How long does a Plateau last?

How long does a Plateau last?
I'm going on a little over a month.

I have asked my friends on here already and they had some really awesome answers that I am grateful for.
It's been another week and I'm still not losing, and have actually gained and lost the same 3-6 pounds every week.
I have been over on my sodium ONE time. I am always under all my goals.
I drink water.
I work out 4-5 days a week. Either the 30 Day Shred or the Gazelle
I now make sure I have a NET of 1,200 calories so my body isn't starving itself.
I eat HEALTHY!!
I have a one year old I'm chasing all over the place. Plus got a membership to a place called The Treehouse that we go a few times a week and all we do is walk around and go up stairs and play with toys *its a children's museum* so I'm being active as well, which is also something I'm not used to.

I have changed up my calories every now and then. Have yet to find whats right for me.

Is it wrong that I don't really want to measure. I know I know I will probably get people who disagree with me and say just go by measurement. But I didn't look at my scale and see my weight and think,"Oh this is fine, as long as I'm losing inches" No I looked at my scale and told myself I WILL CHANGE IT. Its hard to have it stuck for soooo long at the same number. Very VERY discouraging. I almost just quit my diet today because I'm so mad and think I may as well just eat since obviously me working out, drinking water, and eating healthy isn't helping anyways.

I LOVE MFP buddies.
Although....
I find myself incredibly jealous because there are people who eat bad food, dont drink water alot, AND some who have VERY LOW calories and they all lose weight. I know its rude of me to feel annoyed. But...I have NEVER dieted this long in my life. I have never worked out before. I'm trying my best, and its just hard to NOT see a result, and to see the scale actually get higher.

I hate dieting.
ugh, I feel like a heffer.


-Donna.
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Replies

  • helbohn
    helbohn Posts: 44
    check your thyroid. i've heard that problems with the thyroid gland causes no weight loss. hope you find out, and don't give up!!! you are worth it. :)
  • Thanks:) maybe I should.
    Couldn't hurt:) at least I know what would be wrong.:)
  • fitzie63
    fitzie63 Posts: 517 Member
    It probably seems like "forever" to you. My last one was over 2.5 months long but most are often just a couple of weeks. First, you need to rule out other causes.
  • ChelseaRW
    ChelseaRW Posts: 366 Member
    Wow...we are two peas in a pod! While I can't offer an answer to how long the plateau will last, I can say you are not alone in your feelings. Continue to make those healthy choices..and they WILL pay off for you. Try not to "diet" per se , as it is more of a deprivation feeling...instead, look at each choice as a way to feel healthier and be healthier, and those other things will happen. I lost 25 lbs fairly easily...until November where I got stuck...Joined MFP in Feb. and the 5 lbs to consider it a 30 lb loss has gone up or down repeatedly. There are so many factors into those few lbs of water weight besides sodium. Don't be discouraged and continue to monitor the sodium, drinking lots of water, eating high water content foods, etc. You will achieve your goal before ya know it!(ps..I don't measure either) I just watch my calories with a vegence and get in those workouts.

    SAY IT WITH ME..."I CAN DO THIS"

    God Bless your goal!
  • jax5103
    jax5103 Posts: 19
    Maybe you need to up your calorie intake....I have been plateaued for about a month now and I got some advice and I think what is happening to me, is happening to you. You might need to change your activity level on your profile and have it INCLUDE all of your working out. For example, I had mine set at "lightly active" since on a normal day I am on my feet most of the day since I work in retail. I work out 6-7 times a week and have not lost anything because MFP told me 1200 calories is my goal. Now I changed it to "active" and 1390 calories a day. Hopefully this is the answer....just a suggestion to you to try it as well. Don't get discouraged, stay the course! There will always be struggles in life and we always make it through! Here is a link that will hopefully explain it better for you...

    In this link: http://www.myfitnesspal.com/topics/show/184243-fitness-profile-labels-are-wrong-misleading
  • 1horsetown
    1horsetown Posts: 247 Member
    Mine lasted over 3 MONTHS. The scale wasn't moving, but my clothes kept fitting looser all the time. My guess; you're adding muscle AND losing fat.

    Stop focusing on the scale and look at the big picture. You're making progress.

    1horsetown
  • Dom_m
    Dom_m Posts: 357 Member
    Hard to say but I would guess not much longer than a month if it really is just a plateau. Weight loss doesn't happen in a linear fashion though. If you lost your 27lb in a short burst, say 3 months, it would be perfectly normal for a month to go by without loosing anything. I can't explain the biomechanics of this, but its been my experience, and I used to track my calories, weight and measurements every day and plot them on a graph, so I could easily see how long my plateaus lasted. (sometimes I lost about 9lb in 3 days, then nothing for 3 weeks).

    Having said that, it could also be a number of other things. If you've lost 27lb your body wont actually need as much energy to sustain itself, so you might need to actually begin to reduce the amount of food you eat. It could be that you're not actually in a deficit anymore simply because you're smaller than you used to be. Try re-entering your goals in mfp and see what it suggests for you with your new data.

    It could also be that the type of physical activity you do is now easy for you. Your body gets used to certain types of activities and repeating them over and over again eventually requires less and less calories each time you do it. Try doing some other type of activity that you haven't done for a while and see if that makes a difference.

    Another issue could be that you aren't actually measuring your food as carefully as you think you are. Do you weigh everything you eat? Do you ever munch on something that you don't record? These can add up and throw off your efforts. Its something that most people do. I tend to assume I'm gong to do a bit of that and so I give myself a little bit of a larger deficit than I really need if I were being 100% honest with myself (sort of a dishonesty buffer).

    Finally, regading measuring. The reason people say to measure is not because its the soft way out, its because its more accurate. Your weight is not just a measure of your fatness, its also a measure of your water retention and muscle mass, and is affected by other things like how much you ate in the last few hours, whether you've been exercising recently, whether its the same time of day, if the scale is on a flat surface or not.... weight is essentially very unreliable, while the tape measure (taken at a few different points on the body, as long as they are the same points each time you measure) is much more accurately a measure of body fat. Don't get obsessed about the scale if what you actually care about is fatness.
  • stormieweather
    stormieweather Posts: 2,550 Member
    My advice is to be 100% sure your numbers are accurate...logging every bite and that you're really as active as you think you are and burning the calories you are logging. And then be patient. I hadn't lost a pound, or even seen that lowest weight again in nearly a month. I kept on...exercising and making good choices. And BAM!! the scale started moving downwards again a few days ago.

    Stick to the plan and hang in there! :flowerforyou:
  • Greyhawkk
    Greyhawkk Posts: 34
    Mine lasted 2 months....I did a version of calorie cycling to beat it down. I eat 1500 without exercise...so.. Day one - i ate 2500 - no exercise. Day 2 - i ate 500 - no exercise and a ton of water. Day 3 1500 - no exercise. Day 4 1500 - 1 hour cardio - broke its back and im losing again. Hit 80lb this morning...40 more to go !

    This worked for me...not saying it would work for you.....good luck
  • Thanks everyone:)
    All of your answers helped.
    I just have to figure out what one is right for me.

    I'll start measuring as soon as I get out and buy a measuring tape. I put away my scale tonight and I don't plan on getting it out for another month. So we will see how that goes.
    Thanks again for your comments and sweet messages.

    -Donna.
  • tessjordan88
    tessjordan88 Posts: 201 Member
    It may be the NET calories... 3500 calories is equivilant to 1 pound, or about 500 caloies per day deficit. Check your BMR in the tools tab and see how many calories you burn at rest. There needs to be at least -500 calories difference between your BMR and your net calories if you want to lose 1 pound per week, or -1000 calories difference if you want to lose 2 pounds per week.

    Someone told me I needed to eat my exercise calories, and I was doing that, but I stopped losing weight and was at a plateau for about 6 weeks. Then I did the math again, and thought again. My BMR is so close to 1200, if that's my NET calories every day, all I am doing is MAINTAINING, not losing weight.

    Good luck!
  • sherri31
    sherri31 Posts: 80
    i was at my plateau for 3 weeks when i decided to change my goals to the recommended amount and i didnt work out as hard instead of burning 700 calories i went to about 300 a day. week 4 lost 8 lbs. hopefully thats the end of the plateau. good luck
  • iamthepreston
    iamthepreston Posts: 195 Member
    Maybe you need to up your calorie intake....I have been plateaued for about a month now and I got some advice and I think what is happening to me, is happening to you. You might need to change your activity level on your profile and have it INCLUDE all of your working out. For example, I had mine set at "lightly active" since on a normal day I am on my feet most of the day since I work in retail. I work out 6-7 times a week and have not lost anything because MFP told me 1200 calories is my goal. Now I changed it to "active" and 1390 calories a day. Hopefully this is the answer....just a suggestion to you to try it as well. Don't get discouraged, stay the course! There will always be struggles in life and we always make it through! Here is a link that will hopefully explain it better for you...

    In this link: http://www.myfitnesspal.com/topics/show/184243-fitness-profile-labels-are-wrong-misleading

    While I agree with her that you probably need to up your calories the site is fine. You log in your what activity level you have a day. Lets say you workout for an hour then you log in your exercise and calories burned. Then look at your Caloric Intake you now get more calories on that day.

    The author of the link is making the same mistake.
  • tessjordan88
    tessjordan88 Posts: 201 Member
    Also, a trainer's advice was this: "Unless you excercise more than 3000 calories per day DON'T eat back more than half your excercise calories."

    Makes sense considering you want to lose weight, right? BTW, the big green number on your MFP home page is what should say at least 500.

    Here's a link to my blog about whether or not to eat those exercise calories:
    http://www.myfitnesspal.com/blog/tessjordan88
  • Dom_m
    Dom_m Posts: 357 Member
    Also, a trainer's advice was this: "Unless you excercise more than 3000 calories per day DON'T eat back more than half your excercise calories."

    Makes sense considering you want to lose weight, right? BTW, the big green number on your MFP home page is what should say at least 500.

    Here's a link to my blog about whether or not to eat those exercise calories:
    http://www.myfitnesspal.com/blog/tessjordan88

    Ahh... this is wrong. The big green number on your home page should say "0" at the end of each day. You need to go back and read MFP FAQs. The caloric deficit is embedded into MFP's calculations, so if you eat your target net calories (the big red or green number on your home page) then you will get your target deficit. If you aim to have it as a big green "500" every day then you are probably doubling your caloric deficit (assuming you had told mfp to aim for losing 1lb / week).
  • stormieweather
    stormieweather Posts: 2,550 Member
    As Dom_m says...check your goals page and you'll see where the deficit is ALREADY calculated. Mine is shown below, with relevant spots circled.

    MFPGoals-1.jpg
  • jax5103
    jax5103 Posts: 19
    I dont know....since changing my calorie goals I have already lost 2 pounds in 5 days. Just because you take a day or two off from working out, doesnt mean that your metabolism isnt higher that it was before you started working out and eating right. It makes perfect sense to me, but that's just me. If she does think that her thyroid is messed up, go to the doctor. But I can tell you right now, that one of the symptoms that it is messed up is obviously weight gain and lethargy. There are several other symptoms and maybe look it up on web md and then make an appointment.
  • I had been suffering through this plateau for 7 weeks and it driving me NUTS! Started 1 Jul 2011 @ 350lbs; I got down to 183 lbs about 7 weeks ago, then, in ONE WEEK I gained 7 pounds--I have no idea how! I eat 1200-1500 calories a day, mostly vegies, fruit, lean meats, eggs or Eggbeaters, and 1 or 2 servings of bread or rice a day, sometimes not even that! I bike 10 miles or power-walk 4 miles or dance Zumba at home for 40 minutes--5 or 6 times a week. I drink 4-5 liters of liquid a day, usually water with lemon, or black or green tea or Crystal Lite type drinks with 0-10 calories a serving. I went on a veg-fruit cleanse for 8 days, adding only a little protein each day (1 or 2 eggs, or fat free cottage cheese or yogurt, lean chicken or 98%-fat-free ham, baked chicken legs or salmon) with no grain foods at all--intensified my exercise (longer, harder).....at the end of 8 days, I had lost NOTHING! I feel like I'm at my wits end here because I cannot see a way to break this plateau other than exhaust myself with exercise of starve with 800-1000 calories/day. I know my metabolism needs speeding up because I get so tired and have to MAKE myself exercise--once I"m IN the zone, I'm OK, just getting those sneakers on and beginning it, that's the hard part, but I do it! I crave protein a lot too. Been taking Amberen too, for the last 2 months and wondering if I should give it up. Raspberry Keytones did nothing. Thinking of trying the green coffee bean extract----HELP!
  • Captain_Tightpants
    Captain_Tightpants Posts: 2,215 Member
    Completely dependent on the individual. I once had an 8 month plateau.
  • tnrunningnurse
    tnrunningnurse Posts: 554 Member
    I busted my plaeau doing the 24 day challenge.