So, we finally meet, madame Plateau! En guard!

Hi there! This is going to be a long rant so strap up.

I joined MFP in 2017. I was a silly 22-23 years old that started off weighing about 60 kg and managed to drop down to 54kg in the span of 2-3 months. It was an effortless weight drop and I was in maintenance in almost no time. Good times!

Well, here we are in 2020 and my stress-based lifestyle has brought me over the past year and a half to the glorious 73kg, which put my BMI halfway to being obese. I am ashamed to say it, but if it wasn't for the Corona crisis, I might not have gotten my wake-up call anytime soon. Luckily for me, my inner gerbil decided that I need to stock up (responsibly, not panicky!) on food and limit my snack-worshiping diet so that I can lock myself off from the world and live off my hoard for as long as possible. With my daily stress gone, my desire to snack also vanished and I saw the perfect opportunity to get my weight back on track. Together with the water weight, I saw about a 5kg drop in a month and was encouraged. And then it has been 2 weeks and there has still been no progress in my weight loss. I am still overweight, I am still eating in deficit as far as I know, but the progress evades me. So not fair! I have been officially acquainted with the mysterious plateau I have seen so many write about.

I can think of several reasons for this:
1. Well, I am older, 26 to be exact, the spring chicken fat-burning effect was not going to last forever.
2. I stopped my birth control pills in mid-March. I am well aware that my hormones are still out of whack. Hell, the plateau occurred just before my ovulation, which wouldn't be memorable, if it wasn't for the ridiculous body temperature drop to 35.4 C for a few days and annoying constipation. I am pretty sure this has had some effect on my metabolism. Well, my body temperature is back to normal and so is my bowel movement, so let's see what happens now.
3. I am heavier than before. Maybe my diet is too restrictive?
4. Or maybe it's not restrictive enough, but I don't think going under 1200 is a smart idea.

Here's some data to put this story into perspective:

I am female
Age: 26
Height: 1,62m (about 5ft3)
CW: 67kg (about 148 lbs)
GW: 55kg (about 121 lbs)
BMI: 25.5
BMR: 1300-1400kcal
Activity level: Sedentary
Body shape: Apparently a compact rectangle

I plugged my new data into MFP, set a goal for .5 loss a week and it gave me 1200 kcal per day. I figured that since I am now pretty sedentary, I might as well give it a try and see if I need to increase. I ate 1200 for about a month, the only change I made was doing an 8:16 intermittent fasting, just to give my meals more of a logical structure (has given me a peace of mind). I have also been occasionally exercising - going for a 40-50 minute run every few days. Another thing, I have been using a digital scale for the past few years, so I am pretty confident in the accuracy of my entries. I do expect up to 50-100 kcal deviation from cooking oil now and then, but I typically end up boiling, steaming or poaching my food. I have opened my diary in case someone wants to take a peek. Yes, I do enjoy my meal replacement shakes, I find them delightful. And yes, I personally enjoy having 2 large satisfying meals over multiple small ones.

Ever since I realized that I am in a plateau, so let's say 3-4 days ago, I have been trying to think about how I can get out of it. After reading a few scary posts of the dangers of undereating, the chicken I am, I decided to up my caloric intake to about 1350kcal in case I am not eating enough. I have not noticed any difference in fullness or the scale. While I am at it, I am experimenting now with changing around my macros a bit to see what works for me. I am also going to include some strength training to my occasional cardio to tone my muscles a bit, burn a few extra calories, and increase the number of daily "Who's that sexy lady" comments to the mirror.

I should be losing weight if I eat less, so I am sure something else is going on. I know that I will not see any immediate effects of the changes I just made. I know that maybe they are irrelevant and my diet will maybe pay off once my hormones normalize. And maybe I am completely missing something. I don't know...I do not feel discouraged and I am willing to wait for as long as it takes, but I really want to feel in control. I made this post to rant, but I would also love to hear any tips and advice that you might have, tough love, or maybe an experience to share. I am all ears. Thank you for making it to the end!


  • mmapags
    mmapags Posts: 8,937 Member
    2 weeks is not a plateau and no, you are not old at 26. Ridiculous statement really. When you've gone 6 to 8 weeks with no loss, maybe. A good dose of patience is in order. Weight loss is not linear and you won't show a drop every week. At 26, nothing has suddenly happened to your metabolism.
  • Redordeadhead
    Redordeadhead Posts: 1,188 Member
    2 weeks is not long enough and not a plateau. Patience.