Discover what's new & improved in the MyFitnessPal app!
We’re dedicated to helping you achieve your health and nutrition goals. And our newest features and updates? They do just that. Learn how we're making tracking your progress easier, faster, and more motivating than ever.

THE DREADED Plateau Plague!

Options
Hello everyone!

I know this subject is a popular one, but I wanted to know about other people's experiences.

I have been on my weight loss adventure since early August. I've done well.........lost about 13 lbs, been happy with that. I am not on a mission to lose weight in a big hurry - I figure it's taken me quite a long time to get to this place, so I can be patient with the weight coming off slowly. In fact, it's a LOT better for me to make life-long changes, as my discipline level has never been good.

That said.........I am plateauing. Is that COMMON to plateau at 3.5 months? It seems too soon, but I don't know!

I am not a huge exercise girl, and probably won't change that ............ don't be a hater on me, I just KNOW me, and I don't go to the gym. I most often exercise by walking, hiking, some aerobics. That's about it.

So, I've heard that one way to make this change is to eat more...............but I'm scared to DO that. I am at 1390 calories a day to lose 1/2 lb a week.

I'm a little bummed at this happening so soon, and don't want to get too discouraged about it. (Cuz, like I said, I KNOW me..........and I need to stay motivated, or I'll just drop the whole thing!)

What worked for you???

Thanks,
Polly

Replies

  • My1985Freckles
    My1985Freckles Posts: 1,039 Member
    Options
    I started in the very beginning of August and hit a plateau in October after losing around 20 pounds. I stayed at that point for almost a whole freakin' month! What did it for me was going on a little vaca with my hubby. I tracked my food, but I did not worry about going over at all. And I went over a LOT. Like really badly went over. When I came back, I struggled a little that week to get my calories back under control (my body was going, "Thank God her diet kick is over!"), but now I am back on track and losing again (3.5 lbs since the begining of the month).
  • Verdeyes
    Options
    I have lost over 40 lbs and had 2 plateaus, seems our bodies get used to what we are doing and need a change to keep losing. So I know you don't exercise much, but I'd at least walk another day or faster. Do something to change it up, also I have eaten whatever I wanted for a week or 2 at a time and then gone back and this does work. Kinda like a restart button. Hope this helps! Hang in there, it will come off.
  • hdroddy
    hdroddy Posts: 122
    Options
    You'd only want to eat more if you were at less than 1200 calories per day. Below that, your metabolism will slow down on you, which slows the calorie burn.

    If you don't feel you'd be successful with exercise, cutting your calorie intake may help you. Up your projected weight loss to 1 lb per week, and MFP will tell you how much you should cut your calories to. Probably wouldn't want to go any higher than 1 lb per week, however.

    Really, though, exercising truly is the best way to boost your metabolism and burn calories faster. Even walking and hiking count, so if you like those just try to do half an hour at a time, doesn't even have to be every day. It would be a start, and you might begin to enjoy it more.

    I don't know that there is a specified time when someone plateaus; it probably varies. But try not to let it discourage you when you do. Change your diet up a bit; increase the calories you consume of fruits and vegetables, for example. Try to reboot, in other words. And focus more on inches lost than ounces lost.

    You'll get there, just hang in there.
  • Susanbakos
    Susanbakos Posts: 1 Member
    Options
    It's true...our bodies are too smart for their own good! It is said that you should increase your calorie intake by 10%. That would only be another 139 calories. You could eat a greek yogurt or have a protein shake type supplement. (There are lots of good , healthy snacks between 130-150 calories) If you could increase your activity level, that would help a lot! It sounds like you are doing well and remember, losing slowly is the best way to go. It is important that you lose fat and not lean muscle:happy: Good luck!
  • bigbugboo
    Options
    I dont know how tall you are or how much you have to lose, but you might want to look at how many grams of carbs you eat per day, if they're in the hundreds, you could try dropping them to a lower level. I'd start at 100gs per day and see if the weight starts to budge again. In addition to this you should up your protein levels. Some say to have1g for every lb of body weight. This will help to shed fat and not lean muscle, and help repair muscle after working out. Drink lots of water or herbal / decaf tea if you don't like water, and don't reduce your calories below 1200.

    If you can stomach it, some circuit training including strength exercises would be beneficial to you, to help with the weight loss and strengthen your body.
  • hdroddy
    hdroddy Posts: 122
    Options
    Also, remember to give yourself one day off per week, and a week off every 4 - 6 weeks. I never used to do that; I was really strict with myself. But I ended up with an enforced one week break, and it actually helped. Seems to act as sort of a kick start.
  • amfmmama
    amfmmama Posts: 1,420 Member
    Options
    CHEAT DAY!
  • halejr23
    halejr23 Posts: 294
    Options
    Taking the focus off exercise (per your request) I would start looking at what you are eating. There are lots of beliefs/theories/etc about the "right" foods. That being said you really can't go wrong with fruit and vegetables. reduce the amount of grains you are consuming and see if that starts to help. This includes breads, pastas, rice, pastries ...

    What worked for me - yes, I hit a plateau a couple of times - was taking a hard look at what I was eating. I almost eliminated all bread, rarely have pasta and rice, never been a sweets guy so pastries was not an issue and started replacing that stuff with more fruits and vegetables. For fruits and veggies, if not buying fresh go for frozen as opposed to canned. Canned stuff is usually overly processed, which no one needs.

    Just a couple of suggestions to get you started. Keep up the good work. One last thing ... make sure you are not weighing yourself more than a couple of times a month - 3 at most.
  • ninerbuff
    ninerbuff Posts: 48,743 Member
    Options
    Hello everyone!

    I know this subject is a popular one, but I wanted to know about other people's experiences.

    I have been on my weight loss adventure since early August. I've done well.........lost about 13 lbs, been happy with that. I am not on a mission to lose weight in a big hurry - I figure it's taken me quite a long time to get to this place, so I can be patient with the weight coming off slowly. In fact, it's a LOT better for me to make life-long changes, as my discipline level has never been good.

    That said.........I am plateauing. Is that COMMON to plateau at 3.5 months? It seems too soon, but I don't know!

    I am not a huge exercise girl, and probably won't change that ............ don't be a hater on me, I just KNOW me, and I don't go to the gym. I most often exercise by walking, hiking, some aerobics. That's about it.

    So, I've heard that one way to make this change is to eat more...............but I'm scared to DO that. I am at 1390 calories a day to lose 1/2 lb a week.

    I'm a little bummed at this happening so soon, and don't want to get too discouraged about it. (Cuz, like I said, I KNOW me..........and I need to stay motivated, or I'll just drop the whole thing!)

    What worked for you???

    Thanks,
    Polly
    Let's define a plateau first. A plateau in weight loss is 6 weeks or more of little to no weight change while staying on a consistent calorie deficit. If this is just one or two weeks, then it's a stall. Unfortunately you have to do something different than you're used to because your body is adapting to your current routine. If you don't then you'll keep getting the same results.
  • jltother
    jltother Posts: 14 Member
    Options
    Do you have a cheat day? I hear that one a week keeps your metabolism higher. It also helps with your sanity and motivation to have one day a week where you can eat whatever you want. The main thing is that you need to change something up because you body is getting accustomed to your new life style changes.
  • ajfrench
    ajfrench Posts: 323 Member
    Options
    Woggy3939 - I'd love to see an update from you in about a month. I'm having the same problem - plateaued for 6 weeks - and do a ton of exercising. Usually eat between 1200--1400 calories a day. The weight won't come off.

    I'm trying the scary increase of calories to 1500-1600 a day for a month to see if that will shake things up. If it doesn't, I'm hoping I won't have gained more than 5 lbs.

    There is always conflicting advice about this problem and I'm just not sure who to go with.
  • Pollywog39
    Pollywog39 Posts: 1,730 Member
    Options
    Woggy3939 - I'd love to see an update from you in about a month. I'm having the same problem - plateaued for 6 weeks - and do a ton of exercising. Usually eat between 1200--1400 calories a day. The weight won't come off.

    I'm trying the scary increase of calories to 1500-1600 a day for a month to see if that will shake things up. If it doesn't, I'm hoping I won't have gained more than 5 lbs.

    There is always conflicting advice about this problem and I'm just not sure who to go with.

    All good advice from everyone! Thanks :) I surely will update ya'll when I see things changing :happy:

    I have been on this stall or plateau for about 2 weeks. I go up and down a lb or so, but it's not gone below. I am 5'3" tall, and currently weigh 166.5 (down from close to 180 at the end of July.)

    I have been walking or hiking trails in my area a few times a week, at least 40 minutes to an hour - and try to do a little 15 to 20 minute walk during my lunch break at work (mostly up and down the stairs). So, I think my moving is good..............(and I have tried lifting some 3 lb weights at times, and thought about the 100 pushup challenge !)

    I think I could use more protein, so will try that for a while. I seem to be deficient there a lot. I eat a lot of fruits and veggies, so think I'm good there. I DO have a sweet tooth, but have been able to break that habit QUITE a lot - rarely drink pop anymore (and I'm NOT a diet-anything person, as far as food goes - REAL food, thank you!) Love breads and whole grains.........so I do try to watch that so I'm not overboard too much.

    You guys rock........thanks for the upbeat messages, and for not getting after me too much :wink: :wink:

    Polly