The dreaded plateau - 3 Fat Chicks on a Diet Weight Loss Community


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Old 02-04-2011, 04:00 PM   #1  
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Default The dreaded plateau

I've been at a plateau for two weeks now and it is awful. This is my second plateau. Hit my first one at 171lbs and now my second one is at 156lbs. Ive lost exactly 50 pounds over the last 5 months and have another 15-20 pounds I'd like to lose. So far I have been making my cardio more intense, focussing more on weights, & increasing my calories (I think I may have been getting too low).
Does anybody have any advice on how they broke plateaus? My last plateau lasted just 2 weeks so I'm getting a bit antsy!
Does anybody have any cardio suggestions on how to switch things up? I usually run about 2 miles and do the stair master. I use to do the elliptical until I plateaued from that getting too easy for me. I've thought about swimming but I've never swam for exercise before so I'm not sure exactly what to do.
Any advice or encouragement would be awesome. I just keep telling myself that at least I'm maintaining and not gaining...but I'd still like to get back to losing!!
Thanks
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Old 02-04-2011, 04:03 PM   #2  
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Maybe try HIIT? Your body may be adjusted to the level of cardio that you're at, so shocking it with something intense like HIIT might help.
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Old 02-04-2011, 04:05 PM   #3  
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What is HIIT? I've never heard of it!
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Old 02-04-2011, 04:11 PM   #4  
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High intensity interval training. I don't know of any great websites that describe it, but i'm sure you can find more information on this website about it (check out the exercise section).

Basically, in 20-30 minutes you do intervals like this (don't follow my timing exactly because i'm not an expert, i've only read about it)
2 min regular pace
30 seconds all out (as in you can't do anything but try to push yourself...no thinking, no talking, just push it)
2 min regular pace
30 seconds all out
2 min regular pace
30 seconds all out
Keep switching.....

You get the idea.

There is all kinds of reasons why it is supposed to be amazing, but the main point is that it burns more fat than consistent regular cardio. A lot of people swear by it. I will probably attempt it 20lbs from now...I don't think I'm athletically ready for it yet.

My example may not be perfect. I have read different things on different sites....some say 60 seconds regular, 60 seconds all out, etc.... Research it more to figure out whats best and most effective for you.

Last edited by somethingnew912; 02-04-2011 at 04:13 PM.
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Old 02-04-2011, 04:12 PM   #5  
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Hi Aleesuh - First, Congrats on your loss. You've done an awesome job in 5 months. I'm also on a plateau. I've been stuck at the same weight for over 3 weeks now and it's driving me CrAzY!!! I have been doing HIIT so I think next week I am going to try more cardio and less interval/weight training. You're right, it is soooo frustrating. Today I also lowered my calories and lowered my carbs to see if that will help. Hang in there.

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Old 02-04-2011, 04:18 PM   #6  
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It also might be what I have read on here and what I have seen happen to me as well.....

When fat cells empty, sometimes they fill up with water (fat cells don't disappear, they just empty). I don't know why our bodies do this, but you may just have to wait it out a little bit and one day you will (sorry for TMI) pee A LOT and notice a drop in your weight. This happened to me recently and I had to look it up on this site because I was so confused by it. It doesn't necessarily have anything to do with your sodium intake, it's just something that our bodies do.
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Old 02-04-2011, 04:31 PM   #7  
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My personal trainer has me doing HIIT, he swears by it.

It may be hard to explain it on here but I'll give it a go.

Basically, he was telling me he wants your heart to go into a zig-zag pattern (ie. heart rate at 100 for a min, then do high intensity for 30 secs to make your heart rate go up to 175, then go back to a slow pace for another min to decrease your heart back and start the cycle over again.... so say 100-175-100-175, etc.) He explained it as shocking the body and making it work harder to go back and forth between the 2 heart rates. He also mentioned that even after you do HIIT, your body continues to burn more calories as it's trying to get set back into normal.

So say when you jog for 20 minutes at the same speed, your heart rate is constantly at 175 (no zig-zag pattern, just a straight linear one). Your body gets used to it, switches it's metabolism around and doesn't work hard anymore. It's use to that heart rate and that's your new norm.

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Old 02-04-2011, 04:34 PM   #8  
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Oh I've heard of interval training just not the term HITT. I guess I could give it a try. I use to do interval training when I was first getting into running to build my endurance. I guess I could run at my regular 6.2 or 6.3mph and every couple minutes bump it up to a sprint for a minute and then lower it down. Sounds tiring but I have suppose there's no fighting it, my body is telling me to bump it up! Thanks ladies!
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Old 02-04-2011, 04:37 PM   #9  
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i think changing up what you're eating may help as well. i remember increasing my calories for a few days, or eating a few things that i normally wouldn't eat to shake up my system a bit. for example, i might eat a heavier meal, or treat myself to a steak, within reason of course. something a little more caloric. if you've been diligent with your plan, you're body has adjusted to the amount of calories and the foods you've been eating. if you have a treat or two over the next few days, it works a little harder and has like this little wake up call. i've done this in the past. i would eat my normal calories for the day, and for dinner i would have something i normally wouldn't have on plan- like a burrito, or a meal at my fave restaurant. nothing crazy, but a treat. i did this for two days. then i would go back to my regularly scheduled plan
also- drink lots of water during those two days, especially if you go out for dinner- sodium and such.
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Old 02-04-2011, 05:45 PM   #10  
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1) Lower your daily calories (I know, sadface) and change your exercise to something else -- as people have mentioned above. If that doesn't work...

2) Go crazy one night with slightly crappy food (to the tune of a few hundred calories, no binging) and then... drinks and DANCING! I don't know. That's how I'd add extra calories in and 'shock' my system, at least. Who knows, maybe once you dehydrate from alcohol you'll be shocked at losing 5 lbs.

No, plateaus are terrible and no one really knows how to deal with them. Good luck and don't be disheartened; it will get better.
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Old 02-04-2011, 07:18 PM   #11  
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yeah, HITT might be a good thing, and as crazy as it sounds, fillupthesky's suggestion of eating MORE might also work... just make sure it's not as crazy-as$ binge, but like, yeah, it's happened to me as well. also, drink lots and lots of water. good luck! you got through one plateau, so you can deal with this one too! and 50lbs in 6 months is amazing!!
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Old 02-04-2011, 10:41 PM   #12  
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Thanks for all your suggestions and support! I have been increasing my calories daily. I was eating about 1200 calories per day plus working out pretty intensely. I mysteriously gained 2 pounds last week (which I KNOW wasn't water weight), so I think my body may have been beginning to go into "starvation mode" cause I wasn't eating enough. So I've been making an effort to get up to around 1400 calories a day.
As far as the "cheat meal" goes. I actually have found in the past that when I do allow myself a cheat meal (one cheat meal for every 10 pounds I lose) it DOES shock my system and speed up my metabolism. I had my 50 pound cheat meal two weeks ago and had a cheat meal last weekend for my boyfriend's birthday and didn't see any results from them so I'm a little timid on having yet ANOTHER cheat meal since I've had two in the last two weeks when I usually only have one a month! I'll think about it. I'm going to try this HIIT thing tomorrow. Think I'll run at my usual 6.3mph and bump it up to like 7.5 for 60 seconds every two minutes or so. I'll also be sure not to cheat on my weights. I'll give that a solid week and see if anything happens. If I don't see any changes this coming week I'll try something else.
I have read in several articles that one way to break a plateau is to actually put on two or three pounds and then hit hard at the regiment again. I am just so reluctant to try this route because I've worked SO hard to lose these pounds and intentionally putting on a few pounds seems so...WRONG!
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Old 02-05-2011, 03:13 PM   #13  
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it does seem counter intuitive to eat more, or to try to gain weight. personally, i've never tried to gain weight per se. i've just eaten higher calorie meals for a couple of days, with foods i normally don't eat. i allot myself a cheat meal every week or two, just to curb my cravings as well. its usually just a little something that i work into my plan.
the worst thing you can do is try right?
also, how often do you exercise?
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Old 02-05-2011, 06:51 PM   #14  
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I work out every single day, 7 days a week for usually about an hour to an hour and a half. I take occasional days off if there is absolutely no way for me to make it to the gym.
I started HIIT today, and it wore me out! I did 10 minutes (1 mile) of run/sprint. and did 10 minutes of walk/sprint. After that I could only do five minutes on the stairmaster because I was so wore out from the HIIT! Hoping this HIIT thing will push me off the plateau. If i don't see any changes by next Saturday I'll consider taking a few days and cheating a bit. I am, however, still making an effort to eat more. My stomach is so use to only eating around 1200 calories a day that if I try to add calories to my meals I am STUFFED! Been getting up between 1400-1500 for about the last week.
*Fingers crossed I see some sort of change SOON!!*
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Old 02-06-2011, 01:42 PM   #15  
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i hope so too! good luck to you!
keep us posted!

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