WOW!! Thank you guys for such great advice, comments, and support. Yes, I was getting a little down on myself, (still determined to stay on track though), but after reading all this....I'm back up in spirits like I was at the beginning.
First off, I myself have reached about 6 weeks into using Spark, so yea I suppose I have gotten to that point where everything changes a little and I'm truly tested to stick with it. Next, I agree with the fact that my calorie count for the days has been too low, so I'm beginning to make efforts at getting more (fruits and vegs) in there.....and the protein. I do love steak! :-) Finally, maybe my body is on a "plateau style" as well. What BunnyKicks describes with her husbands sounds very similar to me. lol Only time with tell if this is the case with me, but it is something that I'll certainly keep in mind and look to see if perhaps that is the way my body handles things. Whatever the case, I'll learn it, track it, and succeed with it. :-D
Thanks everyone, You really don't know how much better I feel today thanks to these comments.
6/26/13 11:31 A
My husband loses weight in a "plateau style" fashion... he'll lose ZERO for 3 weeks in a row (despite eating an appropriate calorie range for weight loss) and then in week 4, BAM, down 6 pounds. This cycle repeats and repeats and repeats... drives him nuts. Really, all that is happening is that the "fat loss" he is truly experiencing is masked sometimes on weigh-in day by fluctuations in water weight. Or the opposite - perhaps one week he happens to be very dehydrated when weighing in, making it look like some incredible 8 pound loss... so he'll record a weight that's a little bit " artificially" low... and then it takes 3 weeks more of "fat loss" for his body to catch up to the scale!
So. Yeah. I grumble on the weeks where he loses 5+ pounds and I lose one. He grumbles on the weeks where he loses nothing *again* as I record my bajillionth consecutive week of "loss." What we are experiencing is different from one another, but both totally normal - how your body chooses to release weight is very individual. Your goal is to "trend downwards over time" so don't worry too much about the scale on a daily or weekly basis. Are you lower at the end of the month than you were at the beginning, despite the ups and downs in between? There's your indication that you're going in the right direction!
Gadzooks, man, I took a look at your tracker and am starving just looking at it! I'd be considering gnawing on my partner's arm in the middle of the night if I tried to go that low, especially that low on protein. (Please read that as said with a smile!)
Lilliputianna is right (she always is), as are the others - you really should start trying to get some more calories in to your day. You've mentioned that it's hard to fit in meals and snacks during the day, and that you don't like a big meal a few hours before bed, so maybe try focusing on eating more calorie rich / nutrition rich foods with each meal.
Instead of the string cheese for breakfast, maybe have a couple of eggs scrambled with cheese and veggies, along with your fruit. If you don't have time to cook, then check out some of the recipes for single-serving frittatas that can be batch-cooked on the weekend, frozen, and then just grabbed and heated each day. Think about maybe doing an overnight-oatmeal with greek yogurt or eggs, and adding some fruit or veg to that. It doesn't have to seem like a ton of food (especially if you're like me and think food in the morning is disgusting), but make sure that you're getting a good bit of protein and fibre.
Try increasing your meat portions, adding some extra olive oil when cooking, adding some guacamole with the salsa, or having some nuts as snacks to get some more protein, healthy fats, and healthy calories.
Is your issue with having more calories in the evening because it causes problems for you (some folks have trouble sleeping after eating, or have issues with acid reflux or the like), or is it because you've heard the old-wives'-tale that you shouldn't eat after a certain time when trying to lose weight? If it's the latter, please keep in mind that your body doesn't care what the clock says, and it will process all calories the same way. As long as you're eating nutritious foods, then an evening snack can work really well.
For me, personally, I always have around half of my daily calories from dinner 'til bed-time. This is when I'm most hungry, and makes me feel my best. I plan on a dinner of 300-500 calories, a snack of popcorn (I like the fibre hit), and a cup of cocoa (skim milk and dutch-processed cocoa powder for a protein hit along with some fibre) right before bed. If I feel like it, I may add a frozen greek yogurt bar or a dish of yogurt with fruit in there as well. This gives me at least 600 calories during the course of the evening, and up to 850 on some days. This has worked just fine for me, but you'll have to try different things to find out what works best for you.
Kudos on your success so far, and for focusing on creating healthy new habits to carry on for the rest of your life! Good luck in figuring out the next steps that will work for you!
Fitness Minutes: (11,561)
120 6/26/13 10:04 A
Sometimes we think the less we eat the better, but try to at least aim for the low end of your range. If you go under that, your body will actually think it is starving. It will try to hold onto the calories you do eat, instead of burning them off. Another thing I learned from spark people is that when you start doing a lot of exercise and the weight is coming off, your muscles will hold more water in them to help you keep cool during your exercise. That could contribute to a plateau. Overexercising past the ranges that are suggested could actually make you hold onto excess weight as well. Also, you said you don't think you've built much muscle, but I would be willing to bet that you have put on at least a couple or a few pounds of muscle. Plateaus are completely normal and they can happen for a ton of reasons. I hit one about six weeks in. After consistently losing for a few weeks, it was hard to see the numbers either not budge or go down half a pound then back up for three weeks. But, I stuck to it. I remembered that even if my numbers weren't going down, being physically active was good for me, drinking water was good for me, and eating nutritiously was good for me. All of that is better than the alternative, even if your weight isn't moving for a little while. Plus, my blood pressure dropped and I got off meds. One of the best pieces of advice I got during my plateau was to focus on all the good changes and keep up with it. Do not let it discourage you or give you a reason to slack off, because that is when a healthy plateau will turn into self sabatoge. Keep it up, focus on your non scale victories, and before long you will break your plateau.
Fitness Minutes: (1,158)
6/25/13 11:55 A
When I first started tracking my food, there was a sharp learning curve. It's like learning how to manage your money. You will do "stupid" things at first and put you in a caloric bind just because you didn't realize or didn't know. We do a very poor job in this country of teaching the average person about nutrition. I am a nurse practitioner...and I learned a LOT in the beginning. Eat a lot of fresh fruit/vegetables. Apples and pears are a lot of "bang for buck".
Be patient. Know that what you are doing is healthy. You are gaining control of your life, and SparkPeople is GREAT help. The "plateua" thing is common. Try to focus on tracking the food and the workouts and meeting goals as much as you can and let the weight take care of itself.
Thank you for the advice. Yes, I have been tracking "everything I eat", and I will admit I'm still learning the right and wrong foods to eat. I also acknowledge the fact that my calorie count has been lower than what is called for me....the ideal for my size is between 1700 and 2100 a day (better around the 1700-1800 mark). My problem with that is literally not having the time in the day to eat more until I get home at night, and then the last thing I want to do is put it all in one meal a few hours before bed. However with that said, if you feel that I need to strive to get at least the 1700 a day, and that that will keep my body from going into a "starvation mode" and storing everything away as fat, I will attempt it. I could not be more serious about this and my health now, and am very eager to learn. Thank you again.
6/25/13 11:02 A
It's pretty common to have a big drop right at the beginning. I had seven pounds in one week. It's water weight. After that, one to two pounds a week is what you should aim for.
Plateaus are pretty specific things. They last for weeks. They hit you out of nowhere.
Are they common? Yes. You should expect them if you have a significant amount to lose, but it's too soon in your journey to call what you are experiencing a "plateau."
ALSO...I just took a peek at your calorie counter on your page. Are you tracking everything your are eating? Because I'm seeing days with 1100 calories...1400 calories...
That's WAY too little for you. I'm 5'1 and 128 pounds, and I need AT LEAST 1250 calories a day. You're going to need significantly more than I do. I know it sounds crazy, but sometimes you need to eat more to lose weight. Also, keep a close eye on sodium rich meats. Those salts will make you soak up water like a sponge.
Thank you so much for the helpful advice. You are so right in the fact that other benefits are there. I guess it's just hard to really think about that when one gets "tunnel vision" on the numbers below their feet. lol
I will continue to stay strong and on my path.
It's nice to know that there is a place to turn when you get to feeling down. Thank you again, :-D
Fitness Minutes: (276,898)
6/25/13 9:41 A
You're not doing anything wrong !! Plateaus ARE a normal part of the weight loss process. This is not the Biggest Loser where the weight keeps coming off week after week. While a safe weekly weight loss would be 1-2 pounds per week, there will be weeks you don't lose. There will even be weeks you gain ! And that doesn't mean you're doing anything wrong.
Remember, you didn't gain the weight overnight, it's not coming off overnight. There will be weeks you don't lose and that IS perfectly normal.
Keep in mind that there are going to be changes to your body you can't see. subtle changes that occur that don't involve the scale. Do you know if your blood pressure has dropped in the last month, your doctor would be thrilled even if you didn't lose any weight. Lowering your blood pressure is a huge sign of success.
Look for other signs of success when the scale doesn't move, because they are there.
Hello everyone, I could really use a little advise here. I was wondering, in the journey to weight lose, is hitting a plateau a normal thing and will continuing to stick to your plans eventually manage to break through it? Or should one change what they are doing?
Here is a little about me. I will be 32 next Tuesday, I'm male and have always had a large frame. I started my quest with Spark on 5/16/13. On 5/2/13 I stepped on the scale to see 280lbs and my eyes almost feel out of my head. That is when I knew I really needed to do something. Between May 2nd and May 16th I'd managed to lose 7lbs, but since joining with Spark and finding the tracking tools, the motivation tools, and the amazing community, I've managed to get down to 260lbs....(yes 20lb drop). I've started feeling better, and I'm working hard to continue to learn and do things right. My goal is to get down to around 195lbs and then push it to 180lbs to make that 100lb mark.
However here is my concern: I've continued to stick to my goals, and done very well at them, yet I've noticed that I can't seem to break into the 250lb bracket. I hit 259 once, and it only lasted a day. Am I doing something wrong now?
I have started walking and trying to get more active, but I wouldn't say that I've built any muscle up, so I don't think that would be the balance out in weight.
I would be very grateful for any advice. That's why I was just wondering if this is normal or should I do something different?
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