I began a diet and exercise program on Jan 2. I am male, age 37, 5'8" tall, and weighed 284 pounds. I did nothing fancy, a basic 50/30/20 diet and cardio 4x per week for 45 min. I had lost 35 pounds in the first 7 weeks. After averaging 4-5 lbs per week, in week 7 I lost 7 pounds. My intake had gradually tapered, though I was trying to average around 1,500 calories per day. The following week, I really declined in my intake, averaging about 850 calories per day and I figure that week I experienced a calorie deficit of about 8,500. I think that going over 7,000 is not a good idea. Well, that week I lost only two pounds. I upped my intake and am struggling to eat 1,500 calories per day and usually average around 1,300. In the past week and a half, I have lost no weight at all. I still want to lose about another 50 pounds to get around 200. How long can this starvation mode plateau be expected to last? Is there anything I can do to jump start the weight loss again?
Hi Kari and Diggers and thanks very much for your thoughts. The good news is that after two weeks of nothing today I weighed in and lost 4 pounds in the last week. So counterintuitive, but all I did differently was eat more. I averaged around 1,300 calories. Still not enough, I know, but better than it was.
Diggers, I know you are right...it is all about calorie deficit. I have struggled with this forever. I am not capable of moderation. Extremes are easy. When I am in a health driven mode, I have to battle myself to eat enough...when I am in a non-healthy place there is no such thing as enough. Either extreme is a complete comfort zone for me. It is that middle area that I cannot seem to deal with. The say alcoholics can not have one drink...they either drink everything in sight or they don't drink at all. That's difficult, but what if the alcoholic had to drink to survive? What if the life long drunk had to drink one beer every day? That is what I feel like. Well, for now I am in a healthy mode and I know that it is better for me here than on the other end of the extreme. I will keep working on the moderation.
I will take your advice about mixing up the extercise. About the only cardio that I can stomach is my treadmill. I have been trying to boos the intensity and I am getting there. I go 4x per week for 45 min. I do 5 min. walk, 10 min run intervals and usually get in about 4 miles in the 45 minutes. By the end of next week I want to add an additional interval and go for an hour at a time. We'll see what happens.
Thanks again to both of you for your help and support.
Deficiency of calories. A guy like you should be eating more food. You're eating whats recommended for women that are a little more than five feet tall.
I would definately look at what you're eating to start with. have you tried eating more healthy proteins like egg whites with Whole wheat breads. I would look into that. I'm not a big meat eater so Atkins and that were not good but proper proteins are great for filling you up and giving you great energy.
I also agree with changing up your exercise program. Different machines or aerobics. Also give circut training a try. Put that treadmill in front of the TV and go. I warm up for 5 minutes and then repeat running and walking. I run for 1 1/2 minutes and then walk for two. I do that 9 times and then cool down for 5 minutes and then really stretch. i don't do that every day though. it get hard on your feet. If you get fittv on satelite or cable they have some really fun workouts. Also try woring out twice a day. Even just 20 minutes and then 20 minutes there. It all adds up.
Also remember that your body needs to adjust to the weight loss and I truly believe that your body plateaus to adjust as well.
But your body goes into starvation mode when you cut the calories too much. it's our bodies defense so you may have kicked into that.
Thanks, Kari. That PMS comment made me laugh! All I can say is, if that's what it is I have had the longest documented case in history. These swings between too much and not enough span years, not days!
I will definitely start mixing up the exercise. You are right, when I first started up at 284 I could walk at a moderate pace for the full 45 minutes, but nothing more. During my second workout I decided I would jog for a full minute and I felt like I was going to die. It is amazing how quickly you can build up endurance. I was stage 1 hypertensive with high cholesterol and blood sugar levels that were getting way to high. All those problems are gone so I know I am doing the right things.
Remember, you're not 22 anymore. Metabolism often significantly slows in the 30's, and only gets worse. Also keep in mind that the body doesn't like to lose too much weight. If you were to quit your regime, you might gain your weight back, plus more weight. By the same token, your body will want to put the brakes on when it starts losing too much. In other words, a weight loss plateau is not unusual. Yes, theoretically, changing your exercises every so often should help. I know that Bally's, for instance, offers a metabolism test. If it is accurate, it could help you determine how many calories you should be intaking. You have done some crazy caloric restriction. Keep in mind that this will only slow the metabolism in the long run. Published studies have determined that if you eat a small amount of something approx. every 3 hours, it will increase your metabolism. I have been using that trick Since October, in addition to my usual exercise. The result is that I did break through my weight loss plateau by a few pounds. I have a general idea as to my caloric needs. So I eat breakfast, later have an apple with a few peanuts, etc, while staying very close to my maximum caloric needs. Good luck.
You need to eat well to get and stay fit. I was an overweight teen. I tried to starve weight off for many years and played the yo-yo game. I finally learned in my 20's and early thirties (it was a process) how to eat properly. After my children became teens and I was approaching my 40's I decided I wanted to be in the best possible shape by the time I was 40. I had the eatting under control but the exercise had only sporadicly been a part of my life and hardly at all since my children were born. I currently get up at 4:00 A.M. and work out for approx 1 hour and 40 min. before I go to work. This includes cardio, weights and abs. In the evening I do 15-20 minutes of pilates or yoga. On Saturdays I racewalk 7 miles outside (about an 12 min. mile) and do approx 45 minutes of pilates. On Sunday I do just 1 hour of yoga. I am over 40, female, I am 5'8 and I am 130 lbs of muscle and a loose size 6. I consume approx. 2,500 calories per day divided among 3 meals a 3 snacks. If I didn't eat well (everything in moderation, even ice cream) I couldn't do what I do. I sleep 5-7 hours per night and I feel great!!! You have to love yourself and be good to yourself. Don't starve. It will hurt you and make you unhappy. It's all self discipline. I have been in a career field that I love for over 20 years however after the kids go to college I am planning to become a personal fitness trainer on the side because I want to help people take better care of themselves. Thanks for your time.
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