I started counting calories on New Year's eve. I started exercising. The goal was not to lose weight, but to become healthier. And it worked for a while. I lost 30 lbs and two sizes, and felt the old confidence coming back.
What a time to get stuck. My weight has been stuck at 170 for the last two months. I have continued exercising through it all (yay!), but am returning to my pattern of over-eating when stressed (even though its mostly healthy stuff.) I know I need to dig in my heels and get past this plateau, but HOW?
Please share tips and advice on how to get past the plateau and stay motivated through it all. I'm mixing exercise routines and just started swimming, but yesterday I went on a weight loss fad diet website for the FIRST time. That's scary.
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Oh man, I wish I had the answer for you...but I'm here seeking my own answers. I can only say-don't give up! I think the swimming is an excellent idea. How long have you been doing it?
Hey..thanks for the reply! I just started swimming lessons, actually- never learnt to swim as a child. All I can do is dog paddle and float, but it is incredibly relaxing, and hopefully once I start swimming in earnest it will work as an exercise.
We can only try, can't we? Maybe I can help you with your questions?
I imagine doggie-paddling burns a lot of calories! I love swimming, but I think doggie paddling is exhausting.
My own ?'s are mostly internal...I wonder why I self-sabatoge. I seem to get around 150-ish and then give up. I eat like a pig and stop exercising. It's been 3 years and I yo-yo back and for between 150 and 162. I'm also chronically hungry...no matter what I eat. I tried researching & eating low calorie foods, or those that tend to fill you up and give you a satisfied feeling for longer...but I'm still hungry all the time. It's very frustrating. I think about starting smoking again in a daily basis. When I smoked I never weighed more than 130 lbs.
Now I want a pool...I'm thinking if I could swim laps, maybe I'd lose more weight faster.
I have much the same story. Started this site in February, lost 30 lbs easily and honestly never really felt hungry. I was amazed at how easy it all seemed. Despite having a goal of going from 285 to 185, I started celebrating at 255.
Then CC changed the formula and my calorie target dropped by 300. Two things happened: I started getting hungry every day, and the weight loss slowed dramatically.
I lost another 5lbs, and then nothing. For the last 2 months. I bounced between 251 and 244 for 2 months. I bumped up my 30-day Shred workout to Level 3, and started varying the calorie target. Nothing.
In desperation, last week I ate to my BMR target and did no exercise.
So here we are, end of the week where I'm back on target, and this evening I weighed: 243.8
0.2lbs loss -- which is margin of error, but given I haven't been this low before, I'm ecstatic. I hope like heck next week I can say I'm 241.
So given my own plateau problems, I'm not one to be handing out advice; but I will say all I can do is stay positive. I'm frustrated and would love to give up; I, too, have suddenly been interested in fad diets or miracle supplements. But I know that's a dead end, so I'm just keeping my head down and plodding ahead.
My mind tells me it's just impossible for me to continue to take in fewer calories than I burn and not lose weight; but my heart sinks looking at that scale every week.
Yay on the loss! Any loss is good, imo!
I'm sorry my last post sounded like such a debbie downer. :D The truth is, if we (I) give up during a plateau, then we definitely lose. No matter how long or frustrating it is, somehow I know I need to find a way to stick with it.
Hi, sammalone and chrissy! Congrats on your loss. I've been reading about this new 'diet' called the instinct diet which was reviewed on CC. They talk about using low glycemic index foods- high fiber, complex carbs- to avoid the constant hunger. I haven't tried it yet, but am looking forward to seeing if there are any additional tips that we don't already use (lettuce, water, whole grains). If I find them, I will post them! Re:swimming, I don't have a pool, but have been going to the YMCA.
Self-sabotage is my big thing, and maybe the reason I'm stuck at 170. I eat out of boredom and stress, and distracting myself (going to visit a friend, getting on the internet, even going shopping, which I hate) help a little bit. Everyone talks about finding alternative strategies, but I haven't really found one that works every time.
How about we post on this post- or elsewhere-on a semi-regular basis? Just talking to someone who is struggling with the same issues has made me feel better. Thanks!
Sounds good to me! I feel better talking (whining) about it too.
Do they suggest specific foods to eat on the 'instinct diet'? I'm not very knowledgable about the differences in carbs versus complex carbs. It's definitely an area where I could use some education.
Well hi back, nehajain!
You said you've never found an alternative strategy that works every time, and that's my experience, too. So for me, it's really adapting to what's happening to me at the time or trying out new things from time to time.
For instance, when I first started getting hungry every day it was suggested I drink more water. I'm a caffeine addict (Diet Pepsi all day), so I gradually started replacing my main beverage with water.
It really worked.. for a couple weeks. Then I started doing the 3 meals, 2 snacks thing to eat more throughout the day (having been a 2 meal a day person my whole life.) Helped for a few weeks. And so on.
I'm always looking for things to integrate into my lifestyle -- but at some point it does seem like you've either tried everything or you've done everything you're ever going to do.
(Even then, it seems like I see something here or there that I can add to my plan so I can keep moving forward.)
Re: complex carbs, my understanding (I haven't read the book yet- its in mail) is that the less refined, the better. So whole grains and high fiber, high protein grains (millet, quinoa, brown rice, whole wheat/oats/barley) take longer to digest and make you feel full and more satisfied. I can definitely certify to that- Indian whole wheat bread (roti) keeps me full much, much longer than plain white bread.
The instinct diet focuses on calorie control (what else) and reconditioning yourself by eating healthy, complex foods even for cravings. According to Amazon reviews, it really helps with hunger and re-learning how to eat. One thing I saw mentioned a lot online was All Bran cereal, so I got me a box of that today. :D
Sam, that is exactly what I do, too! I've always been a 5-meals a day eater, so that part works out well. I've tried increasing overall movement (walking to work), drinking more liquids (check) and increasing protein (trying, trying..lol)
Good luck to all of us- I've cut back down to 1200 calories again (the 1400 cal thing just did NOT work), and am exercising 30 minutes a day. Lets see how this goes..and lets keep posting until we get through the darned plateaus.
Maybe I'll brab a box of all bran cereal and start using brown rice instead of white. I know whites are supposed to be a no-no, but man, they are a weakness. We probably have mashed potatos 3X a week. I limit myself to 1/2 a cup, but I could probably stand to go without it. It would probably help.
I run 2 miles a day, but I need to add to that. Either run 1 more mile (that's always been my goal anyway) or start riding my stationary bike some. That thing really seems to kick my butt.
I just got off a month long plateau at 162.8 (to the decomal point- for one whole month!!), so I sympathize!
What worked for me was increasing the amount/ intensity of exercise so I was burning more calories. I also ate more to match the burn, so I still was getting deficits of 4-500 calories.
Funny as I was reading your thread I had run across this at Realage Benefit. By the sounds of it, you all lost at least 10% of your original body weight. YaY You!! Perhaps this may help ... Knowledge is power.
Lost a little weight recently? Here’s the magic number you need to know to keep it off: 275.
That’s how many extra minutes of exercise per week a study group needed in order to maintain a 10 percent loss in body weight for 2 years. Grab an extra 40-minute walk every day and you’re covered.
More Is More
Unfortunately, when people lose weight, almost half of them tend to regain it within 6 months. But you don’t have to be part of that statistic. Just a little extra physical activity could keep you enjoying your new size indefinitely. But that means more than the recommended 30 minutes of physical activity a day needed to prevent disease. Researchers estimate that most people need 60 to 90 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity on most days of the week -- in addition to eating right -- to keep lost pounds off. Start today. Stay lean. Stay strong. Create your own 20-minute workout.
Nehajain, I think you could try to put the scale away. I only weigh myself once a month for a few days in a row, because, weight fluctuates so much.
Losing 30 pounds is awesome! Be confident in your ability to lose more, but, try to experiment with adding something new, like a new workout tape, or exercise strategy.Also, I usually bump up my calories to maintenance level for a few days to recalibrate my metabolism. Then, when I restrict them again, I find it has a positive effect.
Write down your food. I never thought that was important until I began doing it with CC. When I did that, I found that I was actually eating more calories than I ever imagined.
Finally, the fact that you're seeking advice, support, and have vocalized how you fear slipping, shows me that you're fighting. Anything worthwhile is worth fighting for. Even if it takes a year to lose all the weight you feel you need, at 2 pounds a month, it will happen. Months and years fly by, and this time next year people could be telling you that they're worried that you're getting too thin! Best of luck.
It is worth a try! I ate half a cup of Fiber one plain bran cereal this morning with my cappuccino (8 oz skim milk and splenda, no flavor)- it wasn't bad at all. Plus, I actually feel full right now, instead of that half-empty feeling that makes me go for the donuts in the break room.
Whites are a huge weakness for me, too. I love pasta- Ronzoni healthy harvest whole grain tastes a lot like the real thing! Not big on potatoes, but maybe you could try leaving the peel on and using buttermilk/yogurt to whip them instead of cream and/or butter. I've heard of people 'adulterating' mashed potatoes with half mashed roasted cauliflower, but not sure if that would work for your taste buds.
Running two miles is awesome! I can't run at all, but do 30 minutes on the stationary bike while watching TV. If its a good show, I sometimes even forget I'm biking! :D
Thank you!! So the plateaus do end- I know that, but Really need reminding sometimes. I tried going up on my exercise, but it started to hurt my knees. I bike (stationary) 30 minutes daily and walk about 2 -4 miles 3-4 days/week. (more often 2 than 4). Maybe adding the swimming will give me the boost.
Re: diet, I tried upping from 1200 to 1400 calories, and ended up gaining a lb! Okay, the gain is more likely due to some of the binge days, but I'm going to cut back down to 1200 for now, and take hope from your story. Thanks again!
Thank you for the inspiration- I find walking to be the best and the easiest for me to do. Planning on walking the rest of my life, no matter what happens. I need to walk more regularly to reach that magic number!
Thank you so much! You're right about the fighting- it was so hard for me to talk about weight, but now I talk about it openly. And guess what, people talk back to me and tell me how good I look now- its amazing to hear that at least once a day.
Writing food is very important for me as well- I always overeat when I quit charting here at CC.
The scales are tricky, though. I always start gaining if I don't weigh myself. That morning weigh in, whether positive or negative, helps me stay focused on my health. I tried weighing myself once a week and it just doesn't work. :(
Thank you for the motivation. Lets do it for ourselves!
I'm the same way about over eating if I stop tracking my calories. I'm going to make a promise to myself that even if I take a break from jogging, I'm still going to track my calorie intake. I think I'm going to start weighing myself more often too. Some people say they use their jeans to determine when they should cut back, but since mine are lose to begin with, I found I gained 10 lbs before they felt tight. Not good.
I think right now my own biggest fear is staying motivated.
Oh, I hear you. Even when you're having a good day, you constantly worry about tripping up any moment. If posting here/talking/getting replies back helps at all, we can do it! I'm pretty sure there was some research about the effectiveness of the buddy system for weight loss.
I've been counting calories ever since my teens and thought I was a pro. How wrong I was! Guesstimating calories just doesn't work- you have to track down every darned calorie.
Today's tally- 1200 cals, 30 minutes of biking, and a 2 mile walk. Feeling good!
Your optimism is contageous! :D
Today I did 1700 calories and ran at approximately 5 mph for 25 minutes, so I burned about 225 calories doing that. I also take the stairs whenever possible...I am computer support, so there are occasions when I do use the elevator. I don't wanna fall down the stairs with a desktop!
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