Weight Loss Support - Plateau?

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05-29-2005, 02:25 PM
I've been dieting now for about 3 1/2 months and have lost 32 pounds :) , however the last 3 weeks now I have just seemed to stop losing. I've read about weight loss plateau's and suggestions such as increasing exercise and being careful about not eating enough calories but can't seem to get started again! Talk about discouraging!

I walk between 2 to 3 miles 6 or 7 times a week unless the weather is bad, then I do a "walk at home" video tape. I also have started a weight lifting routine that I am doing 3 times a week. Using fiday, I am eating between 1500 and 1700 calories per day. The 1700 usually only happens once or twice a week. I am usually closer to 1500 per day.

What am I doing wrong? Any suggestions would be appreciated. This is really starting to get depressing.


05-29-2005, 03:47 PM
You aren't doing anything wrong. Press on and this too shall pass.

There are some things that you can do to try and jump start your weight loss again (such as the things you mentioned). But, we are all different and they all work for somebody but none of them works for everybody. I've worked through a couple of plateaus in the past few months and it took something different each time to get the scale moving again - but it DID move again. Try gauging your progress by how your clothes fit or have your measurements taken. At this point they are probably the most accurate reflection of how you are doing.

Also, I've found that plateaus are a good time to try new things - new exercise, new foods, etc. The truth of the matter is that part of the excitement of weight loss is watching the number on the scale go lower and lower. When that stops for a while it is easy to get bored with the whole program. So, instead of counting on the scale for your fun, find something else within your plan to get excited about and look forward to.

Good luck and keep up the good work!

05-29-2005, 04:32 PM
Great advice Jawsmom! I keep reading these "plateau posts" because I am anticipating the time when I will hit one and want to know what to do to stay motivated. It's so encouraging to read stories like yours!

djstorey, I just have to say, "WOW!" You are doing so well. Keep with it!

05-29-2005, 08:16 PM
Hang in there, I am now on my 3rd plateau since starting WW's 1 1/2 yrs ago...they will break, you just have to keep shaking things up until the ydo

05-29-2005, 08:26 PM
Thanks for the encouragement! I guess logically I know that I will get past this but it is just so frustrating. I'm trying for a couple of weeks to up my calories just a bit. I think I was losing more weight when I was eating around the 1800 per day max calories. Now that I'm eating around 1500 most days I'm stuck and I'm exercising even more than before. It's hard when you have a large amount to lose, you want it to go quick but of course that's not the way to do it!

05-29-2005, 09:18 PM
congrats on yr weightloss, 32lbs in three months that is excellent, how much do u weigh, and tell us what a typical food day for u is??

05-29-2005, 11:53 PM
I now weigh 240, started at 272. Typical day for me is breakfast; 1 cup cereal, (cheerios, special k, or corn chex) with some kind of fresh fruit and non fat milk, lunch is either a lean pocket ultra or a small whole grain lowfat tortilla with turkey, lots of spinach, salsa and 1 oz of lowfat cheese. For dinner, since I have my husband and 3 kids to consider, I eat normal dinner foods but have learned to cut down on the fat while cooking and measure out portions while going heavy on the vegies. Snacks are fresh fruit, vegies, triscuit crackers, pretzels and when I'm low on protein I'll eat a small piece or two of lean jerky. I'm trying to keep this diet as normal as possible so I can learn to eat right for the rest of my life! I figure if I don't like the diet, it'll never work. Luckily too, I've learned that I actually am enjoying the exercise! I think that has really helped to get me this far. Now, if I can just get past this stalling out!

05-30-2005, 12:27 AM
I noticed you said you were trying to up your calories a bit. That could be a good move. If you knock your calories down AND increase your exercise you could actually be using too much and not taking in enough for your body to work efficently. Essentially your body would be fighting you harder in order to hang onto the fat stores thinking you're actually trying to starve it.

I found with myself when I dropped my calories to 1200-1300 and increased exercise my weightloss practically halted with a screech of the breaks. Very frustrating when you *think* you're doing the right thing! I started to eat more (1600-1800) calories a day and kept the exercise the same and the weight started melting off again. Now that I am maintaining I still eat anywhere from 1400-2000 calories a day and my exercise is a brisk 60 minute walk most days of the week.

I found that either I increase the amount of exercise I do and keep the calorie intake the same, or I decrease the amount of calories and keep the exercise the same in order to lose weight. If I change both then I used to stall or plateau.

You've done so great already though, congrats!


05-30-2005, 10:05 AM
Livi, I'm glad you told me that. I've been wondering if I was right to think that maybe I had pushed myself too far. I think that when I saw the scale moving in the right direction I kind of became obsessed. Now I just need to convince myself that it is okay that I eat a little more rather than feel guilty everytime I go over 1500 calories! Yesterday I made myself eat just over 1600 and for now I'll try to keep in the area of 1600-1800 myself and see what happens. I definitely don't want to back down on the exercise since I find myself enjoying it so much and I know that it's good for me.

05-30-2005, 10:09 AM
On the other side of all this, when I had plateaued for quite some time, the only thing that kickstarted my loss again was to "decrease" my calories to around 1300/day and increase my exercise to around 90 min./day. It's different for everyone. So if you increase the calories and it doesn't work, try another approach. But don't give up. You just have to find the balance somewhere in there that works for your body.

05-30-2005, 10:40 AM
You are doing just fine-the plateau should pass. If you are really concerned about it though, try some of these things:

~switch your Special K cereal to something similar in calories, but whole grain/higher fiber like Bran Flakes, raisin bran, or Kashi brand cereal. You may be consuming a similar amount of calories there, but your body will absorb less of them due to some of the cereal content being fiber. In general try to eat a lot of fiber if you can-brown rice over white, whole wheat bread/pasta/pita/tortilla over white, fruits and vegetables, oatmeal-and avoid carbs and starches with very little fiber content in them.

~Shake up your exercise routine a little. You are adding the weights, which is wonderful. On your walking days-try to go an extra 1/4 or 1/2 mile each time. It may not sound like much-but over the course of a week you are adding a couple more miles in there.

~Since you are currently eating 1500 most days, and 1700 on a couple days a week-see if you can try to cut the higher calorie days back to 1600 or so.

06-01-2005, 04:00 PM
You've already received a lot of great advice, but one more thing that seems to help is drinking LOTS of water especially if you aren't already.

06-01-2005, 04:22 PM
However long it lasts, though, don't give up. My plateau lasted 2 years. No joke. One thing that helped me recently was reading the Volumetrics books. A great way to get more bang for your calorie, so to speak :)

06-01-2005, 04:23 PM
Flxthct took the words out of my mouth! The only thing that's seemed to break a plateau for me is drinking a lot of water (I didn't used to drink anywhere near enough). I haven't plateaued again (yet) since I started drinking my water. Also, if you eat really low-fat foods, try adding some more healthy fats to your diet (like olive oil or nuts).

You're doing great! We all get stuck sometimes. :)

06-01-2005, 08:04 PM
Just a thought :idea: ...you said that you recently added weight training to your schedule. It might just be that you are putting on alot of muscle. I know that I stopped losing on the scale when I started lifting weights but I definitely kept losing inches and started to firm up. Maybe you should focus on the way that your clothes are fitting or measure yourself. You may still be getting smaller but not see it on the scale. It happened to me :D

06-02-2005, 01:00 AM
I really appreciate everything you all have said! It's so nice to be able to bounce things off of others. :) I really know no one else with weight problems that I can talk to! Anyways, not sure yet but I stepped on the scale today and am showing a 2lb loss! I'm not holding my breath but I'm hoping that is the end of this plateau! It's hard to believe that it can last so long!

I'm not sure what has gotten my going again. Maybe the weight lifting I've been doing is finally helping, I do drink lots of water, that's really all I drink besides a cup of coffee in the morning and I've also gone ahead and upped my calories just a bit. I guess we'll see if the weight keeps coming off.

One thing I did realize is that when I used one of the calorie burning calculators online is that I am burning more calories exercising than what I had realized. If those calculators are even close to being correct then my calorie intake after exercise was only about 1000 calories a day and sometimes less. I've heard you shouldn't go below 1200 or you start to burn muscle and your metabolism can decrease.

Anyways, whatever it was I'm hopeful that it's over now so I can get on with this weight loss! Besides, we're going to Hawaii :cool: next month and I'd like to be at least a little smaller!

Thanks again!