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Weight loss slow to stopped plateau - any suggestions?

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  • Weight loss slow to stopped plateau - any suggestions?

    Hello all. Some backstory: Started at 314, 39%. Went Primal. Dropped down to about 295, 35%.

    Am losing gradually, but very slowly. I know its 'natural' and better for me to do so but its hard to stay motivated. Trying to speed loss a little.

    Just did a 2 weeks experiment with very low carbs (under 25g a day) - no appreciable weight loss change. Lost a couple of lbs more, fat % remained constant.

    Currently working out 2 weight lifting days (one focusing on upper body, one lower, but I make sure to hit everything for the whole body reaction to GH); walking 2.5 miles every day minimum on days I don't work out; once a week doing 10 minutes of sprints; and one long walk at least a week (5 miles or so).

    Any ideas on what I can do to up the ante a little? Some ideas:

    1. Add more 'classic' cardio - which I'm loathe to do - I know I'll lose on it, but I hate it, and I'm scared of it triggering carb binging again.

    2. Cut cheese from diet - I tend to eat it nearly every day

    3. Reduce calories - on a typical day where I don't fast, I'm probably running a 500-750 calorie deficit (at my weight, it might average out to 2750 or less, i seem to have a high base rate from the calculations). Maybe I'm calculating calories to high? Maybe cut down to 2000?

    Anything I can try? When I was doing 'regular' primal I had no problems with hunger or cravings (carbs about 100g a day); at 25 or less, carb cravings are noticeable. Also, my mood is a lot bleaker, although that might be transitional.

    I've got two friends who are also losing weight in the classic sense - 1800 calorie diets, 1-2 hours of cardio a day, and losing tons of weight. I *know* it's not that healthy, but it seems every lb is a week-long struggle for me on the long-and-slow way.

  • #2

    Well you didnt get to 315lb 39%bf overnight. You've already lost ~25 pounds which is great. What time frame are we talking about since you went primal...


    • #3

      Can you provide a detailed list of your normal daily diet?


      • #4

        roccoernest, you said: I've got two friends who are also losing weight in the classic sense - 1800 calorie diets, 1-2 hours of cardio a day, and losing tons of weight. I *know* it's not that healthy, but it seems every lb is a week-long struggle for me on the long-and-slow way.

        Don't worry about what your friends are doing. In less than 6 months they will have given up and gained back and probably added a few as well. I'm not trying to be mean but 1800 cals & 1-2 hours of cardio per day cannot be maintained. Trust me I've tried. You on the other hand will be slimmer, toner, healthier (most important) and still going strong in 6 months! I know this doesn't help much now but look at plateaus this way, it's practice for weight maintenance once you get to your ideal body weight. Plateaus will happen as your body adjusts. Hang in there and be really proud of your accomplishment thus far! You are so worth it to do this for yourself. Don't let any CW methods knock you off course.


        • #5

          1. Record everything you eat and do on Fitday. In this way you can start to see the too much cheese.

          2. Using Fitday again, watch what your calorie deficit is. If I get less that 1500, no matter the carbs, I don't lose weight. And, good, keep the carbs under 50.

          3. In my totally amateur opinion, you are exercising way too much. Your body kicks into fat preservation mode, to over simplify. Someone else with more knowledge might "weigh" in on this, but it seems to be a consensus around here. I walk a few times a week for a few miles. That's it. I intend to start a bit of resistance exercise, and I'm sure I'll start....any day now......

          I prefer to weigh myself daily right after rising....OK, and a quick stop in the bathroom. While daily weigh-ins are thought of as anathema, I like them. I can see results of what works and what doesn't right away, as long as I'm willing to see some fluctuations that can be shocking....both ways.

          I'm losing .44 lbs a day for six weeks now doing what I've mentioned.

          YMMV. Do try this at home.


          • #6

            1. Recording everything on fitday - check - been doing it a few weeks now. But I've been keeping excel charts since January.

            2. In terms of exercise, I'm feeling good about what I'm doing (minus adding cardio). I'm never overtrained feeling, muscle soreness after a weightlifting day goes away within 24 hours tops, etc. Could be too much though anyway...

            3. Daily diet, currently:

            bfast: Typically 2-3 eggs and bacon or ham is the kitchen at work has it (we have a full kitchen with a lot of free food, mostly lunch fair). Some raw almonds for a snack (like a dozen tops). Coffee w/half and half only. Lunch is usually lunch meats like roast beef or turkey, a pickle or a few baby carrots or maybe a 1/4 avocado. Dinner typically is some kind of meat - 1/2 lb of pan friend tilapia and a cup or two of greens. That's basically it. Add some fats to all of that (butter to the eggs, fry the fish in coconut oil with a little butter on it), add a snack of more protein like a can of tuna or sardines, and until today maybe a slice or two of cheddar, swiss, or mozzarella to every meal. A lot of cheese (but not so much to get my carbs over the limit). Suppliments.

            When I was pre-induction carb levels, I'd have a little less meat and more fruits/veggies - maybe a piece of fruit and breakfast and peppers with dinner, but otherwise essentially the same.

            The time frame has been about 4-5 months - I started in january, but didn't get to a solid 90% commitment until early march, and there have been a few bingy days since (infrequently, maybe once a month).

            I weigh myself daily, same time, fat and weight and use the weekly average for my weekly accounting. Here's the last 9 weeks: 297.40 37.12, 300.57 37.09, 300.83 36.40, 298.83 35.56, 297.23 35.80, 298.11 34.24. 297.13 33.87, 294.74 33.50, 293.92 34.17

            The fat is slowly fitfully dropping, and can feel that I'm muscling up. I also just did my first ever pullup. Ever. Did I mention I'm 40?

            Thanks everyone!


            • #7

              Fitday says, btw, that my average caloric expendature is 2779 and my average daily caloric intake is 2369. Lower than I thought!


              • #8

                rocco - great name, BTW, knew an old mafioso with that moniker - Fitday, God bless 'em is notoriously inaccurate in many of their calorie calculations. I started a thread a couple of weeks ago asking if PB'ers could suggest something better. All the ones I looked at had other problems.

                Anyway, the food database at Fitday got pulled outta someone's butt. I have gotten enough "feel" for foods that I often pull something up and say to myself, "That's wrong." Okra and brocolli have fat? A skinless chicken breast with coating, almost 600 calories? I don't think so. I go over to and get the real skinny. I must have three dozen or more Custom Foods, changing their data or creating new ones from scratch.

                Similarly, I don't think their Activities calcs are accurate either, although I use them. I"ve compared to ??? and get wildly different results. OK, not near as bad as the food databse.

                Now, having vented, it is a still better than shooting in the dark. Like a scale, it is better to have a consistency that is wrong than all over the ballpark.

                Keep it up!


                • #9

                  Perhaps you do better with more carbs. At your weight I think you should be losing quicker. When you get closer to goal weight loss slows.

                  Toss the lunch meats and cheese for a bit and eat more salads with your meals. Perhaps lower calorie for a bit.


                  • #10

                    Sue, why would more carbs help the OP? For those on weight loss regimens, are not carbs the enemy? They sure are for me!

                    I MUST stay under 50 a day or even my calorie deficit does "nothing."


                    • #11

                      Well Bayou, tough to say. I thought dropping carbs from 100g to 50g would make the weight melt off 2x-3x as fast, but its not.

                      In any event, I suppose for a couple of weeks I can try with reducing my calorie count a smidge (average out at 2000), keep the carb grams low, and drop the cheese and see how my body reacts.

                      One thing I can try, although it'll be difficult, is to limit cheating to zero for a few weeks. I don't cheat much, but typically once or twice a week I'll 'slightly' cheat and have a couple of pieces of bread at a brunch or a plate of gnocchi or potatoes. Maybe it's resetting me to the point where it slows down the weight loss for the rest of the week?

                      Also: what about alcohol? I almost exclusively drink vodka+soda these days, but some weeks I'll suck in 5-6 drinks spread out over a few days, so it adds up.


                      • #12

                        Are you drinking diet soda at least.

                        i think if you cut the fruit a bit and kicked it up a notch in the gym, you'd notice a difference.

                        It's not going to happen overnight... it took years to get where you started at, it's not going to go away in a couple of months....


                        • #13

                          My thoughts:

                          1. I don't think you should characterize your weight loss as having stalled. In the last 9 weeks you've lost ~7 pounds and 3% body fat. That's good progress.

                          2. I don't think your workout regimen is excessive - it sounds about right. If you have more energy you could probably add another lifting session or interval training workout. I would avoid the long slow cardio sessions though.

                          3. You seem to be lacking vegetables and I don't see any fruit whatsoever in your diet. I know you are trying to keep carbs low, but you are also missing out on the vast nutrition that fruits and veggies contain. I would consider adding some low GL fruits like strawberries, blueberries, apples - in moderation of course - and a few more veggies.

                          4. I would eliminate cheese. Not much nutritional value and some people think it inhibits weight loss.

                          5. I would not drop your calories any lower. You are losing weight slowly and body fat rather quickly. Tweak the program but avoid the temptation to starve yourself or engage in chronic cardio. 2,400 calories at your current weight is low enough to achieve weight loss, just try to be patient.


                          • #14

                            I agree with Conan.

                            I feel like I am also at a plateau. I cannot get below the 165 - 169 lbs mark since rapidly losing the first few weeks of PB living. This would normally make me very frustrated, but I am still going at it since I notice my weights increasing in the gym and notice that I am noticeably leaner in pics, although it's not in the trouble areas yet (grrrrr!!!).

                            I second the elimination of the cheeses, the weekly treats and the alcohol. I think these are my hindrances too!!!


                            • #15

                              SF: are you keeping track of your food on Fitday or similar? I'll bet that once you do, you will literally see why your weight loss has stalled.

                              If my experience is any guide, I have to stay below 50% calories of what I was eating to maintain my fat self. I.e., was 4000 to maintain that svelte 285 pound body. Now, 2000 tops. And carbs under 50. Well under, if possible.