Petite Girl 5’0” Plateau - last 15 lbs

I began my weight loss journey at 165+ pounds last year and now I’m down to 131 as of today. I’m trying to get down to 115 because I think that’s healthy weight for me but these last 15 have been so so hard to lose. For a long time I was teetering around 135 and when I did lose a few pounds here and there after a week if I say had a couple of cheats meals I would gain those few pounds back. Has anyone else had this issue? I could really use any recommendations or suggestions because I’m trying to get down to 115 by September. Any advice is appreciated!
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Replies

  • WholeFoods4Lyfe
    WholeFoods4Lyfe Posts: 1,517 Member
    Honestly, 15 pounds in about as many weeks isn't really realistic for someone your size. A much healthier goal would be to lose approximately .5lb per week.

    What are you doing now for weight loss? What is your daily deficit? Are you exercising?
  • nadnan91
    nadnan91 Posts: 15 Member
    Honestly, 15 pounds in about as many weeks isn't really realistic for someone your size. A much healthier goal would be to lose approximately .5lb per week.

    What are you doing now for weight loss? What is your daily deficit? Are you exercising?

    I actually have lost one to two pounds a week before that’s why I thought my goal was attainable by September. However that’s only when I really really control my diet (no refined carbs, sugar, and extreme portion control). Right now I do cardio atleast four times a week (moderate intensity for 45 mins or so) then a half hour of strength training for core, arms, legs etc. I try to stick to 1500 cals a day (whole
    Grains, veggies, proteins, nuts, nonfat dairy, fruit).
  • kelsully
    kelsully Posts: 1,008 Member
    I am 5'0" as well and hover between 118-125. When I am 125 I feel frumpy and at 118 I feel like I look good but my energy is not always good. I do weight training and exercise quite a bit and know that for an ol 44 year old woman that in order for me to be less than 118 I would have to be extremely low body fat or lose muscle mass. I would adjust your goals 5 lbs at a time at this point. See what you can do to drop into that 125 range and see how you feel. That might be the sweet spot for you or maybe 120 range. If I get all the way down to 115 I feel and look horrible.
    The last 10-15 are also the trickiest as it the closest to maintenance as you are going to get so as my final thoughts. Set your calorie goals to your maintenance goals at your goal weight. That could mean it is a bit less than your maintenance goals at your current weight. Just start living the life you want to live and how you want to live and within the calorie goals of a person who is between 115-125 lbs and see where that gets you. It might be slow but it will be sustainable.
  • guitargirl55
    guitargirl55 Posts: 258 Member
    I am in the same boat with you! At 5"2' I started at 160, dropped to 136 with calorie counting and exercise, and have just been stuck here. I keep trying different exercise techniques (right now I am strength training 3 times a week 40 minutes, cardio 3 times a week 20 minutes), nothing seems to work. I keep trying different diets and they don't seem to help either. I tried dropping my calorie intake lower, and lower, and now am at 1180. It is too few calories and I end up cheating all the time because I am hungry, so I am bumping it back up to 1200. I eat mostly veggies, and chicken. I do typically have a few drinks on the weekend, so maybe that is what my problem is.

    If you find the secret, let me know! I am very interested too :) We can get this!
  • jille87
    jille87 Posts: 8 Member
    Hello and congratulations on your weight loss so far! We both have similar stats, as I am also 5'0 and started last year around this time at about 143 pounds. I am currently down to 101 but not actively trying to lose anymore. To lose weight, I have had to keep my net calories at around 1200 throughout this journey. Early on, I was easily dropping 1-2 pounds a week even up through February/March of this year. After that, however, "plateaus" in my weight loss were much more common and would unfortunately last longer. On top of that, being a woman, I tend to gain weight at both my TOM and during ovulation which makes trying to find consistency in my weight loss an even greater struggle. It was incredibly frustrating to see what I viewed as a lack of progress when I felt my food logging, exercise, and consistency was on point.

    What I had to do was alter my expectations and understand that if I wanted to lose more vanity pounds that it was going to take much longer than I had anticipated. Your weight will not continue to drop at the same rate as it did early on, and being small and already eating so few calories, you need to be very, very patient. I began to transition from looking at weekly weigh-ins to measure progress and instead switched to logging my progress on Libra which is an app that tracks my daily weight and provides a more long-term average for me to see (a trend of my weight loss). This has been extremely helpful for me, as you will be able to see common patterns in your weight more clearly and during these plateau times you will still be able to see how your weight in general is dropping as your daily fluctuations will become more frequent (and distracting).

    Personally, with only 15 pounds left, I would also continue to incorporate cardio in your workouts so that you can keep adding a few extra calories for each week/day, but if you haven't already, I would also start up with more strength training. This has also helped me achieve a better look than what I was seeing before and it will make the slower progress on the scale easier to "accept" as you will be able to visually see your progress over time.

    I hope this helps a bit and best of luck to you!
  • SCoil123
    SCoil123 Posts: 2,108 Member
    While I’m not petite I do think the process of losing the last 10-15lb is fairly universal. You have no more room for error logging so you really need to carefully weigh and measure everything, even those “cheat” meals. Loss slows down towards the end once you’re in a healthy range too so a goal of 2lb a week isn’t realistic. You will likely get frustrated because it won’t happen and sacrifice more muscle in the process. It took me 6mo to lose my last 10lb. I could’ve probably done it in half that time but maintaining muscle and body composition was important to me.

    My best advice -
    1. Weight, measure, and log everything
    2. Set a realistic goal of 0.5-1lb a week max
    3. Look at your weekly calorie average because some days you will be over or under but the trend over time is what will get you there
    4. Start strength training for body composition now
  • nadnan91
    nadnan91 Posts: 15 Member
    Thank you everyone! And yes I think cheat meals are an absolute no no at this point! Any other tips and tricks for petite women losing the last 15?
  • mom23mangos
    mom23mangos Posts: 3,070 Member
    nadnan91 wrote: »
    Thank you everyone! And yes I think cheat meals are an absolute no no at this point! Any other tips and tricks for petite women losing the last 15?

    I don't think they are an absolute no no. But maybe log them if you find you aren't losing. I was able to lose the last 10lbs with one cheat day (without logging) per week. It's all individual. I just kept my weekday calories to 1200 so that I averaged 1400-1600 with my cheat day.
  • apullum
    apullum Posts: 4,838 Member
    nadnan91 wrote: »
    Thank you everyone! And yes I think cheat meals are an absolute no no at this point! Any other tips and tricks for petite women losing the last 15?

    Again, it depends on what you mean by “cheat meal,” which is one of the many reasons why I don’t support using that term. You can have large meals sometimes if you are still in a calorie deficit for the week. You cannot lose weight if your larger meal puts you out of a deficit for the week. You should also not be surprised if the scale goes up after a larger meal due to undigested food and water fluctuation.
  • jille87
    jille87 Posts: 8 Member
    I agree with not ruling out "cheat" days. I am putting this in quotes because I need to put this into a better context. When I say cheat, I mean days where you may go over your net calorie allotment but still log and record the surplus calories as accurately as you can. These "cheat" days or meals are sometimes needed for your sanity as you continue to incorporate your same level of exercise and calorie deficit. I would also recommend instead of these cheat days/meals to consider eating at the maintenance calories that MFP gives you for a few days here and there.

    When I was still trying to lose weight but had very few pounds to reach my goal, my calories were still given as 1200, but when I started to feel starved and saw such little progress made on the scale, I jumped up my calories to maintenance of 1370 and just ate to that level. With exercise, I still found I was able to lose at the same rate as I was when eating 1200 calories. The point being, you can lose at a healthy rate in many ways and at this point with little to lose, do not deprive yourself of a few extra calories if you are continuing to incorporate cardio and strength training into your daily routine. Your body will thank you for it!

    Just as a side story as well--a few months back I attended a wedding. I had planned to just eat at maintenance and enjoy myself for the weekend. However, I found myself within 24 hours gorging in spreads of pancake breakfasts, pasta feasts, and three pieces of cheesecake...and wedding cake. I ended up 1300 calories over my maintenance level for the two days, but only about 100 or so over for the week. It did not move the scale in any direction. I went right back to my normal routine and continued to lose after that without depriving myself for the days that followed. Don't be afraid to live and enjoy your life on this journey a bit.
  • beachbody4l
    beachbody4l Posts: 208 Member
    I'm 5'0 and currently 109lbs so I can relate to how hard it is to lose. I'm gonna tell you what I do and take it as you will. :) It's not something you should do all the time but it has helped me.

    When I am trying to shake up my routine because the scale just isn't moving, I usually reduce my intake pretty low for the day. Follow it with some light walking (usually 3 miles or so) in the evening, nothing really intensive or fast, just a good amount to kickstart digestion if that's whats keeping the number up. I also drink a lot more water than usual. The next day I may see a spike because of water weight from muscle recovery, but after that it drops.

    Also I agree with everyone else about logging food: I can eat a little over my goal one day and undo almost a whole week's worth of deficit. It's tough for tiny girls trying to lose weight. But the encouraging bit is that a couple of pounds lost looks much more impressive on us. ;)
  • nadnan91
    nadnan91 Posts: 15 Member
    My issue is that if I eat a cheat meal it gives this signal to my brain that says “oh go ahead have a cupcake or a cookie nbd” so I think I just fall off the rails that’s why I think going cold turkey until I’m at my goal weight might help? Thoughts?
  • LiftHeavyThings27105
    LiftHeavyThings27105 Posts: 2,086 Member
    edited June 2018
    nadnan91 wrote: »
    My issue is that if I eat a cheat meal it gives this signal to my brain that says “oh go ahead have a cupcake or a cookie nbd” so I think I just fall off the rails that’s why I think going cold turkey until I’m at my goal weight might help? Thoughts?

    Have you considered having 're-feed days'? Cheat meal - for those who still have issues (and using that term very loosely here - is a bad term (I think). For me, it is all about mindset so I get somewhat particular with words....in the context of MFP.

    A re-feed day is something close to the below:
    1. you are in a caloric deficit
    2. you up your caloric intake - likely for two days in a row - to maintenance
    3. Assuming that you have macro goals, your protein and fats remain constant while your carbs are increased
    4. You can do this split over two days (so, maybe on Wednesday and Saturday - days you do legs, maybe) if you like.


    A Re-feed day helps big time. In lots of ways.
  • apullum
    apullum Posts: 4,838 Member
    nadnan91 wrote: »
    My issue is that if I eat a cheat meal it gives this signal to my brain that says “oh go ahead have a cupcake or a cookie nbd” so I think I just fall off the rails that’s why I think going cold turkey until I’m at my goal weight might help? Thoughts?

    You can have a cupcake or a cookie if it fits into your calorie budget. You can have a larger meal if it fits into your calorie budget. When I was losing weight, I ate chocolate every day. (Now that I'm in maintenance, I eat more chocolate every day.) I also went out to eat almost every weekend. However, those restaurant meals either coincided with my long run days, or I only ate 1-2 meals that day to make it fit.
  • nadnan91
    nadnan91 Posts: 15 Member
    jille87 wrote: »
    Hello and congratulations on your weight loss so far! We both have similar stats, as I am also 5'0 and started last year around this time at about 143 pounds. I am currently down to 101 but not actively trying to lose anymore. To lose weight, I have had to keep my net calories at around 1200 throughout this journey. Early on, I was easily dropping 1-2 pounds a week even up through February/March of this year. After that, however, "plateaus" in my weight loss were much more common and would unfortunately last longer. On top of that, being a woman, I tend to gain weight at both my TOM and during ovulation which makes trying to find consistency in my weight loss an even greater struggle. It was incredibly frustrating to see what I viewed as a lack of progress when I felt my food logging, exercise, and consistency was on point.

    What I had to do was alter my expectations and understand that if I wanted to lose more vanity pounds that it was going to take much longer than I had anticipated. Your weight will not continue to drop at the same rate as it did early on, and being small and already eating so few calories, you need to be very, very patient. I began to transition from looking at weekly weigh-ins to measure progress and instead switched to logging my progress on Libra which is an app that tracks my daily weight and provides a more long-term average for me to see (a trend of my weight loss). This has been extremely helpful for me, as you will be able to see common patterns in your weight more clearly and during these plateau times you will still be able to see how your weight in general is dropping as your daily fluctuations will become more frequent (and distracting).

    Personally, with only 15 pounds left, I would also continue to incorporate cardio in your workouts so that you can keep adding a few extra calories for each week/day, but if you haven't already, I would also start up with more strength training. This has also helped me achieve a better look than what I was seeing before and it will make the slower progress on the scale easier to "accept" as you will be able to visually see your progress over time.

    I hope this helps a bit and best of luck to you!

    Thank you! I do have a question - what is your diet with 1200 cals a day? Also, are the last 15 for me really vanity pounds? I ask because according to the BMI chart a female at 5 feet tall and 130 pounds is still considered overweight!
  • nadnan91
    nadnan91 Posts: 15 Member
    Tighten up your logging. Stick to your allotted calories and make sure you log your cheats as well. I am 5'3" and I started at 149. Just got to 115 last week, but it took very meticulous logging. Consistency is key. Your cheat meals may very well be destroying all of your progress.

    Congratulations on getting to 115!!! Besides tracking your meals and consistency, what else did you do exactly? And yes I agree with you the cheat meals are most likely my problem.