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Old 02-14-2006, 06:52 AM   #1  
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Default Plateau and Just started

Hi,
I have been eating approx. 1200-1400 cal. per day, joined a gym a month ago which I have been going to at least 3-4 times a week (1/2 hr - 40 minutes each - either either PACE (aka Curves program) and on weekends using the eliptical, treadmill and/or bike), and when I can't make it there, trying to get on my treadmill at home.

My problem is the scale has not budged an inch! I expected to lose a couple of pounds the first week (water, I know, but it is still motivation) but haven't even lost that - I drink at least 8 cups a day. I took measurements Jan. 15., & redid yesterday - hoping for something - but NOTHING, NADA - ZILCH!!

Breakfast is usually cereal/milk - need quick & easy (being a single mom w/2 kids)

snack: grapes/banana

Lunch - usually a Healthy Choice frozen entree - i do watch the sodium - if i don't eat these, i would probably end up ordering out with the rest of my co-workers.

Snack - pretzels

Dinner - depends but i do watch the portions

Anyone else have this problem when they started? I had done low-carb before and lost but its not something I can stick to. I am not giving up (I signed a gym membership for a year to make sure I stick to it) but it is just so frustrating! Thanks for letting me vent.

Happy Valentines Day
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Old 02-14-2006, 07:14 AM   #2  
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Hi, looking at your ticker, I don't think your eating enough. I am not going to use the term starvation mode, but I do think you need to increase your calories. From the amount you have to lose, I am betting you are over 200lbs, you're exercising regularly, I don't think you're fuelling your metabolism adequately for the amount of exercise you are doing.

You could try calorie cycling, there's some great threads about it recently. But basically the lowest day would be 1200 then you go up some days and back to 1200 others, looking at your calorie consumtion for a week rather than a day.

Make sure your calories are coming from good sources, plenty of fruit, vegetables and good sources of protein. I don't eat much in the way of processed foods, but am lucky to have the worlds greatest cafeteria at work that does clean salads, poached and tray baked fish and great tortilla wraps, so I don't have many dramas getting good food at work.

As you lose weight, you need to reduce your calorie consumtion, because as you are lighter your bodie burns less calories, at your current rate of calorie consumption, you're gonna have no place to go!

Have you tried adding some weight training? Muscle consumes more calories than fat, and you may find this speeds up your metabolism.

My final order (suggestion - I sound very bossy today!!!) is to measure yourself (or get your gym to do it) sometimes, in my case certainly, the scales don't always tell the story!
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Old 02-14-2006, 07:33 AM   #3  
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I was in the exact same situation as you! I started at the beginning of January, lost 2 lbs, then not an ounce for over 2 weeks!

You'll get some excellent advice here, and I think kykaree is on the mark: you probably need to increase your calorie intake.

Here's what I did:

1. I increased my calorie intake. Like you, I exercise at least 4x per week and I had been aiming at 1100-1200 calories every day. I increased that to a minimum of 1300, but really, I've averaged 1500 for the past two weeks.

2. I increased my protein intake -- more lean meats like fresh chicken and turkey, lentils, protein-rich cereal, etc.

Keep checking here for great ideas, and don't give up! I got really frustrated during those couple of weeks but I am incredibly grateful to everyone in this group because they are so encouraging! Good luck!
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Old 02-14-2006, 08:37 AM   #4  
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I will 'amen' the increased protein and good whole natural foods for the quality they give your calories.
Are you hungry?
If you wait a couple hours after a good sweaty work out ... are you famished?
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Old 02-14-2006, 08:48 AM   #5  
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I agree, you're probably not eating enough. If you've got 100 pounds to lose, plus you're exercising regularly, your body's gonna hold onto everything you give it for dear life.

Try increasing your calories for a while, I'll bet it works
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Old 02-14-2006, 11:57 AM   #6  
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I don't think it's the not eating enough...sure, that would help hunger, but shouldn't affect your losing. What are you doing to count calories? Are you journalling every thing that goes into your mouth? Using FitDay perhaps? I'm not saying you are that much over what you think you are, but a few unhealthy things here and there can lead to slowing weightloss tremendously. If we all ate 1200 calories of fruits,veggies, and lean chicken breast every day the weight would probably come off a lot quicker, but as it is that 280 calorie chocolate bar that fits within your range can still slow you down. As well, I've noticed that when I first start an exercise program my weightloss stalls. I wouldn't call this necessary muscle gain (I think you'd have to do some serious lifting for that) but because your body is working on new muscles throughout your body for stamina reasons it just in general slows you down. Have you been journalling what you eat since you started working out a month ago? Or is the eating part of it new? Even with a healthy diet and exercise, 4 weeks isn't unusual. You may find if you give it another week or so more weight than you expect will all come off at once. You just have to be patient, you're doing this to get healthy not to please the scale. Good luck!
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Old 02-14-2006, 03:30 PM   #7  
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Girlfriend, I feel your pain. I have been battleing the same 3 pounds for about 3 weeks now. up down, up down. I am trying to be patient. If nothing else, I know my heart and lungs are getting healthy by excersizeng. I know I am not eating all healthy foods, but slowly, i will get there. It is all about learning how to incorporate healthy foods and I am certainly incorporating them slowly. I have alot to learn about healthy eating. So, eventually, I just know I am going to break this plateau i am also on. and I may need to up my calories to 1400 or even 1500. like someone else said, if i start out at the bottom, how will i be able to drop when i need to. plus, now that i am adding jogging to my walks, i need more fuel for stamina....right???
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Old 02-14-2006, 04:16 PM   #8  
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Yes, but at her weight, plus her activity level, she can probably eat more food.
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Old 02-14-2006, 07:32 PM   #9  
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thanks for the tips. Maybe i will try increasing calories. Yes, i do write everything down (I use to do WW so that is imbeded in my mind). I keep the journal with me at all times. I liked WW, i just can't make it to the meetings. Figured I can spend either 1/2 talking about losing weight or actually going to the gym trying to do something about it.

thanks again
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Old 02-14-2006, 07:39 PM   #10  
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The first 2 weeks I started out fantastic. Then for the next 3 weeks I didn't lose anything. Then I started losing again. I calorie zig zag (but not on purpose, I just like to give myself a range). Skip the pretzels if you are eating processed foods for lunch (sodium). I like that you are eating frequently, but more protein and maybe even more healthy calories could be warranted. WATER. What else are you drinking? Measure yourself. Really I just told myself I was proud for starting on the right track and not to worry about it. I knew that I was doing a good thing. As you can see by my ticker, I've lost 14lbs. I started a few days after Christmas.
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Old 02-14-2006, 09:11 PM   #11  
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pretty much just drink water or milk (all I ever really drink). very rare occasion i will have a diet pepsi - maybe 1 a week (before I started i had one every morning).

thanks again
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Old 02-14-2006, 09:56 PM   #12  
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Personally I think you should change your choices. Most of the foods you describe eating are high in carbs. Where is the protein? Where are the vegetables? Where are the healthy fats?

If you've done low carb before then you know the principles behind it. Any time you spike your blood sugar, insulin comes out to deal with it. Any "energy" or sugar you can't use immediately gets converted to fat. To burn that fat, you need to give your body less sugar and starch so that it has a chance to USE its reserve energy tanks (your fat cells). By constantly eating and snacking on higher carb foods, you aren't giving yourself a chance to ever use the back up fuel.

For some of us (and I believe myself to be one) low carb is the ONLY diet that works. Cutting calories if your calories are all of the higher carb variety just doesn't work. (Notice I said for SOME of us). For some of us, we release too much insulin. This happens because we have spent a lifetime eating high carb meals. That extra insulin prevents us from losing fat.

Change what you eat. Have at least some of your meals totally low carb and high protein. Or go low carb. Then you will find yourself amazed at how quickly you start dropping the pounds. You will find yourself less hungry too. Granted, one size doesn't fit all. But you sound like someone who would truly benefit from low carb. I've been doing low carb again since Jan 2 and have lost 17.5 pounds since then, and that is without all that gym work you've been doing (I have been riding an exercise bike at home some). Plus I've lost 39.5 inches off the areas I've been measuring, and two clothing sizes. This isn't meant to make you feel bad, but when you know what works for you, why not stick to that? I for one cannot lose by just lowering my calories, even when I add in exercise. Maybe you can, but it doesn't sound like it.
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Old 02-14-2006, 11:51 PM   #13  
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There's a lot of good advice here. Sure, some of it contradicts, but I guess that's because the same ideas don't work for everyone.

I guess the idea to take away is one you already have: Don't give up, and don't be afraid to "shake things up" and see what works for you!

As for me, like definitelysmart, I sort of fell into doing a calorie range (never thought of it as a zigzag but it makes sense). And to echo what SherryA said, I'm not doing low carb, but I HAVE kind of gravitated to adding more protein into my diet because it helps keep me full longer (that and fiber!). If you keep at it, you can and will lose the weight!
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Old 02-15-2006, 06:53 AM   #14  
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I think you've gotten some great advice here, but just wanted to throw my two cents into the ring. My first thought is this- are you getting enough sleep? Are you under any stress? I have two kids, too and have noticed that when I don't get enough sleep, any progress I was experiencing slows waaaaay down.
There are a lot of factors involved in weight loss, and sleep and stress play into it more than we think sometimes.
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Old 02-15-2006, 07:07 AM   #15  
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Sleep? what's that? I do try to make up for the lack of it every other weekend when the ex has the kids (well, if I am lucky, he takes the kids - he does what he feels). Stress? Oh yeah - my co-worker doesn't call me "stress puppy" for nothing. If you knew my ex and my job you would know why. not to mention my divorce has been dragging on for 4 years!!

I really do try to eat better - really. I made chicken on Sunday so I would have for a few days this week. It's still sitting in the fridge - untouched. Ex usually gets kids off bus and takes to his mommies so I know they are eating well. Just by the time I am done with work, get the kids to their activities, homework (no, ex won't do this during the short time he has them), get them to bed, clean up. it may be 9:00 - who feels like cooking now? that is why i was trying to watch calories instead of Atkins again. I would get so hungry I would end up "binging" on anything in site - which was usually carbs. At least this way, I was trying to monitor how much I was eating.

Oh well, gotta wake the kiddies up. (wish I could steel my son's metabolism - he eats and eats but still only in the 25 percentile (obviously didn't get that from mom - ha ha) thanks again for all the advice. Maybe i'll try multi-tasking and making scrambled eggs for breakfast and pack kiddies lunches at the same time.
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