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  1. #1
    Registered User gofullpower's Avatar
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    Unhappy Have I hit the dreaded plateau? Please help

    Hi all! New here and could really use some help. I'm worried I've hit the dreaded plateau, and I don't know what to do moving forward.

    I'm a 25 year old guy at 197.4 lbs. I started 8 weeks ago at 211.2 lbs. From day 1, I've been trying to keep my calories to 1500 or less a day so I could lose 2lbs a week.

    I measure everything (oils, liquids, food) under the sun to ensure I get an accurate calorie count every day. I also do intermittent fasting and workout 5x a week. 2x strength training for 45 minutes each day, and I also do cardio for 60-90 mins all 5 days, either brisk walking or aerobic dancing. I train in a fasted state. I'm mainly focused on losing as much fat as possible while trying to preserve the muscle I already have.

    All of this combined, I thought I was doing everything right (which the scale and tape measurements confirmed) up until this week. From last week to this week, I actually gained weight; from 197.0--->197.4. I also weighed myself this morning and even though I still ate 1500 cals the day before (which should by itself put me in a deficit, never mind the exercise on top of it), I stayed the same weight, not even a fraction of a pound down.

    I know a lot of times it's recommended to eat even less when plateaus happen, but should I really do that? I'm actually worried that my metabolism sucks and that would make it even worse. But I also worry if I eat more I'm just going to gain even more weight.

    Thanks in advance for the help; sorry if this was long. I just wanted to make sure I didn't leave anything out!
    Last edited by gofullpower; 06-27-2020 at 03:07 PM.
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  2. #2
    Registered User spradish's Avatar
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    Weight loss is not linear. Your weight today is not only dependent on the number of calories that we're in yesterday's foods. It's dependent on nutrient content (more carbs or sodium than normal can result in water retention), how much food (as in volume) is in your digestive system, etc.

    Not losing for one day or even one week is not a cause for alarm.

    If you haven't dropped weight in 3+ weeks, drop your calories.
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  3. #3
    Registered User gofullpower's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by spradish View Post
    Weight loss is not linear. Your weight today is not only dependent on the number of calories that we're in yesterday's foods. It's dependent on nutrient content (more carbs or sodium than normal can result in water retention), how much food (as in volume) is in your digestive system, etc.

    Not losing for one day or even one week is not a cause for alarm.

    If you haven't dropped weight in 3+ weeks, drop your calories.
    Thank you for your response! I just started getting concerned because I've been losing steadily every week up until this week; I guess I let that mess with my head a bit haha.

    But say if it is 3+ weeks and I'm still not losing, how much less should I eat? I just worry that 1500 was rather low for me as it was and I didn't want to endanger my metabolism further by dropping it even lower. Could dropping it more make it even harder for me to lose in the long run?

    Thanks again for your response, it's much appreciated!
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  4. #4
    Registered User Luclin999's Avatar
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    You won't "endanger your metabolism".

    That is basically a line of BS invented by fat people that want to find a reason to blame for not losing weight other than the fact that they are burning fewer calories and eating more than they think they are. So long as you are still breathing and generating heat (IE. you aren't dead), then your "metabolism" is still working.

    You will burn fewer calories over time due to having lost weight and thereby having less overall mass to fuel each day but the difference is something relatively small like a 30-50 calorie a day drop for every ten pounds of fat that you lose.

    If you have been losing close to two pounds/week at 1500 cal/day then your maintenance is probably about 2400-2500/day meaning that you are if anything already a bit too aggressive on your deficit (you are likely to lose more lean mass over time than you would probably like) so going lower isn't a good idea.
    ~ Like Tae-Kwon-Leap, my goals are not a path to a door, but a road leading forever towards the horizon.
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  5. #5
    Registered User gofullpower's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Luclin999 View Post
    You won't "endanger your metabolism".

    That is basically a line of BS invented by fat people that want to find a reason to blame for not losing weight other than the fact that they are burning fewer calories and eating more than they think they are. So long as you are still breathing and generating heat (IE. you aren't dead), then your "metabolism" is still working.

    You will burn fewer calories over time due to having lost weight and thereby having less overall mass to fuel each day but the difference is something relatively small like a 30-50 calorie a day drop for every ten pounds of fat that you lose.

    If you have been losing close to two pounds/week at 1500 cal/day then your maintenance is probably about 2400-2500/day meaning that you are if anything already a bit too aggressive on your deficit (you are likely to lose more lean mass over time than you would probably like) so going lower isn't a good idea.
    That definitely makes me feel a lot better! I've read so much about "starvation mode" so that definitely made me fear I was already there since I didn't lose this week and actually gained despite working out and eating the same as I've always done since I started. I only weigh once a week; I'm wondering if I should weigh every day and take the average at the end of the week instead. Maybe that could give a clearer picture?

    I did wonder too about eating more since when I started this I thought 1500 was a bit low. I just worry about doing that now since I gained weight this week without eating more than that, which leads me to believe eating more will make me gain more. But I also want to preserve as much muscle as possible. Trying to find that sweet spot for how many calories I should eat has proven to be difficult to say the least 😅
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    Harsh Truth Distributor xsquid99's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by gofullpower View Post
    That definitely makes me feel a lot better! I've read so much about "starvation mode" so that definitely made me fear I was already there since I didn't lose this week and actually gained despite working out and eating the same as I've always done since I started. I only weigh once a week; I'm wondering if I should weigh every day and take the average at the end of the week instead. Maybe that could give a clearer picture?

    I did wonder too about eating more since when I started this I thought 1500 was a bit low. I just worry about doing that now since I gained weight this week without eating more than that, which leads me to believe eating more will make me gain more. But I also want to preserve as much muscle as possible. Trying to find that sweet spot for how many calories I should eat has proven to be difficult to say the least
    Starvation mode for the purposes of this discussion is a complete myth.

    This sums it up nicely: https://www.aworkoutroutine.com/starvation-mode/
    All it takes is consistency, effort, proper nutrition, good programming, and TIME.
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  7. #7
    Registered User gofullpower's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by xsquid99 View Post
    Starvation mode for the purposes of this discussion is a complete myth.

    This sums it up nicely
    Thank you for the link!! It was a great read! Definitely a great reminder why I should never let anything in my mouth without logging and weighing it first even if it's oil or condiments or something else "little" haha. Thankfully I do that with everything, so I'm wondering if it really just is water retention or if my cortisol levels really are that much through the roof from being in the deficit I was for 8 weeks. I just didn't think I'd hit a plateau that quickly. I might have to see where I stand in a couple weeks to gauge better; really hope so.
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  8. #8
    Registered User AlexSays's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by xsquid99 View Post
    Starvation mode for the purposes of this discussion is a complete myth.

    This sums it up nicely: https://www.aworkoutroutine.com/starvation-mode/
    Beautiful summary.

    Will keep in the bank to roll out in other threads regarding this
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