Does plateauing always happen?

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Joined: Jul 11
Posts: 40

Posted: 03 Oct 2011, 11:05
Ive been on my weight loss journey since the end of August and have lost 21 lbs. Everything is going great. Ive been reading a lot of journals and have heard about plateaus. I was wondering if this is something that always happens and i need to prepare for it?
The only people who never tumble are those who never mount the high wire. This is your moment. Own it.

Joined: Jan 11
Posts: 1

Posted: 03 Oct 2011, 11:08
Stacy, I can't think of anything to suggest re hit a plateau other than keep focus. I just wanted to send you a quick congrats on your success thus far. Keep up the good work.

Joined: Jul 10
Posts: 1,712

Posted: 03 Oct 2011, 11:34
I've read that it almost always does for several different reasons:
- Burn fewer cals at a lower weight, so you can't continue to lose weight eating the same # of cals
- Your metabolism adjusts to eating at a deficit and just doesn't use as many- your body is designed to keep you alive and may take measures to prevent further loss of it's prescious stored energy (ie fat)
- If you're not changing up your exericse, your body gets used to that, too and gets too efficient and doesn't burn as many cals.

I'm struggling with the plateau issue myself (26 lbs in), so it definitely does happen at least sometimes! Prepare yourself mentally for the fact that at some point your weight loss will slow down- it's inevitable as you get closer to your goal weight. Changing up your exercise regularly and doing intervals may help to avoid it too. Also, keep in mind that a week without weight loss is not a plateau- people use the term pretty lightly and I've seen posts where people go a day or two without a lower number and call it a plateau! Generally speaking, you have to be at the same weight for a number of weeks for it to be a real plateau. You can also find a ton of info on it online, if you'd like to learn more.
- Natalie

Joined: Sep 09
Posts: 1,995

Posted: 03 Oct 2011, 12:28
I did hit a plateau, but came out of it nicely. Mine didn't happen until well after 100 lbs. Smile
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Joined: Jun 11
Posts: 13

Posted: 03 Oct 2011, 12:45
Dear Stacy,
Plateaus... very frustrating... also inevitable....

As Gnat said, our bodies' hard wired instinct is to keep us alive. My wife struggled with her Plateau for several weeks until she realized that she had lost several inches overall during the plateau. So there is hope.

Also, when we lose weight our bodies need time to adjust to a new normal set point. Going up it resets what it thinks as "normal" very quickly. It, however, it takes longer going down. Hence plateaus.

By losing about 10% of your body weight and then keeping it off for a few months your body will do its reset to the lower weight.

Keep up the good work and remember that weight loss isn't always about the numbers, it also about how your close are fitting..

Joined: Nov 10
Posts: 218

Posted: 11 Oct 2011, 12:24
I'm on a plateau as well. In the last couple months, I have been struggling to lose a pound. I'm wandering if I will still be losing weight or if this is it for me. So far, I lost 55 lbs. I'm 5'3'' and I weigh 146 lbs.

In 04/2010, my BMI was 35.6 (obese class 2). In 11/2011, my weight is now normal; what an accomplishment!

Joined: Jul 10
Posts: 1,712

Posted: 11 Oct 2011, 12:36
Stick with it, tired2fat! I was stuck for 2 months before I finally lost a pound last weekend. On the advice of one of my FS buddies, I changed up my cals to high and low days instead of a consistent calorie level- it's called calorie confusion and I've see it recommended in some plateau discussions. There's a ton of info out there about plateau busting so do some research and try an idea that fits with your diet and lifestyle. I too was questioning whether I was at some natural stopping point but my buddies wouldn't let me go down that path- I'm so happy I listened to them!
- Natalie

Joined: Mar 11
Posts: 456

Posted: 11 Oct 2011, 13:45
I'm a fan of calorie cycling like gnat824 describes too. It breaks plataeus, manages boredom and sets your weeks up to include both austere days and some fun food indulgence days (yay!) Smile This keeps my metabolism guessing and the "feast" days fuel me when I want to work out extra hard.

Joined: Mar 10
Posts: 504

Posted: 11 Oct 2011, 14:16
I have never plateaued. Maybe becuase I "spike" on weekends (though not intentionally). I also took the summer off to see if I could maintain without journaling and recording foods, so maybe that explains it. But for me, if calories in are fewer than calories out, I lose.
"The grass ain't greener, the wine ain't sweeter, either side of the hill" The Grateful Dead

Joined: Jan 10
Posts: 134

Posted: 11 Oct 2011, 14:35
I've plateaud twice already (60 lbs total, at 40 and 52ish pounds). The only thing I can say is to keep going what you know is right, and go at it harder. Even if you don't see the scale move for a month or so, healthy living is the only real option you've got!
Margaret - "She's got the joie de vie."

Joined: Jul 10
Posts: 7

Posted: 11 Oct 2011, 15:27
Keep going ...ive hit them a few times but you just make slight adjustments, even sometimes eating a little more, changing the workout out up a tiny bit.
It will happen, and it is for sure discouraging. Just remember keep going keep going and doing what you're doing. YOU WILL COME OUT the other side. I was stuck for a month at 160 and FINALLY last week I lost 4 lbs! So excited im out of the rut and rolling again.

Remind yourself it will change just dont get impatient and fall off the wagon.

Take care

quote=stacy robbins]Ive been on my weight loss journey since the end of August and have lost 21 lbs. Everything is going great. Ive been reading a lot of journals and have heard about plateaus. I was wondering if this is something that always happens and i need to prepare for it? [/quote]

Joined: Aug 11
Posts: 520

Posted: 11 Oct 2011, 16:46
To keep a plateau in perspective (as with just about everything else) I turn to humor. The sappy thing I do with plateaus is call them Monument Valley Weight. Then when I go to bed I visualize desert mesas and sort of pretend I'm blowing the sand away as I breathe out. Helps calm me down and give some angles to the plateaus in my head. Hope that helps. Smile
"Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does." ~ William James

Joined: Jul 11
Posts: 40

Posted: 21 Oct 2011, 00:34
ive visited a website at and on there they have calculators to help with "calorie cycling." I think this sounds like a perfect "fix" to a plateau along with changing up the exercise routine on occasion. Of course, i have no actual experience with it, it just seems to make sense to me. Ive also noticed that since ive added more daily protein in my diet, with my diet still being balanced, ive been able to lose weight more consistently
The only people who never tumble are those who never mount the high wire. This is your moment. Own it.

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