Myfitnesspal

Message Boards General Health, Fitness and Diet
You are currently viewing the message boards in:

Is it normal for weight loss to STALL in the beginning?

mdookmdook Member Posts: 3 Member Member Posts: 3 Member
I recently started working out for 1 month straight and dramatically changing my diet to reduce unnecessary carbs. I started at 147.5lbs and 2 weeks in, I saw the scale at 144.5lbs for one day. It rose back to 145.5-146.7lbs and stuck there for 2 weeks.

This week, (4 weeks after start) my weight dropped to 144.5, 143.5, and this morning, 143.

Has this happen to anyone (a stall in weight loss and then suddenly it starts happening)? I've been consistent in my diet and exercise.

Replies

  • gallicinvasiongallicinvasion Member, Premium Posts: 1,011 Member Member, Premium Posts: 1,011 Member
    Sometimes new exercise causes water retention, which might have made it impossible to see any weight loss on the scale until recently.
  • Bronty3Bronty3 Member Posts: 99 Member Member Posts: 99 Member
    Yes, weight loss isn't linear and you'll go up and down depending on time of month (if you're a girl), new exercise causing water retention, extra salt one day, more carbs one day, etc. There are weigh trend apps to track all the fluctuations and average what your weigh probably is and smooths out those dramatic spikes.
  • lgfrielgfrie Member, Premium Posts: 1,432 Member Member, Premium Posts: 1,432 Member
    It's normal. Most of us lose weight like that - flatline for a while, then sudden weight loss, then flatline, then more weight loss. Your overall trend is down, at a good pace.

    Reducing carbs is good for many people, for appetite suppression and having a nice even energy level throughout the day, but irrelevant for weight loss. You don't get any extra weight loss points for cutting out the carbs.
  • MarinaFosterMarinaFoster Member Posts: 1 Member Member Posts: 1 Member
    That’s exactly where I am at. Tracking exercising but scale not budging. Might be sodium that is causing weight gain.
  • WinoGelatoWinoGelato Member Posts: 13,458 Member Member Posts: 13,458 Member
    You are cutting out carbs, which is optional, but are you creating a calorie deficit? That’s a requirement for weight loss.
  • kshama2001kshama2001 Member Posts: 24,281 Member Member Posts: 24,281 Member
    mdook wrote: »
    I recently started working out for 1 month straight and dramatically changing my diet to reduce unnecessary carbs. I started at 147.5lbs and 2 weeks in, I saw the scale at 144.5lbs for one day. It rose back to 145.5-146.7lbs and stuck there for 2 weeks.

    This week, (4 weeks after start) my weight dropped to 144.5, 143.5, and this morning, 143.

    Has this happen to anyone (a stall in weight loss and then suddenly it starts happening)? I've been consistent in my diet and exercise.

    Yes, could be some "new exercise water retention". However, unless you are very very short, at your weight 4.5 lbs in 4 weeks is great.

    How tall are you and what's your goal weight?

    9kjwnia17qv9.jpg
  • rileysownerrileysowner Member Posts: 7,822 Member Member Posts: 7,822 Member
    WinoGelato wrote: »
    You are cutting out carbs, which is optional, but are you creating a calorie deficit? That’s a requirement for weight loss.

    THIS! A thousand times over.
  • mdookmdook Member Posts: 3 Member Member Posts: 3 Member
    kshama2001 wrote: »

    Yes, could be some "new exercise water retention". However, unless you are very very short, at your weight 4.5 lbs in 4 weeks is great.

    How tall are you and what's your goal weight?

    I'm very happy with it! I was just so confused that the weight loss finally appeared at the end of the 4 weeks instead of a consistent 0.5-1lb/week. I wonder if my weightloss will be consistent now or if I have to expect another flatline until it happens all over again!

    I'm 5'4 and goal weight is 132 pounds (the last time I think I looked good). My current body fat is 27% so I want to focus on lowering that down to 20-24% as well.
  • mdookmdook Member Posts: 3 Member Member Posts: 3 Member
    WinoGelato wrote: »
    You are cutting out carbs, which is optional, but are you creating a calorie deficit? That’s a requirement for weight loss.


    How do you track your calorie deficient? What I meant by cutting out carbs is that I normally eat quite a lot of carbs throughout the day and thats where I pack on most of my calories. I've made an effort to reduce that and eat more protein for breakfast instead of typical muffins/pancakes/etc so overall less sugar + carbs + calories.

    The food tracker here has me set at 1440 calories a day which I normally meet or go under ( will end at 1200 most days). I think I am eating less than usual, combined with my exercise I hope I am at a deficient. I'm not sure how to accurately track calories burned when most of my workout is weight lifting, but I spend about an hour every day doing that and 20 minutes on elliptical or stairclimber.

    Although I am trying to eat at a deficient, I read some articles mentioning under-eating and how it can stall weight loss. I definitely notice some days where I have a cheat day, I see some results in the next day or two, as if that was what my body needed to let the pounds go. How do you know the line between under-eating and creating a calorie deficient? I don't feel hungry by the end of the day so I am not "starving myself" at all -- just eating more fiber +protein now.
  • WinoGelatoWinoGelato Member Posts: 13,458 Member Member Posts: 13,458 Member
    mdook wrote: »
    WinoGelato wrote: »
    You are cutting out carbs, which is optional, but are you creating a calorie deficit? That’s a requirement for weight loss.


    How do you track your calorie deficient? What I meant by cutting out carbs is that I normally eat quite a lot of carbs throughout the day and thats where I pack on most of my calories. I've made an effort to reduce that and eat more protein for breakfast instead of typical muffins/pancakes/etc so overall less sugar + carbs + calories.

    The food tracker here has me set at 1440 calories a day which I normally meet or go under ( will end at 1200 most days). I think I am eating less than usual, combined with my exercise I hope I am at a deficient. I'm not sure how to accurately track calories burned when most of my workout is weight lifting, but I spend about an hour every day doing that and 20 minutes on elliptical or stairclimber.

    Although I am trying to eat at a deficient, I read some articles mentioning under-eating and how it can stall weight loss. I definitely notice some days where I have a cheat day, I see some results in the next day or two, as if that was what my body needed to let the pounds go. How do you know the line between under-eating and creating a calorie deficient? I don't feel hungry by the end of the day so I am not "starving myself" at all -- just eating more fiber +protein now.

    When you set up MFP, did you enter your stats, a goal weight, activity level and a goal rate of loss? What was that activity level and rate of loss?

    MFP builds your calorie deficit into your goal, so the 1440 should be what you are aiming to hit, not come under. In theory if you are logging accurately (and ideally that’s done using a food scale) then you would lose at your projected rate of loss if you hit that 1440 each day. When you exercised you should log and eat back those calories as well. Some people are concerned about estimating exercise burns accurately so they only eat about 50% of the calories back until they establish a predictable pattern of weight loss.

    Under eating doesn’t cause weight loss to stop like that , starvation mode is a myth. What consistently under eating does is deprive your body of energy and nutrients so that it may be more difficult to keep up a high activity level, make you feel lethargic, which in turns burns less overall calories. Over prolonged periods of time your body can get used to less calories meaning that it just burns less calories, this is called adaptive thermogenesis. Aim for the 1440 for now, if you’re a little under some days you could bank those for the weekend. Always strive for 1200 Minimum net calories.

    Read the stickied most helpful forum posts at the top of the getting started section and keep going!

    Good luck.
  • SnifterPugSnifterPug Member Posts: 658 Member Member Posts: 658 Member
    I weigh myself every day and the fluctuations are BIZARRE. It is totally normal for me to gain or lose 2 pounds for no apparent reason and my weight has fluctuated by 4 or 5 pounds on occasion. I log everything so sometimes I can find a reason but sometimes I honestly can't. What I would say is that I do lose weight with a consistent calorie deficit, but I think it is entirely possible that you will flatline, then lose. I tend to notice an unexplained spike in weight the day before I lose a couple of pounds (so in reality it's gain a pound, lose two the next day, net loss one pound). I used to find it a bit daunting when I got the spikes but I'm used to it now, and just find it interesting.
  • AnnPT77AnnPT77 Member, Premium Posts: 20,814 Member Member, Premium Posts: 20,814 Member
    mdook wrote: »
    WinoGelato wrote: »
    You are cutting out carbs, which is optional, but are you creating a calorie deficit? That’s a requirement for weight loss.


    How do you track your calorie deficient? What I meant by cutting out carbs is that I normally eat quite a lot of carbs throughout the day and thats where I pack on most of my calories. I've made an effort to reduce that and eat more protein for breakfast instead of typical muffins/pancakes/etc so overall less sugar + carbs + calories.

    The food tracker here has me set at 1440 calories a day which I normally meet or go under ( will end at 1200 most days). I think I am eating less than usual, combined with my exercise I hope I am at a deficient. I'm not sure how to accurately track calories burned when most of my workout is weight lifting, but I spend about an hour every day doing that and 20 minutes on elliptical or stairclimber.

    Although I am trying to eat at a deficient, I read some articles mentioning under-eating and how it can stall weight loss. I definitely notice some days where I have a cheat day, I see some results in the next day or two, as if that was what my body needed to let the pounds go. How do you know the line between under-eating and creating a calorie deficient? I don't feel hungry by the end of the day so I am not "starving myself" at all -- just eating more fiber +protein now.

    The more probable (but simplified) explanation for the bolded is that staying in a calorie deficit is stressful on the body, which can increase a stress hormone called cortisol, which in turn leads to a bit more water retention. Having a higher-calorie day can counter that effect, lower cortisol, release the water weight that has been hiding fat loss. (There's a lot more about this sort of thing in the refeeds & diet breaks thread at http://community.myfitnesspal.com/en/discussion/10604863/of-refeeds-and-diet-breaks/p1 ).

    You know the line between a sensible calorie deficit and undereating over the longer haul (weeks, at least a full menstrual cycle of them for pre-menopausal women), by observing your actual weight loss rate. Over that span of time, the effects of water weight tend to average out. There's no perfect way to know, sooner.

    Feeling not-hungry may not be a good indicator that you're eating enough for best health, especially if you've changed your eating to have more filling foods (which more nutrient-dense foods are for many people) and less of the less-filling foods that have higher calories. I accidentally underate at first, because MFP significantly underestimated my calorie needs (this is quite unusual, but it can happen). I felt great, it was easy to stick to my calorie goal (I was eating all of it, plus all exercise calories) . . . until, quite suddenly, I didn't feel good at all. I got weak and fatigued, and it took several weeks to recover back to normal.

    The best advice is to set yourself up on MFP to target a sensible weight loss rate, then stick to it for 4-6 weeks, and see how your average weekly weight loss rate works out. Then you can adjust, if needed. If, during the 4-6 weeks you start feeling fatigued or weak for otherwise unexplained reasons, eat a little more. Otherwise, stick with it, even if loss seems slow: Losing weight too slowly is frustrating, but losing weight too fast can be a health risk. I know which side of that I'd rather err on! ;)

    Best wishes!
Sign In or Register to comment.