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Upping calorie intake to get over plateau?

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Hi all, I have been using mfp since May and have lost 20lbs of pre baby weight. I now have only 15lbs to go until I hit my goal weight. However I seem to have stalled out and have been stuck at the same weight for the past month+. I upped my calories to 1650/day in hopes that it will give my metabolism a boost. I was eating 1250 before this. So couple issues, first is I don't have a ton of time for working out. I walk everyday and do some strength training a few times a week but that's it. Second I am finding it hard to eat 1650 in calories everyday. I am so full I don't want to eat it anymore. Plus I find I have just been eating more junk. Also I am a vegetarian and have been told to intake more protein but this is a bit difficult for me. Any ideas/ advice. I am getting a bit discouraged not seeing the numbers move.

Replies

  • terbusha
    terbusha Posts: 1,483 Member
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    Upping you calorie intake can certainly help you to break a plateau. I got stuck when I got closer to my goal weight and broke it by bumping my calories up 200 cal/day. You may consider doing a smaller bump in your calorie level though. I would try 1450 for a couple of weeks and see how your body reacts. As for exercise, you may consider ramping up the intensity also. You don't need to exercise for a long period of time every day. 30 minutes of intense and focuses exercise is enough to start seeing results.

    Allan
  • I_Will_End_You
    I_Will_End_You Posts: 4,397 Member
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    No. A plateau is actually someone eating at maintenance and thinking they're at a deficit, or "doing everything right". If you're currently maintaining, upping your calories will put you in a surplus and you will gain weight, not lose it. It's likely you were not eating 1250 calories a day, but either over estimating calories burned through exercise, or under estimating your intake. This is usually the problem when someone is at a "plateau". You'd get better advice if your diary was public and people can look at it. How do you determine how many calories are in the foods you're eating? Food scale, measuring cups and spoons, eyeballing portions? Do you have "cheat days" where you don't log? Log all condiments and oils used for cooking?

    Also...it's likely you could lose at 1650 a day. Just make sure you're really only consuming 1650. Figure out how much you've actually been eating, and adjust to a reasonable goal, log accurately.
  • Branstin
    Branstin Posts: 2,320 Member
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    Are you measuring and weighing your food? If I were you that would be the first place I start before upping my calories. Make sure you are eating the amount you think you are eating before changing anything.
  • christullos
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    Since you have lost 20 pounds have you gone back and re-figured your TDEE? Or are you still eating the same amount as you did in the beginning?

    It may not be a big difference but you don't need as many calories at your current weight as you did when you were bigger.

    Every time I have a weight loss, I re-figure my TDEE and change my daily calories accordingly. I do not use MFP calculations. I manually input my daily calories, and since I use my TDEE and not my BMR, I do not eat back my exercise calories.
  • nosebag1212
    nosebag1212 Posts: 621 Member
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    No. A plateau is actually someone eating at maintenance and thinking they're at a deficit, or "doing everything right". If you're currently maintaining, upping your calories will put you in a surplus and you will gain weight, not lose it. It's likely you were not eating 1250 calories a day, but either over estimating calories burned through exercise, or under estimating your intake. This is usually the problem when someone is at a "plateau". You'd get better advice if your diary was public and people can look at it. How do you determine how many calories are in the foods you're eating? Food scale, measuring cups and spoons, eyeballing portions? Do you have "cheat days" where you don't log? Log all condiments and oils used for cooking?

    Also...it's likely you could lose at 1650 a day. Just make sure you're really only consuming 1650. Figure out how much you've actually been eating, and adjust to a reasonable goal, log accurately.
    this, guarantee op was not eating anything close to as low as 1250 cals
  • christullos
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    "A plateau occurs because your metabolism — the process of burning calories for energy — slows as you lose muscle. You burn fewer calories than you did at your heavier weight even doing the same activities. Your weight-loss efforts result in a new equilibrium with your now slower metabolism.

    At this new equilibrium, calories eaten equals calories expended. This means that to lose more weight, you need to increase activity or decrease the calories you eat. Using the same approach that worked initially may maintain your weight loss, but it won't lead to more weight loss.

    If you're at a plateau, you may have lost all of the weight you will, given the number of calories you're eating each day and the time you spend exercising. At this point, you need to ask yourself if you're satisfied with your current weight or if you want to lose more, in which case you'll need to adjust your weight-loss program.

    If you're committed to losing more weight, try these tips for getting past the plateau:

    Reassess your habits. Look back at your food and activity records. Make sure you haven't loosened the rules, letting yourself get by with larger portions or less exercise
    .
    Cut more calories. Reduce your daily calorie intake by 200 calories — provided this doesn't put you below 1,200 calories. Fewer than 1,200 calories a day may not be enough to keep you from feeling hungry all of the time, which increases your risk of overeating. In addition, this reduced calorie intake should be sustainable. If not, you'll regain the weight you've lost and more.

    Rev up your workout. Increase the amount of time you exercise by an additional 15 to 30 minutes. You might also try increasing the intensity of your exercise, if you feel that's possible. Additional exercise will cause you to burn more calories. Consider adding resistance or muscle-building exercises. Increasing your muscle mass will help you burn more calories.

    Pack more activity into your day. Think outside the gym. Increase your general physical activity throughout the day by walking more and using your car less, or try doing more yard work or vigorous spring cleaning." Quote Mayoclinic.org
  • Camo_xxx
    Camo_xxx Posts: 1,082 Member
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    I guarantee that adding calorie will break the plateau

    Unfortunately it will break the stall by gaining rather then loosing fat.

    If you do the math and match up your expected fat loss goal according to TDEE - calories in, you will most likely find the error in your calculations.

    The closer you get to your goal and the smaller the deficit you are trying to maintain the more critical it is to be be precise since the margin of error is so small. A few spoonfuls worth of dressing or peanut butter can make the diffrence between loss and plateau.
  • RHachicho
    RHachicho Posts: 1,115 Member
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    Adding calories only works for some people who where on very severe deficits. This is because when you don't eat a lot your body naturally tries to slow you down. You don't even realize it but you burn less. You spend a lot more of your non exercise time sitting and even when you have to do housework you will do minimum stuff and then sit down again. For some very rare cases adding calories has been enough to get them out of the funk and they are more active and so therefore overall they return to a deficit.

    This is probably not you.
  • Camo_xxx
    Camo_xxx Posts: 1,082 Member
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    Adding calories only works for some people who where on very severe deficits. This is because when you don't eat a lot your body naturally tries to slow you down. You don't even realize it but you burn less. You spend a lot more of your non exercise time sitting and even when you have to do housework you will do minimum stuff and then sit down again. For some very rare cases adding calories has been enough to get them out of the funk and they are more active and so therefore overall they return to a deficit.

    This is probably not you.


    I respectfully disagree.
    If those people were in a deficit then they would be loosing fat and not hitting a plateau .
    I do agree that they would get an increase in energy and the lack of energy leads to becoming sedentary.
  • norcal_yogi
    norcal_yogi Posts: 675 Member
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    No. A plateau is actually someone eating at maintenance and thinking they're at a deficit, or "doing everything right". If you're currently maintaining, upping your calories will put you in a surplus and you will gain weight, not lose it. It's likely you were not eating 1250 calories a day, but either over estimating calories burned through exercise, or under estimating your intake. This is usually the problem when someone is at a "plateau". You'd get better advice if your diary was public and people can look at it. How do you determine how many calories are in the foods you're eating? Food scale, measuring cups and spoons, eyeballing portions? Do you have "cheat days" where you don't log? Log all condiments and oils used for cooking?

    Also...it's likely you could lose at 1650 a day. Just make sure you're really only consuming 1650. Figure out how much you've actually been eating, and adjust to a reasonable goal, log accurately.

    ^this
  • inertiastrength
    inertiastrength Posts: 2,343 Member
    Options
    No. A plateau is actually someone eating at maintenance and thinking they're at a deficit, or "doing everything right". If you're currently maintaining, upping your calories will put you in a surplus and you will gain weight, not lose it. It's likely you were not eating 1250 calories a day, but either over estimating calories burned through exercise, or under estimating your intake. This is usually the problem when someone is at a "plateau". You'd get better advice if your diary was public and people can look at it. How do you determine how many calories are in the foods you're eating? Food scale, measuring cups and spoons, eyeballing portions? Do you have "cheat days" where you don't log? Log all condiments and oils used for cooking?

    Also...it's likely you could lose at 1650 a day. Just make sure you're really only consuming 1650. Figure out how much you've actually been eating, and adjust to a reasonable goal, log accurately.

    this
  • delicioustorment
    Options
    Since you have lost 20 pounds have you gone back and re-figured your TDEE? Or are you still eating the same amount as you did in the beginning?

    It may not be a big difference but you don't need as many calories at your current weight as you did when you were bigger.

    Every time I have a weight loss, I re-figure my TDEE and change my daily calories accordingly. I do not use MFP calculations. I manually input my daily calories, and since I use my TDEE and not my BMR, I do not eat back my exercise calories.

    Thanks christullos for that. I never even thought about it. I re-figured and they did go down a bit. I don't think I'd gone far enough to be a problem , but thanks for pointing it out.