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Old 04-05-2013, 07:08 AM   #1
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Plateau...how to push past it??

Hi all,

I started LC (South Beach) on 2/14 and since then, have lost 20 pounds, giving me a total loss of 30 pounds since Jan 1st. I'm not sure if I've reached a plateau point or if perhaps the lack of loss this week is due to other factors. I've been stuck wavering between 210.6 and 211.8. On Easter I allowed myself to eat bread, a piece of lasagna and a few bites of Easter candy. I also expect my TOM in the next 2-4 days. My trainer is telling me I need to add a lot more calories (increase from ~1200 -->~1600) but he doesn't really buy into LC as a lifestyle. So here are my questions I'm hoping you all can help with:
1) Do most people plateau at a certain point and if so, is it around 20 pounds?
2) Could my Easter digression plus impending TOM be keeping me stuck at this weight and if so, should I start losing again next week?
3) Do you think I need to add more calories? I'm also working out 4x a week, 2 of which are with a trainer
4) How can I push past this plateau?
I want so badly to lose 8-10 pounds this month. I'll accept whatever my body is willing to do, but I'm hoping you might have some tips or experiences to share. Thanks
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Old 04-05-2013, 07:43 AM   #2
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You've lost 30 pounds in three months... congrats! That's amazing! Not even at my highest weight did I ever lose ten pounds a month!

How long have you been at 210-211?

Most people have many stall points in their weight loss journey.

How old are you, and how tall are you? Very, very few people lose better with more calories -- and those that do tend to be young and/or male.
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Old 04-05-2013, 07:56 AM   #3
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Thanks so much Knittering! I'm really grateful for the success I've had so far. It's just so tough to see it stall. I've been stuck at 210-211 since Last Friday. I'm 31 years old and 5'6 1/2". In your experience, do you think the stall will last a long time?
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Old 04-05-2013, 08:05 AM   #4
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1) Do most people plateau at a certain point and if so, is it around 20 pounds?

Yes, plateaus are normal but occur at different stages for different people. I experienced one that lasted two months. One week without movement isn’t something I would spend one more minute worried about.

2) Could my Easter digression plus impending TOM be keeping me stuck at this weight and if so, should I start losing again next week?

Yes. In fact, I’d be grateful not to see a gain if you are dealing with a digression and TOM. Holding your weight should be considered a success.

3) Do you think I need to add more calories? I'm also working out 4x a week, 2 of which are with a trainer.

I would not tweak what is working until it stops working. One week holding your weight is not an indication that this has stopped working.

4) How can I push past this plateau?

Just keep doing what you are doing and see if the scale budges next week after TOM. Until then, I wouldn’t have a knee jerk reaction and start tweaking. That can sometimes cause more harm than good!
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Old 04-05-2013, 08:07 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spod View Post
Thanks so much Knittering! I'm really grateful for the success I've had so far. It's just so tough to see it stall. I've been stuck at 210-211 since Last Friday. I'm 31 years old and 5'6 1/2". In your experience, do you think the stall will last a long time?
Again, a week without a loss is NOT a stall, especially with TOM and a cheat.
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Old 04-05-2013, 08:08 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spod View Post
HMy trainer is telling me I need to add a lot more calories (increase from ~1200 -->~1600) but he doesn't really buy into LC as a lifestyle.
Your trainer doesn't buy into starving yourself as a lifestyle

Up your calories. A huge calorie deficit is not healthy and not helpful for weight loss, particularly on an LC woe.
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Old 04-05-2013, 09:18 AM   #7
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Quote:
I've been stuck at 210-211 since Last Friday.
A week isn't a plateau -- and after a cheat day, I wouldn't even consider it a stall. Just keep doing what you're doing because it's working great!
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Old 04-05-2013, 10:55 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by reddarin View Post
Your trainer doesn't buy into starving yourself as a lifestyle

Up your calories. A huge calorie deficit is not healthy and not helpful for weight loss, particularly on an LC woe.
Second this. I've come to realize it makes little sense for most people to start out low calorie and low carb. Starting out low cal doesn't leave much room if you're one of those people who have to reduce calories once you get close to goal weight.
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Old 04-05-2013, 11:08 AM   #9
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Thanks all for your thoughts! I suppose a week isn't that long, so I'll stay the course and see what next week brings. The difficulty I have with increasing calories is that I'm so full from the required veggies on SB(2 cups for lunch, another 2 with dinner) and high protein food, I have a tough time eating enough LC food to get much higher than 1250 or 1300. I know I'm not required to count calories or fat, but I do because during the first few days, I ate to satisfaction and to my surprise, was only getting like 900 calories! I do understand that too large a deficit isn't good, so I'll talk with my nutritionist about it and see what he thinks. So far my BMR isn't suffering (I do that crazy scale once a month to check progress and see where I am losing the fat) But I hate to change what is working well. I will definitely consider what the best calorie level is and maybe I can tweak once I know I'm back on track.
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Old 04-05-2013, 11:51 AM   #10
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I stalled for over a week after the first 20 pounds, but I'm losing again without changing anything. Hang in there. It WILL happen. Trust the process, and I wouldn't change anything until for a while yet. I know it's hard to be patient when you're being so good, but hang in there and it will happen.
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Old 04-05-2013, 12:07 PM   #11
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I just wanted to also add that you may think you are at a stall, but it does not mean your body still isn't doing its magic. Your body is probably in repair mode and is trying to catch up to your weight loss. I go through periods where I am not losing weight on the scale, but I feel good and my clothes fit a little loser, which means something is going on inside even though the scale says otherwise. Don't give up and hang in there and the results will come in time. Just enjoy your new lifestyle and you will see it will happen.
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Old 04-05-2013, 02:18 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spod View Post
Thanks all for your thoughts! I suppose a week isn't that long, so I'll stay the course and see what next week brings. The difficulty I have with increasing calories is that I'm so full from the required veggies on SB(2 cups for lunch, another 2 with dinner) and high protein food, I have a tough time eating enough LC food to get much higher than 1250 or 1300. I know I'm not required to count calories or fat, but I do because during the first few days, I ate to satisfaction and to my surprise, was only getting like 900 calories! I do understand that too large a deficit isn't good, so I'll talk with my nutritionist about it and see what he thinks. So far my BMR isn't suffering (I do that crazy scale once a month to check progress and see where I am losing the fat) But I hate to change what is working well. I will definitely consider what the best calorie level is and maybe I can tweak once I know I'm back on track.
I would like to answer this because I am sure there are a lot of lurkers that feel the same way - perfectly satiated on x amount of calories. How can this issue be addressed because it is common on LC and especially on ketogenic woes?

The answer is ... you are not full all day long on that amount of calories. You may not experience hunger pangs but you can eat. Every person on this board could easily add 500 calories to their day every day. 11g of bacon grease is ~100 calories. No matter how full you are you could eat that tiny bit of bacon grease every hour and a half.

That is a silly example (not really - I'd do it) but the principle is the same. Adding a few hundred calories is as easy as eating two or three 100 calorie snacks of whatever kind. A couple of slices of bacon two or three times a day. 5 macadamia nuts is about 100 calories.

Most people think in terms of adding calories to their meals but there is a lot of potential between meals to add needed calories in small doses.

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Old 04-06-2013, 04:34 AM   #13
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Thanks Baileygirl, that does make a lot of sense and I know you're right. As long as my body keeps moving in the right direction, I'm happy.
Reddarin, your point about how to add more calories in to my day makes complete sense. I had no idea bacon grease is so caloric! Would the extra calories further stall my weight loss if I adjusted now and keep it LC?
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Old 04-06-2013, 05:51 AM   #14
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I've had success breaking plateaus a few times with
-upping my fat, lowering protein and very low carb
-fasting for 24 hours
-keeping a very strict, accurate food diary
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Old 04-06-2013, 06:37 AM   #15
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Please don't fast or do anything drastic. A week without a loss is NOT a stall. Just keep doing what you've been doing.
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Old 04-06-2013, 06:57 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spod View Post
I had no idea bacon grease is so caloric! Would the extra calories further stall my weight loss if I adjusted now and keep it LC?
Keep in mind that a tablespoon of just about any pure fat is around 100 calories. Coconut oil, butter, bacon grease, rendered chicken fat, olive oil... it's all about the same. Only when you get to margarines, where the oil is mixed with air, water, and chemicals to make it non-liquid, are the calories less in a tablespoon.
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Old 04-06-2013, 09:18 AM   #17
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Agreed. A week is not long enough to do any drastic changes. I know your on SB but Dr. Atkins said cheating was the kiss of death for LC. Give your body some more time and stick to what has been working the last 3 months. Don't listen to the trainer.
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Old 04-06-2013, 10:09 AM   #18
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Quote:
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Reddarin, your point about how to add more calories in to my day makes complete sense. I had no idea bacon grease is so caloric! Would the extra calories further stall my weight loss if I adjusted now and keep it LC?
No, I don't think so but the lack of calories can and will stall weight loss. The issue is caloric deficit. Too much and your body panics. Cortisol, the stay fat hormone, gets released at the drop of a stress hat and too big of a deficit is very stressful for your body. I imagine that in some respect that is what your trainer is thinking since that person has a good idea about your energy expenditure while training compared to how much energy you are consuming.

In fact, that has to be what your trainer is thinking since he isn't an LC person.

I don't know how your macros shake out, and it probably doesn't matter much in this context, so I'd add the 400 calories as fat as much as possible. Fat will not spike insulin or do other unpleasant things that protein or carbs, even so called safe carbs, can/will do. Don't add PUFA oils for your fat calories.

Prepare yourself mentally. Don't forget that other things are happening right now with your body. I mean, don't freak out if you add a few hundred calories and the scale shows a fifty pound gain because it is that time.
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Old 04-06-2013, 10:37 AM   #19
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Anyone who knows how to fix a stall has a Nobel prize waiting for them...

They seem to occur when the plan is a little too regular--same foods every week in the same amount. The body adapts to anything, so my strategy is to mix up the timing, amounts, and composition while sticking to quality whole foods. Dealing with stress, sleep, and medications can also be important.
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Old 04-06-2013, 11:00 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by baileygirl3 View Post
I just wanted to also add that you may think you are at a stall, but it does not mean your body still isn't doing its magic. Your body is probably in repair mode and is trying to catch up to your weight loss. I go through periods where I am not losing weight on the scale, but I feel good and my clothes fit a little loser, which means something is going on inside even though the scale says otherwise. Don't give up and hang in there and the results will come in time. Just enjoy your new lifestyle and you will see it will happen.
THIS I find this all the time. The scale is not moving, but my clothes are loser and I can see with my own eyes that I look slimmer. There was a great post somewhere on this thread about how water weight can and often does mask fat loss.

For me, this time around on LC, I'm wanting to avoid the obsession over stalls and the scale. I sure understand it, been there done that. But this time I'm in it for my health first, need to lower my BG. How long it takes for the bod to look better is what it takes....although of course, I love it when that happens!

And I SO agree that we cannot see what our bodies are doing, the intricacy of all the systems, and the scale sure can't either.
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Old 04-08-2013, 07:06 AM   #21
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You guys are all so great and I can't thank you enough for sharing your POV and feedback. I really appreciate the opportunity to learn from your experiences. I am starting to realize that because I am working out rather vigorously and frequently, I really may need to increase calories. I am going to hold another week with my current regiment and once I know I'm back to post TOM weight, I can tweak. I do think I would probably get back on track with what I'm doing, but I really should make sure my deficit isn't too dramatic.
I do feel slimmer this week and am down from an 18 -->14 which feels GREAT! I'm the same Body size I was lay time I weighed 195, so it's already a non scale victory
A few questions:
What is a PUFA?
Does anyone else do SB? I have actually been allowing myself a small cheat 1x a week to jump start my body burning carbs while remaining on a mainly phase 1 diet. So far it hadnt caused any setbacks, but Easter was a straight up CHEAT. A small weekly cheat example for me is either 2 4oz glasses of wine or one tiny bite of a normal candy or like 2 medium size potato chips. Crazy range, I know! Does anyone else allow jump start cheats?
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Old 04-08-2013, 08:08 AM   #22
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PUFA - polyunsaturated fatty acid. Most veggie oils are high PUFA oils: corn, canola, soybean, sunflower and safflower. There are high oleic (low PUFA) versions of those some of those oils that are okay to use.

Lots of fat sources have component PUFA. You want to avoid the ones that made up of too much PUFA.
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Old 04-08-2013, 08:44 AM   #23
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Reddarin -- Is sunflower seed butter okay, or is that high in PUFA as well?
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Old 04-08-2013, 09:37 AM   #24
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It looks high in PUFA at about 45%.

But as long as your overall fat intake is not high PUFA you should be good.
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Old 04-08-2013, 01:30 PM   #25
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A whole week, eh? I've been 100% on plan, working out every day, and stalled for about a month.

Not to minimize your frustration, but to share it.

Sometimes, even when you're doing everything right, the scale just won't budge. Sometimes, it doesn't budge for a few weeks.

It takes patience to get to the end of this road. And your patience will be tested. It goes without saying that you can't let the number on the scale from any single day get under your skin, but it is also true that you are going to have good weeks and bad weeks. Indeed - you will likely have months in which the scale shows no progress at all.

Focus on understanding your diet, understanding how it works for you (and closing the loopholes that don't), and living in compliance. Chart weekly results, not daily results, and you will be able to see a trend. You will be able to see how a single week of no loss - even a week or two showing a gain - it's all just a drop in the bucket.

There are 52 weeks in a year. They will pass whether you are on plan or not. How you look back at them depends on how well you weather the bumps along the way.
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Old 04-08-2013, 06:47 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spod View Post
You guys are all so great and I can't thank you enough for sharing your POV and feedback. I really appreciate the opportunity to learn from your experiences. I am starting to realize that because I am working out rather vigorously and frequently, I really may need to increase calories. I am going to hold another week with my current regiment and once I know I'm back to post TOM weight, I can tweak. I do think I would probably get back on track with what I'm doing, but I really should make sure my deficit isn't too dramatic.
I do feel slimmer this week and am down from an 18 -->14 which feels GREAT! I'm the same Body size I was lay time I weighed 195, so it's already a non scale victory
A few questions:
What is a PUFA?
Does anyone else do SB? I have actually been allowing myself a small cheat 1x a week to jump start my body burning carbs while remaining on a mainly phase 1 diet. So far it hadnt caused any setbacks, but Easter was a straight up CHEAT. A small weekly cheat example for me is either 2 4oz glasses of wine or one tiny bite of a normal candy or like 2 medium size potato chips. Crazy range, I know! Does anyone else allow jump start cheats?
There's a whole SB board over here. South Beach Diet - Low Carb Friends)
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Old 04-09-2013, 04:39 AM   #27
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Z, very well said! This is my second time SB-ing (after 5 years bc I had kept it off for a long time) and I don't remember ever stalling, so I appreciate your perspective and know ypu're right. Stay the course and it will happen.
Thanks Rose, I'll check out the SB board!
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