100 lb. Club - What is a Plateau?

View Full Version : What is a Plateau?

08-06-2004, 10:02 PM
I’m sure this has been covered many times, but I’m curious (another word for trying not to get discouraged because I’m never going to get below 200!!). I’ve always thought that when someone was on a plateau they were remaining the same weight week after week, after week and so on. I’ve been experiencing a problem for the last month where I lose 1 lb, then I gain 2 lbs, then I lose 3.6 lbs then I gain 2.6 lbs. Is a plateau actually a fluctuation between two weights – not necessarily staying the same weight?


08-07-2004, 05:21 AM
Hey Melissa

Please, please, please don't get discouraged. You have done so brilliantly - you should be feeling great about that. Sounds like, for whatever reason, your body has decided to hover around that 200 mark for a while - I promise you, you just do that healthy eating and exercise thing, and eventually it will shift. I have had that oh-so-joyful experience; and weirdly enough while my weight was bouncing around the same few pounds, my body shape was changing, because my clothes were getting looser....

So, its easy to say, but what I say is don't pay too much attention to that scale, focus on your eating plan/exercise, see if your clothes are getting looser, and congratulate yourself regularly on how well you are doing!

08-07-2004, 08:36 AM
Blah. I have like... a climb. I don't know, somehow I've put on 3 pounds in the past week and it's not TOM. I only lost 1 pound in the past 2 weeks.

I don't get it. I weigh 260+ pounds. I should be able to eat plenty of calories without gaining. This week I ate around 1500 calories average for four days. Then I ate 2000 calories average for 2 days. Then I had a bad day where I ate like 3500 calories. Still! To gain 3 pounds I'd have to eat an extra 3*3500 = 10500 calories. There's just no way! I only ate 13500 calories for the whole week. It's not like I have to eat under 500 calories a day to maintain!

So I don't get it. I'd say water retention or something but it's been like this for weeks now, only miniscule (less than 1 pound) losses or gains. It's not like I'm exercising to put on muscles. It can't be TOM for an entire month straight. My clothes don't feel appreciably looser. I could be mis-estimating calories but to the tune of such a gain? It makes no sense, it's frustrating, and it makes me get into moods of "might as well eat whatever I want, it had the same results and it was lots of comfort foods and sweets!"

Frustrated. I could throw that stupid scale right out the window...

08-07-2004, 11:44 AM

Whatever you do, don't give up.......

First, a pound is a pound is a pound.......so don't give yourself a hard time if you've been losing a pound a week.....that's a lot, and believe me it adds up over time.

Second, maybe it would be worth getting some input/advice on the composition of your 13500 calories? I say this because if you are insulin resistant, which is often the case when we are carrying extra weight, then the composition of your calories will make a lot of difference to your weight loss......what kind of carbs are you eating? Whats the carb/protein/fat balance?

Also, are you doing the food diary/journal thing? It might help you to figure out what is going on......

Keep positive, keep posting, and it will sort itself out.....

08-07-2004, 01:25 PM

I went through the same thing for about 5 weeks. I'd go down, then next thing you know back up by like 4-5 lbs! I hadn't changed a thing about my routine either! It does pass.. It's hard to think so while your in it but trust me.. It does go away! This week would have been week 5 on a platuau/rollercoaster bu luckily, with persistence, I lost some this week.. and so far it looks like around 3 or so lbs.

Please just stick with it.. You are such an inspiration and have come sooooo far. It will definitely happen.. Ask Jill about it... She helped me through it!

08-08-2004, 08:50 AM
See, Melissa lost a lot before she plateaued. This is starting with me after the first 10 pounds! It's one of those "might as well eat like before" sorts of deals.

So, I'm struggling through things. I always thought '3500 calories is one pound' and if you cut 3500 calories, boom, you lost a pound. But if this is complicated by things like insulin resistance and lowered metabolism from cutting calories, then that's hardly fair.

I probably don't space food out across the day enough, though. I tend to eat a big breakfast, big lunch, and big dinner, with maybe a little mid-afternoon snack. Maybe that's affecting things. Lately I've not been eating as healthy because I'm fed up. Like, yesterday. No protein at breakfast, not fruits and veggies, red meat and from Burger King at that. I probably only had 1600 calories but they weren't the healthiest calories.

Anyway. I didn't mean to butt in on Melissa's thread. My issues aren't really the same thing as hers. I'm just soooo frustrated.

08-08-2004, 09:29 AM
i plateau at between around 231 and is fluctuates by about 7lbs each way.

08-09-2004, 09:02 AM
Thanks for the responses! I feel better reading through the messages. I don't know why I always had it in my head that a plateau meant you stayed exactly the same for a period of time rather than it being a fluctuation. I have to admit that I feel badly 'cause several times I'd see someone post that they were on a plateau and I'd find myself saying "Don't complain - at least you're not gaining!!!" while having a small pity party for poor me 'cause I had gained again.

Jennifer - I'm sorry you're going through this also. I will admit that I've been very lucky to get as far as I have without a plateau until now. Everyone has to find what works for them - even if it means experimenting with how you eat, what you eat and when you eat. I'd strongly suggest that you try experimenting with mini meals before you get any more frustrated though. Dinner is my largest meal (only because it's at night that I have the most problems controlling my eating) but other than that I eat mini-meals. I eat something about every 2 hours.

Thanks again everyone!