Arrgghhh plateau help!!

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majarichie

Joined: Nov 10
Posts: 10

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Posted: 26 Jun 2012, 21:09
Hi all,

I have been on a 1500 calorie or less diet for almost two years now. I started off at 424 lbs, and I'm currently at 256 lbs. Things went great until I hit a plateau around Thanksgiving last year. I then started dropping my calories to 1200-1300 calories. It seemed to work initially, but here I am in a cycle again; up and down 5lbs, and then a little loss. I was wondering about zig zag diets, or having a spike day. Does anyone have any advice on how to get the weight loss rolling again. I really have no problem eating 1200 or less calories a day, but I'm starting to think that my body is really fighting me because it thinks I'm starving.

Any advice is GREATLY appreciated!

Rich
CoachTrista

Joined: Aug 11
Posts: 76

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Posted: 26 Jun 2012, 21:54
Check out the book Choose to Lose, the 7-Day Carb Cycle Solution. I think you might find your solution there. Let me know what you think of it.
kingkeld

Joined: Sep 09
Posts: 1,995

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Posted: 27 Jun 2012, 00:49
From a quick glance at your food calender, you are not eating enough. That is what I think. I had a similar problem, and worked out a way to get going, based on spike days. Check out my bio page if you are interested. It worked wonders for me, and it really not hard. Feel free to message me if you have questions, and no, I am not trying to sell you anything. Smile

Visit my website: www.tabdig.info

"Losing weight is never about eating as little as possible"
- Kingkeld.
"You wouldn't worry so much about what others think of you if you realized how seldom they do.
― Eleanor Roosevelt
"Do. Or do not. There is no trying."
- Master Yoda.

I went from morbidly obese to being the owner of TABDIG - a weight loss coaching service that helps people worldwide losing weight. It's been an amazing journey. From October 4th 2010 to April 3rd 2012 I lost half my body weight - 80 kilos/170 lbs. Since then, I have had two cosmetic surgeries to remove excess skin. I have now quadrupled my strength, gained several kilos in muscle mass, and today I focus on building muscle, optimizing my diet, living healthy and helping people to reach the very same goals. I am stronger, healthier, thinner, happier! If you feel that you need help losing weight, don't hesitate to send me an inbox message.
posterchild6...

Joined: Apr 10
Posts: 107

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Posted: 27 Jun 2012, 01:44
Agree with Kingkeld 100 billion percent! I have been doing 1500 cals a day, with some crazy spike days! Every week, despite myself, I have been losing weight. So, the spike/cheat/indulgence day works for me. 1500 calories is something I can easily work with, any cravings get curbed by cheat day. Its quite nice. Good luck!

Also, Awesome job so far on your weight loss! That really is impressive. So dont give up the fort yet, you have accomplished a ton (no pun intended), lol. I am sure you just need to throw something new into the mix. Like I said before cheat day has worked well, and I have taken up biking.
kingkeld

Joined: Sep 09
Posts: 1,995

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Posted: 27 Jun 2012, 02:23
Shame on me. I didn't realize how much you have lost, my friend. NICE WORK. Standing ovation from me too. I actually hit plateau about the same place as you are. I hope you can use my info.

Visit my website: www.tabdig.info

"Losing weight is never about eating as little as possible"
- Kingkeld.
"You wouldn't worry so much about what others think of you if you realized how seldom they do.
― Eleanor Roosevelt
"Do. Or do not. There is no trying."
- Master Yoda.

I went from morbidly obese to being the owner of TABDIG - a weight loss coaching service that helps people worldwide losing weight. It's been an amazing journey. From October 4th 2010 to April 3rd 2012 I lost half my body weight - 80 kilos/170 lbs. Since then, I have had two cosmetic surgeries to remove excess skin. I have now quadrupled my strength, gained several kilos in muscle mass, and today I focus on building muscle, optimizing my diet, living healthy and helping people to reach the very same goals. I am stronger, healthier, thinner, happier! If you feel that you need help losing weight, don't hesitate to send me an inbox message.
davidswife16

Joined: Jul 10
Posts: 35

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Posted: 27 Jun 2012, 16:42
As crazy as it may sound, you may need to take up your calorie intake. Your body may be in starvation mode. Up your calories just a bit and see if that helps. When your body is in starvation mode it isn't getting enough calories. So when you eat it hangs onto everything you eat because it doesn't know when it's next meal is. Good luck on getting off that plateau and GREAT JOB on the weight loss. Very Happy Keep up the great work!!!
_______________________________________________________________________
No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it. ~ Hebrews 12:11
_______________________________________________________________________
Starting weight: 167 lbs
Goal Weight: 143 lbs
Completion Date: January 31, 2013


Mini-Goals:
12/31/12 - 150 lbs
1/31/13 - 143 lbs

_______________________________________________________________________

majarichie

Joined: Nov 10
Posts: 10

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Posted: 28 Jun 2012, 00:16
Thank you all for the advice, and kudos! It's been an enlightening (pun sort of intended) journey thus far. I think I'm going to try upping my calories and see if that helps. At the very least I will try a spike day. It's really hard mentally for me to go over my allotment. Which in the short run may be bad, but in the long run it will keep me on the straight (well zig zag!) and narrow!
Poorflick

Joined: May 12
Posts: 15

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Posted: 28 Jun 2012, 01:08
I eat about 1800 a day and , granted, the weight is not quickly falling off but it is coming off. I'm currently finding exercise i like so when i do get stuck i can just up the exercise and not lower the calories.
holfraz

Joined: Mar 12
Posts: 178

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Posted: 28 Jun 2012, 06:47
I agree with everyone else here. I believe there is something to those spike days. I dont understand how it works, but when I aam in a severe calorie restriction for a prolonged period of time(as you seem to be), and I allow myself to have a fabulous meal of whatever I want one day, it seems as if instead of the damage I expect to see on the scale the next day, I actually find that I've shed a few pounds overnight. But I work out a LOT. and everyone is different. However, I do guarantee you if you start adding a 30 min. brisk walk into your routine everyday, you will get past your plateau. Exercise combined with calorie restriction makes such a huge difference than just restricting calories alone. Lets say for your weight, you burn approx. 250 calories per day walking briskly for 30 mins; multiply those burnt calories by 7 and you're burning an extra 1,750 calories/wk. without making any other changes. That's 1/2 a lb./wk. of pure fat gone. Plus, the exercise will increase your metabolism and youo'll burn even more calories throughout the day than you were before. Great job on your weight loss so far!
vmango

Joined: Jun 12
Posts: 17

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Posted: 28 Jun 2012, 10:07
Hi Rich,

I'm going to give you some tough commentary. Unless you have a medical problem, you will lose a lot of weight eating 1500 calories a day. You aren't on a plateau, stop telling yourself that, it isn't true.

My guess is that you are actually consuming more than 1500 calories a day because you aren't properly calorie counting. Math doesn't lie. Humans do.

Read the post at this link: http://www.fitnessfactreview.com/the-art-science-of-calorie-counting/
majarichie

Joined: Nov 10
Posts: 10

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Posted: 28 Jun 2012, 10:27
If one thing is true I've stuck to my guns on this lifestyle change. You don't lose 160+ pounds and then all of a sudden start cheating almost two years into the plan. I follow through, and I will see my goal. I could actually eat less if I knew it would help, but it isn't. I have made smart choices in my diet. I eat low fat healthy meals. I haven't eaten red meat in over a decade, and I don't drink milk. At my last doctor's check up (with a full blood panel) all my numbers were steller. When I started my lifestyle change I was borderline diabetic, had high cholesterol, and high blood pressure.........all of that is gone. Feel free to check out my diet calendar to see my intake. Exercise is certainly something I need to increase, and now that Summer is attempting to arrive here in the NW I intend to take advantage of the time.

Thank you all for the advice, I really do appreciate it. It makes a world of difference knowing there is a community of people that have the same goals and are so supportive.
vmango

Joined: Jun 12
Posts: 17

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Posted: 28 Jun 2012, 11:31
Yes, and congrats on what is a great deal of weight loss and a positive lifestyle.

Nevertheless, in looking at your diet calendar you should be losing a lot of weight. You purported calorie intake is quite low and it is an impossibility of science that you would not lose weight eating what I see is between 1200 and 1500 calories a day.

I think you need increase your calories from protein and lower your carb ratio to that protein. I will still maintain that it's a scientific impossibility that you've been on a "plateau" for this long consuming so few calories. You are quite simply taking in more calories that you think you are and you aren't running the calorie deficit you think you are.

This advice can go for any or most of the other plateau posts.You might "plateau" for a while but your body can't manufacturer magic calories to avoid weight loss over time.
KelseyRenae

Joined: Apr 10
Posts: 130

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Posted: 28 Jun 2012, 14:01
vmango-- I think you are sounding really condescending to someone who has obviously done a great job at weight loss so far. It can be true that a person's body rejects lower calories over the course of years and it is also true that there are many many diagnosed and undiagnosed medical problems that can cause stalled weight loss. You're right in that the calories aren't magically appearing, but a person's body can react differently over time. This whole "calories in, calories out" thing only works with people who have perfect metabolisms, which is very few in our society where we've binged and dieted so much. Saying that it's an impossibility of science only takes in to account 2 variables-- calories, and an assumption of a properly working metabolism-- and there are way more than 2 variables in any scientific problem, especially when it comes to people.

majarichie-- you have done an absolutely amazing job so far and we can see that you follow through-- congratulations! I'm sorry to hear about your stalling weight loss. Playing around with your fat, protein, and carb ratios could help, upping your calories or having a spike day could help, certainly exercise is good whether or not you lose weight, but you might also see if you can talk to your doctor about other possibilities-- maybe getting your thyroid or adrenal gland tested or something? There are lots of medical things that could affect weight loss too. Good luck!
vmango

Joined: Jun 12
Posts: 17

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Posted: 28 Jun 2012, 14:30
Kelsey, by no means am I trying to be condescending and if I am coming across that way I apologize. Rich opened up a thread under his free will looking for advice about his plateau. After looking at his diet calendar and comparing that information to his issue, something doesn't add up. I'm under the impression he isn't lying but just isn't being accurate enough in his calorie count....losing weight really is as simple as a calorie deficit and if he's plateauing he either needs to burn more calories, eat less calories, or both.

This of course is not taking away anything from the great job he's done in already losing a lot of weight....but if the guy is asking for help and just wants a straight opinion he got one. Telling people what they want to hear isn't going to help them lose weight....which is why we're all here.

If Rich cuts his calories further or more accurately accounts for what he is consuming he WILL continue to lose weight. If he starts being more active he will, too. I promise.

So many of these plateau threads are like this in so many diet/excise forums and most often people are eating more calories than they think they are.
Nimm

Joined: Dec 10
Posts: 669

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Posted: 28 Jun 2012, 14:36
vmango wrote:
So many of these plateau threads are like this in so many diet/excise forums and most often people are eating more calories than they think they are.


Discrepancy between Self-Reported and Actual Caloric Intake and Exercise in Obese Subjects

Quote:
The main finding of this study is that failure to lose weight despite a self-reported low caloric intake can be explained by substantial misreporting of food intake and physical activity. The underreporting of food intake by the subjects in group 1 even occurred 24 hours after a test meal eaten under standardized conditions. In contrast, values for total energy expenditure, resting metabolic rate, thermic effect of food, and thermic response to exercise were comparable with those of obese subjects in group 2 who did not report a history of diet resistance.

In addition to their greater degree of misreporting, the subjects in group 1 used thyroid medication more often, had a stronger belief that their obesity was caused by genetic and metabolic factors and not by overeating, and reported less hunger and disinhibition and more cognitive restraint than did the subjects in group 2. Subjects presenting for weight-control therapy who had these findings in association with a history of self-reported diet resistance would clearly convey the impression that a low metabolic rate caused their obesity.

The results of the evaluation of all major aspects of energy metabolism in the subjects in group 1 confirmed that substantial misreporting of food intake and physical activity accounted for the diet resistance they reported. There are, however, physiologic explanations for short-term diet resistance that should be considered in subjects with unexpectedly slow weight loss. Under certain conditions, fluid retention can mask weight loss for up to 16 days in subjects who are actually losing fat through dieting. After several weeks of weight loss, energy expenditure decreases and adaptive changes in protein metabolism occur, reducing the degree of negative energy and nitrogen balance and slowing the weight loss until it is almost imperceptible. Also, subjects with undiagnosed or untreated thyroid disease and those taking medications that lower energy expenditure may lose weight slowly.


The bolded portion may be especially relevant here. 1500 calories of food intake at a starting weight of over 400 lbs is dramatically undereating. Sustaining this for several years has likely caused a significant reduction in both resting metabolic rate and the energy expended during activity. The OP could be undercounting calories, but it seems more likely to me that he's hit a legitimate plateau because of the pretty severe changes in his hormonal state that he's probably inducing. You're right, vmango, that less food, more activity or both will get the fat loss moving again, but a diet break (or even medical intervention) might be appropriate in this case, rather than beating up on his metabolism even more.

A 256 lb man should have weight flying off of him at 1500 calories/day. If that isn't doing the trick, AND (big if) he's counting calories accurately, he's probably better off talking to his physician or an endocrinologist, and not an internet forum. Normally, an error in calorie tracking would be a safe assumption, but in this case, two years of a massive sustained calorie deficit is probably wreaking havoc with all sorts of hormone levels in the OP. He's painting himself into a metabolic corner by restricting calories below what is already an extremely low level.
majarichie

Joined: Nov 10
Posts: 10

      quote  
Posted: 28 Jun 2012, 15:54
I do appreciate all the advice and I can certainly understand the phantom rub that I am causing in some on this forum. Needless to say, I have lost over 160 pounds on a 1500 calorie a day or less diet. To assume that I am all of a sudden miscalculating my caloric intake is a strange thought to me. I am down right religious about counting calories and have the success to back that up. I have a suspicion that dropping my calories below 1500 has messed with my chemical equilibrium and I'm in the center of that right now.

I know I'm not alone on this matter and that is why I posted to this forum. There are others that have been in my very same situation, and I'm eager to hear how they approached this very real dilema. There is no moving backward, only forward.

Thanks again everyone, I appreciate your advice.

Rich

vmango

Joined: Jun 12
Posts: 17

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Posted: 28 Jun 2012, 16:09
My last comment and then I'm done. Nimm, you bring up greats points in all facets.

Rich, the diet you've been on may have been enough to bring you down to your current weight but not enough to have you continue to lose weight. As you become a lighter man your body burns less calories/your caloric need for maintenance becomes less.

Goodluck
Verblstar

Joined: Jun 12
Posts: 20

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Posted: 28 Jun 2012, 16:27
A word on the 'spike day' thing. Some times you have to do this for two or three days for your body to realize that it is not starving. This is not to say disregard you diet all together but, it wouldn't be a bad idea for you to recalculate your daily intake of calories and actually try to eat all your calories for a few days, then go back to your deficit.
majarichie

Joined: Nov 10
Posts: 10

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Posted: 01 Jul 2012, 09:35
A quick update. I have upped my calories for the last few days, and lo and behold today my weight is down 3.6 lbs! Seems there is some hoodoo to this caloric intake voodoo! Too little=stall. Too much=weight gain. Happy balance=success. Probably a life lesson in there someplace. Wink

Thanks again to EVERYONE for all the advice. I learned a long time ago, I don't have to agree to learn and grow. There has to be contradiction to build conviction.

Thanks again!

Rich
kingkeld

Joined: Sep 09
Posts: 1,995

      quote  
Posted: 02 Jul 2012, 09:18
I'm glad you got it working. Did you read my page, as I recommended? I put up a nice little formula on how to calculate the numbers for a weekly "Indulgence Day", so you can keep losing weight without your body stalling. The downside? You get to consume a LOT more calories once per week. Smile

Visit my website: www.tabdig.info

"Losing weight is never about eating as little as possible"
- Kingkeld.
"You wouldn't worry so much about what others think of you if you realized how seldom they do.
― Eleanor Roosevelt
"Do. Or do not. There is no trying."
- Master Yoda.

I went from morbidly obese to being the owner of TABDIG - a weight loss coaching service that helps people worldwide losing weight. It's been an amazing journey. From October 4th 2010 to April 3rd 2012 I lost half my body weight - 80 kilos/170 lbs. Since then, I have had two cosmetic surgeries to remove excess skin. I have now quadrupled my strength, gained several kilos in muscle mass, and today I focus on building muscle, optimizing my diet, living healthy and helping people to reach the very same goals. I am stronger, healthier, thinner, happier! If you feel that you need help losing weight, don't hesitate to send me an inbox message.



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