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  1. #1
    Registered User P4RS4's Avatar
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    7 week long plateau! Any advice?

    Hey guys
    I started my cut 12 weeks ago at 183 lbs, got down to 175 within 3 weeks eating 1800 cals/day.173 by week 5, and here is where it gets depressing, my weight has been fluctuating between 171-174 for the PAST 7 WEEKS! yes, 7 weeks. I dropped 100 calories every 2 weeks hoping to break through this plateau, added cardio but nothing. I have been following my diet religiously and tracking all macros through MyFitnessPal. I weigh my food and am sure that I have been sticking to my diet everyday. I had 2 refeed days on week 9, bringing my weekly average to 2200 which is supposed to be my maintenance, and I hoped doing this would somehow 'reset' my metabolism. No luck
    I feel like I'm doing everything right and not getting ANY results, my waist measurements havent changed either; I am very frustrated and have lost nearly all motivation. Not losing any weight for 7 weeks eating 1700cals/day means that my TDEE is 1700 cals, and thats not a lot of food im constantly hungry and the cravings dont ever stop. Also, Im not progressing in the gym either, weights have been stalling for the past month.Average daily macros for the past month : 200 carb 30 fat 150 protein
    Let me know if you have any suggestions

    P.S. one of my friends suggested that my plateau can somehow be related to my work schedule, as I work a night shift job 3-4 nights a week and my sleep schedule is highly irregular. Could this be a factor?
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    Sleep can affect several things. First, sleep can be a factor in your lifts not going up (muscle not recovering and growing properly, less energy in the gym). Second, testosterone production happens mostly during sleep. Third, being tired makes you less active overall, thus reducing the amount of calories you’re burning.
    S: 375 pounds x 1 - 168-pound bodyweight 5/2019
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    D: 405 pounds x 1 - 168-pound bodyweight 5/2019
    OHP: 180 pounds x 1 - 168-pound bodyweight 5/2019
    A great guide to nutrition: https://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=173439001&p=1481919401&viewfull=1#post1481919401
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  3. #3
    Registered User hardyboysare's Avatar
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    Sleep can play a part as stated above as this will make your NEAT (non-exercise related activity thermogenesis) drop like crazy and you will not feel like doing much. OK if you want to break this plateau the options are always the same eat less or move more. If you can't eat less and you are 100% certain you are counting every calories over a weekly bases (including sauces, cheat meals, meals out, food you can't actually scan and see nutrition label) then you will need to move more.

    Refeed days aren't really important until you have been dieting quite hard for a long time (I would only recommend actually having diet breaks and not refeeds after dieting for about 4-6 months solid). So you will need to increase your general NEAT and PAL (physical activity level).

    What is your current exercise program? This may mean increasing cardio and reducing some weight training or adding on top depending on your lifestyle.

    How active are you outside planned exercise? Do you go walking, physical job, free time what do you do?

    By increasing plan exercised and do more physical aspect outside planned exercise such as going for a walk during your lunch break at work this can increase calorie expenditure enough to get you back on track.

    As for hunger that is part of the horror of cutting. Generally eating more veg, fiber and lean meats will help reduce the feeling of hunger but hunger is a sign from your body through the release of ghrelin that your body wants calories instead of using its own fat stores. So you will have to accept that one just keep busy and usually it will pass I find.
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  4. #4
    Registered User P4RS4's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by hardyboysare View Post
    Sleep can play a part as stated above as this will make your NEAT (non-exercise related activity thermogenesis) drop like crazy and you will not feel like doing much. OK if you want to break this plateau the options are always the same eat less or move more. If you can't eat less and you are 100% certain you are counting every calories over a weekly bases (including sauces, cheat meals, meals out, food you can't actually scan and see nutrition label) then you will need to move more.

    Refeed days aren't really important until you have been dieting quite hard for a long time (I would only recommend actually having diet breaks and not refeeds after dieting for about 4-6 months solid). So you will need to increase your general NEAT and PAL (physical activity level).

    What is your current exercise program? This may mean increasing cardio and reducing some weight training or adding on top depending on your lifestyle.

    How active are you outside planned exercise? Do you go walking, physical job, free time what do you do?

    By increasing plan exercised and do more physical aspect outside planned exercise such as going for a walk during your lunch break at work this can increase calorie expenditure enough to get you back on track.

    As for hunger that is part of the horror of cutting. Generally eating more veg, fiber and lean meats will help reduce the feeling of hunger but hunger is a sign from your body through the release of ghrelin that your body wants calories instead of using its own fat stores. So you will have to accept that one just keep busy and usually it will pass I find.
    I’m currently running a push pull legs program 6 days a week, hitting all muscle groups twice. I do 15 mins of cardio 3 times a week (200 cals/ session).
    Other than the time in the gym, my life style is not very active. Also one thing I forgot to mention is that I lost 50 lbs last year on a keto diet, which could have had an effect on my hormones and metabolism, lowering my TDEE quite a bit, because to my estimation, I was eating around 3k cals a day before I dropped the weight, and was maintaining my weight for quite a long time.
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    Train hard play harder Tommy W.'s Avatar
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    Originally Posted by P4RS4 View Post
    I’m currently running a push pull legs program 6 days a week, hitting all muscle groups twice. I do 15 mins of cardio 3 times a week (200 cals/ session).
    Other than the time in the gym, my life style is not very active. Also one thing I forgot to mention is that I lost 50 lbs last year on a keto diet, which could have had an effect on my hormones and metabolism, lowering my TDEE quite a bit, because to my estimation, I was eating around 3k cals a day before I dropped the weight, and was maintaining my weight for quite a long time.
    50 lb loss will decrease your Maintenance cals by around 500 per day.
    If you don't get what you want you didn't want it bad enough
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    Registered User P4RS4's Avatar
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    Do you guys think it’d be a good idea to eat at maintenance for a couple of weeks or even slightly above and increase intensity and volume of my workouts to try to put on some muscle mass? And then cut again after let’s say a month? I am no longer really in a rush to see my abs or get a ‘summer body’
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    Originally Posted by P4RS4 View Post
    Do you guys think it’d be a good idea to eat at maintenance for a couple of weeks or even slightly above and increase intensity and volume of my workouts to try to put on some muscle mass? And then cut again after let’s say a month? I am no longer really in a rush to see my abs or get a ‘summer body’
    If you feel that you really need a break from cutting to relieve stress or just feeling better in general for some time, then by all means do so. Although I wouldn't count on gaining any noticeable amount of muscle other than lean mass due to rehydration/glycogen in such a short timeframe^^

    No matter what route you choose, keep up the hard work... it pays out over time.
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    Registered User hardyboysare's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Tucane View Post
    If you feel that you really need a break from cutting to relieve stress or just feeling better in general for some time, then by all means do so. Although I wouldn't count on gaining any noticeable amount of muscle other than lean mass due to rehydration/glycogen in such a short timeframe^^

    No matter what route you choose, keep up the hard work... it pays out over time.
    This is basically what I would say.

    You can take a break if you feel you need one it may help psychologically but physiological I would say not. Some diet breaks are suggested may help based on recent literature but will make losing weight longer, I generally don't bother taking one until a good 4-6 months in as any hormonal changes are not massive at that point in which dropping calories won't solve.

    https://www.sciencedaily.com/release...918222235.htmp
    https://www.mdpi.com/2075-4663/7/1/22/htm

    That said Lyle Mcdonald advises to take diet breaks more often the leaner you are:-

    https://bodyrecomposition.com/fat-lo...et-break.html/

    As for gaining on a bulk I wouldn't go for a short bulk of a month you wont gain any muscle really so if you do plan to diet break then go to maintenance not a surplus. Final point IMHO will taking diet breaks make a massive difference I think, and from the literature I have read its more adherence it helps with, hormonal changes are much smaller changes in dropping someones metabolism and it is more of your individual NEAT that goes down (calorie restricting does make you lazier). So it wont make you lose more by so called speeding up your metabolism as it won't it generally will just make you more likely to adhere to the diet even if its longer.
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    Train hard play harder Tommy W.'s Avatar
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    You've BEEN at maintenance for 7 weeks
    If you don't get what you want you didn't want it bad enough
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    Registered User P4RS4's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Tommy W. View Post
    You've BEEN at maintenance for 7 weeks
    Taking my activity level, age and muscle mass into consideration, 1700 cals maintenance doesnt make any sense but not losing any fat for 8 weeks definitely indicates it. I genuinely hope 1700 cals isnt my maintenance, thatd be very depressing as its not a lot of food....
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    Registered User P4RS4's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by hardyboysare View Post
    This is basically what I would say.

    You can take a break if you feel you need one it may help psychologically but physiological I would say not. Some diet breaks are suggested may help based on recent literature but will make losing weight longer, I generally don't bother taking one until a good 4-6 months in as any hormonal changes are not massive at that point in which dropping calories won't solve.
    As for gaining on a bulk I wouldn't go for a short bulk of a month you wont gain any muscle really so if you do plan to diet break then go to maintenance not a surplus. Final point IMHO will taking diet breaks make a massive difference I think, and from the literature I have read its more adherence it helps with, hormonal changes are much smaller changes in dropping someones metabolism and it is more of your individual NEAT that goes down (calorie restricting does make you lazier). So it wont make you lose more by so called speeding up your metabolism as it won't it generally will just make you more likely to adhere to the diet even if its longer.
    I've decided not to take a diet break, as it would only delay my progress according to the info you provided. I'll drop to 1500 cals, and add more cardio and hope to break through this plateau as I cant really change my sleep schedule. The only thing that worries me is not losing weight at 1700 cals for 8 weeks which indicates that my maintenance has been lowered to 1700 cals due to prolonged dieting. Any ideas on how this can be reversed? I was very excited to finally be able to start a lean bulk as soon as I reached my desired body fat (12%), and eat at 2800-3000 cals thinking my maintenance would be around 2400-2500, but I'd probably put on all the fat Ive lost back in no time .
    ..
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    Registered User hardyboysare's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by P4RS4 View Post
    I've decided not to take a diet break, as it would only delay my progress according to the info you provided. I'll drop to 1500 cals, and add more cardio and hope to break through this plateau as I cant really change my sleep schedule. The only thing that worries me is not losing weight at 1700 cals for 8 weeks which indicates that my maintenance has been lowered to 1700 cals due to prolonged dieting. Any ideas on how this can be reversed? I was very excited to finally be able to start a lean bulk as soon as I reached my desired body fat (12%), and eat at 2800-3000 cals thinking my maintenance would be around 2400-2500, but I'd probably put on all the fat Ive lost back in no time .
    ..
    Not to cause to a argument as I know some people don't like being questioned over this but are 100% sure of your calorie level. I mean everything from the drinks you consume to the sauces you cook in. I do find it hard to believe someone has not gone out at least a few times in the last 7 weeks for a meal, drinking, just bought a takeaway which you can't measure, etc.

    I don't think your maintenance is 1700 calories at 6ft and 171-174 I generally believe you are miscounting somewhere or you really have a very sedated lifestyle (not insult intended but your NEAT makes up most of your calories burnt), a quick type in on a TDEE calculator does have your TDEE at 1733 for fat loss if you do little exercise so any miscount could effect it.

    You could post a daily food intake to look at but that still doesn't show everything but might help.

    You could try a different calorie counting app as Myfitnesspal can be very generous with its calorie levels if you choose the wrong item.

    Other then that you can visit your doctor and rule out any health problem but I am certain it will come back clear as 99% of cases does. Other then that posting a recent photo may help it could be you lack lean body mass to cut but at 22% bf I doubt you are too small to cut.

    That said if you are 22% body fat is correct that puts your lean body mass at 134lbs which is quite low on a 6ft man.
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    Registered User P4RS4's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by hardyboysare View Post
    Not to cause to a argument as I know some people don't like being questioned over this but are 100% sure of your calorie level. I mean everything from the drinks you consume to the sauces you cook in. I do find it hard to believe someone has not gone out at least a few times in the last 7 weeks for a meal, drinking, just bought a takeaway which you can't measure, etc.

    I don't think your maintenance is 1700 calories at 6ft and 171-174 I generally believe you are miscounting somewhere or you really have a very sedated lifestyle (not insult intended but your NEAT makes up most of your calories burnt), a quick type in on a TDEE calculator does have your TDEE at 1733 for fat loss if you do little exercise so any miscount could effect it.

    You could post a daily food intake to look at but that still doesn't show everything but might help.

    You could try a different calorie counting app as Myfitnesspal can be very generous with its calorie levels if you choose the wrong item.

    Other then that you can visit your doctor and rule out any health problem but I am certain it will come back clear as 99% of cases does. Other then that posting a recent photo may help it could be you lack lean body mass to cut but at 22% bf I doubt you are too small to cut.

    That said if you are 22% body fat is correct that puts your lean body mass at 134lbs which is quite low on a 6ft man.
    Im almost 100% sure of my calorie intake as I weigh the food I cook both raw and cooked, the only thing I dont measure is the veggies I eat but they are almost always non starchy veggies such as lettuce broccoli etc. I try to cook my meals as much as possible I try to get a Caesar salad or something when Im eating out and they usually have a nutrition label which I include in my tracking. You are correct about my sedentary lifestyle, I dont do any physical activity throughout my day other than driving to school/work and short walks from one class to another.
    I go to the gym 6 days a week, some weeks even everyday, and have workouts typically lasting from 1-1 hr 20 mins. I do cardio 2-3 times a week 200 calories per session (bicycle).
    I have the same meal for either lunch or dinner every day ( 1 cup cooked jasmine rice with 150g (5 oz) cooked chicken breast). I alternate between basa fish, tilapila and chicken breast as my main source of protein, and very rarely have beef, as I find it harder to track. One issue is that I snack throughout the day, but I make sure to track all of it and usually snack on macro friendly options such as greek yogurt, protein bars, 0 calorie jello, fruits (mostly pineapple) and in rare cases, nuts, which I make sure to track as the fat content is very high. I did visit a doctor and am actually getting blood work done and having my thyroid levels, Testosterone and blood sugar levels checked out tomorrow.
    As for my body fat, Im pretty sure the scale is not accurate at all. My starting weight and body fat % according to my scale was 183lb, 22.5% body fat, and now I am down by 10 lbs, but my body fat is still at 21.5%, which makes no sense. I am sure Ive gained lean muscle mass as my lifts have gone up compared to when I started my cut.
    After going through my fitness pal data again, my weekly average varies from 1700ish-1800ish cals. My eating schedule is also all over the place, again, due to my job. On the days Im not working, i have my meals with family, so lunch around noon dinner at 7 etc. On the days im working, i usually have 'lunch' at 1:30 am and dinner at 7 am. Im not 100% certain if the timing of meals can have an effect on fat loss, but it definitely messes with the hormones.And I think all of these factors have caused my cortisol levels to rise, which is known to cause greater storage of fats. Sorry for the long reply, writing everything down also gave me some mental clarity on what I can try and improve.
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    Train hard play harder Tommy W.'s Avatar
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    Originally Posted by P4RS4 View Post
    Im not 100% certain if the timing of meals can have an effect on fat loss, but it definitely messes with the hormones.And I think all of these factors have caused my cortisol levels to rise, which is known to cause greater storage of fats.
    No, you're taking in too many calories. MFP is notorious for being inaccurate. That and not logging things in here and there can add up to several hundred calories off per day.

    Your TDEE can be low also so you need to consider that. a 2,000 cal TDEE and 1800 intake then off by 1-200 cals a day puts you at maintenance
    Last edited by Tommy W.; 04-22-2019 at 06:55 AM.
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