Weight Loss
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Hit Your Weight Loss Plateau?


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I started at 137lbs at the beginning of the year and am now down to 133.2lbs, where I've been stuck for the past 4 days. I've been eating around 1,000 calories/day for the past week and have now started exercising to increase muscle. 

I saw that a LOT of people here are having trouble dealing with their plateau, so I thought I'd share this link from Mayo Clinic. Don't give up!

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/weight-loss- plateau/MY01152

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Yeah, 1,000 calories is a mistake. You should forget about your plateau and start thinking about your health.

 

Even the article you linked to said not to eat less than 1200.

I dropped to 1,000/day because even at 1,300 calories/day I wasn't losing weight. I'm also trying to train my brain to eat smaller portions, so less food equals less calories. I have a week-long trade show in Vegas coming up and every meal will be at a restaurant. It's hard to stop eating with a giant plate of food in front of your face, but if I can get used to eating a small amount and not finishing everything on my plate, I'll be better equipped to handle the coming challenge.

It's still a bad idea.

You say that you have been stuck for 4 days. That isn't a plateau, it's normal. Weight loss is rarely linear, especially when you are at a healthy weight (unless you are very short, 133 should be healthy).

You are undereating, and it's just going to make future weight loss and maintenance more difficult.  Even 1300 was probably too little for you given that you are exercising (which by the way, won't make you gain muscle since you'll be eating less than you burn - you are more likely to lose muscle, especially if you continue to under eat).

Original Post by julietverni:

I dropped to 1,000/day because even at 1,300 calories/day I wasn't losing weight. I'm also trying to train my brain to eat smaller portions, so less food equals less calories. I have a week-long trade show in Vegas coming up and every meal will be at a restaurant. It's hard to stop eating with a giant plate of food in front of your face, but if I can get used to eating a small amount and not finishing everything on my plate, I'll be better equipped to handle the coming challenge.

I wasn't losing on 1300 calories per day either.  I upped them to 1500, and guess what?  The numbers started going down again.

As far as a 4 day plateau?  Puh-leeze.  I can gain and lose the same 3 pounds in one day.  You may be retaining water... OR your body may have decided there's some sort of famine going on and is protecting itself.

Eat something.  Or the at the way you're going at this you're going to have to continue restricting more and more and more to see any results.  Is that the coming challenge you're looking for?  Because Vegas restaurants have *nothing* on that challenge.  Smaller portions are great and wonderful, but don't overdo.  Your body wants fuel.

Smaller portions doesn't have to mean less calories. You can spread it out over the day and have more smaller meals. As for restaurants, either split the food with someone or have them box up half for you to take back to your room either before it comes out or right when it comes out. You could also ask for lunch size portions since they seem to be smaller. Also, if your meal is consisting of a salad or steamed veggies with no butter or oil (you can have them cooked that way) there aren't as many calories as you might think. It's all about your options. It will be harder to lose weight if you're already at a healthy weight so you may have to up your intensity in regards to exercise. Another thing that's helping me is calorie cycling. Just some options because if you stay at 1,000 and then you don't drop any more either you're going to keep restricting cals (which is unhealthy) or when you up them you may gain some weight back more rapidly at first. Better to try and stop the "bleeding" now and adjust than switch it up and have to deal with a big upswing then downswing and stress yourself out. Good luck!
Original Post by eringilbert:

Original Post by julietverni:

I dropped to 1,000/day because even at 1,300 calories/day I wasn't losing weight. I'm also trying to train my brain to eat smaller portions, so less food equals less calories. I have a week-long trade show in Vegas coming up and every meal will be at a restaurant. It's hard to stop eating with a giant plate of food in front of your face, but if I can get used to eating a small amount and not finishing everything on my plate, I'll be better equipped to handle the coming challenge.

I wasn't losing on 1300 calories per day either.  I upped them to 1500, and guess what?  The numbers started going down again.

As far as a 4 day plateau?  Puh-leeze.  I can gain and lose the same 3 pounds in one day.  You may be retaining water... OR your body may have decided there's some sort of famine going on and is protecting itself.

Eat something.  Or the at the way you're going at this you're going to have to continue restricting more and more and more to see any results.  Is that the coming challenge you're looking for?  Because Vegas restaurants have *nothing* on that challenge.  Smaller portions are great and wonderful, but don't overdo.  Your body wants fuel.

I agree with eringilbert.  I hit 4 plateaus during my weight loss and I INCREASED my calories by 200-300cal for a few weeks in order to break them. (then coming back down to a maintenance calories) I can't say as I changed my workout routine much during those times. I promise you, you won't gain weight increasing for a few weeks and you'll feel better too. I know you will reach your goals.

Well, I've never been overweight and never felt the need to diet. I was actually underweight for most of my childhood because I just wasn't hungry. It was a struggle for me to finish a second slice of pizza, which now sounds ridiculous, but that's what my body was doing at the time. As an adult I never felt hungry much after work, so I wouldn't eat a full meal, usually just snack on cheese and crackers for a bit. When my fiancé moved in with me, that's when things changed. I had another mouth to feed, and I'm a pretty damn good cook, so I started eating dinner regularly. Over the course of the past 3 years that we've been living together I gained 17lbs.

I'm just trying to go back to what used to be my normal eating habits, since I was maintaining a weight of 120lbs then, which is where I'd like to be again. I'll try increasing my intake to 1,200 calories to see what that accomplishes. Thanks for berating me everyone, I probably needed that.
Just try changing a few things at a time. It's not necessarily how much you eat but what you eat. Quality over quantity. Snack on good cheese but maybe add an apple and a little nut butter (almond, peanut). You'll see if you add the right things in and not just junked up calorie dense food it will make a difference. You'll find your balance in no time. Besides, the knowledge you can now will help you in the long run as you get older and things change again. :)
Original Post by julietverni:

Well, I've never been overweight and never felt the need to diet. I was actually underweight for most of my childhood because I just wasn't hungry. It was a struggle for me to finish a second slice of pizza, which now sounds ridiculous, but that's what my body was doing at the time. As an adult I never felt hungry much after work, so I wouldn't eat a full meal, usually just snack on cheese and crackers for a bit. When my fiancé moved in with me, that's when things changed. I had another mouth to feed, and I'm a pretty damn good cook, so I started eating dinner regularly. Over the course of the past 3 years that we've been living together I gained 17lbs.

I'm just trying to go back to what used to be my normal eating habits, since I was maintaining a weight of 120lbs then, which is where I'd like to be again. I'll try increasing my intake to 1,200 calories to see what that accomplishes. Thanks for berating me everyone, I probably needed that.

Please, hold up here... While I see where my post from last night *may* have been a bit snarky, it was most assuredly not intended to berate.  So my apologies for that.

So I'll attempt to be a bit more helpful here.  Not very good at sugar coating or enabling though, so please take it in the spirit in which it's intended - which is to help you find your right number and healthy eating plan.

Do you have **any** idea how many people on here every day, every other post, think that they're the special ones who have the "special" bodies that don't require a minimum calorie intake?  So then, you come along, not losing on 1300 calories so voila!  you drop to 1000.  A couple of us on here told you we didn't drop our calories down, but raised them and started dropping weight, and now you want to do the bare minimum for a sedentary, short, older lady.  If you couldn't drop at 1300, 1200 isn't going to help much either.

A couple projects for you: 

1) Find out what your BMR is.  This is the magic number that will make your body the happiest.  If it happens to be 1200, then, yay, you're there.  If it's higher though, aim for that.

2)  Sit down with your food log and go through a mental tally of everything you would have eaten when you were younger.  From any condiments you would have used, sugar in your coffee or tea, cream, cheese, crackers, school lunch, peanut butter, slice of pizza... an average day in the life of younger you.  Log every last bit of it.  If you're not sure on the weights vs. quantity you would have had, get a like item and weigh it today so you can be as accurate as possible.  It will give you a better idea of your actual calorie intake.

3)  Then start over with the food log every thing you've been eating over the past 3 years... accounting again for dinner portions, cooking oils used for that dinner, condiments, extra sugar, sodas - anything that would go into your mouth on a daily basis.

4)  Give an honest look at your activity level pre- and post- fiance moving in.  Did you go out dancing on a regular basis?  Walk around shopping with girlfriends?  After he moved in did you guys get into a comfy, settled in phase?

We're all good at guesstimating what we're eating, but ignoring those little things like a teaspoon of sugar or honey, a dollop of whipped cream, that one little soda... and a lot of times that's where it adds up.  Calories in drinks count too. 

And the moving is the same thing... I stayed thin for like EVER when I was younger eating massive quantities of food every day, but I moved.  A LOT.  When I started gaining in my early 30s I was no longer moving that much but still enjoyed the eating part.  Not a good combo. 

Let us know what you come up with :)  We really are here to help if we can, and be helped at the other times :D

My current BMR is 1,372. When I was eating that many calories I was maintaining a weight of between 135 and 137, which is not where I want to be. I don't want to be a size 8, I want to go back to a 6. As a teenager it was 1,378. Not much of a difference there.

Okay, went through an average teenage day of food. Bowl of Kix, mini chocolate donuts and milk for lunch (seriously, I ate this **** every day. Just awful. My parents didn't know), pasta for dinner with extra parm. Total of 1,048.5 calories. My gym class at that time was a free for all thing where you could do whatever you wanted, so I usually played table tennis. Given that we had to take turns because there was only one table, I probably only played for about 10 minutes total during our 30 minute gym class. So that burned 40 calories. Probably less, since I weighed 118. And then I would go home, listen to Portishead and flip through YM magazine until dinner was ready. Watch TV after dinner then go to bed.

I eat much healthier now and a bigger variety of foods. I never eat fast food, ever. It's repulsive. I have a bottle of root beer probably once a month, but I mostly drink coffee, water, and an occasional glass of red wine with dinner. And it's an actual 4oz pour, not filled to the top like some people do. I use a food scale for everything, so I don't have to guess at how much I'm eating. Well, I don't bring the food scale out into the world with me, so if I eat at a restaurant, that's guessing, but I rarely eat out. I prefer to cook at home so I know what I'm eating, and it's cheaper.

Before Shaun moved in, I never exercised. I stopped going out dancing with the girls about a year before we met. The only lifestyle difference between then and now is that I rarely used to eat dinner, but because it's the only meal that Shaun eats, I started eating it too.

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