Im at a plateau, feeling upset!

I’ve lost almost 70 pounds but for the last month or so I’ve not lost ANY. It’s making me feel discouraged. I don’t know what to do. Should I go up to maintenance for a week or two and then back to a deficit? Any suggestions. Does MFP accurately calculate your deficit?


  • westrich20940
    westrich20940 Posts: 871 Member
    How long has it been since you went back through the guided set up? it over again and put in your current weight/stats...and recalculate your daily calorie goal and see if it changes.

    As you lose weight your caloric needs will lower too so you might just need to recalculate it.

    I have used both TDEE calculators and MFP to calculate what my maintenance calories are and they are fairly close (MFP tends to be slightly lower I'd say)- note: I have a desk job so I'm sedentary other than my intentional activity.
  • Retroguy2000
    Retroguy2000 Posts: 1,486 Member
    edited January 24
    Congrats on your big loss. How long since your last maintenance break? How much more to go?

    MFP has no clue what your deficit is. Like everywhere, they use a calculator estimate for your BMR based on population statistics, then use your provided description of how active you are generally to multiply that number by 1.2 or 1.4 or 1.6 etc., then it's adjusted with intentional exercise calories burned, which are also estimates, and on the other side of the ledger are the calorie inputs from tracked foods, which even with the best of tracking can still be off.

    The best estimator of a deficit is you tracking your inputs (food and drink) and your output (weight change).

    One potential could be that as you get smaller your daily calorie needs go down, and MFP doesn't automatically update that. You should double check by quickly running through the Goals section again with your new current weight.
  • mariamcatee01
    mariamcatee01 Posts: 3 Member
    @Retroguy2000 I have never done a maintenance break or anything! I want to lose around 32 more pounds.
  • Jthanmyfitnesspal
    Jthanmyfitnesspal Posts: 3,521 Member
    edited January 24
    I’ve lost almost 70 pounds

    Don't feel discouraged-- celebrate! You've made a huge accomplishment. Any month that you don't gain it back is a reason for further celebration.

    Now, I know from personal experience that a plateau is maddening. You don't change anything, but you don't lose weight! Arrgh! But, our bodies are like that, and if you lean in, the weight loss will begin afresh. A pause of a few weeks is very common, unfortunately.

    Also, as you lose, your body conspires to make you less active so you won't lose any more (it's called "metabolic adaptation"). You may feel cold when you sit still and you may be subtly less active. You can counteract that by doing regular workouts and by staying active in general. Using a fitness monitor can help (apple watch, fitbit, Garmin, etc.).

    I'm not much of a fashionista, but buying clothes that fit you right now, rather than waiting until you lose "all the weight," may be motivating. Taking on some new fitness challenge can help-- some activity you've never done before. (For me, it would be square dancing, or something like that. Radical!)

    Best of luck!
  • Retroguy2000
    Retroguy2000 Posts: 1,486 Member
    I have never done a maintenance break or anything! I want to lose around 32 more pounds.
    Well, if you're already struggling, I would say take a maintenance break of at least three months. You're already one month in. It's a nice physical and mental break. Let your body reset and get used to this new set point of -70 pounds. Then continue for the final 30, maybe with another maintenance break if needed after 3-6 months.

    You're also close enough that you should increase resistance training to help with body composition, especially if you haven't started yet.
  • kbrown1527
    kbrown1527 Posts: 65 Member
    Whenever I hit a plateau I either do a 24-48hr fast or go to maintenance for 2 weeks(maintenance more often) and it always gets me back on the right track. I’ve lost 45lbs so far (this time around, 12yr a ago I lost a little over 100). I also would like to lose around 30lbs more.
  • springlering62
    springlering62 Posts: 7,400 Member
    Chillax. Most of us have these periods. I certainly did, and right around the same time as you.

    You get so invested and it’s coming off (comparatively) quickly and reliably and then BAM! It all sloooooows down. It’s maddening.

    Know that it’s not really a plateau. It’s just not going to continue at the same speed as it did before. Each ounce lost is going to be exponentially (glacially!) slower than the one before it the closer you get to goal.

    Do what others have said above, especially the revisiting and updating your goals page. Don’t give up.

    It’s still coming off but your patience muscle is getting ready for a workout.

    You’ve done so stinkin’ awesome so far. You be sure to give yourself some credit for that, ma’am!!!!!
  • vanmep
    vanmep Posts: 406 Member
    You’ve lost about 7 bags of potatoes! Congratulations on not having to carry those around anymore. The down side to that is that since you’re not carrying those 70 pounds around any more, you probably need less calories to maintain and you probably burn less calories when you exercise. So you might need to do a recalculation.