My Plateau Nutrition Story, Learn from my mistakes.



  • Reneece_pr
    Reneece_pr Posts: 16 Member
    :smile: I always thought the plateau was something that wasn't so easy to resolve- just one of those things you sit through but wow! you put it so simply and I truly understand it now so thank you!! & you have amazing before and afters aswell:happy: I can only hope that one day my progress will hit that level! Thank you for the story, it's completely boosted my motivation:happy: :happy: :happy:
  • ksmorck
    ksmorck Posts: 82 Member
  • stayxtrue
    stayxtrue Posts: 1,190 Member
    Hello all! I thought I would share some of my experience from my journey to 70lbs lighter :) I promise there is a happy Hollywood ending.

    I started in June 2011 based off a bet and a contest. I was trucking along and losing weight pretty rapidly every month. I started at 271 and found myself at 218 by November. Everyone I told about how much I lost was amazed and I was pretty excited at how quickly this was happening. I was averaging about 1200 calories a day eaten and that was WITHOUT my workouts. With workouts I was trying to keep my net calories less than 400 for the day. So technically my body only had about 400 calories of energy to rebuild all of the muscle I was tearing up doing extremely heavy lifting at the gym. I was getting frustrated that I couldn't get my racked weights to go any higher and keep in mind that I wasn't TOUCHING carbs so I had 0 fuel practically. Workouts were miserable, but I endured. If you've ever worked out legs with 0 carbs in your body you do not know what hell is.

    Fast forward to end of November/December and I find myself at 205.5, 205.2, 205.5, 205.2, 206, 205. THE FREAKING SCALE wouldn't move and I was getting frustrated. I tried everything, introduce carbs back, carb load days, carb starvation days, changed my workout, muscle adaptation I thought, increased cardio, reduced cardio, increased lifting, bottom line is nothing worked. I would wake up run to the scale and 205. I'm an avid reader, OCD about the things I'm passionate about and I'm incredibly passionate about health now. I found an article by Martin Berkhan discussing calories and "one of the biggest mistakes people make is they eat too few calories while cutting." At first I was confused and thought "Ugh, what? I thought when you cut that is why it sucks because you can't eat calorie rich food." Boy was I wrong. After an email exchange back and forth I was recommended to read "Feed the Muscle, Burn the Fat" by Tom Venuto to learn the basic pillars of diet, muscles, fat, carbohydrates and overall just how our bodies work. BEST THING I EVER DID! What was I doing wrong? I WASN'T EATING! I had sent my body into a "Starvation Mode", which I never believed existed but I'm walking proof. My body was literally holding on to the little calories I gave it, burning my Lean Body Mass, cannot STRESS HOW IMPORTANT LBM IS, and hanging on to the fat to endure the long slow death my body thought I was going through.

    January 1st, 2012 I decided to change my calorie goal from 1800, which it was set at, but actually EAT 1800 calories. I did this for the 1st and 2nd, woke up on the 3rd and weighed myself in the morning 204. HOLY SCHNIKEYS! I'm currently at 201 with a goal of 1Lb per week to ensure the tiniest of loss to my Lean Body Mass. Keep in mind that while you're losing weight you're going to lose LBM, but you can negate this by losing slower. The more LBM the more fat your body burns and the faster your metabolism runs. I'm still learning from Tom Venuto's book, I calculated my actual calories using Katch McArdle method and realized I should be eating about 2200 calories. I bumped up my calories and haven't looked back since. I smashed my plateau, immediately noticed my body measurements dropping pretty damn fast, body fat dropped, body responded "Holy crap Nick you're not dying, we'll get back to work burning this nasty fat immediately sir!"

    Morale of the story: Eat your freaking calories, you will get stuck sooner or later. You will not be able to keep cutting calories if you only eat 400 calories. Also, if you think you're losing weight eating that little, you are, but guess what? It's muscle not fat thus creating a "Skinny Fat Person". I suggest when you weight yourself on whatever day you have scheduled keep track of your body fat rigorously ensuring that you can determine your Lean Body Mass. At one point in my LBM was 185 and as of today I'm currently sitting at 169 :( That's a lot of muscle burned up when it should have been fat. Don't confuse weight for fat because it may be muscle.

    Nutrition recommendation: Don't rely so heavily on shakes. They're expensive and they're not nearly as filling as real food! I was drinking 3 - 4 Protein shakes everyday when I should have been eating whole food. If you have the time and you have to choose always choose whole food. The only time I really use shakes now is after a workout, before bed (casein) or if I need a little extra protein for my macros that day.

    If you like my story, friend me and you can look at my nutrition diary to see what's working great for me :) I'm always able to help also!

    This is so true! I was eating around the 1200-1400 mark and I was losing weight but not much body fat.. I now eat well over 2000 calories a day and I am only short (5'3) Yet I am cutting down!!!! I am feeling better and I am eating cleaner! I eat A lot of chicken and buy it fresh from the butcher and can find my self eating a 400gram breast of chicken at least twice a day... Thats at least 240 grams of protein there! So Eating protein rich foods and eating clean whilst eating more calories has done me wonders also!

    Good Thread mate!
  • Thatsdatdiva601
    Thatsdatdiva601 Posts: 209 Member
  • cappydos
    cappydos Posts: 24 Member
  • bump
  • Jenn638
    Jenn638 Posts: 85 Member
    awesome post thanks
  • fjrandol
    fjrandol Posts: 437 Member
  • jenniebean1680
    jenniebean1680 Posts: 351 Member
    LOVE LOVE LOVE this. Thank you. I am trying soooo hard to embrace the idea of eating more. I know that sounds weird, but I've been consuming 1200-1400 daily for several years now, and I've started gaining despite a very rigorous workout schedule (weights and cardio). My nutritionist tells me to eat more more more, and that 2200 might be where I need to be (at 5'2", to LOSE weight.). I knew she was going to say that but I freaked out anyway. I am currently around 1800 (MFP has my net at 1330) a day, 40/30/30, and I love how clean I am eating (I splurge on 'dirty' stuff once or twice a week), but I feel HUGE eating this much food, and the weight hasn't come off yet, or inches. Wondering how long it will take my metabo to reset after years of being stalled.

    Again, thank you. I did the calculations in your 2nd post, and wound up w/ a cutting cal intake of 1950. Maybe 1800 is good for me, since I inevitably take in more than that on my splurge days...

    Here's hoping this works for me!!!
  • ronny23
    ronny23 Posts: 35
    Definitely a very good one
  • Totally agree that you need to EAT, I have so many friends who think surviving on Ryvita and some cheese is going to sustain them through work outs and lead them to lose loads of weight, but it's not going to happen and it's simply not healthy. And it's always those that think eating very very little is the key to losing weight that give up the easiest, because you will be MISERABLE. I've done it myself on countless silly 'diets' and the headaches, constant thinking about food, weakness, etc, so isn't worth it.

    Great post, and well done on your achievements!
  • Sandytoes71
    Sandytoes71 Posts: 463 Member
  • NiciS72
    NiciS72 Posts: 1,043 Member
  • bhalter
    bhalter Posts: 584 Member
    Thank you so much for this! I have been at a plateau for several weeks now and was very frustrated. I've been researching all day about BMR and what my calories SHOULD be at. I've been eating 1350-1390/day, which according to your equation (which also was confirmed using the calorie calculator on this website:, I SHOULD be eating around 1700-1800 calories a day! I'm going to adjust my MFP settings and try that out this upcoming week and see if it makes a difference.
  • zoe4friends
    zoe4friends Posts: 727 Member
  • i_am_asparagus
    i_am_asparagus Posts: 371 Member
    1. "If I'm hungry, that's a victory." Seriously? If you're TRULY hungry, eat!

    ^^ This. :explode:

    I've started using Olivia Method as well, I like seeing the deficit in green at the end of the day.

    Good post, OP.
  • . Don't be disparaged about your slowed weight loss either. I understand you've just begun and it can be frustrating to feel like you've stop losing weight, but trust me the body knows that your doing something to burn energy. Eat your 2000 calories, all of them, then report back in a week. :)

    I'm glad to report that for the past 3-4 days I've been trying to up my calorie intake and I've seen some changes in my mood and energy level. I'm able to get through my work out without pain. The scale has also started to move...of course, I'm not taking that as my final weight loss until my official WI on Sunday. Two days ago I was at 181.8 and this morning I'm at 177.7. I know weight fluctuates from day to day, but i can't resist the temptation to weigh in every day :-)

    Thank you so much for the information. I have shared it with my MFP group and my moms group. I've started a challenge with the moms and we're also doing a weighloss accountability group, so this information has come handy for many of them dealing with plateus.
  • Starlage
    Starlage Posts: 1,718 Member
    Thank you so much for this! I have been at a plateau for several weeks now and was very frustrated. I've been researching all day about BMR and what my calories SHOULD be at. I've been eating 1350-1390/day, which according to your equation (which also was confirmed using the calorie calculator on this website:, I SHOULD be eating around 1700-1800 calories a day! I'm going to adjust my MFP settings and try that out this upcoming week and see if it makes a difference.

    That IS a good calculator! Confirmed my calculations too :o)
  • applebobbrush
    applebobbrush Posts: 235 Member
    Thank you!! I love this, I sat down and did all the math (I hate math!!!!) and figured I'm not eating enough. I will be eating more and using my exercise calories. I will keep this formula to recheck as I move on down the scale. Again thank you for helping everyone, being so patient and sharing your awesome knowledge.
  • MaynardLD50
    MaynardLD50 Posts: 36 Member
    Keep it rocking all! Working on some new stuff that I really feel really would have helped me during my initial stages of "This is a contest" to "Holy ****, I can do this and maintain it".