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How to Break the Plateau...

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Old 05-04-2007, 12:09 AM   #1
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Red face How to Break the Plateau...

On January 1st of this year, I weighed myself only to discover I had passed the 200 lb threshold. I decided it was time to get serious about losing weight and living a healthier lifestyle. Since then, I have lost 25 pounds,but as of late, my weightloss has slowed down considerably. I had hoped to get down to a nice bathing suit weight by this summer, but this plateau has confounded me. It is always one step forward, one step back. I do have some theories on why I haven't been losing, but I would like people to weigh in (pun intended).

Could it be that I'm eating too few calories? I'm 5'7", female, weigh 176 and I eat about 1200 calories a day, mostly fruits, veggies with some lean meats.

I've also started lifting weights which I know can add pounds, but I wasn't losing much before then.

I try and run four or five times a day for 30 minutes but alergies have slowed me down some.

What do you think? Should I ramp up more? Try higher protein? Slow down and add more calories?
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Old 05-04-2007, 12:47 AM   #2
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How long have you been at this weight?

Are you losing inches? Are your clothes fitting differently?

1200 cals might be too little.
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Old 05-04-2007, 12:55 AM   #3
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you need to up the calories since you are weight lifting also try to add more water. just a suggestion.
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Old 05-04-2007, 07:13 AM   #4
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Hey! 25 pounds is great! Don't forget that!

Your age also goes into the calories calculation--but you don't sound like you're over 40. Are you?

I think you meant you run four or five times a week, not day.

How do you track your calories? Are you using FitDay or some other tool? I ask because it's easy to underestimate calories.

Do you stay on track with 1200 and then go off program once or twice a week and eat more, maybe a lot more? That will sometimes stall weightloss.

Based on what you've said, it could be that 1200 is too low. One thing to try is to raise your calories to 1300 or 1400 and see if that changes anything--up or down. Stay there for at least a week--I am an advocate of NOT making sudden, large changes in calorie intake. Drinking more water is also a good thing, if you're not getting 64 to 80 ounces a day.

And most of all, be patient! Plateaus can go on for a long time--in fact, some folks here say that it has to be a month before it's a plateau. Don't give up! Stick with it!

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Old 05-04-2007, 07:25 AM   #5
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You said your loss has slowed, not stalled completely. How often do you weigh yourself? Do you track your weight over time?

Another thing to remember is that the closer you get to your goal, the harder it is to lose the weight. The more you have to lose, the faster you lose it. Since you don't have as much to lose now as you did when you started, it will come off slower.
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Old 05-04-2007, 07:43 AM   #6
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Eating 1200 calories a day should provide you with a weightLOSS. Are you tracking your calories?- carefully. Those pesky little calories really have a way of sneaking up on us. Maybe you want to try tracking them really, really closely for a few days and see what numbers you come up with. After you do that you will know where you can make adjustments.

IMO, it not only matters the amount of calories, but also the quality of calories. In other words I lose more steadily if I eat low fat proteins and veggies and high fiber instead of 1200 calories of high carbs and the such.

You also mentioned you haven't been walking as much due to allergies. Why not consider some indoor exercise?

Trial and error is the only way to bust a plateau. So try some different things. Be patient and hang in there. You'll figure it out. This weightloss process is sometimes very tedious and frustrating - but so very worth it. Good luck.
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Old 05-04-2007, 12:52 PM   #7
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To answer people's questions:
Yes, I did mean I jog four or five times a week, not day

I've recently started using fitday to track my caloric input.

I'm drinking pleanty of water: 2 liters a day and 2 cups of coffee (sometimes uncaffinated tea as well)

I haven't stopped losing weight but I have slowed considerably. For the first 12 weeks of my diet I was losing about 1.75 pounds a week. In the past 6 weeks I've lost three pounds. I know that that is nothing to turn my nose at, but it is frustrating.

If I were to add another 100 or 200 calories, what should I add? The tempting answer is of course a cookie or ice cream but I know I can do better. Right now I eat cheerios for breakfast, a salad with a bit of lean protein for lunch, a balanced dinner, and one fruit and one vegetable for snacks. Should I add more protein if I’m trying to build muscle?
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Old 05-04-2007, 01:37 PM   #8
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I might try to add some protein in with breakfast. It doesn't need to be greasy bacon ro sausage or anything, but maybe something like a small handful of almonds--that'll easily add up to 100-200 calories. But that's just my suggestion since I never understand how anyone can survive on cold cereal for lunch--even a high-fiber, higher protein cereal leaves me starving not long after
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Old 05-04-2007, 01:46 PM   #9
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I'm just a little puzzled though, why would you consider adding calories if you're trying to lose weight? I know for me I have been steadily decreasing my calories as I get smaller, because my body no longer requires the same amount of calories that it used AND I am trying to create a deficit. If you were to add another 100 or 200 calories, how about a low fat yogurt or you can add some avocado or nuts or beans to your salad. All very healthy additions. Or perhaps an extra snack of baby carrots, sliced peppers and a tablespoon of hummus.

Anyway I know it can be frustrating, but really 3 pounds in six weeks averages out to 1/2 lb, which is really, really well within a "normal" range of weightloss. As we get smaller we're naturally going to lose it slower. This weightloss process is often frustrating. The only way to know for sure what will "work" is through trial and error. Am often annoying and slow process. But eventually we figure it out. And it sure is worth all the effort.
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Old 05-04-2007, 01:52 PM   #10
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Quote:
'm just a little puzzled though, why would you consider adding calories if you're trying to lose weight? I know for me I have been steadily decreasing my calories as I get smaller, because my body no longer requires the same amount of calories that it used AND I am trying to create a deficit.
I'm considering adding calories because I worry that if I am at too much of a deficit, my metabolism will slow down, which may account for the slowing in weight loss.
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Old 05-04-2007, 02:03 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Romeos Girly View Post
I'm considering adding calories because I worry that if I am at too much of a deficit, my metabolism will slow down, which may account for the slowing in weight loss.
I really wouldn't worry too much that this is the case with you, though of course you never know. Eating 1200 calories worth shouldn't get you too much of a deficit. Because a deficit is what we want in this case. I guess the only way you will know for sure is to check it out by tracking your calories very carefully for 2 weeks or so and see what occurs. We are all so different and need to figure out for ourselves just what will work. Good luck.
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Old 05-04-2007, 02:16 PM   #12
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Before I did anything else, I'd increase my exercise if I were you. Cardio exercise, like running, is your big calorie burner. So when you aren't able to do it as often, your body is going to have a lot more trouble creating the calorie deficit needed for weight loss.

In my opinion, cutting down on running and then adding calories would be a recipe for a weight gain. I can't imagine how those two things would cause you to lose fat.

How about some indoor cardio? Do you belong to a gym? Do you have any equipment at home, like a treadmill, bike, or elliptical? I would recommend that you shoot for 5 - 6 days of moderate intensity cardio, at least 30 minutes at a time (more is OK). Try adding in cardio intervals - bursts of high intensity activity.

I'll bet that more exercise will get the scale moving again.
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Old 05-04-2007, 03:15 PM   #13
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I agree--if you're still losing, although slowly, you aren't really on a plateau, so there's nothing to break. rockinrobin and Meg have some good tips there--I'd see how it goes to keep your calories the same and increase your cardio.

Jay
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Old 05-04-2007, 05:09 PM   #14
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Thanks for all the great advise. I am going to keep careful track of my calories and try and get out running again. This is my first thread on 3FC and I am blown away by how nice and helpful everyone is!
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Old 05-05-2007, 02:00 AM   #15
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Wow, RomeosGirly, are you my twin???

Quote:
Originally Posted by Romeos Girly View Post
On January 1st of this year, I weighed myself only to discover I had passed the 200 lb threshold. I decided it was time to get serious about losing weight and living a healthier lifestyle.
That's when I decided, too. And I had passed the same threshold...was 202.

Quote:
Since then, I have lost 25 pounds,but as of late, my weightloss has slowed down considerably.
Ditto and ditto! I've lost 25, too, almost all of it in the first 3 months.

Quote:
I'm 5'7", female, weigh 176 and I eat about 1200 calories a day
I'm 5'7", female, weigh 177 and eat about 1200-1500 cals a day!

Quote:
I try and run four or five times a day for 30 minutes but alergies have slowed me down some.
I've been slowed down by a cold that's been building for a couple of weeks and taken a lot out of me. I've been coughing a lot for days now, to the point it's hard to fall asleep when I start coughing every few minutes. Hence, I'm still up at 2 am.

Anyway, I don't have anything to offer that hasn't already been said. I just thought it was cool how much we had in common!
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