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Plateaus info/questions!

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  • Plateaus info/questions!

    If you've had one, how long did it last? What did you do to break it? And once you did, did the weight come off quickly? Why do you think you plateaued?

  • #2
    Don't know the answer yet, but i've definitely hit one. I tried going VLC and it was going good for about 3 weeks, but then started tapering off. I'm not seeing a lot of change and my workouts aren't improving like i'd like them to. The last 2 days i've started to gradually work in more carbs. I definitely felt better today when working out. I guess only time will tell if that does it. I'll be glad to hear if anyone has an answer for you.
    My blog: My Primal Adventure

    "I've come here to chew bubble gum and kick ass...and I'm all out of bubble gum."


    • #3
      First of all, consider how long it's been since you've lost. Most doctors would consider 6 weeks a minimum to consider it a plateau--i.e., 6 weeks of staying strictly on plan (on which you'd previously been losing) but with no weight loss and no change in body measurements.

      They emphasize time because weight loss is not linear. The body views fat loss as a negative and has all sorts of 'tricks' to keep that scale number stable. For example, as you lose and the body panics, it can fill those empty fat cells with water in an effort to achieve equilibrium. You will see no loss, although you have lost fat, until the body is forced to dump that excess water, and that can take a while.

      However, if you're having a true stall (plateau) there can be multiple reasons. Dr. Michael Eades says that with low carbers one of the most common ones is "carb creep" where people gradually add (or fail to count) carbs. Another is lack of calorie deficit. Low carb foods can be calorie intensive, and if not careful, a person can easily eat in excess of energy needs. Dr. Eades also points out that on any plan people get complacent and start adding things here and there that seem 'fine' but can eliminate the original calorie deficit.

      Keep in mind that those internet sites that purport to tell you how many calories you need are notoriously inaccurate because they work on 'average' people. Everyone is unique, and the only way to know how many calories you need for a deficit is by trial and error.

      There can also be medical reasons. Some common meds inhibit weight loss and can even cause weight gain.

      To answer your final questions--I had a plateau of almost a year because after I'd lost about 90 lbs (needing to lose at least 90 more), I found myself gaining and losing the same 5 lbs over and over. I examined my menu and realized that at my age (68) and with my thyroid issues (hypo), I needed to eat <1000 calories a day (low carb) to lose. Trying to do that on a daily basis proved too frustrating, but I discovered "alternate-day dieting"--a form of IF, and that enabled me to lose another 90 lbs. No, it didn't come off fast--basically about a pound a week, but keep in mind that I have an impaired metabolism, and others lose about 2.5 lbs a week on this plan.


      • #4
        Great info! Thanks so much!


        • #5

          There is another MAJOR factor. That is the location of your fat.

          LIFO=Last in, first out.

          Belly fat is the first to accumulate, and the last to leave. It is also the heaviest fat and the MOST difficult to get rid of. IMO plateaus can be expected when attempting to get rid of belly fat.

          Best to all,


          • #6
            That may be true for you, Grizz, but scientifically, where most of our fat is located is genetically predetermined.

            For example, in my family, there are only a few people with belly fat. Most of us are big 'pears' with a great deal of fat on hips and thighs with relatively flat stomachs.

            That's why the specific place where you tend to store fat is the hardest to lose; it's the body's 'preferred' location for fat!


            • #7
              Plateaus happen to all of us. I've hit several on my way to where I am now and while there isn't just one thing that you can tell someone to break their through their particular barrier (especially without knowing what they are consuming and exerting currently) you can say why they happen. As your lose weight your metabolism will be "slowing" by virtue of the fact that there is less of you to fuel. So, consuming the exact same diet that first caused weight to fall off will eventually lead to a plateau as it becomes a maintenance level at a lower metabolic rate. So, therefore as you lose you'll need to be continually finding new ways to tweak and reduce overall caloric intake and or to find new ways to use more fuel.