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  1. #1
    2CH
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    Weight Loss Plateau?!

    Hey all -

    I've recently lost over 30 lbs (give or take) and am feeling great and pretty fit, but I still have a ways to go, unfortunately have hit a bit of a snag... I am 6' tall and started out at 245 and am now down to about 213. The weight came off pretty easily at first, and I was able to drop 1-2 lbs a week consistently by watching my calorie intake and increasing my cardio to at least 30-45 mins a day by running and/or biking. I also play hockey or other sports at least once a week. Over the last month or so though my weight hasn't dropped at all (and I haven't noticed any other changes in body composition either). Because of this I have started to add a weight training component to my exercise, and I try to hit the gym about 3 times a week and have also increased my cardio workouts (longer times, running stairs and hills). I have also started to increase my water intake, however my body seems to have hit a wall. I was wondering if you guys have any suggestions or tips to break through this plateau other than adding the weight training etc. There's a lot of good advice on these forums and some other opinions would be great.

    Thanks a lot!!

  2. #2
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    Reputation: Swthrtsuzy's Avatar
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    lower the intensity of your cardio slightly. If you're heart rate is too high, you'll be burning carbs instead of fat. Also, change your eating habits again. Your body adjusts after a while, so you have to change things up so that it'll start to lose again. Something else to keep in mind is that muscle weighs more than fat, so you might be losing a little fat, but can't tell by the scale because you're building muscle. Try to get hold of a body composition monitor. It'll tell you what your body fat % is and that's a better indicator than a scale because body weight fluctuates. Congratulations on your weight loss to date, though! It's really hard and you're doing great.
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  3. #3
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    I've been working on weight loss for a year now and I have gone through 2 similar situations. Both lasting about 5-6 weeks where I didn't lose a single pound. It is frustrating and can cause you to go off track. Best advice I can give is to stick with your program and ride it out. As Swthrtsuzy mentioned your body does adjust to your routine so it's generally recommended to changed it up ever 6-9 weeks to keep the body guessing. Heck, maybe even just taking a week off of all exercising and letting the body rest/recover might be all you need.

  4. #4
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    Good job adding the weights as resistance training burns calories long after the exercise ends. You had said that you don’t notice any body composition change as of yet so the lack of weight loss may or may not be due to increased muscle mass. Generally just think of it as simple calories in vs calories used. If you plateau it can most likely means that you that you are consuming just as many calories as your body needs to maintain for your size and activity level. Either step up the diet, step up the activity level, or better yet step up both to get max results.

    The idea that lowering the intensity of your cardio to increase fat loss does not really pertain to your situation. Low intensity endurance training lasting longer than 90 minutes can train your body to use fat stores as a primary energy source which can be a good thing for endurance athletes. However this is not for weight loss as excess calories that you body consumed would not be used as a energy source and be stored as fat. Generally speaking your body uses calories from food intake first, fat stores second, and then it begins to rob protein and other nutrients if the other two have been exhausted.
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  5. #5
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    The best advice I can give is to vary things up.

    When I was in High School (a long time ago...) I got into really good shape between football and catching on the baseball team. But the trainer / coach was really good about helping us in the weight room and I learned a lot.

    Recently, I've been doing mostly biking and elliptical trainer work for my cardio. I'm going to switch it up and do some rowing here soon. If you do the same thing for too long, your body stops responding as well.

    Diet is another thing that's good to vary. I know some people like the carb cycle diets where you eat very low carbs for 3 days and every 4th day, stop worrying about carb intake. While I'm not sure how healthy it is for long term use, a couple weeks on something like that may get the weight coming off again.

    The final thing that worked wonders for me was when I was in the gym, I was usually trying to get in 3 sets of 15 reps -- maxing out so that the last set I could barely get to the 15th rep. This works great for gaining muscle, but when I plateaued, the trainer suggested I drop the weight in half and do something like 5 sets of 30 reps but do them very slowly. Worked wonders and snapped me out of my slump.

    Good luck! There isn't a magic system. Just eat reasonably and train regularly and the weight should come off eventually. I'm seriously hitting the diet / exercise thing after pretty much letting myself go for the last 9 years. It's hard, but I do see progress which makes me happy.

  6. #6
    2CH
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    Thanks again... Yeti - I think you are right and I think my body has adjusted to the new diet and activity level and is almost in more of a maintenance state right now. Any suggestions as far as diet goes?

    I think most days I do pretty well - whole grain cereals with fruit for breakfasts; lots of veggies, yogurt, whole grain crackers or pitas with peanut butter or hummus etc at lunch; dinners are a lot more variable, but I try to eat lean meat, fish, or chicken and veggies/salads as much as possible, and really try to watch the portion control (except for the odd restaurant dinner). I have also completely cut all sodas and sugary drinks out of my diet and stick to mostly water & skim milk, tea or coffee in the mornings (and the occasional beer, like maybe 1-2 per week). Snacks are usually fruit & nuts and things like that.

    I have a suspicion that I'm not getting quite enough protein in my diet for my activity level, but I am hesitant to go the route of any sort of protein bars/shakes/supplements/anything that comes in a wrapper or can, I would prefer to stick to whole foods if at all possible. Any tips??

    Also, maybe I'm not giving myself enough time and becoming frustrated a little too easily, and I realize that the pounds can't keep melting off the way they have, but this seems like a long stall, and I've come so far that I would like to keep it going and not give up!

  7. #7
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    Sounds like your diet is pretty good. I am personally a proponent of the Paleo Diet for Athletes. It is a advocate of getting carbs from sources of foods that have additional nutritional values like fruits, vegetables, lean meats, and fish instead of “empty” carbs from things like sugar, breads, and other such foods that have no other nutritional value but carbohydrates. In about 5 months I went from 255lbs in August of 2008 to my current weight of 225 without really losing any of my strength. The book is definitely worth they purchase.

    Protein can be an issue especially when you begin to incorporate resistance training into you daily routine. You need to make sure that you body has enough protein to rebuild the muscle tissue that was damaged while weigh lifting. Athletes and bodybuilders trying to gain muscle mass usually follow the 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight theory. While this could be overkill for your situation you can always taper down and tailor it to how your body is reacting. There is nothing wrong with a good whey protein supplement to help with recovery before and after training but it can also be done with food. Start looking at the nutrition labels on the foods you eat so you can be sure. Things like yogurt, milk, egg whites, lean meats, and fish are all foods that can help you increase your protein intake.

    Besides that make try keeping tack of your food intake and imputing into a program like Fit Day to really see what you are eating. Then you can tailor your regular meals to fit the criteria that you want.
    Retribution Fitness: Strength, Power, and Purpose
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  8. #8
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    Well make sure you adjust your calorie intake for your current weight and.make sure you are consuming enough or not to much. Yeah definitely switch up your routine Out of the 100lbs I lost I hit one plateau and it was due to under eating for the activity I was doing. Check into protein bars or shakes they are good source just research them you can find good ones. Personally I would avoid protein supplements but that just my opinion
    Last edited by Hellrazor666; 04-08-2009 at 06:13 PM.
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  9. #9
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    With regards to good protein sources, one of my favorite snacks is tuna salad:
    1 can Tuna Fish
    1 Tbs Miracle Whip
    1 tsp Whole Ground Mustard
    1 good spear of a kosher dill pickle diced

    Mix it all together. Eat half per snack. I usually eat it with 4 Kashi whole grain crackers.

    If I recall (off the top of my head), this is about 300 calories and 25g protein (including the crackers).

    The beauty is that dill pickles don't have carbs, protein or noticeable calories. I love pickles! A couple on the side and I'm happy as can be!

    I actually just ate this with a side of Brussels sprouts. Quite tasty.

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