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Plateaus and water weight

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Old 05-20-2011, 09:18 PM   #1
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Question Plateaus and water weight

I have lost approximately 23 pounds, and for the last full week I have not seen any weight loss. I have not changed my routine, I am still eating the same amount of calories and I not exercising any more or less. I have read that many people reach a plateau at a 10% of body weight which would be about 25 pound loss on me. My question is what are some safe ways to lose either A. water weight or B. move past a plateau without being able to do heavy exercise...ie running, jumping, dancing, etc. I have a bum knee. Please help me find a plan to move past this! I find that it is very upsetting.

In the past I have always reached this point (2 months) and something has always happened, either I stopped being careful with food, or stopped exercising, but for once I have stayed on course. To not lose anything has been very discouraging.

I want to be proactive though, so please share your own stories and knowledge!!!
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Old 05-20-2011, 09:57 PM   #2
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Try fiddling with your calorie intake. Make sure your sodium is low, your protein high, your carbs low. If you've been eating at 1400 calories/day, try going down to 1200 for a few days and see what happens. It's not uncommon for plateaus to last a few weeks, but the weight will come off if you don't get discouraged and go off plan.
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Old 05-20-2011, 09:59 PM   #3
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What about lowering your carbs to get past a plateau? How many carbs do you eat now?

Water weight- the safest to flush water weight is to drink more water. I have also heard of apple cider vinegar flush if you can stand to drink the stuff. I can't remember the exact recipe but I am sure if you googled it you'd find it. I take diurex occasionally especially when I know the water retention is from my period. That bloating makes me get awful cramps.

The plateau is SO FRUSTRATING. I just had a three week plateau... I stuck to my exercise and my eating plan. My calorie intake is a bout as low as I am willing to let it get. It took three weeks of sticking to it which is so hard when you are discouraged... but then for no reason I dropped two pounds and fully expect to see another drop again...
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Old 05-20-2011, 10:23 PM   #4
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Maybe step up your exercise regiment, and eat high-potassium foods (esp veggies like spinach) to help get rid of your water weight.
If you're losing weight very slowly (1-2 pounds per week) then it's fat - if you're losing up towards 5 pounds per week, it's probably jsut water weight.
Good luck!
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Old 05-21-2011, 12:07 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stacygee View Post
What about lowering your carbs to get past a plateau? How many carbs do you eat now?

Water weight- the safest to flush water weight is to drink more water. I have also heard of apple cider vinegar flush if you can stand to drink the stuff. I can't remember the exact recipe but I am sure if you googled it you'd find it. I take diurex occasionally especially when I know the water retention is from my period. That bloating makes me get awful cramps.

The plateau is SO FRUSTRATING. I just had a three week plateau... I stuck to my exercise and my eating plan. My calorie intake is a bout as low as I am willing to let it get. It took three weeks of sticking to it which is so hard when you are discouraged... but then for no reason I dropped two pounds and fully expect to see another drop again...

That is a good idea, I will have to go back and track my carb intake...I know it is not as high as it used to be, but I could afford to drop it lower.

What about sauna time for loss of excess water? I just don't know enough about saunas.

Thanks so much for the advice, especially about the time period it took for you...at least now I know that if that happens that eventually I will get past it if I stick with my plan.

Thanks again!
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Old 05-21-2011, 12:09 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ferumbras View Post
Try fiddling with your calorie intake. Make sure your sodium is low, your protein high, your carbs low. If you've been eating at 1400 calories/day, try going down to 1200 for a few days and see what happens. It's not uncommon for plateaus to last a few weeks, but the weight will come off if you don't get discouraged and go off plan.
Do you happen to know off the top of your head what a recommended sodium intake would be for a situation like this?

I eat between 1300-1400 calories a day so it probably wouldn't be a stretch to go lower for a bit.

Thanks for the advice!
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Old 05-21-2011, 12:12 AM   #7
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Here is another question, someone my husband spoke to suggested ramping up the calories to 2000 for a day and burning off extra calories with intense exercise. Has anyone ever heard of this?

AND if I do exercise, it must be swimming...which burns a ton of calories anyway. I looked up a calculator that suggested that for my weight it would take approximately two hours of swimming to burn 1000 calories. I am not sure how accurate that seems to be. Anyone have any reliable calorie/activity calculators?
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Old 05-21-2011, 12:27 AM   #8
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Unfortunately, I don't know the numbers for sodium intake.

Regarding your question about burning off extra calories, I say don't go that route! It takes a lot of exercise to burn off 1 lb of fat (something like walking 35 miles to burn off a pound). There's no way you're going to manage that. Exercise is good for being healthy, not so great for actually losing weight.
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Old 05-21-2011, 12:53 AM   #9
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Do you know how much sodium you are eating now? I try to stay under 1500mg/day. Lots of low carb food is also high sodium.

I just wait the plateaus out... mine are 8-10 days so I think of it more as a stall than a plateau. I'll lose for 3 days, stall for 10 days, lose for 3 days... etc. I am used to it now so it's not as frustrating.
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Old 05-21-2011, 01:30 AM   #10
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Its almost impossible without a heart rate monitor to tell how many calories are burned during exercise. It depends on the intensity of the exercise, the individual's metabolism, etc. Cardio *generally* burns 300 cals for 30 minutes, so it's possible you burn 1000 for two hours of swimming. But it's also possible you burn 700, or 1300. It's hard to tell.

I think what Ferumbras is trying to say is that most people who count calories burned from exercise end up way overestimating how many calories they are burning and eat up overeating as a result. That said, weight loss is about caloric deficits, and exercise can help create a caloric deficit. If you eat 1800 calories a day, your BMR is 1900, and you burn about 500 calories a day exercising, you create a deficit of 600 calories a day. To lose one pound of fat requires a deficit of 3500 calories, so you would theoretically lose 1 lb a week with this deficit.

Some people "eat back" the calories burned- i.e. if they are scheduled to eat 1500 calories a day to lose weight and burn 200 calories exercising, they will eat 1700 calories. But what Ferumbras is suggesting is to not do that, to focus on creating your deficit from reducing food intake, and sort of 'banking' calories burned from exercise as a bonus deficit. I'd recommend the same thing; unless you are really hungry from exercising (and if you are swimming for 2 hours a day I imagine you would be), it may be worth it to take in some extra protein and carbs to supply your body the energy it needs. Just make sure you don't assume you are burning 1000 calories from swimming and eat 1000 extra calories a day. I always underestimate the calories I burn from exercise and either don't eat them back or eat additional protein if I'm very hungry (which I'm usually not).
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Old 05-22-2011, 10:46 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by indiblue View Post
Its almost impossible without a heart rate monitor to tell how many calories are burned during exercise. It depends on the intensity of the exercise, the individual's metabolism, etc. Cardio *generally* burns 300 cals for 30 minutes, so it's possible you burn 1000 for two hours of swimming. But it's also possible you burn 700, or 1300. It's hard to tell.

I think what Ferumbras is trying to say is that most people who count calories burned from exercise end up way overestimating how many calories they are burning and eat up overeating as a result. That said, weight loss is about caloric deficits, and exercise can help create a caloric deficit. If you eat 1800 calories a day, your BMR is 1900, and you burn about 500 calories a day exercising, you create a deficit of 600 calories a day. To lose one pound of fat requires a deficit of 3500 calories, so you would theoretically lose 1 lb a week with this deficit.

Some people "eat back" the calories burned- i.e. if they are scheduled to eat 1500 calories a day to lose weight and burn 200 calories exercising, they will eat 1700 calories. But what Ferumbras is suggesting is to not do that, to focus on creating your deficit from reducing food intake, and sort of 'banking' calories burned from exercise as a bonus deficit. I'd recommend the same thing; unless you are really hungry from exercising (and if you are swimming for 2 hours a day I imagine you would be), it may be worth it to take in some extra protein and carbs to supply your body the energy it needs. Just make sure you don't assume you are burning 1000 calories from swimming and eat 1000 extra calories a day. I always underestimate the calories I burn from exercise and either don't eat them back or eat additional protein if I'm very hungry (which I'm usually not).
That makes sense and my husband and I made a decision at the start of this not to do that. Calories burned off by exercise are simply a benefit for us! I do have good news! After about 7-8 days of no weight change (and a strange weight gain O_o) I have dropped back down to where I was before the plateau and have seen more improvement since. I think it may have been all the activity of my last two days that helped move it on. Thank you once again for all your help and advice. Now I know not to freak out if it happens again!
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Old 05-22-2011, 10:48 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by juliana77 View Post
Do you know how much sodium you are eating now? I try to stay under 1500mg/day. Lots of low carb food is also high sodium.

I just wait the plateaus out... mine are 8-10 days so I think of it more as a stall than a plateau. I'll lose for 3 days, stall for 10 days, lose for 3 days... etc. I am used to it now so it's not as frustrating.
Good to know! Now it won't be so confusing and upsetting when it happens again! Thank you so much for sharing that with me.

I tracked my sodium yesterday and it was below 1500, but that doesn't mean I had gone above that before then. I will continue to track it and see difference it makes.

Thanks again!
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Old 05-22-2011, 01:13 PM   #13
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Thanks, indiblue, for saying it better than I ever could!
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Old 05-22-2011, 10:54 PM   #14
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Thanks, indiblue, for saying it better than I ever could!
It was a joint effort!
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Old 05-27-2011, 03:56 PM   #15
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Default Yay!

Just letting everyone know that I weighed in this morning and I am down to 230 with a total loss of 26 pounds.
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