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Old 11-16-2008, 10:22 PM   #1
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So I've lost 40 lbs and have hit a 1 month plateau which is screwing my confidence and timeline. I am 5'4" my BMR is 1600 and I workout 6 days a week burning between 500-700 calories. I tried eating between 1200-1400 calories and the days that I splurge and eat 1600 calories I gain like 2 lbs!?! I've cycled between 187-179 for the last few weeks and I haven't gone over 2000 cals for sure. I don't get it.... I've added weight training and food diaries. Any help would be appreciated.
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Old 11-16-2008, 10:27 PM   #2
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Roxy, post a daily food log and let us take a look. Maybe we can give you some help

And, for what its worth - timelines never worked for me. I found that my body had a timeline of its own - regarless of the fact that I stayed OP and exercised faithfully.

Are you taking measurements? I found that when my weight loss stalled, often - my body was still changing - even though the scale was not.
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Old 11-16-2008, 10:34 PM   #3
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I haven't lost inches either... here's what I eat/workout

530 am (ughhhh) Spin= -600 cals
Breakfast= 100 cal english muffin 2 tbls low fat crm cheese 70 cals, 8 oz non fat yogurt 80 cals
Snack= Apple 60 cals
Lunch= Salad low fat dressing 3-4 oz chicken 250 cals, sugar free pudding 60 cals, 100 cal snack
Snack= 8 oz yogurt 80 cals, 1 apple 60 cals
Dinner= Healthy frozen meal between 290-350 cals, 1 cup broccoli 60 cals
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Old 11-16-2008, 10:47 PM   #4
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The first thing that screams out at me is that you're eating a whole heck of a lot of processed food.

Low fat cream cheese
Non fat yogurt
Low fat dressing
Sugar free pudding
Low fat yogurt
Frozen meal (I"m assuming of the low fat variety)

Any time you take fat out of an item, you replace it with something artificial to keep the texture/flavor. Over 3/4 of your meal is this kind of stuff.

On top of that, I added up 1270 calories for the day, which seems pretty low if you're working out that hard. Honestly when I was in the 170s and 180s (and I'm the same height as you) I was eating between 1500 and 1800 calories a day.

I am wondering if the reason you gain when you raise your calories is because you've eaten too few calories for so long, that your body is going to take some time to get rebalanced properly.

I really don't think that 1200 calories is healthy or that you can sustain weight loss on it when you're working out that hard 6 days a week. And especially when you're eating so much processed food. There's not a lot of healthy carbs there or a good balance of healthy fats.

Oh, one other thing - exercise. Spin class is great and all, but if you do the same thing every day, eventually your body adjusts to that level of exertion and you lose the benefit of it. Adding some weight lifting, some resistance training, and some other forms of exercise to your routine will help keep your body guessing and not get you into a rut.

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Last edited by PhotoChick : 11-16-2008 at 10:48 PM.
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Old 11-17-2008, 12:03 AM   #5
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I would definitely agree that it sounds like you're eating too little. When you're not getting enough calories for your body type and level of exertion, your body assumes there's a famine and goes into starvation mode, causing you to cling to every last calorie. I would say for your weight range and level of activity, you should be eating at least 1400 calories a day. I've heard upping your calories can sometimes help break a plateau.
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Old 11-17-2008, 06:49 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roxy1234 View Post
So I've lost 40 lbs and have hit a 1 month plateau which is screwing my confidence and timeline. I am 5'4" my BMR is 1600 and I workout 6 days a week burning between 500-700 calories. I tried eating between 1200-1400 calories and the days that I splurge and eat 1600 calories I gain like 2 lbs!?! I've cycled between 187-179 for the last few weeks and I haven't gone over 2000 cals for sure. I don't get it.... I've added weight training and food diaries. Any help would be appreciated.
I guess the first thing that screams out to me is that when you eat 1600 you gain. I therefore would not get up to 1600 and stay at 1400 cals. You also say that you haven't gone over 2000, so I'm a little confused. Does that mean that you HAVE gone to 2000? Cause' that's certainly over 1600. Sounds to me as if that very well could be the "reason" for your plateau. Have you tried sticking with the 1400 calories, consistiently- 7 days a week? I would surely give that a try for a few weeks, see where that gets you.

Last edited by rockinrobin : 11-17-2008 at 06:49 AM.
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Old 11-17-2008, 11:46 AM   #7
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Quote:
the days that I splurge and eat 1600 calories I gain like 2 lbs!?!
I just noticed this after RR's reponse:

You say that on the days you splurge, you gain 2 lbs. The fact is that you simply cannot gain 2 lbs after one day of eating 1600 calories vs. 1200 calories. And you don't gain fat overnight either. So if you eat 1600 calories on Tuesday and on Wednesday the scale is up 2 lbs, that's not fat. It's simply impossible for that to happen.

It's more likely that when you eat more calories, you're consuming more sodium - which seems to me to be likely, considering all the processed foods you're eating.

I also agree that when you say you "for sure" haven't gone over 2000, it sounds like you're not really keeping track carefully. So it's possible that you are eating more calories than you think you are over all.

I will be perfectly honest ... I've hit 4 plateaus in the last 18 months. 1 of them was a *real* plateau where I had to change things up to get the weight loss going again. The other 3 times were all me: I slacked off a bit, wasn't as careful about counting my calories or watching my portion sizes, did a lot of "guesstimating" rather than actual measuring, and slacked off a bit on my exercise. I knew it then, although I didn't want to admit it to myself.

If I were you, I'd spend a week being VERY strict about counting my calories and watching my portion sizes. I know for me, when I do that, I find that I often have let things slide just enough ... and knowing that I've done it, helps me gt back on track.

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Old 11-17-2008, 11:53 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PhotoChick View Post
I just noticed this after RR's reponse:

You say that on the days you splurge, you gain 2 lbs. The fact is that you simply cannot gain 2 lbs after one day of eating 1600 calories vs. 1200 calories. And you don't gain fat overnight either. So if you eat 1600 calories on Tuesday and on Wednesday the scale is up 2 lbs, that's not fat. It's simply impossible for that to happen.

It's more likely that when you eat more calories, you're consuming more sodium - which seems to me to be likely, considering all the processed foods you're eating.

I also agree that when you say you "for sure" haven't gone over 2000, it sounds like you're not really keeping track carefully. So it's possible that you are eating more calories than you think you are over all.


I will be perfectly honest ... I've hit 4 plateaus in the last 18 months. 1 of them was a *real* plateau where I had to change things up to get the weight loss going again. The other 3 times were all me: I slacked off a bit, wasn't as careful about counting my calories or watching my portion sizes, did a lot of "guesstimating" rather than actual measuring, and slacked off a bit on my exercise. I knew it then, although I didn't want to admit it to myself.

If I were you, I'd spend a week being VERY strict about counting my calories and watching my portion sizes. I know for me, when I do that, I find that I often have let things slide just enough ... and knowing that I've done it, helps me gt back on track.

.
Photo, I was more then aware of the fact that eating 1600 calories will not cause you to gain 2 lbs of fat overnight. No way. No how. My point really was to bring out that the OP was "more then likely" not staying with the 1600, since in her very own words, she says that she "for sure" hasn't gone over 2000.
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Old 11-17-2008, 12:00 PM   #9
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Robin - I'm aware that you are aware of that. I was following up your post with further reinforcement and talking to the OP.

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Old 11-17-2008, 12:05 PM   #10
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Robin - I'm aware that you are aware of that. I was following up your post with further reinforcement and talking to the OP.

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Good thing at that. I think you explained what I was trying to say a lot better then I did. You've definitely got a great way of getting your message across.
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Old 11-17-2008, 12:38 PM   #11
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I've cycled between 187-179 for the last few weeks
That's a big cycle. I suspect that when you get below 180, you get really excited and then the 1600+ calorie days become more frequent.

I'd use a tool like FitDay or some other tracker to really keep track of your intake. I wouldn't guess about amounts--I'd measure them--as PhotoChick suggested. And, I'd consider raising your calories by adding more protein, not more carbs. Then I'd try not to let the high days get too high, as rockinrobin suggested--be more consistent.

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Old 11-17-2008, 01:46 PM   #12
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I've been struggling lately as well, feeling like I've been working at it and not losing anything. What frustrates me the most is that I have a significant amount of weight to lose, so it seems like it should be flying off. Thanks for your comments here, Photo and Robin. It's a good reality check. It's so tempting to make excuses when the weight isn't coming off, but it usually comes down to the choices you're making. I'll be really strict about measuring and counting this week, and I bet it will make a difference.
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Old 11-17-2008, 01:54 PM   #13
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I am at a similar plateau. SOmetimes our bodies just need time at a certain weight to re-adjust. There isn't any information showing me how much you have lost so far and how long that took, so I can't exactly give much advice.

How about doing spin 3 days a week and something else like step 2 days a week or running/swimming/ walking etc. Give your body a jolt by switching it up a little.

Also if you are new to lifting it could be some water retention in your muscles.

Food wise I would try replacing things and seeing how that works. I don't see a lot of carbs and protein but you are busting butt doing spin. You may need to up those a little to help you out.
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Old 11-18-2008, 07:51 AM   #14
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I just wanted to let you know that I've been there, I was stuck at 157 for two months straight, I tried upping calories, and I'd gain weight even if I still did not go over by much. Out of frustration I tried only a few hundred calories a day, and nothing. It just stuck. Then, out of nowhere, the scale started to move again. I am now hovering between 143 and 146 for the last two months, and I cannot get any further. I'm just trying to hold on and not give up, and hope that eventually the numbers will start to go down again.
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Old 11-18-2008, 10:50 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roxy1234 View Post
I haven't lost inches either... here's what I eat/workout

530 am (ughhhh) Spin= -600 cals
Breakfast= 100 cal english muffin 2 tbls low fat crm cheese 70 cals, 8 oz non fat yogurt 80 cals
Snack= Apple 60 cals
Lunch= Salad low fat dressing 3-4 oz chicken 250 cals, sugar free pudding 60 cals, 100 cal snack
Snack= 8 oz yogurt 80 cals, 1 apple 60 cals
Dinner= Healthy frozen meal between 290-350 cals, 1 cup broccoli 60 cals

I'm up at 5:30a.m. too. Egads it is awfully early, isn't it?

Aside from the processed part - hey, I'm ok with that as long as you add in lots of fresh fruits and veggies and water-- I'm seeing very little protein in what you're eating. I'd add protein in with each meal and snack, it will help keep you satiated longer. Maybe on the english muffin you could add a tblspn of peanut butter and 1/2 banana. Have a little cheese with the apple. Try cheese, whole wheat crackers, nuts, peanut butter, protein shakes, cottage cheese, tuna -- you get the idea. Not a lot of veggies in there either. I'm sure your lunch is a salad with the chicken but still . . .

Are you just doing spinning and some weights? I was at a plateau for 3 months or so. Some of it was me slacking off but not all. I just couldn't figure it out. I do TM (intervals and steady state), weights, yoga, dog walks. Hmmmm . . . . so I bought Jillian Michaels 30 Day shred. It was just enough to shake things up for me. I don't do it everyday (I think you're suppose to) but I mix it in 3x/wk w/my other stuff. The scale finally started moving down again. It took awhile but just seeing it go down a lb. or two was enough to convince me that I wasn't stuck forever.

Oh and this may sound dumb but I was also adamantly exercising 6 days a week. I relaxed that and have done a few 5 days/wk workouts and that extra day off seems to help too. I've been under the weather and only exercised 4 days last week (can't say the last time that happened!). My head starting playing games w/me today from this though. Was getting kinda lazy and all so I ignored it and got my workout done.

Try mixing up your food and exercise and taking a day off from the exercise. It might be enough to start things moving again. Good luck.
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