://www.freedieting.com/tools/calorie_calculator.htm) is a really helpful tool.

JohnP
08-01-2012, 04:57 PM
There are many variables to consider ... I'll hit the main ones.

Are you accurate with your calories? Are you sure?

What kind of exercise are you doing? Big difference between being at the gym for two hours where you're not constantly exercising and being on a road bike maintaining a HR of 150 for two hours straight.

The simple answer is yes - too much exercise can stall weight loss but it doesn't usually stall FAT loss until one is quite thin.

The bottom line is that the energy needs of the body will be met - too much exericse and too few calories can cause some weird things to happen but energy is never magically created from the air we're breathing.


camper67
08-01-2012, 05:26 PM
I workout on an elliptical and the very top of the resistance...I can't go any higher and I spike my intensity every few minutes. And yes, I workout the ENTIRE 90-120 minutes. I don't stop at all. I also do free weights and abs 4 days a week.

camper67
08-01-2012, 05:29 PM
Oh and yes, I am accurate with my calories. I track every single one, but on Saturdays I eat whatever I want for dinner. I stick to right around 1500 calories Sunday-Thursday, 1700 on Fridays and Saturday I don't know how many because I let myself have a free dinner and some drinks. Nothing extreme. I work out 90-120 minutes straight through on my elliptical 6 days a week. Usually 90 during the week and 120 on the weekends.

ValRock
08-01-2012, 05:35 PM
For women especially, chronic cardio is counterproductive. If you put yourself into a catabolic state, you're burning muscle and not fat.

And here I go - LIFT SOME WEIGHTS. ;)

http://qbx-fitness.com/13/are-you-doing-too-much-cardio/
http://www.livestrong.com/article/488389-is-too-much-cardio-bad/
http://www.fitoverfat.com/cardio-how-much-is-enough/
http://musclepharm.com/article/doing-too-much-cardio

ETA: Totally anecdotal... but when I stopped running my *** off 6 days a week and started lifting heavy weights 3-4 times a week, I saw massive results and had TONS more energy. Work smarter, not longer.

freelancemomma
08-01-2012, 05:40 PM
I posted on MFP and several people said to stop working out so much. Could that be hindering my weight loss?

The only way I can see that happening is if you're so tired from the exercise that you hardly move the rest of the day (so your net energy output is less than it would be if you exercised less). IMO that's a highly unlikely scenario.

F.

camper67
08-01-2012, 05:40 PM
Thanks for the info everyone!!! I am reviewing everything! :-) I only worked out for 70 minutes today and I feel like I cheated!!!

camper67
08-01-2012, 05:54 PM
ValRock, can you recommend any at home weight training routines or books or anything? Can't afford a gym right now, and I have only been using 5 lb weights.

ValRock
08-01-2012, 06:02 PM
ValRock, can you recommend any at home weight training routines or books or anything? Can't afford a gym right now, and I have only been using 5 lb weights.

New Rules of Lifting for Women, is a good place to start. There are a lot of bodyweight exercise tutorials online, too. There's not much you can do with 5lb weights... Gyms here are pretty cheap. I pay $35 a month, at mine, with unlimited childcare.

camper67
08-01-2012, 06:57 PM
Thanks a bunch!

JohnP
08-01-2012, 09:43 PM
Agreed that weight lifting with a 5 lb dumbell does not qualify as weight lifting.

If you don't have money for a gym membership you can get a very cheap weight set at Walmart for like $30. Then check out the Spartacus routine. (http://my.menshealth.com/workout/The-Spartacus-Workout-2.0)

Impressive that you can hit an elipitcal for 2 hours straight at full steam but I also agree with Val that for fat loss there are better uses of your time.

I personally think you would benefit from a week off of exercise except activities that you just consider fun. Also I would suggest you take a couple of weeks off from dieting. Slowly increase your calories until you're around 1800-1900 a day. You may or may not see a slight increase in weight but if so it isn't going to be fat - just glycogen and increased water. (You may also see a decrease in weight due to your body dropping water)

Either way I think your body would benefit hormonally from a break. The heavy cardio and dieting isn't ideal for body composition.

When you're done with a diet break you can do the Spartacus workout 3x a week and if you really feel the need do some cardio on non lifting days but I would do something more challenging than the eliptical. Got any hills around where you live? Instead of 90 minutes on an eliptical do 45 minutes in the hills.

laciemn
08-02-2012, 12:05 AM
well, a combination of too low calories with two high exercise is bad for weight loss. so, i would say actually try upping your calories for a little while and don't be "so afraid" of gaining a pound or two.

mommy2two07
08-11-2012, 02:11 AM
I would try mixing up your workouts. Maybe mixing up what you do and each day how much you workout also. Just an idea. Hope you figure out what works for you.

Prim2012
08-11-2012, 11:23 AM
Agreed that weight lifting with a 5 lb dumbell does not qualify as weight lifting.

If you don't have money for a gym membership you can get a very cheap weight set at Walmart for like $30. Then check out the Spartacus routine. (http://my.menshealth.com/workout/The-Spartacus-Workout-2.0)

Impressive that you can hit an elipitcal for 2 hours straight at full steam but I also agree with Val that for fat loss there are better uses of your time.

I personally think you would benefit from a week off of exercise except activities that you just consider fun. Also I would suggest you take a couple of weeks off from dieting. Slowly increase your calories until you're around 1800-1900 a day. You may or may not see a slight increase in weight but if so it isn't going to be fat - just glycogen and increased water. (You may also see a decrease in weight due to your body dropping water)

Either way I think your body would benefit hormonally from a break. The heavy cardio and dieting isn't ideal for body composition.

When you're done with a diet break you can do the Spartacus workout 3x a week and if you really feel the need do some cardio on non lifting days but I would do something more challenging than the eliptical. Got any hills around where you live? Instead of 90 minutes on an eliptical do 45 minutes in the hills.

I absolutely agree! Once you've developed a "rountine" as you have done with the 2 hours of cardio, your body adjusts. You need to jolt it by changing things up. While it sounds counterintuitive, this could mean taking a break from the workouts or going down to 30 minutes of cardio and adding 30-45 minutes of weight training. You might also want to change up your calories by going up 200-300 more per day for the next week. I don't know if you watch Biggest Loser but if you have, there are times when a contestest is injured and have to take a break from workouts or resort to lower intensity rountines like swimming and they rountinely have their biggest weight loss results the week they made this change. Don't worry about gaining weight. Unless you're eating 3500 more calories than your body needs to maintain, it's all smoke a mirrors.

Lori Bell
08-11-2012, 12:55 PM
I'm confused. In your opening post you said you eat 1400-1500 calories a day, but in a later post you say you eat 1500/5 days and 1700 (or more on free meal day) /2 days a week. That's up to a 1000/week difference. That could very well be the cause of your stall. The smaller you are the less calories you need to breath!

DietVet
08-11-2012, 02:02 PM
You should probably trade in some of your steady slog cardio for HIIT. That helps to burn fat and it will counter the fact that your body has become totally efficient at the slog.

Also, obviously, weight training!!