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Plateaued -- HELP!

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Old 05-02-2013, 12:14 PM   #1
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Default Plateaued -- HELP!

I've been cruising along losing weight consistently until the beginning of April at which time I hit a plateau. And I'm stuck. The trainer at the gym said to increase my calories by 200 and increase and MIX UP my exercise routine. For instance, if I do 40 minutes of cardio a day split into 2 20 minute sessions, make it one 30 minute and one 10 minute. And make the second one much later in the day.

Any other suggestions on how to break out of this cycle? Lots of comments on the various threads about hitting plateaus so I know this isn't unusual. I just would like to send it on its way.
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Old 05-02-2013, 12:23 PM   #2
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I too have hit a stall. And I'm wondering if I should bump my calories up too. So frustrating. I hope you get the answer you're looking for betsy2013. Sorry I'm of no help, but I'm here in the same boat with ya!
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Old 05-02-2013, 12:24 PM   #3
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I thought I hit a plateau a couple of months ago but when I input my food into a calorie counter, my calories were a lot higher than I thought. So I didn't actually hit a plateau, I was eating like I was in maintenance.

This weight loss calculator has a calorie zig zag that's supposed to keep your body from getting used to consumed calories. Your average for the week is the same but your daily caloric intake changes. I have friends who swear by this.

http://www.freedieting.com/tools/calorie_calculator.htm
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Old 05-02-2013, 12:27 PM   #4
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Then I was anorexic I learned that to break a plateau you should eat either a lot more or a lot less than what you are to like "snap" your body out of it. Idk if it works I've never plateaued. I used to take diet pills-this is the first time doing it on my own (well I'm taking these pills but they are actually to counter act an increase in appetite side effect of another pill-they were prescribed-they don't give me any extra help or anything besides a higher metabolism but I still get hungry and stuff).
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Old 05-02-2013, 12:28 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChickieBoom View Post
I thought I hit a plateau a couple of months ago but when I input my food into a calorie counter, my calories were a lot higher than I thought. So I didn't actually hit a plateau, I was eating like I was in maintenance.
I found the same to be true for me.
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Old 05-02-2013, 12:32 PM   #6
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I've been stalled out for well over a month now too. I've upped and lowered my calories, added different exercises etc. It looks like I'm finally heading in the right direction again, but it took time. Double check your caloric intake and most importantly DON'T STRESS OVER IT, because that won't help.
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Old 05-02-2013, 01:40 PM   #7
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Hi Betsy.....I know how frustrating it is to plateau/stall. I had one in February/March that lasted for about 6 weeks. To break out of it I calorie cycled like ChickieBoom mentioned.

I increased my calories by 200-300 for about 2-3 days then drop it back down for 2-3 days. I did this off and on for about 10 days and it really seemed to help. I also had a day or two in there that I increased it by 400-500 calories and also some very low cal days.

I didn't even have to change up my exercise routine, the calorie cycling seemed to help. I also practiced intermittent fasting on my lower calorie days.

Good luck!
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Old 05-02-2013, 02:50 PM   #8
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Tweak your macros..?
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Old 05-02-2013, 07:32 PM   #9
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This has been a highly entertaining thread. In particular - the idea that spliting up the timing of one's exercise routine is the solution. I thought I had heard it all.

Learning the difference between weight loss and fat loss is something every dieter should do.

Weight loss should not be confused with fat loss.

Fat loss is fairly linear but you cannot measure it very easily or accurately. Fat loss is always an equation of calories.

Double check your intake. Are you in a deficit or not. Water can be retained (especially in women) for long periods of time. Personally I think the litmus test is 8 weeks. If 8 weeks has gone by with no loss you're not in a deficit, you're maintaining.

Knowledge is power people.
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Old 05-02-2013, 11:23 PM   #10
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I have definitely stalled before and it is very frustrating!!!

I've tried exercising more, dropping my calories and adding calories and none of those helped to break a stall.

The one thing I have noticed though is that I lose faster when I really watch carbs. So sometimes if I'm still eating the same number of calories but I've drifted and started getting more from things like fruit, bread, or sweetened yogurt, that will stall out my weight loss. I don't think this is true for everyone, but if you log your food you might want to look at it and see if you notice any changes.
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Old 05-03-2013, 12:04 PM   #11
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First, thanks all for commenting, offering suggestions, and being supportive. One of the things that dawned on me after I posted this was all the change in medications due to the a fib problem that has arisen. A couple of the new meds have a side effect of weight gain. I laughed (wanted to curse, but decided on laughing) with the doctor because they've put me on medications that have a known side effect of weight gain and they're telling me to lose weight.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Remington90 View Post
I too have hit a stall. And I'm wondering if I should bump my calories up too. So frustrating. I hope you get the answer you're looking for betsy2013. Sorry I'm of no help, but I'm here in the same boat with ya!
Remington, hope your stall ends soon. Frustrating is definitely one of the words I'd use (and that can be published here!).

Quote:
Originally Posted by ChickieBoom View Post
I thought I hit a plateau a couple of months ago but when I input my food into a calorie counter, my calories were a lot higher than I thought. So I didn't actually hit a plateau, I was eating like I was in maintenance.

This weight loss calculator has a calorie zig zag that's supposed to keep your body from getting used to consumed calories. Your average for the week is the same but your daily caloric intake changes. I have friends who swear by this.

http://www.freedieting.com/tools/calorie_calculator.htm
Chickie, I enter everything I eat and have since the beginning so I know it's not eating on the sly. I like the idea of the calorie shifting and will try that along with varying my exercise routine. I did get a kick out of the calories they said I could have -- I would gain a LOT if I ate that many calories every day, but most calculators like that are way off -- or at least they are for me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Radiojane View Post
I've been stalled out for well over a month now too. I've upped and lowered my calories, added different exercises etc. It looks like I'm finally heading in the right direction again, but it took time. Double check your caloric intake and most importantly DON'T STRESS OVER IT, because that won't help.
Jane, I know you've had a much worse month than I have, so I appreciate the support. I rarely stress out -- retirement and not having to go to work each day does wonders for someone's attitude!

Quote:
Originally Posted by thnknthin1 View Post
Hi Betsy.....I know how frustrating it is to plateau/stall. I had one in February/March that lasted for about 6 weeks. To break out of it I calorie cycled like ChickieBoom mentioned.

I increased my calories by 200-300 for about 2-3 days then drop it back down for 2-3 days. I did this off and on for about 10 days and it really seemed to help. I also had a day or two in there that I increased it by 400-500 calories and also some very low cal days.

I didn't even have to change up my exercise routine, the calorie cycling seemed to help. I also practiced intermittent fasting on my lower calorie days.


Good luck!
Thanks, ThinkThin -- I'm going to try them both. I definitely need to, if nothing else, get some new recipes as I'm in a rut. It may be just eating basically the exact same foods day in and day out that's doing some of it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ubergirl View Post
I have definitely stalled before and it is very frustrating!!!

I've tried exercising more, dropping my calories and adding calories and none of those helped to break a stall.

The one thing I have noticed though is that I lose faster when I really watch carbs. So sometimes if I'm still eating the same number of calories but I've drifted and started getting more from things like fruit, bread, or sweetened yogurt, that will stall out my weight loss. I don't think this is true for everyone, but if you log your food you might want to look at it and see if you notice any changes.
Ubergirl, I definitely have to count carbs as I'm insulin resistant. Already count calories, do IF, and now I get to count sodium. The good thing about the sodium monitoring is that basically all of my water retention problems have disappeared.

Thanks all. John, I didn't comment on yours because I think my certified trainer, college educated, computer science major gym owner knows what she's talking about. Glad I could help you learn something new today......I'm assuming your mind was open.
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Old 05-03-2013, 12:35 PM   #12
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Quote:
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Thanks all. John, I didn't comment on yours because I think my certified trainer, college educated, computer science major gym owner knows what she's talking about. Glad I could help you learn something new today......I'm assuming your mind was open.
With respect to you - I didn't learn anything new other than people say the silliest things. Your trainer is wrong if she thinks splitting up your training will cause your body to:

A) Burn more calories

B) Cause your body to release water

Increasing calories could cause a release of water though. If you're in a deficit - that is what you're dealing with. Water flux.

As for what you believe, your evidence that she is right doesn't hold to the simplest test of logic. I have a college degree and could go open a gym today. Would that make me smarter than I am? What certification does she have? I'm not aware of any certification that teaches what she is telling you.

Regardless - good luck
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Old 05-03-2013, 12:45 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by JohnP View Post
With respect to you - I didn't learn anything new other than people say the silliest things. Your trainer is wrong if she thinks splitting up your training will cause your body to:

A) Burn more calories

B) Cause your body to release water

Increasing calories could cause a release of water though. If you're in a deficit - that is what you're dealing with. Water flux.

As for what you believe, your evidence that she is right doesn't hold to the simplest test of logic. I have a college degree and could go open a gym today. Would that make me smarter than I am? What certification does she have? I'm not aware of any certification that teaches what she is telling you.

Regardless - good luck
I must agree with John (btw I don't see why having a college education in computer science has ANYTHING to do wtih training). And PT certification is quite simple to get (I know!), it's not exactly an MSc in Kinesiology.

It would be lovely if splitting cardio affected weight/fat loss plateaus but it absolutely does not - in fact in sports such as bodybuilding where women drop down to insanely low levels of bodyfat, even the old theory of "morning cardio on an empty stomach" being optimal for fat loss has gone the way of the dodo.

Do whatever you wish, but while some people split exercise on purpose (bodybuilding, Bulgarian weightlifting method), it has never been to break through plateaus.
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Old 05-03-2013, 01:47 PM   #14
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The trainer at the gym said to increase my calories by 200 and increase and MIX UP my exercise routine. For instance, if I do 40 minutes of cardio a day split into 2 20 minute sessions, make it one 30 minute and one 10 minute. And make the second one much later in the day.
It sounds like she's already been splitting up her cardio, something a lot of us do for a myriad of reasons. From the way she posted it, her trainer merely recommended changing the split times. Makes some sense if you figure she's encouraging Betsy to get her heart rate elevated for 30 minutes at a time instead of just 20.

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Old 05-03-2013, 02:31 PM   #15
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I had a plateau last summer that lasted almost 3 months. What got me out of it was lowering carbs (from about 80g to 30-40g). I lost quite a bit and have been maintaining for the last two months. I have found that I maintain around 1600 cal/day. This is awfully low, though, I have not tried to push this limit, so there may be some wiggle room. But maybe you need to go over your total calories you eat and lower the limit if cycling or increasing calories does not work.

I have also found that exercise leads to fat loss and muscle gain and that does not necessarily translate very much into weight loss on the scale. During my 3 months stall I switched from cardio to 1hr of strength training and I gained quite a bit of muscle, lost inches, but there was zero movement on the scale.
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