My Plateau Nutrition Story, Learn from my mistakes.



  • CoderGal
    CoderGal Posts: 6,800 Member
  • sorry to repeat but, bump!
  • Starlage
    Starlage Posts: 1,718 Member
    Glad folks are still coming back to this thread!
  • FlexAppeal79
    FlexAppeal79 Posts: 146 Member
  • catbrand
    catbrand Posts: 227 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!

    Brilliant post, thought it should be repeated on the new thread.

    Before Christmas I was eating all my calories, plus eating back my exercise cals and dropping weight really well, then Christmas came and I over indulged (didn't we all!) but then I started cutting back more and more calories and doing more and more exercise but losing less and less weight until I got stuck hovering around 190 for about a month (I know, not a true stall) Plus I started feeling pretty rubbish most of the time too. 3 days ago I started eating all my calories again, including exercise cals, and I feel way better and have lost 3lbs already!!
  • Starlage
    Starlage Posts: 1,718 Member
    wow your body responded quickly huh? Nice! It took mine a few weeks to a month to catch on to the increased cals thing but it's got the game now for sure!
  • Starlage
    Starlage Posts: 1,718 Member
    ok eat-more-food-friends, look at these two groups and read a few of their topics:

    They both advocate eating over 2000+ a day. The "future you" group uses the same calculator that was referenced on the very first page of the first part of this thread but explained to calculate the daily activity as an average of the activity over your week (so say 6 hrs sleeping weeknights, 10 hrs sleeping weekend nights = 50 hrs a week sleeping divided by seen days a week =7.1 average sleeping/resting). Anyways, I used the calculator to recalculate things thinking this way (the eating-for-future-you group explains it better than I did) it said I should be totalling (not netting) about 2330ish a day when I exercise and when I don't about 2000 a day.

    I tried the calculator from the other group:

    and it also says before exercise I should be about 2300 a day

    Anyways, now I'm thinking about increasing to 2,000 a day because if I'm supposed to be eating that much to maintain I figure before too long at 1600 i'll plateau again. Also I figure the closer and closer I get to my GW the more I should be increasing calories until I'm at maintainence level.....

    .....anyways.... those are my toughts for the day. I'm just starting to lean closer and closer to the "eat for the person you want to be" idea meaning eat the calories you'd need to maintain your new lifestyle if you were at your goal weight and your body will naturally drift toward that number :o)
  • Not sure how to do the math if I don't know body fat % let alone lean body fat... I'm trying to figure this out for my hubby.
  • Starlage
    Starlage Posts: 1,718 Member
    without knowing for sure what the BF% is, you can only get a guesstimate from online calculators... but this one wasn't far from my LBM.
  • MaynardLD50
    MaynardLD50 Posts: 36 Member
    Soooooooooooo, how's everyone doing? Still chugging along? Any burning questions out there? Almost finished reading a book on Leptin and let me tell you Leptin is absolutely fascinating. The effect that Leptin has on weight loss is pretty damn remarkable and I'm amazed that outside of Alan Aragon, Lyle McDonald and a few others Leptin goes mentioned as an afterthought.

    One of these days I'll start that damn blog, just have to create time.
  • bumb
  • Starlage
    Starlage Posts: 1,718 Member
    Hey Everyone! I think this thread has died down.... but I'm still going to check in :o) So... This week I found an awesome group that's inpired my higher cal eating even more: They're a fun group of women, very chatty- posting on the threads multpile times throughout the day. They all also strongly believe eating your TDEE. Some of them eat the whole TDEE (mostly the ones that are at their goal and workingon toning/muscle), some take a deficit. Its en excellent place for higher calorie eating and support! I've worked even more this week on increasing my cals higher. On Sunday I hit a milestone (can't remember if I posted about it or not) having been eating 1600 a day for about... a month and half? two months? I FINALLY hit 20lbs lost!!! Really exciting :o) As of Wed I've increased my cals further to 1800 a day and I'll probably stick there for awhile. I recalculated my TDEE to make sure it was right using the exrx site and it's got me at 2360 workdays, 1960 weekends (when I'm a couch potato! haha). I'm going to continue taking a deficit on the weekdays and stay around 1800-1900 total cals (this means netting about 1500-1600 for me since I typically burn about 350 per workout) and on the weekends I'll eat a little lower around 1600 total to keep a deficit regularly. I'm a little different than the norm since 1) I don't workout everyday.. only about three times a week and 2) i've got a REALLY active job during the week but on the weekends- huge couch potato. So I won't likely eat over 2000 unless i"m exercising that day.

    Anyways, that's where I'm at! After half a week at about 1800 cals a day total I'm up 1.7lbs but DOWN half an inch on my waist and hips!!! The 1800 cals is actually kinda challenging for me to get the cals in but not go over in macros. I"m still learning :o) This last week I was using cheese for extra cals but that wasn't working ...uhmm... intestinally.. *ahem*.. So, this next week I'm going to cut the cheese (yes I just said cut the cheese, lol) and limit my dairy to once a day with my greek yogurt and supplement it with cooking with oil instead of sprays, adding butter to veggies, maybe having an extra snack, having wine with dinner. All the things that'll make my diet even more "normal". So, it's a learning process but I'm getting there! My body feels great, I'm consistenly shrinking each week whether it's scale and measurements or just measurments and i'm hardly hungry at all anymore- eating too often! I have to eat like every three hours to get all of the calories in.

    Anyone else going to check in?
  • acwatters
    acwatters Posts: 9 Member
  • bump
  • 1HappyRosie
    1HappyRosie Posts: 80 Member
    awesome info. thanks
  • without knowing for sure what the BF% is, you can only get a guesstimate from online calculators... but this one wasn't far from my LBM.

    Try this one... more accurate. (for me)

    My favorite website... next to facebook..... LOL
  • wdmom
    wdmom Posts: 24 Member
    I want to make sure I can look back at this thread for advice. Good info. I was lying in bed last night thinking that my weight loss is too slow so maybe I'll eat only half my exercise calories. You've set me straight. Slow is good. Eat your calories. If I follow your advice, maybe I can keep the weight off this time. I get over confident once the weight is gone and seriously overindulge. Guess what? I gain again.

  • this is too good not to rebump.
  • So... anyone wanna help me figure this out? I'm 6'1, 250 pounds, male, and don't know my body fat % exactly but I'm sure it's high as I am new to weight loss... How do I figure all this out? What's the formula?
  • NicolePatriot
    NicolePatriot Posts: 621 Member