I found if I add more strength training in it helps break my plateau. More important, I revisit portion control - my biggest issue.
9/14/13 10:29 P
It is super frustrating - I'm going through one as well right now. A mantra I heard somewhere (Jillian Michael's podcast maybe?), is one I keep repeating to myself: While you're not losing weight, at least you're not gaining weight.
Sometimes it's nice to remember this and put things in perspective. I've come a long way - and still have plenty to go - but I just have to keep doing the little things right and it'll come.
Best of luck to you!
Fitness Minutes: (185,153)
9/14/13 5:18 P
When I'm gaining, I go back to measuring and tracking everything I eat, and usually find I ate more than I thought. Really knowing what I eat and getting back to my nutrition ranges always helped me.
When I've been stuck, I try to go back to the basics and start measuring everything I eat again. Like the previous advice though-don't cut too many calories. I also try to change up my exercise routine and do things differently, different types of aerobics, for example. For me, adding an extra 15 minutes of aerobics a day or even an extra day at the gym has helped. I like the advice of remembering how far you've come and being proud of where you've gotten. At least my plateau now is MUCH less than my plateaus used to be.
I've stayed the course and varied my exercises. Heve not seen the scale budge but some of my pants are now a little loose so....guess it's working. Maybe there's something wrong with the scale....hmmm.
9/13/13 2:42 P
Great topic and great tips. I've done a mix of staying the course/waiting it out, upping calorie intake, increasing exercise intensity, mixing up what I'm doing for exercise. I also know that my body has a pattern it follows, and heat and humidity also can factor into how much water I retain. I'm not sure I've seen a pattern as to what works for getting out of a plateau for me. I'm just glad I have lots of different options to try.
Fitness Minutes: (6,155)
9/13/13 1:18 P
I have been on a long plateau as well. However, just within the last 3 months, I have been able to lose 20 lbs. I have learned how to exercise away my pounds.
I was stuck for a long time, then realized ....well, I'm a bunch less than i used to weigh. If I don't lose any more for months even, that's okay. Where I am is better than where I was. But eventually, I lost a bit more and reached my first goal. Now I've set a new goal...one I never thought possible. I don't know how long it will take me, but I still figure that where I am is better than where I was and if I can lose more...that will be even better.
Fitness Minutes: (1,536)
9/12/13 7:32 P
I just tell my self it's part of being healthy,so I just wait plateaus out. PRAY!!!!!¡
Fitness Minutes: (5,853)
9/12/13 4:27 P
I have really enjoyed reading this thread! Thanks to everyone for all the great input!
I think we all hit plateaus and it makes you feel like you are not working towards your healthy lifestyle or maybe that you are not doing it well enough. I think my comment is keep it simple, stick to what got you to that new weight. Track everything, add a few minutes to your work out program if you have the time and instead of looking at the scale look at how your clothes are fitting!! When you feel bad...hit the message boards, read some inspiring journeys and look for support from your friends at spark people!
9/12/13 3:24 P
Sometimes even changing things up doesn't move a plateau, sometimes you just have to wait until your body is ready to get moving again.
Fitness Minutes: (15,850)
40 9/12/13 12:55 P
If you are stuck, be sure you are taking your activity level into consideration. I kept getting stuck for 3-4 weeks, trading the same one or two pounds back and forth. EVERY TIME, when I upped my calories, I started losing. THEN, I realized my fitness tracker was not communicating with my nutrition tracker! I might exercise enough to burn 400-700 calories, but still only eat 1200 calories! That was not enough. 1200 should be days you don't exercise at all! If your trackers aren't "communicating", go to the bottom of your nutrition page, and change your settings. Your calories will change each day, depending on how much (or how little) you exercise. Bet you see the weight start going down again. GOOD LUCK, and DON'T QUIT!!!!!!!!
Thank you FIFIFRIZZLE for the encouragement. I need to keep the big picture in mind. I really want to stop beating myself up for not "dieting" right now and work on maintaining -- which is, by default, what I'm doing anyway.
9/12/13 3:09 A
Carrie that is an awesome achievement, congratulations! Could you call it maintaining for now, give up on trying to lose any more for the moment and just settle down. Then schedue in your diary an appointment in a month to two to ask yourself if you are ready to tackle that last few lbs? Or even if dropping 5 percent of your body weight might be something you want to do then?
I'm very glad to see this addressed and very glad I'm not the only one. I lost 110 pounds and have about 20 more to go to be at an appropriate weight for my frame, and I'm stuck. I've been stuck all summer. It's not a mystery to me why I can't lose more, because I stop "dieting" every few weeks, and then I sometimes eat too much. I am still learning how to maintain this as a lifestyle, not a diet, so I don't veer from starvation to excess and back. When I go off my plan, I feel I've blown it for the day, so I might as well have that second piece of cake, since I'm "off my diet" for the day. I'm trying to overcome this frame of mind.
I also am working out more, as I find it rewarding in a way that calorie deprivation isn't. So I've increased lean muscle mass. People at work are always calling me "skinny," but I think it's just because they're used to seeing me so much bigger. Or am I OK where I'm at? I wish I could answer that for myself.
I have been worrying that I will never lose that last 20 or so, but if I don't, I will be satisfied with maintaining the loss I've achieved so far.
@KICKINGKILOS ... I agree with STITCH4EVER....change it up. I have also heard that staggering the calories within your range is a good idea and that the most successful food combo is lean protein and lots of green leafy veggies. The body gets bored so constant change keeps it guessing.
I have been at a plateau for the past month. I've not GAINED anything thank goodness.....but I don't want to press my luck so I'm back at tracking ALL my food intake and exercise. I've come to realize if I'm perfectly honest with myself, this probably wasn't a true plateau as I did slack off with tracking. I have noticed in the past that when I give myself a little break and have a treat meal or day, I tend to break the plateau. So my strategy is to track track track!!!!! :)
9/11/13 4:01 P
Make an appt. with a real dietitian, and go over what you enjoy eating with her, she will help make up a menu of foods that you enjoy, so you won't keep slipping off and on, and she will have objective tips for only YOU, she see's you in front of her, and so forth. Treat it like a chronic health condition, and seeing the dietitian will help you keep that in your mind. Don't go on some plan that you can't continue.
Fitness Minutes: (56,956)
4,033 9/11/13 3:52 P
Change it up! Change which meal of the day is your largest. If it was supper before - move it to lunch. Change when you exercise. If you are doing it after work, try doing it first thing in the morning. And don't rely on "eyeballing it" for your portion sizes. Go back to weighing and measuring for awhile. And don't forget your water. I am diabetic and found I actually lost more weight when I stopped using artificial sweeteners. Weird that!
I have one more Q- As, I have been at the same weight for few months now, do I need to reduce my calories? I eat about 1300-1500, I'm 5'2. (currently weigh 65.7 kilos & goal is 55)
Fitness Minutes: (16,343)
2,273 9/11/13 2:21 P
In 3 days it will be one month since I have lost any weight, that's the bad news. The good news is that I am not gaining any either.
9/11/13 2:10 P
With me it tends to be the porttion sizes that slip. To combat portion creep, I have started to simplify my meals, eating less variety of vegetables at each meal but bigger portions. That helps keep me honest! I used to think that every lunch and dinner I should have three different veggies, now I might just have two. Also, I strip the fruits down to just apples, pears, kiwi, mandarins, oranges, berries, rhubarb. And swap fish for meat, having a few more meals with fish as a protein. I might add extra serves of protein to see if that shakes something loose. This simplified diet helps me get on track. And I drink extra water, you need water to burn fat! Plus, I have stopped thinking I am gaining that same old kilo back. I think, I have put on new weight! That mental trick makes a difference I cannot explain.
Hi everyone. I am currenyly stuck at 65 kilos. In fact I gain and lose the same one kilo. I still dont know how to bust this plateau but I sure am not giving up. I am 5'2 with a goal weight of 55kilos.
9/11/13 12:05 P
I think since I am pretty close to my goal weight it seems like the whole process has been a kind of plateau. I have been working on accepting that it is going to take a long time (ie much longer that I want it to take)!! I keep logging my food intake and exercising diligently, trying to quickly get back on track when I 'fall off the wagon'. We are a society that thinks that everything should happen instantaneously but sometimes, lasting outcomes are worth the wait.
I've had, and still have, many plateaus and gain times. I try changing up exercise and get out of my food "ruts" (tending to eat the same things every day). Sometimes it does mean going back to the basics. Most importantly, just concentrate on health and not weight. Eventually things turn around!
some times i think it is your body saying YOU ARE AT THE SET POINT so stop trying for more! and some times it is a real plateau - which is more than two weeks as i understand it. either way - it is frustrating - my strategy is not to go OFF THE DEEP END, GET EXASPERATED and eat what i should not. i have tried many many things over the years - and not much worked - so now i just try to keep my wits.
I was on a plateau for quite a long time, but it was mostly of my own making! I tried to exercise myself thinner, going to the gym 6-7 days a week for aerobics, step aerobics, Zumba, strength training, you name it. I still could not get off the plateau. It took me forever to realize that I had to do all of the things that Spark People recommends: exercise, yes, but also tracking, water, portion control, more fruit and vegetables.... All of the pieces had to be there. And, for me, portion control was perhaps the most important. I had to teach myself to realize that the amount of food I need is much smaller than the amount I was eating. Now that I've learned that, it is much easier to lose and maintain. You said it all: when I stay on track, I do fine; when I get lax, I gain. Great post!
Edited by: FITMARY at: 9/11/2013 (06:55)
Fitness Minutes: (199,089)
66,245 9/11/13 4:42 A
I am glad to say that mine only lasted two to three week and I moved on. I think it was because I got stale with my walking. I changed the route and it all came back.
I lost a total 33lbs in three months back in 2011 then hit a plateau which i never recovered from - I gained it all back! But what i took away from the experience is that the calorie restriction and insane amount of exercise i was doing was not 'normal' for me and no way on earth it was ever going to be. Even if i hadnt plateaued, i probably would've gained back all the weight once i went back to 'normal'...now I'm trying to find a normal range of calories and meals and workouts that allows me to lose weight without feeling like i have to exert superhuman effort....
Fitness Minutes: (125,955)
9/10/13 8:11 P
Its tough when you reach a plateau, but what I did was go back into my tracking journal and see what I was eating and if I was staying on track. sometimes you will notice you did nothing to cause this but its your body reacting to the weight change. Make sure you are eating enough or your body will think your starving and hold onto the weight. I've noticed when I plateaued after a couple of weeks I dropped several pounds. So my advice stick with it, it does give you an emotional lift that you did everything right. Just remember that you didn't put the weight on overnight so it takes will just as long to take it off.
Fitness Minutes: (82,255)
9/10/13 7:27 P
I shake things up by switching up my exercise and do more cross training. On the food front, I go back to basics and make sure I eat according to my percentages of Fat, Protein, Carbs.
Fitness Minutes: (36,248)
9/10/13 6:40 P
I focus on continuing to make positive choices each day. I honor myself as I am and know that my weight is in God's hands. I just have to continue to do the foot work. What I don't do is go back to bad habits and I don't give up my hard but, healthy choices.
Fitness Minutes: (52,006)
759 9/10/13 4:54 P
When you hit a plateau the best advice is to stick with it. My longest plateau lasted 6 months! But I'm so happy I didn't give up. I know it won't be my last Plateaus either......realizing it's a part of the journey is half the battle. Stick with it, it WILL pass!
So don't give up! Also, the SparkCoach Plateau busters program is AWESOME!
Fitness Minutes: (0)
9/10/13 3:58 P
When I hit a plateau, I Googled everything I could about weight loss plateaus. What worked for me was changing my work out routine. When I walked, I walked for longer periods of time and I also started jogging. Sure enough, the weight started coming right off.
Thanks for your obesity causes obesity comment, Anarie. The studies on this have been really interesting. I read about one recently where they tested 3 different diets on people who had lost weight. While I'm not a fan of eating plans that simply cut food groups out, there was a finding that the people on the diet higher in proteins and healthy fats were able to consume more calories than their counterparts without associated weight gain. Those foods seemed to boost metabolism a bit. I still think removing carbs completely is silly, especially if you're physically active, but for those of us who are fighting this extra issue it could be useful to concentrate on changing our proportions towards more protein and fat and less carbs. (And yes, fat is GOOD for you!)
Fitness Minutes: (3,359)
423 9/10/13 3:40 P
I've tried multiple strategies since hitting menopause, and while I once lost a few pounds on a detox diet, it immediately came back. All the advice says "don't diet: develop an eating plan you can live with." I can live with 1300-1400 calories, but when I go below that I get resentful, irritated, and it's not worth the pain.
Also having a VERY tough time balancing work, kids, hobbies, and the need to exercise. I'll take a class or do serious cardio for three weeks, then something intervenes.
Weight management used to be so much easier when I was younger!!
I work on leaving off things that over time harm me (such as eating excess or less processed food) and adding things that will help me (such as eating more freggies, for example), and look forward to the benefits of progress.
I have read that sometimes plateaus are a result of the efficiency of our bodies. Our metabolic rate slows down when it used to a smaller amount of calories to burn. To reset, temporarily up your calories. It could take a day or more, then go back to your program eating. (I like to increase protein.) I have heard of trainers recommending a treat meal or day once a week to satisfy craving and this will also give your metabolic rate a boost. I also don't weigh myself frequently. As time passes, and I stay on track with food and exercise, the numbers eventually go down.
while taking off 90 pounds from May 2010 thru Nov 2011 and hitting a plateau Feb/Mar 2011 I was able to go back into my food tracking here on SP and found that my sodium intake had increased during that winter time... I'd changed some of what I was eating, I'd moved and life was a bit more crazy and to make things easier I'd gone to some pre-packaged frozen meals with higher sodium contents.
If I had not been tracking all my foods here on SP I would not have had the tools to find what turned out to be something that I feel was the cause of a 6 week long plateau. I made adjustments to my food intake and started dropping weight again. I cut out the frozen meals which decreased my sodium intake and it worked.
Also sometime eating more, eating to the higher level of your calorie intake can make your system "think" it's not going to starve. So the survival mode gets to feeling better and I could actually eat more and lose more.
Who knows what our bodies are thinking... LOL... we just need to listen to it when it talks to us...
Good luck with your journey... SparkPeople has given me tools and I'm back working at what needs to happen...
I've also read some commentary that when someone is losing a lot of weight (ie, trying to lose a lot of weight), there comes a point where your metabolism starts to fight your efforts in order to "save" you from a perceived "famine". I've been slogging along at this for about 5 years now, and while I'm happy with what I *have* lost, I'm grumpy that I'm now having to work at it, which I didn't have to do before.
Research out there now also points to fat being an organ, not simply a storage depot. Adiponectin is a hormone produced by that organ, and it has effects on our nutritional status too. Great. Another hormone to battle. Just what I've been hoping for! I wonder how that factors into the "slower metabolism" that ANARIE was mentioning.
I don't think I have any true "strategy." I probably *should* have one. For the moment, I'm just trying to stay focused in the face of stagnation and general disgust with the situation. I've noticed I've slacked off on my tracking, so I'm trying to address that. I don't like it! I'm noticing that (as other posters here have mentioned) I'm not as scrupulous about my input as I need to be. I've gotta stop that. I have to quit telling myself that tasting a recipe in progress or having a nutritionally "cheap" something-or-other isn't worth logging in and tracking. It certainly IS... if only because it keeps me in the moment and aware. I've gone back to reviewing my daily profile in its entirety, and high-fiving myself for each item I track that falls in my chosen ranges. I get REALLY excited when my pie chart conforms to the percentages I want it to! hehe I love to compare it with the SP pie chart alongside. So there. I'm better!
I do have some tentative plans (although I've been kicking these around for quite a while now and not gone any further than speculation, so far) about trying the Fat Fast to break my stubborn stall. Thing is... I'm not all that wild about cream cheese, which is a basic element of that! but there's plenty of other recipes on that plan. And it's only a few days! I'm just being a sissy. When I get sufficiently irritated with myself, I will take more action than specatatoring on my lack of progress. I'm a bum! LOL
Good luck to everybody who's in a slump. We've all been there, or all are going to go there, or go there *again*! Luckily, we have each other to touch base with and get ideas, support, or just a venting arena.
One thing that your article doesn't mention is that obesity causes obesity.
There have been a couple of studies (and lots of anecdotal evidence) finding that once a person has been obese, s/he burns fewer calories even at a normal weight. They usually say it's about 15%, and that seems to be the way it works for me. Nobody knows whether the slower metabolism is the result of previous obesity, the result of the dieting required to lose the weight initially, or whether the people in the studies already had a slower metabolism and that's why they became obese in the first place. But either way, that could be a big part of the reason that it's so hard for an obese person to lose the last 10-20 pounds and the reason it's so incredibly hard to keep it off.
And I also think that sometimes we set our goal weight too low. If you have been obese, you do have some extra bone density and possibly extra skin and even blood and vascular tissue, all of which add up to a little extra lean weight. Wanting to get down to a BMI of 20 or even 25 might not be reasonable for a formerly obese person. There's no proven health difference between a BMI of 27 and 25; the "overweight" line is fairly arbitrary and even changed. When BMI was first calculated, using European statistics, the "overweight" category started at 27. It was brought down when the BMI standard was adopted for world-wide use. People of Asian heritage generally have lower bone density and start getting obesity-related illnesses at a lower weight, so when you throw the whole world together and take an average, the line for everybody is lower.
Anyway, I think that shooting for too low a goal can lead to re-gain, which in turn leads to giving up and re-gaining more. I actually never went into maintenance, myself. I've been in weight loss mode since 2004. I briefly got to a BMI of 23, but that only lasted a matter of weeks even though I was eating next to nothing, walking 25 miles a week and running 21, as well as an occasional bike ride or roller skate, etc.
Now I'm at a BMI of 26 and holding. I still track nutrition and exercise every day. I still restrict calories to the amount that is *supposed* to lead to at least 1/2 pound a week of weight loss, but it doesn't. When I net 1200 calories a day, I gain. When I net 1050, I maintain. If I want to lose, I need to get my net calories (calories intake minus calories burned through deliberate exercise) below 800. Then I will lose a few pounds, but as soon as I slack off on the exercise or eat a cookie or a restaurant meal once a week, the weight comes back up.
So... I guess my strategy is to adjust my expectations and accept that if I want to lose more, I have to put everything else aside and make weight loss the center of all my attention. Losing the last 3 BMI points is almost literally a superhuman effort. I have to decide whether it's worth it at any given moment.
By the way, sleep definitely makes a difference. That's another thing; I sometimes go through spells when I sleep less than 6 hours a night, and invariably I start to gain weight. Disciplining myself to go to bed earlier is harder than eating 1200 calories or running 5 miles a day!
9/10/13 10:36 A
The only way I have been able to lose weight and keep it off is to lower my carb intake and assure adequate protein. For me, this combination really controls my hunger. I eat a lot of vegetables as well. I had my Thyroid ablated in 2010 and have struggled to lose this weight. For the longest time I did not think I would ever get a handle on this. I am glad to say I was wrong.
9/10/13 10:35 A
Actually, when I do everything right I don't have them. However, if you cut back your calorie intake for the week by 3500 calories and throw in another cardio workout, I bet you will break your spell.
Adding protein, such as a glass or two of skim milk, can also help. Then if you go back to your usual calorie limit, you can see the difference.
Haha- this is me to a tee!!! I eat well for like a week and then I think back and say- But I've been SOOOO good, why am I stuck where I am. When if I'm really honest, week to week I haven't been as good as I'm pretending. I'm back to getting motivated though, I've gone up and down about 5-7 lbs since November and I'm at the low end of that now and ready to push through!!!!
Fitness Minutes: (21,654)
9/10/13 10:09 A
I'm interested to hear the replies also. I have been stuck in a plateau since last November. I have fluctuated about 3 pounds worth, up and down. I have about 15 pounds to go until goal weight but cannot get any more pounds to BUDGE!!! My activity level is CRAZY and I have been eating fairly well, so I don't know what else to do.
9/10/13 10:01 A
I just LOVE "food amnesia." I get that. I also slack off and whine that I've been on a plateau for months! But if I'm honest with myself, I don't think I've been as "conscious" of everything I put in my mouth, as I was early on. I reassess and get back to square 1 and get on with it again!
Let me begin by saying … I can only speak for myself. Diabetes is not a part of my family history...nor do I have an illness that is associated with illness that cause obesity. I was on a beta blocker for most of my life...it is listed as a medication that can cause obesity. I had a desk job, I live in the suburbs, and I consider myself low-activity level at best .
When I hit long plateaus…or I gain a few pounds…I review what I’ve been doing and I try to change things. When I apply myself, I lose…when I slack off, I stay the same…when I get cocky and allow myself treat after treat, I gain.
My biggest issue is food amnesia…I realize my portion sizes and my food choices aren’t what they should be. I get very strict with not eating processed food and I add more veggies. I severely limit sugar and starches. Logging my food helps me stay accountable. I realize I’m not doing the exercises as often…again logging the exercise or joining a challenge helps me.
if you don’t have a Medical reason for your obesity… WHAT DO YOU DO TO GET BACK TO LOSING
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