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Plateau - Some ideas - (Beach Patrol, note)

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Old 08-11-2008, 08:29 AM   #1
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Arrow Plateau - Some ideas - (Beach Patrol, note)

Hi, all,

Beach Patrol posted earlier this month about being stuck. Well, I've been stuck also, for months. What worked to get my initial 50 pounds off isn't working so well anymore. I've made little changes here and there, but clearly they weren't enough.

What was happening in my case--I would go along fine for 7-10 days, drop a pound or so, and then become very hungry. I'd overeat my target for a day or two, and my weight would pop up. This has been going on for months.

Insanity is doing the same thing over and over, and expecting different results. I decided to try a new approach, and I thought I'd share it with you. Here are the things I've been doing:

- Check your FitDay records. I've been saying that I'm following the Zone plan for nutrients, which is 30%-40%-30% protein-carb-fat. So I went back over my FitDay and got the average for the last several months. What it showed was that my protein was only 23%, or around 73 grams per day. That is lower than not only the Zone, but most other weight loss approaches (low fat, low carb, etc.). And, my fat and carb intakes were higher.

- Check your weighing and measuring. Because I needed to increase my protein, I started weighing foods rigorously again. Come to find out that 4 ounces of chicken is a LOT of chicken--more than I had been thinking without weighing it. And folks, I've been weighing food for a long time. So it helps to get a reality check.

- Sort your foods out differently. I realized that the calories in my meals and snacks were too close to being the same--e.g., 300 for a meal, 200 for a snack. What I think this meant for me was that I was always not quite satisfied... not hungry after a meal, but not satisfied, either, and having to have that snack. So--I've been eating bigger meals and smaller snacks, or skipping a snack altogether. For example, 350-400 cals for breakfast. No morning snack. I have not felt like I needed a snack.

- Change what you're eating, alter your plan. I have been relying on Lean Cuisines for years now. They are convenient and provide portion control. But, most of them just do not have enough protein. I need a lot of protein per meal if I'm gonna hit my 30% protein target (which for 1400 calories is 105 GRAMS of protein!). So, I've dropped most of the Lean Cuisines and am cooking chicken and lean meats--also eating a whole can of water-packed tuna at a time, instead of only part. And weighing everything. And eating a lot of vegetables.

So far I'm down 1 pound in 4 days, without changing my calorie intake. If anything it's been higher--I had been trying to keep it close to 1200, and now I'm up to 1300-1400 and STILL lost a pound. I know from experience not to get excited yet... but this does feel different from what I've done in the past.

Jay

Last edited by JayEll : 08-11-2008 at 10:19 AM.
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Old 08-11-2008, 08:39 AM   #2
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Jay, I love your logical approach to this!

Also, you wrote,

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Originally Posted by JayEll View Post
Sort your foods out differently. I realized that the calories in my meals and snacks were too close to being the same--e.g., 300 for a meal, 200 for a snack. What I think this meant for me was that I was always not quite satisfied... not hungry after a meal, but not satisfied, either, and having to have that snack. So--I've been eating bigger meals and smaller snacks, or skipping a snack altogether. For example, 350-400 cals for breakfast. No morning snack. I have not felt like I needed a snack.
I agree with this. I have done the 5-6 mini-meals thing in the past, but I rarely felt satisfied. Besides, planning snacks became too time-consuming and made me think about food even more (something that is definitely counterproductive!).

Congratulations on your success!
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Old 08-11-2008, 08:51 AM   #3
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Hey there Jay!! Sounds like you're on to something. Yay!!!

Good for you for not giving up. I especially like how you've pointed out the definition of "insantity". Good to remember.

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Insanity is doing the same thing over and over, and expecting different results
I'm excited for you. Your plan sounds, well, sound. Good luck!
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Old 08-11-2008, 09:47 AM   #4
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Good troubleshooting skills! I'm a calorie counter, not on SB, but I find that I do have to keep an eye on my food choice trends, even when I am staying within target. If I see more grain and starchy veggies (not to mention treats) creeping into my diet, I know it's time to focus on getting more greens and protein.
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Old 08-11-2008, 11:13 AM   #5
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Hey Jay! -
that's GREAT! - and I agree with you 100% - I thought I was eating enough protein too, but after talking to a nutritionist, I discovered that I wasn't. So as of Saturday, I am eating MORE protein. I'll pop back in here a week or so later & give y'all a REport.

But here's a piece of goody-good news: even tho I haven't lost any poundage with my current plan, apparently all that swimming is paying off. I've lost nearly an inch (total) in my thighs. So, yay me for that small success!
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Old 08-11-2008, 02:05 PM   #6
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Beach Patrol, COOL! Way to go on those thighs!

And I'm glad to hear what your nutritionist had to say--confirmation for my theory.

Let's both check back in in a week or so...

Jay
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Old 08-11-2008, 02:08 PM   #7
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Thanks for posting this. I two have been stuck with the same 10 pounds (up and down and up and down and up) for two years now (after loosing 50). I do good for a bit, dont see results and give up... do good for a bit... etc.

I stopped calorie counting and started weight watchers.... still stuck.

I have started trying to eat 10+ superfoods daily but only in the last week so can't say yet.

One thing about weight watchers I find I don't eat as much protein because they focus so much on fiber... so my protein is low for sure, maybe I need to up this as well.

Just good to know I am not alone.
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Old 08-11-2008, 03:33 PM   #8
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I am also stuck in the Plateau for about 2 months..Your ideas would help me too..All the best Jay
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Old 08-11-2008, 04:00 PM   #9
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Jay, what a great post. We talk on here so much about sustainable lifestyle changes, which are really important, but I have found that I have had to tweak my nutrition and exercise as things have gone along. What worked for me 35 pounds ago did not work 20 pounds ago, andI have continued to refine my food and exercise plan. As you may know, I have gone from calorie counting and cardio, to lots of protein/clean calories, weights, and cardio. That is how I broke my plateau that had killed my previous weight loss efforts. Congrats on the pounds!

And congrats on the inches, Beach! You are such an inspiration!
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Old 08-11-2008, 04:15 PM   #10
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Wow, Jay, I really admire your scientific approach. I am more of the "let's eyeball it and see how it goes" person (in some areas). On one hand, it is scary that something so relatively simple as a weight loss takes requires so much detailed analysis (in order to progress further), on the other hand it is great to know you are such an analytical mind and a chick to go for advice.
I am very impressed!
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Old 08-11-2008, 07:39 PM   #11
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WOW Jay- I reallllly appreciate this post of yours. I have been struggling this summer and gained back this summer about 17 pounds since I got frustrated about being stuck at 194 and being HUNGRY and thought "what's the use my body isn't doing anything!" Wrong- my body was just simply maintaining and I was not actively doing any more changes or trying harder like you. Lesson learned obviously. But what you said about Lean Cuisine not providing enough protein is exactly why I have not really done the whole tv dinner thing for an easy work lunch since I never feel quite satisfied after eating one and only now will eat one if I have a very light and not busy day. But thank you so much for posting this!

BeachPatrol-WTG!!!
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Old 08-19-2008, 07:57 AM   #12
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Hi folks,

I'm bumping this back up to report on my progress. I have felt better and more energetic with more protein, and I have really enjoyed being able to eat more fresh foods. My weight dropped 3 pounds in the first five days. Unfortunately, it then did its usual thing and went back up. It's now ten days since I changed my eating, and I'm right back at my start weight again.

I wish I had something better to report, but this is what's happened. I guess it's time to admit that I'm a maintainer at this weight. Well, that's not a bad thing.

Jay
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Old 08-19-2008, 08:09 AM   #13
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Hi Jay,

Thanks for updating..I am also struck in for about few months in this plateau..I guess this is the time for me also to accept this is the weight my body wants to retain to be healthy...But still i could feel i have fat in most parts of my body which in didnt had in my early 20's..I want to drop another 10 pounds badly
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Old 08-19-2008, 08:19 AM   #14
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JayEll,

I was looking at your weight and wonder why it isn't okay that this is your maintenance weight. A few things I've learned over the years...

If you have been fat for a long time your legs and thighs have built up muscle to carry you around...which will never totally leave. (Some of the changes we have made to our bodies are permanent.) One doctor told me that my "ideal" sustainable weight will likely always be more than that of a person who was never overweight for that reason.

Long term dieting readjusts the metabolism which operates more efficiently. It sounds like your body checks out the calories you are eating and then brings you back to equilibrium at the weight that it wants you to be.

One approach I have heard is that if you lose more than 10% of body weight you should take at least three months to maintain for your body to adapt. That time is necessary for the transition from your body to change its "set point" to the new weight, and to stop screaming "you are starving me, get more calories in here" which causes the metabolism to act more efficiently. The article said that once your body adjusts it is more possible to lose again. I never tried it (although it made a lot of sense to me) because anytime I lost 10% of my body weight I was much too eager to continue! (Also, if I remember correctly you are a women "of a certain age" and that slows the metabolism as well...hey I'm there with you.)

147! That is soooooo awesome. I dream of 147. The lowest I have been in my adult life was 149, and that was for a New York minute, literally one weeks weighin. Exactly one year later I weight 199.

This time I want it to be forever. If 147 is your forever, as you have said "that's not a bad thing". You may be surprised, in several months you may be able to lose again, perhaps only a pound or two.

My next door neighbor who is 56 is very slim and active, and eats healthy. This last year she gained 10 pounds due to a job change which made her much more sedentary. It has taken her three months of very focussed diet and exercise to lose 5 pounds...we take big and constant losses for granted.

Keep maintaining!
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Old 08-19-2008, 10:24 AM   #15
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Jay -- thanks for posting this. I've done the '5-6' mini-meals/snacks too and always thought 'why am I so hungry'? It's because I was never, truly satisfied w/only 300 cals or so for a meal. It always required me to have a snack but that never really did the trick either. So I'd be 'nibbly' and 'not quite full' all day long just waiting for my dinner. I now eat a bigger breakfast (400-450 cals), skip any type of morning snack, eat a decent lunch (400 cals or so), a snack around 3-4p.m. (if needed, depends on what lunch was and when dinner is) and a decent dinner. I aim for anywhere from 1400-1600 cals/day. I've been (um, unintentionally) in maintenance mode for most of the summer - on some meds for a wk (wt gain then loss); vacation (wt gain then loss) and am kind of cruising till next week when the all go back to school. Some people might see my summer as unsuccessful -- I think I did great. Usually I fall off the exercise wagon during the summer and gain weight so the fact that I'm still down 19 lbs is terrific if you ask me! Also, and I think bluetoblue has posted this in the past, if you bump up your cals in each meal you will be fuller and will not be so hungry later in the day, which can cause overeating. I used to 'save' calories because I just assumed I'd be hungry later in the day or at night (um, night time eating for me has nothing to do w/hunger ) no matter how much I ate during the day. But I've found the opposite to be true -- if I eat enough during the day and get full, my hunger level is less later in the day.

I also do some L.C. for lunch and agree -- there simply is not enough protein in these things, so I add more. I'll throw in some chicken (Perdue shortcuts are great for this) or leftovers if we have it or beef or pork or even lf cheese. Or I'll have the L.C. but then have some cottage cheese mixed w/fruit or something for 'dessert'. This way I can take advantage of the convenience of the L.C. but bump up the protein. Oh and for the 'satiation' part -- I'll do 2% milk on cereal vs. skim or a full fat or a 2% fat cheese vs a non-fat because I find that the fat keeps me fuller longer.

It's amazing how bloody adaptive and stubborn the human body is when it comes to holding onto it's fat reserves. Keep going; sooner or later things will click for you!
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