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View Full Version : Stuck at 220lbs Plateau because of Low Caloric Intake



LovesAaliyah
01-19-2015, 12:35 PM
Hey guys, I've lost a lot of weight throughout 2014. I went from about 280 to 220lbs and I've been so proud of myself :D. However I noticed that I wasn't eating enough calories, usually in between 1300-1200 calories including cardio. I think this maybe the reason why I've been stuck at this weight for 2months, I've also been doing cardio almost everyday 6days a week. So I'm pretty sure I just ****ed my metabolism.. Any suggestions ? I want to continue to lose weight and I understand I need to eat more. But should I lay off the cardio for a couple of weeks and just eat at maintenance ? Any suggestions to kickstart my metabolism again ? I got caught up into dieting so hard that I just screwed myself lol.

EjnarKolinkar
01-19-2015, 12:45 PM
What does including cardio mean to you?

How many cals a day are you actually weighing and tracking?

mavajo
01-19-2015, 12:49 PM
You've been deceived - you cannot damage your metabolism because of low caloric intake. The reality is, you're not eating too little - you're eating too much. If you haven't lost weight for 2 months, then you're obviously eating much more than 1200-1300 calories on average. You're either grossly miscounting (which is very common) and/or you're having cheat meals/days that are blowing up your deficit. If you diet strictly for 6 days but then binge on the 7th - guess what? That 7th day is going to wipe out the progress you made the other 6 days.

1REPMORE
01-19-2015, 12:49 PM
You didn't screw up your metabolism. You need to continue to eat at a deficit by eating less or doing more cardio. You say you "noticed you weren't eating enough calories". What does that mean and why did you all of a sudden notice it? If you were losing weight why did you decide to eat more calories? The only thing that would have changed is your TDEE after losing 60 lbs. Recalculate that number, and get back on a caloric deficit from there. There is no such thing as not losing weight because you eat too few of calories.

dmacdonal9
01-19-2015, 12:50 PM
I've been stuck at this weight for 2months, I've also been doing cardio almost everyday 6days a week. So I'm pretty sure I just ****ed my metabolism..

If your weight has been stable for 2 months you are already eating at maintenance, regardless of what your numbers say.

Sounds like you are eating back exercise calories. Stop doing that, just track calories eaten, and read these:

Counting calories accurately requires precision. Read these:
http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=148418313
http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=154981223
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/13/opinion/calorie-detective.html?_r=0
http://www.weightlossresources.co.uk/calories/calorie_counting/counting-food-calories.htm
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1454084

And watch this informative video with terrible music: http://youtu.be/JVjWPclrWVY

LovesAaliyah
01-19-2015, 12:50 PM
What does including cardio mean to you?

How many cals a day are you actually weighing and tracking?


Doing HIIT, no lifting. I track about 1500 calories, but I subtract about 200calories because of my Cardio.

LovesAaliyah
01-19-2015, 12:52 PM
You've been deceived - you cannot damage your metabolism because of low caloric intake. The reality is, you're not eating too little - you're eating too much. If you haven't lost weight for 2 months, then you're obviously eating much more than 1200-1300 calories on average. You're either grossly miscounting (which is very common) and/or you're having cheat meals/days that are blowing up your deficit. If you diet strictly for 6 days but then binge on the 7th - guess what? That 7th day is going to wipe out the progress you made the other 6 days.

I've been tracking my calories there is no way I've been eating too much lol... Also I have not increased my caloric intake yet. It's just a suggestion that maybe I should. On the 7th day I don't exercise however I still stick to my deficit.

mavajo
01-19-2015, 12:54 PM
I've been tracking my calories there is no way I've been eating too much lol...

Yes, you are. There's no other answer.

LovesAaliyah
01-19-2015, 12:56 PM
You didn't screw up your metabolism. You need to continue to eat at a deficit by eating less or doing more cardio. You say you "noticed you weren't eating enough calories". What does that mean and why did you all of a sudden notice it? If you were losing weight why did you decide to eat more calories? The only thing that would have changed is your TDEE after losing 60 lbs. Recalculate that number, and get back on a caloric deficit from there. There is no such thing as not losing weight because you eat too few of calories.

I never ate more, I said maybe it's a suggestion. Like I said before I've been eating at a 1300-1200 Calorie Deficit.

LovesAaliyah
01-19-2015, 12:57 PM
Yes, you are. There's no other answer.

So eating at a 1300-1200 Calorie Deficit Is eating way too much ?

1REPMORE
01-19-2015, 12:59 PM
Doing HIIT, no lifting. I track about 1500 calories, but I subtract about 200calories because of my Cardio.

That is most likely your problem. Most people over estimate the calories burned doing exercise/cardio. Eat at the same deficit daily, regardless of whether you do cardio or not. It's easier to track your results that way.

Serpentarius
01-19-2015, 01:00 PM
eat less and move more. Just think, if you are doing this as you are you have found a way to immortality as you would never run out of energy.

1REPMORE
01-19-2015, 01:00 PM
So eating at a 1300-1200 Calorie Deficit Is eating way too much ?

Is that daily or weekly? How are you coming up with that number? Are you guessing or are you weighing your food?

LovesAaliyah
01-19-2015, 01:06 PM
So there is really no such thing as "Starvation Mode" ? Which is imo most likely preventing me from losing weight.

mavajo
01-19-2015, 01:43 PM
So there is really no such thing as "Starvation Mode" ? Which is imo most likely preventing me from losing weight.

Starvation mode, as it's popularly understood, is a total myth. The next time you want to complain about not being able to lose weight because you're eating too little, imagine saying that to a starving kid in Africa. According to that flawed logic, all the starving kids in Africa should be fat. (And no, a distended stomach because of disease is not the same as being fat.)

The truth is that you're tracking your calories incorrectly. Period. If you were eating only 1200-1300 calories, you would be losing weight. Since you're not losing weight, it means you're eating much more than 1200-1300 calories.

Maverick2015
01-19-2015, 02:39 PM
You keep saying you eat at a 1200-1300 calorie deficit, but how many calories are you actually eating? Not the size of the deficit, but the actual calories consumed daily. Are you eating 1500 a day? It is a little confusing from the different posts.

Edman316
01-19-2015, 02:50 PM
Stop using your exercise deficit to justify eating more food.

You have NO idea how many actual calories are burned doing exercise - all those numbers are inaccurate estimations at best.

Are you exercising to eat or to lose fat? STOP EATING YOUR EXERCISE DEFICIT.

Stop with the "can't" mindset too. Your negativity is hurting you more than eating your exercise deficit is.

No excuses. Keep going.

theta
01-19-2015, 03:15 PM
I understand the big factor is cal in vs out BUT I think sometimes there's more to it than that.

http://www.bodyrecomposition.com/fat-loss/permanent-metabolic-damage-qa.html/

"Certainly I have seen some weirdness occur (and there is at least one study to support this) where excessive cardio in the face of a large caloric deficit can cause problems, not the least of which is stalled fat/weight loss." - Lyle McDonald

The article focuses on competitors who are at really low body fat levels, which is an extreme, but I think this same sort of issue can happen to other people too in not so extreme ways. (like possibly the OP)

mavajo
01-19-2015, 03:25 PM
The article focuses on competitors who are at really low body fat levels, which is an extreme, but I think this same sort of issue can happen to other people too in not so extreme ways. (like possibly the OP)

You can think that all you want. But there's zero proof to support it. And every single time this has ever been tested in a scientific study, it's never been proven. Not once. But you know what was found? That the subjects in question were horribly misjudging their energy intake or output, and THIS was the reason they weren't losing weight. Once their calories were reduced, they began losing weight just like every other person on the planet.

But sure. Let's believe in myths instead. That's more reasonable.

Or we could stop being idiots and just accept the obvious - a 220 lbs woman that's stopped losing weight is simply eating too much and is misjudging her calorie intake/output.

StevieMaria
01-19-2015, 05:13 PM
OP, are you using a food scale? If you're not-start.

Maverick2015
01-19-2015, 05:19 PM
I understand the big factor is cal in vs out BUT I think sometimes there's more to it than that.

http://www.bodyrecomposition.com/fat-loss/permanent-metabolic-damage-qa.html/

"Certainly I have seen some weirdness occur (and there is at least one study to support this) where excessive cardio in the face of a large caloric deficit can cause problems, not the least of which is stalled fat/weight loss." - Lyle McDonald

The article focuses on competitors who are at really low body fat levels, which is an extreme, but I think this same sort of issue can happen to other people too in not so extreme ways. (like possibly the OP)
Excess cardio can cause you to retain more water weight thus stalling weight loss. Fat loss will always continue.

Maverick2015
01-19-2015, 05:20 PM
a 220 lbs woman that's stopped losing weight is simply eating too much and is misjudging her calorie intake/output.
OP is a male. But the rest of your post is reasonable. I still want to know the actual calories consumed.

EjnarKolinkar
01-19-2015, 06:14 PM
You can think that all you want. But there's zero proof to support it. And every single time this has ever been tested in a scientific study, it's never been proven. Not once. But you know what was found? That the subjects in question were horribly misjudging their energy intake or output, and THIS was the reason they weren't losing weight. Once their calories were reduced, they began losing weight just like every other person on the planet.

But sure. Let's believe in myths instead. That's more reasonable.

Or we could stop being idiots and just accept the obvious - a 220 lbs woman that's stopped losing weight is simply eating too much and is misjudging her calorie intake/output.


Well OP did lose 60 pounds somehow right?

mavajo
01-19-2015, 06:50 PM
Well OP did lose 60 pounds somehow right?

Either OP has now adjusted his calories incorrectly because of some irrational fear of starvation mode, and/or OP was misjudging his calories all along and now it's caught up to him. You can miscount calories and still lose weight, as long as your miscounting doesn't take you in excess of your TDEE.

chewbrahca91
01-19-2015, 06:59 PM
Either OP has now adjusted his calories incorrectly because of some irrational fear of starvation mode, and/or OP was misjudging his calories all along and now it's caught up to him. You can miscount calories and still lose weight, as long as your miscounting doesn't take you in excess of your TDEE.

This.
I'm under suspicion that the 1200-1300 cals is more like ~2800 (averaged out over the week) through reading labels but not necessarily weighing.
It's an error I think most of us have done at one point early on but pinpointing those extra calories through incorrect tracking really really adds up.

teebone21
01-19-2015, 09:00 PM
You didn't screw up your metabolism. You need to continue to eat at a deficit by eating less or doing more cardio. You say you "noticed you weren't eating enough calories". What does that mean and why did you all of a sudden notice it? If you were losing weight why did you decide to eat more calories? The only thing that would have changed is your TDEE after losing 60 lbs. Recalculate that number, and get back on a caloric deficit from there. There is no such thing as not losing weight because you eat too few of calories.

Actually its very possible and there's a thread on bb.com forums about it

http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=150242583

The guy is eating way to low for his size also. He is a man over 200lbs , 1300 calories is nothing

Luclin999
01-19-2015, 09:37 PM
So eating at a 1300-1200 Calorie Deficit Is eating way too much ?

Nope, which is why you are obviously eating more than that. Also, discounting the calories that you ~think~ you burned through exercise is another blunder as almost everyone overestimates their calories "burned" as well.

You are not some "special case". Calories in = calories out and if you aren't losing any weight then you are eating too much and/or moving too little. Simple as that.

Making claims like "I think I need to eat more in order to lose weight" is like saying that "I think I need to starve myself in order to get fat".

Both statements are equally ridiculous.

Luclin999
01-19-2015, 09:42 PM
Actually its very possible and there's a thread on bb.com forums about it



There are threads created by misinformed people every day, that does not mean that they have any validity whatsoever.

Barring a few very rare, serious medical conditions, you cannot possibly "damage" your metabolism with weight loss.

In 99% of the cases where people begin to burn significantly less calories over an extended diet the real cause of the reduced calorie expenditure is due to nothing more than the person in question slowing down due to becoming tired/lazy from the prolonged calorie deficit. A problem easily "fixed" by simply recognizing that is the cause, pushing past the long term fatigue, getting up and becoming active again.

SSZ3RK4N4TOR
03-12-2015, 11:13 AM
Ok so i have been dieting for about a month and 2 weeks i have dropped 20lbs from 245 i'm now 225. For the past week and a half i have lost no weight mind you i weigh my food and calculate my macros to a tee. I at one point was down to 169 from 230 about two years ago. Mind you i cheated on my diet alot and didn't weigh any of my food i also didn't work out as much. You can't tell me that there isn't some kind of correlation between too few calories and stalling weight loss. I can say with 100% certainty that i do exactly 1500 cals daily and i have been for a month and a half, no miscalculations. Unless i am retaining alot of water weight. I just would like answers.

EjnarKolinkar
03-12-2015, 11:22 AM
Ok so i have been dieting for about a month and 2 weeks i have dropped 20lbs from 245 i'm now 225. For the past week and a half i have lost no weight mind you i weigh my food and calculate my macros to a tee. I at one point was down to 169 from 230 about two years ago. Mind you i cheated on my diet alot and didn't weigh any of my food i also didn't work out as much. You can't tell me that there isn't some kind of correlation between too few calories and stalling weight loss. I can say with 100% certainty that i do exactly 1500 cals daily and i have been for a month and a half, no miscalculations. Unless i am retaining alot of water weight. I just would like answers.


10 days isnt a plateau.

I can say with certainty 100% you arent eating 1500 calories consistently Because you said as much in your post ;)

EjnarKolinkar
03-12-2015, 11:38 AM
Either OP has now adjusted his calories incorrectly because of some irrational fear of starvation mode, and/or OP was misjudging his calories all along and now it's caught up to him. You can miscount calories and still lose weight, as long as your miscounting doesn't take you in excess of your TDEE.

I think its a her. And agree after a 60 pound loss, and 1700 cals recorded intake, Especially as none of us tracks perfectly

Smaller the TDEE smaller the margin of error OP. And as you are making part of your deficit out of calculaed expenditure its hard to make ends meet.

Sometimes I think the numbers get in the way myself. But we all try to eat as much as we can while dieting.

Hopefully OP started just tracking intake, and weighing a bit more carefully. I buy some transient metabolic slow down after losing 60 pounds, along with the loss in TDEE to weight lost. But tis hard to agree 1700 = no losses for 220 pounds mass.

mavajo
03-12-2015, 11:44 AM
Ok so i have been dieting for about a month and 2 weeks i have dropped 20lbs from 245 i'm now 225. For the past week and a half i have lost no weight mind you i weigh my food and calculate my macros to a tee. I at one point was down to 169 from 230 about two years ago. Mind you i cheated on my diet alot and didn't weigh any of my food i also didn't work out as much. You can't tell me that there isn't some kind of correlation between too few calories and stalling weight loss. I can say with 100% certainty that i do exactly 1500 cals daily and i have been for a month and a half, no miscalculations. Unless i am retaining alot of water weight. I just would like answers.

On March 5, I was at 153.4 lbs. Since March 5, I've created a cumulative calorie deficit of of approximately -2,000 calories. And yet today I weighed in at 155 lbs. Down 2,000 calories, but up 1.6 lbs. Why? Water. Water weight fluctuates like crazy. When I weighed in at 153.4 on March 5, I was probably just exceptionally dry. And right now I might be holding a bit more water, or maybe I'm backed up. Who knows. There's so much that can cause your weight to fluctuate. Sometimes you can feel like you haven't lost any weight over a few weeks because you're heavier than you were 2-3 weeks ago. Truth is, your weight could have just been artificially low that one day for various factors, and so it set a false expectation going forward.

mavajo
03-12-2015, 11:45 AM
I think its a her.

I referred to OP as a female originally, and someone told me OP was a male. Now I refer to OP as a male and you tell me OP is a female. I give up lol.

beware123
03-12-2015, 12:11 PM
The weight range of 220-225 at around 6 feet tall seems to be a pretty tough spot for a lot of guys. I'm having trouble at the same exact range too. I need a tape measurer, my calories are def under maintenance and I workout 7 days a week and hit cardio 5-6 days a week for 2-3 miles. I also drink a little less than a gallon a day(i carry around a gallon jug). But then again, I've been intaking a lot of sodium recently with hot sauce on all my bland food. I'll probably cut out all the sodium a month or so before summer starts and see what happens.

SSZ3RK4N4TOR
03-12-2015, 01:15 PM
Yo what do you mean lol i said so as in that's how i dieted 2 years ago. Right now my streak is a month and two weeks to this very day 1500 cals daily. The only thing i can think of is i started drinking alot more water than i usually do. Could that be a factor?

SSZ3RK4N4TOR
03-12-2015, 01:21 PM
On March 5, I was at 153.4 lbs. Since March 5, I've created a cumulative calorie deficit of of approximately -2,000 calories. And yet today I weighed in at 155 lbs. Down 2,000 calories, but up 1.6 lbs. Why? Water. Water weight fluctuates like crazy. When I weighed in at 153.4 on March 5, I was probably just exceptionally dry. And right now I might be holding a bit more water, or maybe I'm backed up. Who knows. There's so much that can cause your weight to fluctuate. Sometimes you can feel like you haven't lost any weight over a few weeks because you're heavier than you were 2-3 weeks ago. Truth is, your weight could have just been artificially low that one day for various factors, and so it set a false expectation going forward.

I appriciate your answer man i think it does have to do with the fact i've been drinking a ton of water as of recently i think i am just more hydrated than usual.