Weight Loss Support - The inevitable plateau




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Tealeaf
09-28-2005, 02:27 PM
When I started my weight loss, everyone told me that sooner or later I would hit a plateau. I accepted that intellectually. But I lost close to fifty pounds, and pretty steadily without that much trouble. I began to think that perhaps my new way of living would let me continue on my path without stalling out.

But, for the past month more or less, stalling out is exactly what I have been doing. I was hovering at 213 for about two weeks, then it seemed to go into the 210 range for a couple of weeks, then Monday of this week I was back to 212! Now, this morning, back to 210.

This might not seem like that big of a deal. After all, I _have_ lost close to fifty pounds, what am I really complaining about? But it is frustrating to me. At 208 I can say that I have lost exactly fifty pounds... it's hard to be so close for so long and not get there. Plus I'm not that far from being in the 100's for the first time in, well, decades. I still am having trouble picturing myself in that range, but I had gotten to the point where I really believed that I would get there sooner rather than later. And ya, basically I'm the impatient type. I want to get on with the program, darn it!

I'm not wringing my hands in despair. But I am not really happy, either. I have no intention in giving up my new way of life. Even if I never lose another pound, ever again, things are much better for me know than they were before. And at least part of my brain seems pretty convinced that this isn't going to last forever.

I've been watching what I eat for the past couple of weeks, and I haven't had any over the top diet blowouts. I'm still exercising. This week, I've decided to up the exercise I do. Instead of going for a walk or using the elliptical, I've been doing both. And going back to lifting weights again, though not as heavily as before so I don't hurt my arm again. I'm hoping that the increase in working out will kickstart my metabolism in the right direction.

So, any advice on things I might try to do? Or just ride it out doing what I am doing, and hoping for the best? Sorry for how long this turned out to be, or if I seem whiny.


lucky
09-28-2005, 03:57 PM
I've had to weather a couple of plateaus and, while they are frustrating, they aren't the end of the world.

The first one I mixed things up - changed the exercises I did, changed the food I ate, began staggering my calories each day (my weekly average stayed the same), etc. Not long after that the scale began to move again. I can't say for sure that the changes I made were there reason. It may very well have been that the scale would have started going down on its own anyway. Who knows. But, if nothing else, mixing things up kept me from getting bored. I had been eating the same things and doing the same exercises for so long that they didn't really take much concentration on my part. I could do it all with my eyes closed. Trying new foods meant that I had to start paying attention to recipes again, new exercises meant really focusing on what I was doing, and staggering my calories meant putting extra effort into making sure the week still balanced out and I stayed within my calorie range. If nothing else, all of these things gave me something to think about other than the scale.

The second plateau I just went with. I mentally considered myself on a maintainence break. I still weighed regularly but I did so without the expectation of having lost any weight. I got on for no other reason than to make sure I wasn't gaining anything. It was a much needed breather. I didn't change how I ate (although I did up my calories just a bit) or how I exercised. I didn't need a break from the lifestyle I needed a break from the emotional drain caused by sweating over the scale week after week. Pretty soon I felt like I could dive in again with the same enthusiasm that I had back in January. I buckled down and the scale started moving again.

tiempobar
09-28-2005, 04:04 PM
Hi there TeaLeaf,

I have been on the Curves plan now for a couple of weeks, and basically their way of dealing with a plateau is to up the calories for a couple of days, with healthy food of course, then go back down in calories.

For the first week you have apprx. 1200 calories, the second phase (which lasts until you either hit your goal or plateau) you get apprx 1600 calories a day. Then there is maintenance which is phase three and it is supposed to help you through those plateaus and of course those times where once you hit your goal weight you may go up a few pounds. You basically increase your calories during a plateau for 2 or 3 days and then go back to the 1200 or 1600 calories a day, depending on what you think will work for you. I would personally go back to the 1200 for one week then back to phase two because I have alot more weight to lose. This system is supposed to end the lifetime of dieting by making your metabolism speed up.

There is also a low carb and a high protein plan to choose from. I'm a carb-a-holic, so it's high protein for me! Right now I am allowed apprx. 120 - 130 grams of carbs a day.

I am not there yet, so I have no experience with phase three, but so far I've lost 4 lbs on the first phase and I will find out tonight if I have lost more in phase two.

It seems to be working, so maybe if you up your calories for a couple of days then go back to where you were doing well before, you may be able to break that plateau!

Good luck!


sarahyu
09-29-2005, 09:35 AM
I can relate completely, I hit a plataue last August and haven't broken it yet. I fluctuate between 158-161. My doctor told me to maintain for awhile before I try to lose more. I'm treating it as maintainence right now. Occasionally I get serious, keep track of my calories and exercise and I can get down to 155, but then I get complacent and stop being so careful.
I'm just excited that I've been able to keep the weight off without much trouble, I've even had several splurges that haven't completely derailed my weight loss.

Just be patient, keep an eye on what you're eating and your workouts, mix things up a bit like you've been told, change your workout a little.

Have fun, enjoy the weight you have lost, you'll shake the rest loose soon.
Sarah

Tealeaf
09-29-2005, 02:17 PM
Thanks for the good advice, everyone. I know this isn't the end of the world, or of my world even, but it is still nice to hear about it from others. I will try your suggestions, and weather this thing out.

aphil
09-30-2005, 10:10 AM
Since you are hovering around the 210 range, what calorie level are you currently staying in? If you started out at 1600, 1700, or 1800-now might be the time to move it down about 100 calories a day from what you average now.

I would also recommend that you do something to shake up your exercise routine as well.

The third bit of advice would be to shake up your diet a bit. Try to eat cleaner, and concentrate a little more on fruits, veggies, lean meat like chicken and fish, and skim dairy for a little while and see if it helps.