The Plateau, what did you do to get out of it?

I'm planning ahead for that time when weight loss stops with my regular diet and exercise. I've heard things like workout harder, increase calories slowly, etc.. I'm not quite sure what works. I just remember being there and it was delicate.

What did you do to break that plateau or what do you plan on doing?

Replies

  • Lietchi
    Lietchi Posts: 4,042 Member
    How do you define a plateau? For me it means a month or more without progress and without changes in my routine that might explain it.

    As such, I've never had a plateau. I've had stalls but my weight trend has always ended up going down again simply with patience.
    My stalls were due to changed routines (increase in steps per day, traveling,...) leading to water weight weirdness.

    Potentially useful context: I've never aimed for a fast rate of loss (0.5lb per week), so that already required me to look at the longer term trend of my weight (using a weight trend app) and I never expected to lose weight every week like some do.
  • cwolfman13
    cwolfman13 Posts: 40,889 Member
    edited May 18
    I can't say that I've ever truly had a plateau. I do have "sticky" weights...usually every ten pounds or so where things stall out a bit for a few weeks, but then I usually get a whoosh and start losing again. I also don't have a consistent calorie deficit day to day...I don't log, so I tend to naturally calorie cycle with bigger deficits some days and smaller deficits or maintenance on other days. That also kind of depends on my exercise for the day as I use a combination of both diet and exercise to create my deficits. Thursdays for example are pretty heavy exercise days, but I eat the same as I always do so I'm usually in a bigger deficit on Thursdays...Fridays are a pretty light workout, so all else being equal with my diet I'm in a smaller deficit.

    Might just be anecdotal, but I think because my calorie deficit is so variable day to day that I don't experience much in the way of adaptive thermogenesis...IDK...just a theory. I also tend to lose pretty slowly...my average is about .75 Lbs per week as a trend. I typically maintain at around 15% BF @ 180 Lbs...the only time I've ever really felt like I was hitting my head on a wall was when I was about 12% BF and trying to go lower.
  • shockbishop
    shockbishop Posts: 37 Member
    Lietchi wrote: »
    How do you define a plateau? For me it means a month or more without progress and without changes in my routine that might explain it.

    As such, I've never had a plateau. I've had stalls but my weight trend has always ended up going down again simply with patience.
    My stalls were due to changed routines (increase in steps per day, traveling,...) leading to water weight weirdness.

    Potentially useful context: I've never aimed for a fast rate of loss (0.5lb per week), so that already required me to look at the longer term trend of my weight (using a weight trend app) and I never expected to lose weight every week like some do.

    Good point. I agree going slow is key to preventing these things. I just know when I get closer to target my body usually says "un uh". At that point it's "can I eat this brownie at the party" and rethinking my training. That's the plateau I speak of.
  • shockbishop
    shockbishop Posts: 37 Member
    cwolfman13 wrote: »
    I can't say that I've ever truly had a plateau. I do have "sticky" weights...usually every ten pounds or so where things stall out a bit for a few weeks, but then I usually get a whoosh and start losing again. I also don't have a consistent calorie deficit day to day...I don't log, so I tend to naturally calorie cycle with bigger deficits some days and smaller deficits or maintenance on other days. That also kind of depends on my exercise for the day as I use a combination of both diet and exercise to create my deficits. Thursdays for example are pretty heavy exercise days, but I eat the same as I always do so I'm usually in a bigger deficit on Thursdays...Fridays are a pretty light workout, so all else being equal with my diet I'm in a smaller deficit.

    Might just be anecdotal, but I think because my calorie deficit is so variable day to day that I don't experience much in the way of adaptive thermogenesis...IDK...just a theory. I also tend to lose pretty slowly...my average is about .75 Lbs per week as a trend. I typically maintain at around 15% BF @ 180 Lbs...the only time I've ever really felt like I was hitting my head on a wall was when I was about 12% BF and trying to go lower.

    I like that theory. I think that theory doesn't allow metabolic adaptation. Do you switch workouts like say your a runner and that's all you do is run cause issues?
  • wunderkindking
    wunderkindking Posts: 1,607 Member
    When I feel stuck (my weight never stayed the same long enough for a true plateau), I switch to a diet break, eat maintenance for about 2 weeks, deal with the temporary water gain and then go back to a deficit. I invariably lose weight (a lot of it no doubt water, but almost always below the weight I was stuck at) and carry on. Bonus: I'm not beating myself up for not losing weight while working at it.

    Well all this past tense. I've been in maintenance for a while.
  • Seasonal_One
    Seasonal_One Posts: 39 Member
    cwolfman13 wrote: »
    I can't say that I've ever truly had a plateau. I do have "sticky" weights...usually every ten pounds or so where things stall out a bit for a few weeks, but then I usually get a whoosh and start losing again.

    I like this comment. Certainly true for me. The point that I also wanted to add, daily weighing myself is something that I started a few months back. This has really helped. With my scale's app, and automatic tracking, you can see the historical trends and a brief hovering at a single weight is not a concern. Also, the times when you are losing quickly, you know will end with another hovering at some future weight. When you back off the app graph and look at a month, the numbers tell an interesting story. I would only be concerned for myself, if I hovered at a weight for a few weeks. For me, hovering lasts about a week before I get back to losing, according to the scale.

    If I were to hover for two weeks, I'd start looking to the eating side of things. Did I change something or have I stopped weighing my food. Knowing that I am very consistent on the food side, hovering at a single weight for a week does not concern or depress me.

  • AnnPT77
    AnnPT77 Posts: 24,839 Member
    cwolfman13 wrote: »
    I can't say that I've ever truly had a plateau. I do have "sticky" weights...usually every ten pounds or so where things stall out a bit for a few weeks, but then I usually get a whoosh and start losing again. I also don't have a consistent calorie deficit day to day...I don't log, so I tend to naturally calorie cycle with bigger deficits some days and smaller deficits or maintenance on other days. That also kind of depends on my exercise for the day as I use a combination of both diet and exercise to create my deficits. Thursdays for example are pretty heavy exercise days, but I eat the same as I always do so I'm usually in a bigger deficit on Thursdays...Fridays are a pretty light workout, so all else being equal with my diet I'm in a smaller deficit.

    Might just be anecdotal, but I think because my calorie deficit is so variable day to day that I don't experience much in the way of adaptive thermogenesis...IDK...just a theory. I also tend to lose pretty slowly...my average is about .75 Lbs per week as a trend. I typically maintain at around 15% BF @ 180 Lbs...the only time I've ever really felt like I was hitting my head on a wall was when I was about 12% BF and trying to go lower.

    I like that theory. I think that theory doesn't allow metabolic adaptation. Do you switch workouts like say your a runner and that's all you do is run cause issues?

    We don't "metabolically adapt" to a particular workout. That's nonsense, but widespread. That "body confusion" idea tends to be pushed by organizations that sell workout programs or equipment. If they can convince us that our body gets dramatically more efficient at a particular workout, and burns fewer calories as a result, they can sell us more stuff for doing different workouts.

    What determines calorie burn, primarily, is the work being done, in the physics sense of work.

    At constant body weight, the same exercise at the same objective intensity (like pace, in the case of running), done for the same length of time, burns roughly the same number of calories. There may be a small reduction (or increase!) from specific exercises that are more technical and allow for more variation in performance, but for things like walking, running, cycling . . . not a big difference.

    However, as we get lighter, we do burn fewer calories from any exercise that derives its work from moving the body through space: Move less body, burn fewer calories, because physics.

    What makes people believe these myths is that as we get fitter, any given exercise feels much easier (at same intensity, same duration). For example, jogging at 5mph for 15 minutes might be hard at first, then barely feel like work at all after 6 months of jogging several times a week. That's almost the definition of "increased fitness", y'know?

    On top of that, calorie estimates that rely on heart rate may estimate a lower calorie burn for that same exercise when fit, than nonfit. (It's inaccurate.) Heart rate doesn't measure calories, it's just an approximate proxy for calories. What correlates with exercise calorie burn better is oxygen consumption, but that's hard to measure outside a sports lab, so heart rate is used as a rough approximation. As we get fitter, the heart gets stronger, pumps more blood (so more oxygen content) per beat, thus beats slower to get the same oxygen-delivery job done. That can make a heart rate calorie estimate smaller, for the same work. It's not "truth".
  • AnnPT77
    AnnPT77 Posts: 24,839 Member
    P.S. I never plateaued either, going from obese to a healthy weight in just under a year. I didn't even particularly stall, just saw the normal daily few pound ups and downs from change in water retention and different digestive contents (even at consistent daily morning weigh-ins).

    Frankly, I don't think there's much use in pre-planning what to do if you hit a plateau. You may never have a plateau. For those people who do have a plateau, or perceive one, what they should do depends on the individual circumstances at that time.

    I'm inclined to think that many of the things people do are just a way to feel like they're doing something, then as time passes the whoosh happens (as Wolfman described) on roughly the same timeline it would've if they'd just stayed patient, not done that "something" at all . . . but the "something" gets the credit.

    For sure, don't believe the sites that are marketing something to you to break your plateau, whether it's diets, supplements, exercises or anything else.
  • cwolfman13
    cwolfman13 Posts: 40,889 Member
    cwolfman13 wrote: »
    I can't say that I've ever truly had a plateau. I do have "sticky" weights...usually every ten pounds or so where things stall out a bit for a few weeks, but then I usually get a whoosh and start losing again. I also don't have a consistent calorie deficit day to day...I don't log, so I tend to naturally calorie cycle with bigger deficits some days and smaller deficits or maintenance on other days. That also kind of depends on my exercise for the day as I use a combination of both diet and exercise to create my deficits. Thursdays for example are pretty heavy exercise days, but I eat the same as I always do so I'm usually in a bigger deficit on Thursdays...Fridays are a pretty light workout, so all else being equal with my diet I'm in a smaller deficit.

    Might just be anecdotal, but I think because my calorie deficit is so variable day to day that I don't experience much in the way of adaptive thermogenesis...IDK...just a theory. I also tend to lose pretty slowly...my average is about .75 Lbs per week as a trend. I typically maintain at around 15% BF @ 180 Lbs...the only time I've ever really felt like I was hitting my head on a wall was when I was about 12% BF and trying to go lower.

    I like that theory. I think that theory doesn't allow metabolic adaptation. Do you switch workouts like say your a runner and that's all you do is run cause issues?

    As far as metabolic adaption goes, my theory is more that I'm basically calorie cycling all of the time rather than eating a specific amount and maintaining a constant XXX calorie deficit daily. When you eat at the same calorie deficit everyday, some adaptive thermogenesis happens over time...this also seems to be more pronounced with larger deficits over long periods of time.

    As to your workout question, the only possible issue with one type of workout is the potential for repetitive use/overuse injury. There is a common notion that we need to mix things up or we burn fewer calories and whatnot, but that's not really true. There is some minimal decrease in energy expenditure for doing the same thing due to efficiency gains, but ultimately you just get more fit and you go further, faster, harder, etc which more than compensates for any efficiencies gained.

    I initially lost about 40 Lbs 10 years ago and maintained that up until COVID. When I was losing weight, my primary exercise was jogging, walking, and weight training. After I lost weight I got pretty heavy into endurance road cycling and spent 2014-2019 pretty much riding my rear off 10+ hours per week on the bike. At the moment I'm training for a triathlon in August mostly for something different as I do enjoy cycling, but it had become a grind and lost its "fun". I had also started training for one years ago but was injured a week or so before the event and never had the opportunity to do it, which has always kind of bugged me. So right now I swim 1x/week, bike 2x/week, run 3x/week, and strength 1x per week. I'm actually really enjoying a varied schedule and it's made training fun again.
  • glassyo
    glassyo Posts: 6,449 Member
    So my little N=1 when I hit a year long plateau (gained and lost the same pound and yes, I KNOW, I was in maintenance but still was shooting for weight loss), make sure you're not over estimating exercise calories and underestimating the logging of food.

    The end.

    :)
  • shockbishop
    shockbishop Posts: 37 Member
    Lots of “never hit a plateau” here or “1 week max”. Maybe I’ve done something wrong in the past. I really think I cut my calories back too much when I hit a snag causing other issues. I’ll have to look back through my old spreadsheets. Maybe this time I’ll track closer and be patient.
  • shockbishop
    shockbishop Posts: 37 Member
    AnnPT77 wrote: »
    P.S. I never plateaued either, going from obese to a healthy weight in just under a year. I didn't even particularly stall, just saw the normal daily few pound ups and downs from change in water retention and different digestive contents (even at consistent daily morning weigh-ins).

    Frankly, I don't think there's much use in pre-planning what to do if you hit a plateau. You may never have a plateau. For those people who do have a plateau, or perceive one, what they should do depends on the individual circumstances at that time.

    I'm inclined to think that many of the things people do are just a way to feel like they're doing something, then as time passes the whoosh happens (as Wolfman described) on roughly the same timeline it would've if they'd just stayed patient, not done that "something" at all . . . but the "something" gets the credit.

    For sure, don't believe the sites that are marketing something to you to break your plateau, whether it's diets, supplements, exercises or anything else.

    I think I’ve been guilty of this. I remember freaking when my weight didn’t move for a week with close calorie, bf and exercise counts. It’s been a while, but seems like I cut more calories, worked out longer, even threw a diet pill in there..and things got extremely hard.

    Anyway, I feel more confident now seeing all the responses. Thanks.
  • shockbishop
    shockbishop Posts: 37 Member
    AnnPT77 wrote: »
    cwolfman13 wrote: »
    I can't say that I've ever truly had a plateau. I do have "sticky" weights...usually every ten pounds or so where things stall out a bit for a few weeks, but then I usually get a whoosh and start losing again. I also don't have a consistent calorie deficit day to day...I don't log, so I tend to naturally calorie cycle with bigger deficits some days and smaller deficits or maintenance on other days. That also kind of depends on my exercise for the day as I use a combination of both diet and exercise to create my deficits. Thursdays for example are pretty heavy exercise days, but I eat the same as I always do so I'm usually in a bigger deficit on Thursdays...Fridays are a pretty light workout, so all else being equal with my diet I'm in a smaller deficit.

    Might just be anecdotal, but I think because my calorie deficit is so variable day to day that I don't experience much in the way of adaptive thermogenesis...IDK...just a theory. I also tend to lose pretty slowly...my average is about .75 Lbs per week as a trend. I typically maintain at around 15% BF @ 180 Lbs...the only time I've ever really felt like I was hitting my head on a wall was when I was about 12% BF and trying to go lower.

    I like that theory. I think that theory doesn't allow metabolic adaptation. Do you switch workouts like say your a runner and that's all you do is run cause issues?

    We don't "metabolically adapt" to a particular workout. That's nonsense, but widespread. That "body confusion" idea tends to be pushed by organizations that sell workout programs or equipment. If they can convince us that our body gets dramatically more efficient at a particular workout, and burns fewer calories as a result, they can sell us more stuff for doing different workouts.

    What determines calorie burn, primarily, is the work being done, in the physics sense of work.

    At constant body weight, the same exercise at the same objective intensity (like pace, in the case of running), done for the same length of time, burns roughly the same number of calories. There may be a small reduction (or increase!) from specific exercises that are more technical and allow for more variation in performance, but for things like walking, running, cycling . . . not a big difference.

    However, as we get lighter, we do burn fewer calories from any exercise that derives its work from moving the body through space: Move less body, burn fewer calories, because physics.

    What makes people believe these myths is that as we get fitter, any given exercise feels much easier (at same intensity, same duration). For example, jogging at 5mph for 15 minutes might be hard at first, then barely feel like work at all after 6 months of jogging several times a week. That's almost the definition of "increased fitness", y'know?

    On top of that, calorie estimates that rely on heart rate may estimate a lower calorie burn for that same exercise when fit, than nonfit. (It's inaccurate.) Heart rate doesn't measure calories, it's just an approximate proxy for calories. What correlates with exercise calorie burn better is oxygen consumption, but that's hard to measure outside a sports lab, so heart rate is used as a rough approximation. As we get fitter, the heart gets stronger, pumps more blood (so more oxygen content) per beat, thus beats slower to get the same oxygen-delivery job done. That can make a heart rate calorie estimate smaller, for the same work. It's not "truth".

    Maybe should have broke that up into metabolically adapt calorie wise, workouts was another paragraph.

    I do think the body metabolically adapts to calorie deficits,especially large ones. I just don’t think humans would do well without this survival trait. That’s what I want to figure out because my last plan I feel I triggered this. Calculators seem kind of gray in this area as too when we’ve cut too many calories.

  • sijomial
    sijomial Posts: 19,633 Member
    edited May 19
    I've been here a long time and there seems to be a lot of common traits in reports of hitting a plateau....

    Aggressive deficits.
    Long term deficits without taking a diet break.
    Everyday deficits.
    Unrealistic expectations of linear weight loss.
    Putting too much emphasis on needing the scale to go down every week to keep motivation going.

    A bit of good news about metabolic adaptation though. I lost pretty steadily at a pound a week (30lbs) and switched to maintenance calories based on adding 3500cals/week. As expected I maintained weight - but only for a few months when I started losing again on the same calorie balance and had to eat more to stabilise my weight. Long way of saying that adaptation goes both ways.
  • AnnPT77
    AnnPT77 Posts: 24,839 Member
    AnnPT77 wrote: »
    cwolfman13 wrote: »
    I can't say that I've ever truly had a plateau. I do have "sticky" weights...usually every ten pounds or so where things stall out a bit for a few weeks, but then I usually get a whoosh and start losing again. I also don't have a consistent calorie deficit day to day...I don't log, so I tend to naturally calorie cycle with bigger deficits some days and smaller deficits or maintenance on other days. That also kind of depends on my exercise for the day as I use a combination of both diet and exercise to create my deficits. Thursdays for example are pretty heavy exercise days, but I eat the same as I always do so I'm usually in a bigger deficit on Thursdays...Fridays are a pretty light workout, so all else being equal with my diet I'm in a smaller deficit.

    Might just be anecdotal, but I think because my calorie deficit is so variable day to day that I don't experience much in the way of adaptive thermogenesis...IDK...just a theory. I also tend to lose pretty slowly...my average is about .75 Lbs per week as a trend. I typically maintain at around 15% BF @ 180 Lbs...the only time I've ever really felt like I was hitting my head on a wall was when I was about 12% BF and trying to go lower.

    I like that theory. I think that theory doesn't allow metabolic adaptation. Do you switch workouts like say your a runner and that's all you do is run cause issues?

    We don't "metabolically adapt" to a particular workout. That's nonsense, but widespread. That "body confusion" idea tends to be pushed by organizations that sell workout programs or equipment. If they can convince us that our body gets dramatically more efficient at a particular workout, and burns fewer calories as a result, they can sell us more stuff for doing different workouts.

    What determines calorie burn, primarily, is the work being done, in the physics sense of work.

    At constant body weight, the same exercise at the same objective intensity (like pace, in the case of running), done for the same length of time, burns roughly the same number of calories. There may be a small reduction (or increase!) from specific exercises that are more technical and allow for more variation in performance, but for things like walking, running, cycling . . . not a big difference.

    However, as we get lighter, we do burn fewer calories from any exercise that derives its work from moving the body through space: Move less body, burn fewer calories, because physics.

    What makes people believe these myths is that as we get fitter, any given exercise feels much easier (at same intensity, same duration). For example, jogging at 5mph for 15 minutes might be hard at first, then barely feel like work at all after 6 months of jogging several times a week. That's almost the definition of "increased fitness", y'know?

    On top of that, calorie estimates that rely on heart rate may estimate a lower calorie burn for that same exercise when fit, than nonfit. (It's inaccurate.) Heart rate doesn't measure calories, it's just an approximate proxy for calories. What correlates with exercise calorie burn better is oxygen consumption, but that's hard to measure outside a sports lab, so heart rate is used as a rough approximation. As we get fitter, the heart gets stronger, pumps more blood (so more oxygen content) per beat, thus beats slower to get the same oxygen-delivery job done. That can make a heart rate calorie estimate smaller, for the same work. It's not "truth".

    Maybe should have broke that up into metabolically adapt calorie wise, workouts was another paragraph.

    I do think the body metabolically adapts to calorie deficits,especially large ones. I just don’t think humans would do well without this survival trait. That’s what I want to figure out because my last plan I feel I triggered this. Calculators seem kind of gray in this area as too when we’ve cut too many calories.

    It can. Sijomial said some relevant things about that. These threads may also have helpful information:

    http://community.myfitnesspal.com/en/discussion/1077746/starvation-mode-adaptive-thermogenesis-and-weight-loss/p1
    http://community.myfitnesspal.com/en/discussion/10604863/of-refeeds-and-diet-breaks/p1

    If you don't want to experience severe adaptation, don't try to lose weight aggressively fast. There are no guarantees, but being sensibly moderate will improve your odds (of lower adaptive thermogenesis, of long term compliance with calorie goal, of learning along the way how to eat satisfyingly in a manner that will work in permanent weight maintenance, and more).
  • cwolfman13
    cwolfman13 Posts: 40,889 Member
    sijomial wrote: »
    I've been here a long time and there seems to be a lot of common traits in reports of hitting a plateau....

    Aggressive deficits.
    Long term deficits without taking a diet break.
    Everyday deficits.
    Unrealistic expectations of linear weight loss.
    Putting too much emphasis on needing the scale to go down every week to keep motivation going.


    A bit of good news about metabolic adaptation though. I lost pretty steadily at a pound a week (30lbs) and switched to maintenance calories based on adding 3500cals/week. As expected I maintained weight - but only for a few months when I started losing again on the same calorie balance and had to eat more to stabilise my weight. Long way of saying that adaptation goes both ways.

    Yes to the bolded. I would also add that very often there is weight loss/diet fatigue that occurs after a time. This can often result in a little sloppiness in regards to following one's diet plan...whatever that plan may be. When I was calorie counting I know I went through some phases where I was just a little sloppy in my logging...like having a handful of this or that and not really counting it.

    Or I would have some change in my routine that was seemingly benign, but actually had more of an impact than I was giving credit. A good example...when I first started trying to lose weight I was pretty strict and on point with my plan. I didn't eat out for something like 3 months...everything made at home, etc. After a few months things started getting a little wonky and I felt like I hadn't really changed anything...but in reality I had gotten a little more loose with going out to eat...meeting up with a buddy for some beers, etc. My issue with eating out and calorie counting is that I primarily eat at local restaurants so I'm always guessing on the calories...and those were adding up and cutting into my deficit more than I had thought.

    People also get a little lax with exercise...they are guns a blazing at first exercising 5-6 days per week...then a few months later they start missing workouts here and there. It often seems benign but I've had that happen and I actually look back over a month and I can see that for most of a month I was really only working out 3 days per week vs say 6 previously...or in a particular case of mine, I was still exercising the same amount of days and time but I was doing a lot of walking rather than cycling which cut back on my CO.

    Long story short, there's often something in diet and/or exercise routine that has changed, even if that change is perhaps small as a matter of perception, but in reality having a bigger impact.
  • shockbishop
    shockbishop Posts: 37 Member
    When I feel stuck (my weight never stayed the same long enough for a true plateau), I switch to a diet break, eat maintenance for about 2 weeks, deal with the temporary water gain and then go back to a deficit. I invariably lose weight (a lot of it no doubt water, but almost always below the weight I was stuck at) and carry on. Bonus: I'm not beating myself up for not losing weight while working at it.

    Well all this past tense. I've been in maintenance for a while.

    Yeah I’ve heard that works. Sounds counter intuitive, but that’s a cool technique thanks!
  • shockbishop
    shockbishop Posts: 37 Member
    sijomial wrote: »
    I've been here a long time and there seems to be a lot of common traits in reports of hitting a plateau....

    Aggressive deficits.
    Long term deficits without taking a diet break.
    Everyday deficits.
    Unrealistic expectations of linear weight loss.
    Putting too much emphasis on needing the scale to go down every week to keep motivation going.

    A bit of good news about metabolic adaptation though. I lost pretty steadily at a pound a week (30lbs) and switched to maintenance calories based on adding 3500cals/week. As expected I maintained weight - but only for a few months when I started losing again on the same calorie balance and had to eat more to stabilise my weight. Long way of saying that adaptation goes both ways.
    sijomial wrote: »
    I've been here a long time and there seems to be a lot of common traits in reports of hitting a plateau....

    Aggressive deficits.
    Long term deficits without taking a diet break.
    Everyday deficits.
    Unrealistic expectations of linear weight loss.
    Putting too much emphasis on needing the scale to go down every week to keep motivation going.

    A bit of good news about metabolic adaptation though. I lost pretty steadily at a pound a week (30lbs) and switched to maintenance calories based on adding 3500cals/week. As expected I maintained weight - but only for a few months when I started losing again on the same calorie balance and had to eat more to stabilise my weight. Long way of saying that adaptation goes both ways.

    That’s is amazing! I believe everything said here and those big deficits and not knowing what to do is what stopped me last time. Thanks!!
  • wunderkindking
    wunderkindking Posts: 1,607 Member
    When I feel stuck (my weight never stayed the same long enough for a true plateau), I switch to a diet break, eat maintenance for about 2 weeks, deal with the temporary water gain and then go back to a deficit. I invariably lose weight (a lot of it no doubt water, but almost always below the weight I was stuck at) and carry on. Bonus: I'm not beating myself up for not losing weight while working at it.

    Well all this past tense. I've been in maintenance for a while.

    Yeah I’ve heard that works. Sounds counter intuitive, but that’s a cool technique thanks!

    I'm pretty sure the reason it works is ultimately because prolonged deficit increases cortisol, along with messing with sleep, and hunger hormones. Bump the calories, get more, better, sleep and cortisol drops.

    Which leads to water weight that may have been hanging around going away.
  • Xellercin
    Xellercin Posts: 798 Member
    I just wait it out. I don't consider anything a plateau unless it lasts longer than 8-12 weeks.

    I steadily lost weight at a predictable pace over 4 years according to the long term patterns I recorded. Sometimes it *looked like* a plateau for a month or three, but in the end, in long term retrospect, as long as I stayed consistent, the pace was consistent.

    In the sort term it would look like a lot of loss one month and then no loss for a month or two and then a lot of loss the next month. But what was really happening was a steady loss in the background that was like clockwork, but didn't show up on the scale that way.

    The only time I ever had a real plateau was when either I would eat/drink more than normal, like over the holidays.