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  1. #1
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    Apr. 4, 2006
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    Default Anyone else stuck in a "weight loss plateau"? I am concerned/confused!

    I am required to stay below a certain weight for ROTC/the Army. Previously I have always been ok on my weigh-ins... still closer to the max weight than what I wanted but I was below it by 5 lbs usually. That was with working out 5 days a week and eating (for the most part) pretty healthy food. My weight hardly ever fluctuated aside from weighing a little more at night, but that would obviously go back down the next day and it was always consistent.

    Enter Christmas break. My weight was remaining consistent. I was working out 4-5 days a week, doing mostly cardio with a little bit of resistance training mixed in. I continued to eat good meals, with the occasional 'junk food' snack but not often. For 4 weeks or so of break, my weight remained consistent. Then all of a sudden, I started gaining weight. I am now about 7 lbs up from where I usually was, and 2 lbs higher than what my max weight is allowed to be. I am still working out 5 days a week, doing a good bit of cardio along with pushups/ab workouts and a small taste of cross-fit mixed in. I have been eating healthier than I was over break/last semester. It's as if my body has created a new "normal" weight for me that I can't move away from. My body does not look like I have gained weight and my clothes don't fit tighter.

    Any tips/ideas? I desperately need to get down to below my max weight because the army's tape test is not meant for people of my build (slender neck, wide hips/ab areas/shoulders) and puts me at a significantly higher body fat % than what I actually am. I have a weigh-in in a couple of weeks and it is more critical than normal that I get back below the max. I've used a calorie counter and I found that I was not eating enouch when using it (It wanted me to eat 1000-1200 cal/day). I am extremely careful of carbs because I notice they make me gain weight like crazy... but carbs are in a ton of things.

    I need some ideas on what to try or why I can't seem to get my weight back down....
    "People ask me 'will I remember them if I make it'. I ask them 'will you remember me if I don't?'"



  2. #2
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    Jan. 17, 2008
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    Dutchess County, New York
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    Default

    How do your clothes fit? If they aren't tighter could you have gained muscle with all the working out you are doing?

    I just finished a book called "Why We Get Fat and What We Can Do About It" that basically says carbs are the root of all weight gain. So, no flour of any kind (inc. whole wheat, corn etc), no sugar, limit fruit, no soda, no juice, little milk, no yogurt. Basically meat and vegetables and salad.

    Hopefully others will chime in with good advice.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb. 3, 2012
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    268

    Default

    Try adding some weight lifting/training mixed with your cardio workouts. Weight lifting helps the muscles burn more fat and after a few weeks, you will see the numbers on the scale start to rapidly decrease. Make sure you keep changing up your workout routine, muscle confusion is the key to weight loss. Don't just do the same workouts everyday or you will plateau. Also, eating a diet high in protein and low in carbs is a natural way to lose weight. Good luck!



  4. #4
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    Apr. 4, 2006
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    Default

    Thanks guys.
    I already try and limit my carbs as much as possible because they make me gain weight like crazy. It's ridiculous. I don't drink soda, may have milk on a rare occasion, and drink tons of water (and usually 1 bottle of gatorade after PT in the morning). My workouts change every day although they are usually the same concept ie: Monday- Long run (~4ish miles), Tues- upper body (pull ups, push-ups, dips) and abs, Weds- circuits (so usually running stairs, suicides, upper body/ab stations, etc), Thurs- Sprints (1/4 mile sprints or sprint 30 secs, jog 45 sec, for 3 miles), Friday- upper body/ab/running circuits.

    Part of me is afraid to get into lifting because I am worried that I will put on muscle weight. My clothes fit the same as they always have but I really didn't do enough lifting over break to make me build muscle. I guess if I do light weights but more reps it will build lean muscle and help burn fat...

    As far as food, breakfast every day is always eggs, saussage (both low in carbs) and usually an apple or banana. Lunch is usually a sandwich, and dinner is anything from soup, to a grilled chicken wrap, to rarely pasta (usually only if I have a PT test the next morning and I want the carbs), among other things that I can't think of off the top of my head.

    I am insanely jealous of people like my brother, who is 6' tall and weighs 20 lbs less than me, and eats nothing but crap junk food all day long and not gain an ounce.. Seriously, it is going to catch up to him one day. He eats chips, ice cream, pop corn, and drinks several sodas a day... and eats fast food for dinner several times a week. *Not that I agree with this and I think it is extremely unhealthy to eat like that, but hey, he's not my kid and I can't tell my parents how to raise him (or tell him how to raise himself since he is 18...).
    "People ask me 'will I remember them if I make it'. I ask them 'will you remember me if I don't?'"



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr. 14, 2001
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    Minnesota
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    18,523

    Default

    Low thyroid, maybe? Have you had a once over with the doctor?



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar. 24, 2010
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    1,132

    Default

    I am. I lost weight, then gained it right back, plus some. Nothing changed in my diet. I exercise more and eat more greens. No idea what the issue is. Bloodwork is all normal.

    I just chalk it up to getting over the 25yo hump. I'm now 26.

    I have read somewhere, that when you hit a plateau, you need to change something. Add more exercise or less calories. Or both. You should see results.



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb. 20, 2010
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    My bro was like your bro...until he got to about 25/26. Then he started putting on weight - grandma called him "little piggy" when she saw him after several years, LOL.

    Sometimes if you plateau upping calories a bit actually helps (eating at maintenance for a week or 2 if you've been dieting/watching calories for a while).
    What you eat sounds fine to me from a general amount standpoint, so that might not be an issue for you. I think trying to figure out how much you're eating (through one of the many free calorie counter sites available online) would be helpful in figuring out what direction to take.



  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coanteen View Post
    My bro was like your bro...until he got to about 25/26. Then he started putting on weight - grandma called him "little piggy" when she saw him after several years, LOL.

    Sometimes if you plateau upping calories a bit actually helps (eating at maintenance for a week or 2 if you've been dieting/watching calories for a while).
    What you eat sounds fine to me from a general amount standpoint, so that might not be an issue for you. I think trying to figure out how much you're eating (through one of the many free calorie counter sites available online) would be helpful in figuring out what direction to take.

    I was using a calorie counter when I was in 'panic mode' of "OMG normally I don't have a problem losing a couple lbs in 2 weeks, but it isn't coming off this time and I have weigh-in in 2 days...". It asked me for what my weight loss goal was (I put in 1.5 lb / week) and how many times a week I exercise (5) and it suggested I eat 1200 calories. That seemed low to me, but I stuck with it. The problem I ran into though was that I was trying to eat several small meals a day but my meals weren't enough calories. There were a couple days where I only got in 800-900 cal/day and I was worried that my body was in starvation mode and conserving everything I was putting into it because I wasn't eating enough, causing me to not lose anything. I made weight at my weigh-in last week, but I will admit that I did not lose it in a healthy manner. After trying for weeks to lose 2-3 lbs just to make weight with no luck, I finally got desperate enough that I did 2 hours of my Insanity workout in sweat pants, sweatshirt, and a jacket to try and sweat off some weight. It worked, barely, and it's not something I would want to do again.

    My mom suggested that perhaps I should get bloodwork done to see if something is out of wack, but I feel like it would be weird for me to go into the dr and ask for bloodwork just because I can't lose weight. Although it may come down to doing that if something doesn't start happening....
    "People ask me 'will I remember them if I make it'. I ask them 'will you remember me if I don't?'"



  9. #9
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    Feb. 20, 2010
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    Yo-yoing sets you up for failure. It sounds like you drop your calories when you need to do weigh-ins; it's not exactly starvation mode, but yes, it primes your body to store what it can get. When you start eating more after weigh-in, you're putting it into a system that's optimized to store it as fat.

    And I agree, 1200 is too low. It would be too low for even sedentary for most people, but you also exercise. I can't tell if the calculator's faulty or if your goal of 1.5 lbs/week was just way too aggressive for you; you shouldn't exceed 1% body weight/week loss, and if your weight is pretty normal (don't have much to lose) 1% is actually too much. The closer you are to normal weight, the slower weight loss will be and the more likely that aggressive measures will backfire on you.

    When we have a lot of fat to lose, we can handle a larger calorie deficit and weight loss tends to be relatively quick. That's why so many people struggle with that "last 5/10/whatever lbs"; they tend to cut calories too much and stall out, or worse, yo-yo up the second they allow themselves an extra morsel.



  10. #10
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    Default

    Oh, and I like the "BMR calculator" on the fat2fit site - it gives you the BMR as well as caloric requirements for different activity levels. If you put your "goal weight" the same as your current weight, the numbers will be your maintenance (at the appropriate level). 500 calories less/day from maintenance works out to 1 lb/week loss (250 less/day would be 0.5 lb/week, etc).

    The estimate will be slightly better if you know your body fat percentage, but even without they're not bad. Probably within a couple hundred cals.



  11. #11
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    Dec. 21, 2005
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    Colorado Springs, CO
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Coanteen View Post
    Oh, and I like the "BMR calculator" on the fat2fit site - it gives you the BMR as well as caloric requirements for different activity levels. If you put your "goal weight" the same as your current weight, the numbers will be your maintenance (at the appropriate level). 500 calories less/day from maintenance works out to 1 lb/week loss (250 less/day would be 0.5 lb/week, etc).

    The estimate will be slightly better if you know your body fat percentage, but even without they're not bad. Probably within a couple hundred cals.
    I've lost 26 pounds since September by following Fat2Fit's principles and doing either strength or cardio 6 days a week. They're not into quick fixes, but what they teach does work for long term lifestyle changes.
    "Is it ignorance or apathy? Hey, I don't know and I don't care." ~Jimmy Buffett



  12. #12
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    Mar. 13, 2011
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    NC
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    Exclamation Oh, Uncle Sam

    I was in the Army and on the fat boy program. Nevermind that I was running marathons (gotta love the govt ) and working out three times a day, was in a size 4, and ran the 2 miles for the PT tests in just under 9 minutes.
    Tip for the tape: The key is to make your neck as wide as possible. I used to tuck my chin and bring my head and shoulders back as far as the person taping me would allow. Sometimes I could get and extra .5 to .75 inch in size.

    You definitely want to do weight training. From what I understand (I'm not a nutritionist) when you do cardio, its good for heart and lungs, but just basically burns the existing blood sugar. I think it takes 30 mins of cardio to get past the initial blood sugar burn and start burning stored calories.
    With the weight training, you burn more calories and the extra muscle, to simplify things, basically continues to eat calories even at rest. Besides, every .25 inch off any of your bottom half measurements with definitely help your ratios!!
    Edited to add: Add weight training but keep cardio. You are going to need it!



  13. #13
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    Feb. 23, 2005
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    Spotsylvania, VA
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    Quote Originally Posted by Milocalwinnings View Post
    As far as food, breakfast every day is always eggs, saussage (both low in carbs) and usually an apple or banana. Lunch is usually a sandwich, and dinner is anything from soup, to a grilled chicken wrap, to rarely pasta (usually only if I have a PT test the next morning and I want the carbs), among other things that I can't think of off the top of my head.
    Stems and leaves, no fruits, roots or seeds.
    Skip the sandwich. Even whole wheat bread has lots of carbs. There are probably 20 grams of sugar in 2 slices of bread. Try a salad with added protein, like hard oiled eggs http://lowcarbdiets.about.com/od/nut...wheatbread.htm

    Carbs used to be the base of the "food Pyramid" but some reseaarchers are rethinking that position
    http://www.lifescript.com/health/cen...0120203T000000
    I wasn't always a Smurf
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    "I ain't as good as I once was but I'm as good once as I ever was"
    The ignore list is my friend. It takes 2 to argue.



  14. #14
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    Mar. 9, 2005
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    I feel your pain, it's a ridiculous system that still seems to think thin equals fit. For my height my maximum weight is about 15 pounds below what my nutritionist told me I should ever weight. Being blessed with an abnormally high muscle mass has me out of whack with anything weight related. I would suggest going to see a nutritionist who can do a body fat analysis and figure out what your daily nutritional intake needs are. Your basal metabolic rate is the amount of calories you burn a day just by being alive, that's the magic threshold not to dip under as it will cause your metabolism to slow down... Mine was about 1500 last time I went but your mileage may vary. I agree with adding in some strength training, maybe try mixing up some workouts and adding in swimming or use a rowing machine, something that will give you more of a total body work than just running. Cardio is good but muscles burn a lot more calories.

    CB
    Freedom is the ability not to care what the other person thinks...

    Got air?! Member of the Asthmatic Riders Clique



  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by canadianbacon View Post
    I feel your pain, it's a ridiculous system that still seems to think thin equals fit. For my height my maximum weight is about 15 pounds below what my nutritionist told me I should ever weight. Being blessed with an abnormally high muscle mass has me out of whack with anything weight related. I would suggest going to see a nutritionist who can do a body fat analysis and figure out what your daily nutritional intake needs are. Your basal metabolic rate is the amount of calories you burn a day just by being alive, that's the magic threshold not to dip under as it will cause your metabolism to slow down... Mine was about 1500 last time I went but your mileage may vary. I agree with adding in some strength training, maybe try mixing up some workouts and adding in swimming or use a rowing machine, something that will give you more of a total body work than just running. Cardio is good but muscles burn a lot more calories.

    CB
    Any other body fat test says I am 19-20%. The Army's? Mid 30% range. It is because if you have a slender neck but wider everything else it thinks you are over weight, when in fact I just have a wider build! The big bulky guys who actually ARE over weight (and not because of muscle...) pass it with no problem. I'll admit I am not a stick and could stand to lose 10 lbs or so in order to look good in a bikini. But I am not what I, my doctors, or anyone else would call over weight. A lot of people are often shocked at my weight because I don't look like someone who weighs that much. *Sigh*. I will start trying to add in more weight training and see if it hopefully helps.

    In response to everyone else: Thanks for the advice. I don't tend to drop calories before a weigh in... usually I am just even more careful to avoid carbs a couple days before a weigh-in. I'm not sure why the weigh-in was different last week. I think part of the problem was that I just didn't realize how few calories I was actually consuming until I used the calorie counter.

    I will try everyones suggestions and see how they go. The situation is just frustrating to say the least.
    "People ask me 'will I remember them if I make it'. I ask them 'will you remember me if I don't?'"



  16. #16
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    Jul. 10, 2008
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    If you are not already I would suggest using a HR monitor when you work out to make sure you are really working as hard as you think you are. As you get fitter you have to up the intensity to get the same results, HR monitor keeps you honest.



  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Donkey View Post
    If you are not already I would suggest using a HR monitor when you work out to make sure you are really working as hard as you think you are. As you get fitter you have to up the intensity to get the same results, HR monitor keeps you honest.
    If I use a cardio machine, there are HR monitors built in that I use. Running on my own I usually don't use one (although I have one) mostly because we normally run as a group- even a release run I still do my best not to lose sight of everyone. I am one of two females in the junior class out of about 26 people, so on runs I always push myself because the guys run a good 1.5-2 min/mile faster than me.
    I never thought of using a HR monitor for weights/resistance training because I usually work to muscle failure, whether it's at PT or at the gym.
    "People ask me 'will I remember them if I make it'. I ask them 'will you remember me if I don't?'"



  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Milocalwinnings View Post
    Any other body fat test says I am 19-20%. The Army's? Mid 30% range...I'll admit I am not a stick and could stand to lose 10 lbs or so in order to look good in a bikini.
    20% or less for a woman is excellent. It's "athletic" level, and there should be no question about looking good in a bikini. How was it calculated? Whether the underlying structure is "stick" or muscular, at 19-20% BF you should be seeing abdominal muscle outlines (not "ripped", but gross outlines).

    Not that I'd be impressed with the military's number either, since I've heard too much bad stuff about how they measure.



  19. #19
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    Wow, that's a huge discrepancy with the measurements, what a joke... I am also one of those people who looks like I weigh a lot less than I do, when I got my new ID they couldn't believe I weighed what I told them. I'm working on getting it down to a weight I fell better at, it's been a rough few months of injuries, multiple colds and one very messed up reaction to a measles vaccine so my training has really slipped.

    When you weight train, what kind of reps are you doing? Lots of reps with a lower weight will build more slow twitch muscle fibres which are good for endurance things like distance running whereas short reps with high weight will give you more fast twitch muscle fibres for brief but intense output, like sprinting...

    CB
    Freedom is the ability not to care what the other person thinks...

    Got air?! Member of the Asthmatic Riders Clique



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