My Plateau Nutrition Story, Learn from my mistakes.



  • so just to be absolutely sure that the original poster meant that AFTER figuring out your calories with his calculations WHICH TAKES EXERCISE INTO ACCOUNT are you sure that even when i do burn those calories exercising i should still deduct those from my calories? what's the point of doing those calculations with the exercising then just out of curiosity? Thanks so much!
  • andreaie
    andreaie Posts: 369 Member
  • samntha14
    samntha14 Posts: 2,084 Member
    edited to add--I have a thyroid disorder (goiter), which MAY cause decreased resting metabolism. I do zig zag (method I do is 1430 is the average daily net calories, but reviewed as a week. 2 days, I am 300 calories below 1430 and 1 day amd 500 calories over. I don't stress the '2 days low/1 day high/repeat', I just focus on the week being below 1430 and I have highs and lows for the week. I preset my 'high days' when I know that it will be a high calorie day or a day I can't exercise.)

    How do you preset your calories for the "high days"? I'm usually 500 over the day after my big exercise day (strength training followed by Zumba) but that's because I'm usually down the 500 on the workout day. I finish too late at night to even think about eating back 700 calories.
  • This is a GREAT thread! To the OP Thank You!!!
  • allie0630
    allie0630 Posts: 139 Member
    Thank you so much for the info. Need to read closely and figure out what to do!
  • bump my post from earlier
  • MaynardLD50
    MaynardLD50 Posts: 36 Member
    Am I the only one noticing a trend here?

    If you're extremely overweight (50+ lbs), as proven many times with these stories, the weight loss comes quickly for months.. until you get closer to your goal.. at this point you plateu and it makes sense to eat more, including those elusive "exercise calories." Two phases.

    I'd much rather lose a little muscle mass during the first "months" than deal with the health risks of being overweight.

    Not quite understanding all the "you must eat or you're going to go into starvation mode" advice for those that are extremely overweight. Who cares about some muscle loss? Heart attack, high blood pressure or a crappy bench press? hmm..

    I'm not advocating not eating, because that doesn't work, but if you eat your allotted daily recommended intake then things should be fine.

    My opinion of course..
    Because muscle is extremely hard to build unless genetically gifted. On average we build muscle at EXTREMELY low rates 5 - 10% a YEAR, so if I can keep as MUCH of my hard earned existing muscle as possible and lose a good solid 1lb of fat a week I'll take that route.

    Don't take this personally because it is not meant personally, but as a topic that I see EVERYWHERE. That topic is, "HOW DO I LOSE WEIGHT LIKE SUPER FAST? I NEED TO BE READY FOR SUMMER SO I WEIGH 220 NOW I NEED TO BE 160 IN 10 WEEKS" It drives me absolutely nuts. I have started a side business of consulting people with their weight loss and I'm brutally honest because you need to hear the hard things. I have a client locally that I figured everything out and she weight 241 lbs with 54% body fat. Her response was "I need that gone by July." Are you serious? So your 34 years of complete abuse and disregard for health needs to be done in a matter of 6 months? No. Not by me, I'm not going to give you a 10 week plan that will starve your body of nutrients, burn muscle, slow fat loss to a screeching hault by month 6-8, maybe sooner. Why? Because that would be a BIGGER disservice to your body when you realize "Oh I can't do this anymore" and now you gain BACK the weight and fat shoots up worse. Slow and Steady wins the race. I could literally post another 1000 words on this subject, in fact this has motivated me to start my blog here.

    Thank you :) ^ hopefully that doesn't come across too mean, again wasn't meant to you personally. Just hit a nerve that got irritated by my client earlier.

    PS when I told her "You're not going to hit your goal by July, but you will be healthier than you've ever been in your life by July she cried, but thanked me for being honest. It's about being honest with yourself folks, this is a life long commitment, not some crash diet fad that you can quit when your done and go back to your "Old" ways of eating sticks of butter. :)
    I am 5.5ft,141 lbs,female, 27 years old and do a desk job. I usually do a 20 min workout every day burn about 200cal.
    My scale has not moved from 141 down since god knows when. I aim for about 1200 calories a day ( that is before excercise) and if i bump up my calories i only seem to gain weight and not loose. If I eat more then 1200 for example 1500-1600 i will literally gain a pound or two that takes me a week to burn off. Any help is appreciated:) thank you
    20 minute workouts everyday is not enough. You're burning 200 calories, but what is your heart rate? Are you in your target zone? Gosh I haven't even posted that yet! Must start blog! 200 calories burned is not the same as my 200 calories burned in a matter of 11 minutes. Why? Because my 200 calories burned in 11 minutes is done in a target heart rate. For instance: My target heart rate is 133 - 144 roughly. When I hit that zone during cardio I'm a fat burning machine and shrinking those fat cells. When I'm sitting down playing drums, my friends know I do this :P, and I burn 234 calories in 48 minutes I didn't burn fat (maybe a teensie bit), I burned sugar and carbohydrates/glycogen. Make sense?
    Just checing in with an update. I switched up my calories after calculating my BMR and have followed the Katch McCarde calorie amounts for the week, not to a T, but close enough and I have finally seen some results! I lost 1.5lbs this week after not losing anything for the 4 weeks I was on 1200 calorie diet. My exercise routine is currently the 30DS. I just couldn't understand how I could push my body so hard and not lose a thing!! I guess it was b/c I wasn't giving my body enough fuel.
    I hope this keeps up, it seems to be working!
    ::mad scientist laugh:: It's working!!!! I'm not a fool! :) Thanks for posting results and reassuring me I'm not insane.
    Hey guys! Thought I'd share my results from this last week and see if anyone else wants to. I decided to weigh in but not record it until it's been a few weeks. This last week is the first week i've REALLY committed to getting as close as I can to netting 1530 a day which sometimes took some food diary trial and error- planning the day, entering things for dinner then changing them and some days getting like 4 calories left- REALLY HARD!! The first two weeks I was only netting in the 1400's even though my calories were supposed to be 1530, I think I should also mention i've greatly increased my protein intake to like 100g or more a day. Anyways, I woke up this morning and measured before weighing in (I should also mention I only exercised twice this week..) and amazingly I've lost 1 1/2 inches overall! 1/2 inch off my bust waist and hips. WOOHOO!! When I stepped on the scale even though I had gained 1 1/2 pounds because I measured FIRST and saw such amazing results it didn't bother me. To me this is a perfect example of getting a proper amount of food in to feed the muscles so that it can do it's job and burn the fat to help SHRINK the body. Muscle does NOT weigh more than fat, it weighs the same just takes up much less space. This is what anatomy and physiology taught me I've always thought it's funny when people are like "i gained weight... but muscle's more than fat"- untrue. So while I didn't lose weight I SHRUNK, burned some fat away. YAAAAYYY!!!!! Definitely going to keep on trying to get as close as I can to my calorie goal- like I said, TOUGH! Takes a lot of planning.
    Hit the nail on the head, discipline. This is not easy, takes planning, but I'm up every night before bed packing those tupperware containers measure my food out with my digital scale. Why? Because it works and I'm not going to leave my son without a father at 57 like my dad did. With your comment about obsessing over the weight on the scale I'm in the same boat. Just recently as some of you may know I tore my right boobie (Pectoral) muscle. Yes ouch. I'm a normal human being with self confidence issues time to time and my first thought was *Expletive* I'm not going to be able to lift for 3 - 5 weeks, here comes the fat gain. I had to do straight up 45 minutes of Elyptical machine 5 DAYS A WEEK! (Thank GOD for the iPad 2 and iBooks). I got down to 195.2 and just started lifting this past week with my diet being correct, hadn't lifted since I broke this plateau by actually eating. With proper nutrition I actually got on the scale Tuesday and it said 198 and I literally yelled out *F**#*, slowly backed away and repeated "It's not about the weight, it's not about the weight". Did measurements and turned out that we're about 95% sure it was muscle gain from a little bit of muscle loss from 3 weeks off, aka muscle memory. So Lean Body Mass went back up? Oh cool! You're welcome BMR boost!
    Awesome post! But one question - how do you determine your body fat percentage without any special measuring tool? I googled a BF% calculator and put my measurements in on 4 different sites, but there's a WIDE variance (27.38% - 41.5%) in the web sites...

    Got any ideas on this??

    Thanks so much for posting on this topic!!! :)
    Buy that scale. Can't recommend it more! I can't post the link at the moment, but go to amazon and search "Eat Smart scale" and it's the one for $55. Is it as accurate as hydrostatic testing? Just about within .4% Those websites are unreliable and I was all over the place with my measurements.
    I apologize if someone asked this already but if it says extreme weight loss 1576 calories --does that mean my net calories should be that or before net?
    Do not do extreme fat loss. When you get to the 14% body fat range message me, otherwise avoid that "Extreme Fat Loss" deficit. Take your time, do it right. lol I hope that does not sound too stern... As I mentioned in my reply above, eat your calories, enjoy your food CLEANLY I'll pick on your for eating twinkies ;P, and you'll get there the healthy way.
    so just to be absolutely sure that the original poster meant that AFTER figuring out your calories with his calculations WHICH TAKES EXERCISE INTO ACCOUNT are you sure that even when i do burn those calories exercising i should still deduct those from my calories? what's the point of doing those calculations with the exercising then just out of curiosity? Thanks so much!
    Thank you for reminding me that I need to amend that into the original post.


    Both of these ways factor in your exercise and you DO NOT eat back your exercise calories. You have to ignore what MFP tells you and just shoot for your goal of your 2200/1800/1600 whatever your goal is. For example: my daily goal is 2200, today I burned 1000, I DO NOT eat 3200, I still eat 2200. Those 1000 that I burned go into my calorie bank account as a withdrawal from my balance.

    My fitness pal calculates your calories lower so you DO eat back your calories. If you use myfitnesspal's recommendations, which I discourage using (Sorry MFP admins) you will eat back those calories you burned. I suggest you use the Katch McCardle method, factor in your HONEST exercise patterns and just stick to the "Fat Loss" recommendation. If you do the math long handed way you stick to the 10% 20% 30% deficit you chose.


    I AM going to start my blog up and post the original article along with some further things I've learned since then. Some of you know I was experimenting with Zig Zag dieting this month and I have some interesting results to post from this, spoiler? They're awesome, recommended, but you need to be disciplined because those high zig zag days can get a little indulgent heavy aka eat food you shouldn't be eating :) or go nuts on food you shouldn't go nuts on aka eating peanut butter out of the jar (my freaking weakness).

    Second blog post will be about my blood test results. I just recently had my blood drawn for a Comprehensive Metabolic Test. I'm going to be posting what it is, what each thing means, and why you should go get one now.

    Third post will be about great nutrition sources and what you can use to healthily raise your calories. Spoiler? Got nuts?!

    Fourth Post will be about my routine. What I'm doing and what I recommend for you to follow suit with. I am lucky enough to have befriended someone who trains the Chicago Fire Professional soccer team and is a 2 time natural body building champion. I'm his protege and he abuses the *kitten* of my body. <- totally sounds wrong.

    There you have it. If you want to follow you should friend me and I'll help you out as much as I can. I have started a business with consultation and helping people out so more on that to come (it's freaking dirt cheap). Normally I would say Hey I'll just do this for free. When I get 100+ emails I say "if it takes me away from my family time I have to justify this somehow".

    I seriously love you guys and gals on the site and I'm so happy to have you all :)

  • ash1976
    ash1976 Posts: 41 Member
  • bump and I shall read this later
  • thankyou for posting this! im having similar problems plateau'd for sooo long and unsure how to break it. am thinking of upping my calories, but as im only 5"2 im quite apprehensive about it.
  • shevy216
    shevy216 Posts: 2 Member
  • Just a question about the katch mcardle calculator posted a few pages back..

    I entered my details and it said I needed 2000 to maintain, 1648 for fat loss-does this mean NET or its created a deficit for me from maintenance (2000) and I create a further deficit through exercise?

    Because im stuck in a plateau right now and my weight will not budge at 1200/1300 or 1500 calories WITH exercise. it feels like my only option is to raise my calories.
  • Great post!
  • calcio5
    calcio5 Posts: 3 Member
    Congrats, great story. I experienced exactly what you went through as well, coincidently about the same timeframe. I was stuck at the end of Dec but got "turned on" about my fitness pal website and started to follow the weight loss goals I set through the site. I documented and weighed everything that went in my mouth but didn't really deprive myself of any particular food. That really worked. I was back losing weight and feeling great.

    Thanks again for your detailed experience.
  • Bump! Thanks for the post!
  • countingitall
    countingitall Posts: 59 Member
    checking more into this thanks
  • 8break
    8break Posts: 11
  • babydull
    babydull Posts: 727 Member
    Great post, everyone should read it. Well done.
  • bhaktinstella
    bhaktinstella Posts: 51 Member
    THANK YOU. now i know why i was craving buttered whole grain toast after my workout. I wish i could have understood half of the whole calculation-thingy post, but my local pharmacy does a body fat measurement and i will go there to get that before doing my personal weight loss math. anyhoo...the take-away i got was that if you exercise or not, eat all the calories MFP gives you for the day and eat whole fresh foods. Thank you again.
  • Starlage
    Starlage Posts: 1,718 Member
    I don't think the original poster's following this anymore guys- he hasn't been back in a couple of weeks. So from what I've read and understand it sounds like the calculators and calculations he's posted are giving you what you should be netting (therefore, eat your calories back from exercise beacuse even if you take in say 2000 after exercise you're still having the deficit in your diet so you'd be netting say 1600 or whatever). I saw someone ask why not just shoot for 2000 a day (or whatever your higher maintenence level calories are) instead of exxtering exercise calories and eating them- well to me, that's not how MFP works. So, I suppose if you want to try it that way and not add exercise calories you could but I haven't seen anything explained that way. It doesn't seem like that'd be as exact of a way to do it. Seems like it'd be too easy to exercise too much and be netting too little. This way you're always netting what you should be using the MFP diary. Also from what I've read the closer you get to your goal weight the more your net calorie goal should get closer and closer to your maintenence level calories (for example you lose 10 lbs, maybe recalculate and only do a 25% deficit and so on until you're at maintenence level calories).