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shemmer3493 01-04-2010 05:04 PM

FitDay's Best of Series: Breaking a plateau
 
MODERATOR'S NOTE:

The following is a collection of the best tips that FitDay members have to offer, taken from many threads over a long period of time. Thank you to all of the contributors!

This thread can be used as a "one stop shopping place" for reference.

If you have any suggestions for other posts to be included, you may always PM one of the Forum Moderators.

wydok 01-05-2010 02:25 PM

Change things up and see what happens
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by shemmer3493 (Post 72414)
I'm baffled. I'm doing everything right and still I do not see the scale drop. I'm 5'4", 140 lbs, and am a size 4/6. I would like to be 125 lbs. I've been there before, so I know it's possible. I'm working out 6 days a week (35 minutes of cardio and 25 minutes of weights). I'm eating 1000 calories a day. This should calculate into 2.8 lbs lost per week, but nothing is happening. I am noticing toning changes to my body, but it's extremely frustrating to see zero changes on the scale. Any advice?


If you are seeing tone changes, it might be you are gaining muscle and losing fat, but since muscle is denser your total mass isn't changing.

"Starvation mode" may or may not be a true condition, depending on who you talk too, but I do agree that you should try increasing your calorie intake to 1200/day to see if that helps. You might always want to try zigzagging (1000 one day, 1400 the next, averaging out to 8400 a week). If you aren't doing cardio, or aren't doing MUCH cardio, you might want to increase that part of your workout to increase your metabolism.

Or, if you ARE doing a lot of cardio, try adding in some weight training...

Basically, change things up and see what happens.

KimmyRocks 02-03-2010 01:56 PM

I'm a strong believer in measuring progress in a variety of ways
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by LuvyH (Post 2424)
I'm currently at 180 and am just craving that moment when I get on the scale and it shows 179. However, in terms of measurements I've lost 2 inches in my waist and 1 in my hips these last two weeks. People are also starting to notice that I look toner and leaner, especially in the mid-section and thighs.

I was just wondering if any of you guys think this "plateau" is actually due to the fact that I'm probably gaining muscle, which weighs more than fat, so I'm technically not losing the weight but still seing a difference in my build?

Your body is getting smaller. That's really one of the reasons you want to lose weight, right? That's why I'm a strong believer in measuring progress in a variety of ways - and NOT just the number on the scale.

Losing inches is a great indication that you're right on track. The number on the scale will start decreasing again soon. That muscle you're adding requires more calories at rest than the fat you've shed.

You're making yourself into a lean machine, baby! Keep it up!

cjohnson728 02-03-2010 03:35 PM

It's not what's displayed on the scale, it's about getting healthy
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by LuvyH (Post 2424)
I'm currently at 180 and am just craving that moment when I get on the scale and it shows 179. However, in terms of measurements I've lost 2 inches in my waist and 1 in my hips these last two weeks. People are also starting to notice that I look toner and leaner, especially in the mid-section and thighs.

I was just wondering if any of you guys think this "plateau" is actually due to the fact that I'm probably gaining muscle, which weighs more than fat, so I'm technically not losing the weight but still seing a difference in my build?

Sounds like you are headed in the right direction even if the scale doesn't show it!

Technically, muscle does not weigh more than fat. A pound of fat and a pound of muscle weigh the same...a pound. But a pound of muscle takes up less space than a pound of fat and that is probably what you're seeing. Those inches lost are awesome! Besides, who knows what you weigh (besides you, no one) and who sees how you look (everyone)!

For example, I was really miffed when I got on the scale this morning and had gained half a pound...after a quarter of a pound yesterday. I have been diligent about what goes into my mouth and exercising daily. But I have a scale that measures body fat and a whole new lower number popped up after it displayed my weight. My body fat is two percentage points lower than it was a week ago. So I have to remind myself that it is not about having the lowest number on the scale; it's really about getting healthy...and more muscle and less fat equals healthy.

Keep it up and it will all fall into place!

carye1 03-03-2010 07:34 PM

Something needs to change
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by annasdad1993 (Post 70959)
I started at 229 and the 1st week I lost 10 lbs but now I've been stuck at 119 for almost 1 1/2 weeks. I have 1600 cals a day and do jogging, bycicle, and even some aorobics with my wife but nothing.

What am I doing wrong?


I have been losing weight for about 2 years now. I am 5'8", and started out at 200# straight up. I wasn't clinically obese, but my doctor was concerned. I initially wanted to lose 10 lbs. But at this point, I am happy to say that I have lost 43 lbs, I want to lose just a few more.

What you describe has been what I have been going through the entire time, but since I am not as heavy, it is in smaller chunks. So, I would lose 2 lbs in a week or two, and then go a week or two with no weight loss, then another 2 lb weight loss, then another few weeks would go by where I wouldn't lose any more weight.

Then, after several cycles of this, I found that I would "bottom out" and not lose any weight. In fact in some cases, months would go by without me losing a single pound. I finally figured out that when I stopped losing weight, it meant simply that something needed to change - either my workout (increasing cardio) or my eating habits (decreasing intake). Then, the weight would start to come off again, just like it had before.

When I initially started two years ago, I worked out by walking on a treadmill - 20 min was all I could do. Currently, I walk on the treadmill for an hour each morning (4 - 5 miles at an 8% grade, with 3 or 5 lb dumbells), I walk in afternoon, if the weather is condusive (another 2 - 3 miles on average 4 days per week), and every other day I do a resistance workout. Also, I try to keep my caloric intake to about 1700 calories per day (in reality it fluctuates between 1600 - 2200 -- and I usually have a "cheat day" on a weekly basis). So really, I can truthfully state that I walked off my 40+ lbs.

I have read that muscles have a "memory" and when they get used to performing a certain action, they become more efficient. So when this happens, you just need to "switch things up," change your routine - by lengthening it or doing something else altogether.

But, I think what you are going through is normal - and it actually means that you are making progress. Stick with it, and you will see that scale start dropping again.

tandoorichicken 04-16-2010 11:58 PM

Partition your carb and fat intake
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by jacquelinepaterson (Post 72039)
I was told I could increase my weight loss by increasing fibre intake. My weight loss has stalled over the last couple of days and I don't know why. Although the dietary changes I made are for life, I still also have a goal I must meet.

I'm going to have a tough time with the concept of increasing calories to lose weight but I'm going to give it a shot. That means a jump from 900 cal per day to 1444. Gotta try something different....I can't stall after only 4 weeks.

Any advice on how to get my weight loss revved up again?


Women in particular may "stall out" for a couple of days naturally, then get back on track... periodically. It's not indicative of anything you're doing wrong per se, it's just bound to happen every now and then.

I honestly think 900 calories is too few for anyone. 1200 calorie should be a minimum. If you're going to add around 500 calories though, might I suggest adding them as protein and fat? Furthermore, may I suggest altering your meals slightly such that you are not eating a quantity of carb and fat at the same time?

The rationale here is that when you eat carb in quantity, your insulin levels jump to try to shuttle away all that carb out of your bloodstream and into the tissues where it is used for energy. However, the body can only process one type of macronutrient at a time. Another function of insulin is to shuttle away the fat that you eat directly into your bodily fat stores, instead of to your liver to be processed into ketones, which are then used for energy. So just partitioning your carb and fat intake may provide an extra boost to fat loss you won't be storing as much fat as you are burning.

With protein, you can eat it with carb or fat, just be sure to eat it with something because the body has a hard time absorbing plain protein. It's called "rabbit starvation," and it comes from times when explorers in the arctic ate tons of lean rabbit meat and still managed to show signs of starvation.


-Nik

desertmountain 04-21-2010 06:10 PM

While tracking, what specific foods keep you from losing?
 
Using FitDay I found out that certain foods keep me from losing weight and others actually cause me to gain weight even though I'm staying right on track with my fat-carb-pro balance & caloric intake. For me it's starchy foods & red meat, grains being the worse at causing weight gain.

I've also read here that some people stall or gain with dairy, nuts & sweeteners.

Maybe you can experiment with avoiding certain types of foods for a week at a time to see if you'll get out of the stall or just look over your food journal to see if you've been eating more of something or maybe something new that could be the cause. I agree with the fiber concept b/c without enough fiber intake to keep things moving regularly I'm bloated, gain weight & sometimes feel downright yucky. I get my fiber by eating large amounts of raw veggies & salads everyday. If needed I'll take a fiber supplements but the ones with grains, like bran, only make it worse instead of better.

I read one woman's post that she ups her protein and that breaks a stall for her. Lowering my caloric intake has never helped me break out of a stall.

Everyone's different but since I tend to stall-out a lot (ggrrrrr) I've been looking more closely at FitDay-tracking & finding foods that always cause a stall or a gain. Occasionally, I have no idea why I'm stalled, but when that happens it's always followed by a larger than usual weight loss for the week so I think it's just the body adjusting to this new lifestyle or resistant to let go of fat, or who knows what.

almeeker 04-26-2010 11:23 PM

I generally rely on three things...
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by farr1022 (Post 69354)
Seemed to have hit a plateau and need some tips on how to bust it. Lost 50lbs and have not lost much of anything in two weeks. What have you guys done to get through a plateau?


I generally rely on three things, increasing my burn, upping my protein intake for 2-3 days while dropping my calories by 100-200. And when I say "upping" I mean to like 40-50%, if you can get it that high. I've been trying to find ways to up my workout without adding more time, so this week I bought a pair of ankle/wrist weights to use during my elliptical workout and I now use the Jillian Michaels 30-Day Shred as a warm-up instead of my usual stretching. You might also consider changing up your workout, if you've been running, go swimming instead, if you're using weights try yoga. The whole P90X program is based on the idea of muscle confusion, so throw something at your muscles they aren't used to and see if that doesn't make the dial move a little.

cjohnson728 04-26-2010 11:30 PM

Change up calories and exercise to make your body work harder
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by farr1022 (Post 69354)
Seemed to have hit a plateau and need some tips on how to bust it. Lost 50lbs and have not lost much of anything in two weeks. What have you guys done to get through a plateau?


I find that shaking up my exercise (doing something different from the usual routine) and doing calorie cycling work (go here for info...Calorie Calculator - Daily Caloric Needs and click on the 7-day calorie zig zag) to some extent. The basic principle is that your body gets used to, and becomes more efficient at, whatever you are doing after a few weeks, so changing it up means it has to work harder.

That being said, I still hit plateaus; sometimes you just have to be patient and above all, don't give up!

wannabefitgrl 04-27-2010 01:42 AM

Change up the number of meals
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by farr1022 (Post 69354)
Seemed to have hit a plateau and need some tips on how to bust it. Lost 50lbs and have not lost much of anything in two weeks. What have you guys done to get through a plateau?


I try to vary the way I'm eating. I tend to prefer 5 meals a day, but some weeks will eat 7 smaller meals to shake up my metbolism. It is a lot of work to schedule that many meals/snacks in a day, but it's worth it. I also like to do cardio workouts that incorporate weights (lunges/squats holding weights, etc.). Maybe take a look at your diet too. See how much sugar you're taking in (that includes fruit) and really evaluate your diet. Personally, I've found that diet is the key to my weight loss so maybe it's just time to reign in some habits that are holding you back! Best of luck!


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