Weight Loss Support - plateau buster!

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04-29-2005, 10:09 AM
Hi everyone,

I started my WLJ in October, and since then have lost around 35 pounds. But I have been stuck for a while. I've been doing around 1.5 hours exercise (cardio & some weights) for several weeks, and counting calories (eating low fat, lean protein, tons of veggies & fruits, lean dairy, and a little whole grain, mostly oatmeal). I know I was eating a little extra (in the form of hard candies), but not enough to go over my calorie goals enough to actually gain; most days eating around 1600-1800, so I should have been losing.

I stopped weighing myself because it was getting me down, figuring if I kept doing what I was doing I'd keep losing. Wrong. Got on the scale after 3 weeks and it hadn't budged. Just about lost my mind. I have about five weeks until we head north for the summer, where there aren't any exercise faciliies.

SO... I went to the "Who's the Biggest Loser" website. I never saw the show but my husband did, and had described it to me - basically, tons of exercise & very strict calorie counting. I'm in pretty good shape now (apart from the 20 pounds of fat), so I figured, why not, I have the time. So I have boosted my exercise so that I'm burning off 1200-1800 cals per day, and eating between 1100 and 1500, varying it so the body doesn't "adjust". Also drinking a lot of water.

I am here to tell you that it works amazingly well. I'm down five pounds in about four days of this (maybe a bit of water weight, but so what, you can REALLY see the changes in my body). I am VERY careful to get enough nutrients, protein, etc. I eat massive quantities of green veggies, as well, to try not to feel too hungry, and I have not had one teaspoon of refined sugar.

Anyway, if you are stuck & need a boost, this one works.


04-29-2005, 10:12 AM
oops, I meant 1200-1400 cals of exercise.

04-29-2005, 12:09 PM
Wow! Sounds amazing, aren't you tired yet? :rofl:

Just kidding, I'm glad it works so well for you, once I've graduated I will be whooping some serious lardy butt into shape ready for the ceremony, I might give this a try for a while!

04-29-2005, 09:13 PM
If you were eating between 1600-1800 calories a day to lose your initial amount of weight, all you really needed to do to lose more after the plateau was lower it slightly to 1500-1600 per day. Eating in the 1100-1200 range frequently is too low.

Also, you stated you were doing 1 1/2 hour os exercise before-was this per day, or per week?

I must say that I don't agree with the whole "Biggest Loser" plan. The exercise level is extremely high, which is hard to maintain over a long period of time, and the calorie level that goes with it is too low-does this make any sense? If you are exercising for 2+ hours a day-then eating 1100 or 1200 calories on some days isn't going to cut it.
A healthy weight loss after the first few weeks of a WLJ is 1/2 to 2 pounds per week. Losing 5 pounds in 4 days means that you are also losing muscle mass.

04-29-2005, 11:10 PM
I think the Biggest Loser thing thing was too extreme, especially given how heavy some of the people were to begin with. BUT... if you go to the updates on the website, most of them are continuing to do something similar, and continuing to get fitter, and seem pretty positive about the whole thing. So maybe it was the jumpstart they needed (plus it was medically supervised, and probably quite carefully to avoid potential lawsuits).

Anyway, I'm starting what I'm doing now about a million times fitter than those folks were, and what I'm doing is not quite as extreme.

I think most of my initital loss is just water, because I upped my water a lot. I was doing 1.5 hours per day, four of those days with the Masters swim club here, which does a tough workout of around 900 calories (best as I can determine). Now I'm doing between 2 & 3 hours. Calories are between 1200-1500, most days between 1300-1400.

As for the exercise, lots of people do this - my sister in law is a runner in training for a huge race this summer and she runs 3-5 hours a day (she's around 40). Triathletes, etc. They are slightly crazy, for sure, but doing several hours a day of exercise if you make sure you get the nutrients you need at the right times should be safe. I certainly did it when I swam competitively as a teen. Also, I'm not doing super high-intensity exercise, which from my understanding is what eats into muscle mass more. (and I know this is only anecdotal, but my muscles sure don't appear to be getting smaller - I have always been very muscular (for a girl), and when I work them they develop definition easily, and right now I'm loving how my shoulders and upper arms are going from flab to nicely defined).

I'm not planning to do this for a long time, just a few weeks. I doubt it'll do me long term harm, and I suspect that my bod will tell me if there's a problem.

Speaking of massive weight loss, though slightly off topic, my husband did a lot of serious body building when he was in his early twenties. He bulked up to 240 (50 pounds more than his natural weight), using food & protein powders (this was before steroids). Then he went on a canoe trip for four months around a really big lake. He & his buddy had a few staples, plus fishing rods & a gun. They pretty much lived on northern pike and lake trout. He lost something like 90 pounds in those four months, and he didn't have much fat to begin with. Basically, it was doing tons and tons of exercise, and eating lean protein. And when he was done, even though he lost a lot of muscle, he was lean & strong as an ox. So, I doubt that a few weeks of a few less calories in & a few more out will kill me!

(I hereby promise I will update this if I notice any worrisome effects).


05-01-2005, 01:04 AM
If your working out 6 or more days a week maybe your body needs a day off .
I was having a bit of the same happing. I took a couple days off only because I had housework that really needed to get done , otherwise I would have been up at the gym working out. I work out 6 to seven days myself. I work out from a 1hr15min to 1hr30mins.
But every now and then your body needs a little bit of a break.

Keep up the great job youve done a great job so far. Hope you get thru this soon.

05-01-2005, 10:58 AM
Yesterday was day four or five of this new plan of mine. I spent pretty much all of yesterday down at the big sports centre here, where there was a huge swim meet going on with teams up from the States as well as western Canada. I swam in that meet once, in my teens. They all looked so great, and so happy.

I did about 5.5 hours of stuff, over a 7.5 hour period (time out for lunch & watching the meet). I didn't do any intense stuff, but I did do: rowing, elliptical, weights, cycling, track walking, yoga, and then my usual swim with the club. Everything at an easy pace, except for some of the swimming. I reckon conservatively about 2300 calories worth, but I wasn't even particularly tired at the end of it!! I ate just over 1700 calories.

And I had a fantastic day. For a while when I was walking around the track, which is upstairs, and watching the soccer game taking place downstairs in the middle, I got this feeling that I think I last had at about 14 years, I can't describe it, but just that I was one of the many busy jocks around, totally forgot my current situation. I nearly started crying.

I know this is not a practical solution for very many people, but as a way to get really quick results it certainly works. It sounds weird, but there's a dramatic difference between this morning and a week ago.

I hope everyone has a great day filled with inspiration & courage. And fun.


05-01-2005, 11:53 AM
Sue-working out for 5+ hours a day for an extended period of time could actually hurt more than it can help.
You need to make sure that you are resting your muscles between any sort of resistance workout as well. Your muscles need proper recovery time between workouts if you are to gain muscle.
You may not feel any harm right now, but you have only been doing this for a week. You are not going to gain muscle at the rate that you would if you were allowing proper rest, and you are also making yourself more prone to injury.
Please be careful with your body. I take intensive dance workshops that are usually 4 hours+, but I only take them about once a month-and take the next day off for rest.
This is not just about it being practical, it is about it possibly being harmful as well.

05-01-2005, 09:17 PM
Thanks, Aphil, I appreciate it. I'm not doing anything really intense, though. Eg, on the exercise bike I'm going at a really easy pace that doesn't really feel like exercise, I just sit there & watch tv while my legs do their thing. My walk around the track was at a "normal" walking pace, about 4 mph, not "brisk". I'm keeping an eye on my heart rate, and it's not often in the "fat burning" zone, let alone the "cardio zone" on the machines. And I'm being VERY careful to avoid injury, because this is very important to me & I don't want to screw it up. Whenever something twinges AT ALL I either stop completely or switch to something else. I can't afford to get injured. I never run/etc. through pain. I have old injuries (from my bulletproof adolescence) which I still nurse & get medical advice about. And I've watched nutty people work it too hard & screw up & wind up sitting out for months. So, really, I am careful.

Also, I'm not trying to build muscle. My muscles are certainly getting toned, but I don't want them to be bigger. I'm doing light reps on light weights and I only do those a couple of times a week.

Also, yesterday was not typical, it was just that it was easier for me to spend a bunch of time there (in terms of car-sharing), so that's why I did "easier, but longer". I don't have time to do 5 hours on normal days. But it was fun, and nothing hurts.