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The dreaded plateau

I think I am in it. The scales haven't budged for three whole weeks now - I seem to be doing everything "right." Getting plenty of water in, exercising etc. I was advised to up my calories, so I have, from about 1600 to 1800. I've doubled my exercise, tried to be more active in my every day life. And the scales still won't budge. I haven't lost any inches, either.

I'm at my wits' end. Does anyone have any advice on breaking through the infamous plateau. I have heard of plateaus lasting for six months! :eek: Good lord, I hope not. I still have a lot of weight to lose...
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That's horrible for you.:( I'm not sure of the answer, I'm sure there are different ways of kicking your body back into action. A friend of mine is a total gym nut but still has a little weight to lose. He suggests to eat little and often so your body knows there will always be food coming. He also only diets from Saturday to Friday lunch, he keeps it very low cal throughout the week but always eats a takeaway for friday dinner and he swears it tricks his body into thinking he's going back to old eating habits. When he wakes up Saturday he goes back on the diet and his body has to learn each week that it's getting less. I guess it's a little like a first week of a new diet each week or something. It seems to work for him but I have no personal experience of it.

Don't get disheartened though, you are atleast getting healthier even if the scales refuse to move.:)


Silver Member
My only advice seems to be what has become my mantra: "trust the maths". Thats all you can do really. If you up your activity and reduce your consumption your stubborn body will eventually give in and start losing again. I think the increase consumption can only work for a couple of weeks - otherwise it is illogical. If it was me I would now go down to about 1300 for a week or two and see if you can kick start it again.
Lovely_Laura - Thank you. I have heard that eating regularly can help. There are conflicting studies on this, but it's worth a try, I think. :)

judith55 - thanks. I try and trust the maths. I currently do an hour of cardio (in the evenings, lately, since it's too hot to do during the day.) In addition, I walk about six miles a day, so even if I am consuming 1800 cals, I should still be losing. My maintenance with exercise is 2,800 and I'm already knocking 1000 off that, so it seems odd that I'm not losing. I would not mind going down to 1300, but that is 400 below my BMR, so I'm not sure whether it's safe or not.


Silver Member
My maintenance with exercise is 2,800 and I'm already knocking 1000 off that, so it seems odd that I'm not losing. I would not mind going down to 1300, but that is 400 below my BMR, so I'm not sure whether it's safe or not.
Wasted Ink, I'm not qualified to say what is "safe" and I don't think anyone on here can give you medical advice as they dont' know everything about you. What I believe is that bodies aren't machines and things like BMR are guidelines. If you think about the people in the concentration camps, they worked very hard on their meagre rations and some died and some didn't - who knows what was the differences between those people. Things like VLCD came from medical advice for obese people so I guess doctors have worked out that we can all cope with low cals for set periods. Why not ask your GP's nurse for advice or book a session with a nutritonist? At least you'll know then that they are able to assess you personally and professionally. Putting your mind at rest might be worth the dosh. x

Lucky Cat

A work in progress
Oh Wasted Ink, I'm so with you on this one. I wouldn't say my weight loss is at a standstill, but it's slowed right down that's for sure.

I'm just the same - I've tried eating more, eating less, doing more exercise, different exercise types but it's just coming off so s-l-o-w-l-y now that it's getting frustrating. I'm at the weight and the stage now where i've been before and this is when it gets so difficult to keep going and I must not fall off the wagon this time.

Without a doubt I am burning more than I take in. It's criminal that I'm not like a stick insect with the amount of exercise I do :8855:
I know how you feel. It is hard! For six weeks I've done hours of exercise a day and stuck to about 1500/1600 calories and... nothing!

That said, I am happy to say I have finally broken through the evil plateau this week. I've lost 4.4lb. I think that's the most I've EVER lost in one week (aside from illnesses!) I actually did increase my food consumption - so maybe that helped! I ate about 2000 most days and kept my exercise about the same.

I'm hoping it works again next week.

Good luck to you in breaking your plateau.

Lucky Cat

A work in progress
I hope it's more than coincidence, but I think I might have ended my plateau too :D

I really thought about how much exercise I was doing against what I was eating and realised that I probably wasn't taking in sufficient calories to actually cover the exercise I do (I don't count calories, so a lot of it's guess work with me).

I decided to try upping the food but doing it well and spacing it out so I'm eating every 2 hrs or so. Well, it seems to have worked. In four days of doing it, 4lb have come off.
Fantastic, so pleased you guys have managed to break it! Seems silly eating more than you think you need but our bodies just need a kick now and then I think, especially with exercise. Really pleased for you.:)
Well done Lucky Cat! That's brilliant - we both broke our plateaus by doing the same thing! :D Long may it continue.

Lovely Laura - thank you! It actually seems illogical to eat more, but I was eating at a very large deficit before - far more than is recommended. I hope it continues to work. :)

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