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  1. #1
    Senior Member Munk69's Avatar
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    Weight Loss Plateau

    Hi everyone. Long time reader... Second time poster.

    I have been on a diet for since early January and to date I have lost a total of 15lbs. However, within the last 3 weeks or so I have not lost any more weight and I sitting on a plateau it seems. This is very discouraging and I am not sure what to do diffrent.

    I am using the weight watchers diet and I am working out on my bike 3 to 5 times a week for at least 45 minutes to 1 hr each time.

    Just for reference, my current weight is 238 and I want to get down to 195 to 200. I am prepared to spend the whole summer to get down to this weight but I am stuck!!

    Anyway.. Can anyone help? I am open to any ideas at this point.

    Thanks in advance!

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    weight train, and track your caloric intake every day for a month. Once we know how much you're eating, we'll know weather you need to eat less or more. More is probably likely.

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    One reason for weight loss plateau is your body's reaction to fewer calories. You are programmed to avoid starvation, so fewer calories often result in a lowered metabolism and increased fat storage ("Must make it through winter!").

    Try eating good stuff more frequently. Lift weights. Alternate your exercises (I lost 8 lbs in 2 weeks by switching from daily biking to alternating biking and swimming.


    Here's some ideas:

    http://www.diet-blog.com/archives/20...ss_plateau.php

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    Senior Member DannoXYZ's Avatar
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    Yeah, your body has adjusted, so you need to change the other side of the equation; namely burn off more calories. You must always escalate the training in order to keep body's development continuous. YOu need to add more intense training. Do strength-building in the gym, sprints and intervals on the bike. Hi-intensity training raises your basal metabolism for hours after the workout and continues to burn off calories. Then also do real endurance rides of 3-4 hours once or twice a week. The 3rd to 4th hours burn off way more fat calories than the 1st two.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DannoXYZ
    Then also do real endurance rides of 3-4 hours once or twice a week. The 3rd to 4th hours burn off way more fat calories than the 1st two.
    Linking this up to the 'how to find time' thread, this I just cannot seem to squeeze in.

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    Senior Member DannoXYZ's Avatar
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    Well, if you're doing 5 hours/week of riding (5x1-hr/day), try to reduce it to just 3 days a week. Do 2x1-hour rides of sprints and intervals. Then do a 1x3-hour ride for real endurance on the weekend. Same 5-hours/week, but the 3-day plan will do a lot more for weight-loss and avoiding plateaus than the same 1-hour workout every day.

  7. #7
    Faster but still slow slowandsteady's Avatar
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    Plateaus are extremely common. Don't get discouraged. There are a number of things you can do.

    Change the foods you eat, not just calories but a change in the actual variety of foods. You can also go from a low carb to a higher carb diet or vice versa. Just change it up somehow. Eat foods you haven't eaten in a long time. How about lamb or duck or veal or tofu? How about brown rice or quinoa or barley? How about berries instead of apples? Eggs instead of oatmeal or oatmeal instead of eggs......and so on.........

    Change the exercise that you do: Cross train, lift weights, lift different weights, push harder, change the days you workout. Increase the length of workouts or intensity. You may even want to decrease it for a week as a recovery workout then ramp it up substantially the next week. You need to change things up.

    Reduce your caloric intake by 100-300 calories a day. You may even need to increase the caloric intake!!

    Eat more frequently, like 4-6 times a day to give you metabolism a boost.

    It isn't so much what you do, but rather just make some changes. Get out of whatever rut you are in both food and exercise wise.
    "Ride lots." -- Eddy Merckx

  8. #8
    Senior Member Munk69's Avatar
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    Thank you all so much for the advice. As far as biking goes.. Is there a way I should be training as a newbie? I am really not sure what to do on a day in and day out basis. Most of the time I am just either riding outside for about 45 mins to an hr or doing a base training video... I started riding pretty hard right around jan 1st and I am sort of winging it.

    Thanks again everyone. Much appreciated.

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    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    I think you have to eat less. As you lose weight, your need for calories keeps on going down, so you can't afford to eat as much. It sucks....
    Last edited by Roody; 04-05-07 at 11:57 AM.


    "Think Outside the Cage"

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    Quote Originally Posted by Roody
    I think you have to eat less. As you lose weight, your need for calories keeps on going down, so you can't afford to eat as much. It sucks.... (:

    uh, no. Not unless you've lost a bunch of weight.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Munk69's Avatar
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    Just wanted to say again how much I appreciate everyones help on this. I lost 1lb yesterday and while is not a ton.. It is a start!! I will be reading the helpful advise in this forum much more often!

    Thanks!

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    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aikigreg
    uh, no. Not unless you've lost a bunch of weight.
    Agreed. The need for calories would go down by a significant amount every 10 pounds or so, in my estimation.


    "Think Outside the Cage"

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    Check out the Clyde forum too. Bunch of good guys over there mostly trying to lose weight. Also my sig has a ton of good links on nutrition, weight loss, training, etc....

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    Faster but still slow slowandsteady's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roody
    Agreed. The need for calories would go down by a significant amount every 10 pounds or so, in my estimation.

    That is essentially what weight watchers does. The heavier you are the more food you get to eat. By the time you are only 5 -10 lbs from goal you are eating roughly 1200 calories. A 300 lb person would eat approximately 2000 calories and a 180 lb person would eat about 1600 calories.
    "Ride lots." -- Eddy Merckx

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    Faster but still slow slowandsteady's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Munk69
    Thank you all so much for the advice. As far as biking goes.. Is there a way I should be training as a newbie? I am really not sure what to do on a day in and day out basis. Most of the time I am just either riding outside for about 45 mins to an hr or doing a base training video... I started riding pretty hard right around jan 1st and I am sort of winging it.

    Thanks again everyone. Much appreciated.

    You should be alternating intensity. Two hard days a week, two easy days and one or more medium days is a pretty simple start. Just be sure to put the easy days after the hard days. Hard can mean faster or longer distance or more hills.

    Try to also increase your mileage every other week by ~10%. Every 5 weeks give yourself a few days off and a few easy lumbering rides for a week. Then really push hard that next week.

    Also, one day a week on your hard day, try to do double your longest day but take it easy on the pace. If you normally ride 13 miles, ride 26 miles on Sunday followed by an easy day on Monday.

    Example
    Sunday: 26 miles easy to medium pace (bring some food)
    Monday: 13 miles easy pace
    Tuesday: 13 miles medium to fast pace
    Wednesday: 13 miles easy pace
    Thursday: 13 miles medium pace
    Friday: Take off
    Saturday: 13 miles easy to medium pace


    Two weeks of doing that and instead of 13 mile rides do 15 miles and do 30 miles for the long ride.
    "Ride lots." -- Eddy Merckx

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    Quote Originally Posted by slowandsteady
    That is essentially what weight watchers does. The heavier you are the more food you get to eat. By the time you are only 5 -10 lbs from goal you are eating roughly 1200 calories. A 300 lb person would eat approximately 2000 calories and a 180 lb person would eat about 1600 calories.
    And that is why weight watcher will be in business forever - they promote the starvation approach to dieting. Works great for a while, then watch the pounds jump back onboard!

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    A few thoughts:

    1) As others have said, you really need longer sessions. An hour doesn't really hit your fat stores - few rides at longer distances would be better, even if you need to ride more slowly.

    2) South beach is a decent base diet to consider, but remember that most diets are designed for sedentary people. If you start exercising a lot, you'll need to eat the "bad stuff" right before, during, and after the exercise. Probably not a big deal until you get to 90 minutes or so of reasonable intensity.
    Eric

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  18. #18
    Faster but still slow slowandsteady's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aikigreg
    And that is why weight watcher will be in business forever - they promote the starvation approach to dieting. Works great for a while, then watch the pounds jump back onboard!

    HUH??? You have no clue. You get A LOT more food than a doctor prescribed diet. When I went to the doctor for a plan he handed my a pamphlet for a 1000 calorie diet!!!

    They are also the ONLY commercial weight loss program recommended by doctors and proven in clinical trials. In fact if you lose more than 2 lbs two weeks in a row they tell you to eat more food. There is no starvation. They don't go strictly by calories, but rather a points system that factors in fat and fiber as well. The numbers I gave you are a close approximation but not totally accurate. Also, you can eat all of the vegetables you want. They are unlimited. How the heck is that starvation?

    Additionally, you get extra points if you exercise that you can eat if you want or not. It is up to you to decide.
    "Ride lots." -- Eddy Merckx

  19. #19
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    Well, since this thread is on "Weight Loss Plateaus"...I have a question too, which is slightly off the topic of the OP's.

    Will cross-training help in reducing weight loss plateaus? I'm thinking of doing triathlon training (not racing, just training), which, as many of you know, involves three different aerobic disciplines (swim, bike, run). The main reason for the running (and I REALLY HATE RUNNING) is, well, a compliment to the cycling leg muscles, and the swimming is because I used to be a competitive swimmer all the way back in high school. I'm doing core exercises and weight lifting right now, and I would still be cycling if I had a bike that worked.
    Last edited by fat_bike_nut; 04-06-07 at 10:06 AM.

  20. #20
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    Doctors should never, ever prescribe diets, nor should they recommend any. Most doctor's knowledge of nutrition comes from 30 year old data that was written by the FDA and USDA (a lobbying organization for crying out loud!). I would love to see doctor's eat that diet for a year and see how they recommend it afterwards. And I'm pretty sure those clinical trials were paid for by WW, not any independant double blind study.

    If the numbers you gave were not accurate that may change some things, but the numbers you gave before GUARANTEE metabolism slowdown. That is a *bad* thing for anyone trying to lose weight and keep it off. A sedentary (non exercising) person with a slow metabolism still needs at least 10 calories per pound of bodyweight. That would still likely be enough to cause weight loss. 12 cals/pound is closer to the real baseline.

    At the low calories you were mentioning, the person will lose a LOT of weight - unfortunately for them a lot of it will be muscle weight and not as much fat. Their bodies know they're being starved and thus shed themselves of some useles muscle so they can hang onto the fat the body thinks it needs. Once this goes on for long enough, the body adapts and actually puts on fat even at the lower calorie amounts - but it doesn't add back that muscle - because muscle is metabolicaly active.

    Take that same person, prescribe the right amount of calories with proper food choice, some light exercise, and have them spread their meals from 3/day to 6/day, and they will lose more FAT than muscle, which should be the real goal. They will still WEIGH more than someone who has done weight watchers, but they will have slimmed down more and can continue to "diet" and lose fat.

    The person on your caloric intake will eventually rebound from starvation - I have seen it again and again. They will have ravaged their metabolism and will gain fat more easily. They will be more lethargic from the loss of muscle and less likely to diet again. They will stay fat.

    You need to read less propaganda from a company trying to seel something, and more current research info from the last 10 years. Holy crap - you're telling ME I have no clue? You can read BETTER and MORE CORRECT information from a men's health magazine than from whatever source you have learned about nutrition from.

    Quote Originally Posted by slowandsteady
    HUH??? You have no clue. You get A LOT more food than a doctor prescribed diet. When I went to the doctor for a plan he handed my a pamphlet for a 1000 calorie diet!!!

    They are also the ONLY commercial weight loss program recommended by doctors and proven in clinical trials. In fact if you lose more than 2 lbs two weeks in a row they tell you to eat more food. There is no starvation. They don't go strictly by calories, but rather a points system that factors in fat and fiber as well. The numbers I gave you are a close approximation but not totally accurate. Also, you can eat all of the vegetables you want. They are unlimited. How the heck is that starvation?

    Additionally, you get extra points if you exercise that you can eat if you want or not. It is up to you to decide.

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    Quote Originally Posted by fat_bike_nut
    Well, since this thread is on "Weight Loss Plateaus"...I have a question too, which is slightly off the topic of the OP's.

    Will cross-training help in reducing weight loss plateaus? I'm thinking of doing triathlon training (not racing, just training), which, as many of you know, involves three different aerobic disciplines (swim, bike, run). The main reason for the running (and I REALLY HATE RUNNING) is, well, a compliment to the cycling leg muscles, and the swimming is because I used to be a competitive swimmer all the way back in high school. I'm doing core exercises and weight lifting right now, and I would still be cycling if I had a bike that worked.
    Yes it will. You can cycle hard for a day, and instead of taking the next day totally off, you can recover by swimming and light jogging, or whatever you'd like. So long as you're remembering to keep calorie intake where it should be so your body can recover. I cycle 3-4 days a week, lift 3-4 days a week jogging after lifting (light distance or HIIT), and swim whenever I feel like it. I do tris as well.

    If you're going to exercise that much though, you'd better having your pre, during, and post workout nutrition in order!

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    Quote Originally Posted by slowandsteady
    That is essentially what weight watchers does. The heavier you are the more food you get to eat. By the time you are only 5 -10 lbs from goal you are eating roughly 1200 calories. A 300 lb person would eat approximately 2000 calories and a 180 lb person would eat about 1600 calories.
    I know it varies by how tall you are but im 180 and can tell you there would be no way I could work out like I do on 1600 calories a day. My A group training rides would drop me 30 miles into our 70 mile rides I bet.

  23. #23
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fat_bike_nut
    Well, since this thread is on "Weight Loss Plateaus"...I have a question too, which is slightly off the topic of the OP's.

    Will cross-training help in reducing weight loss plateaus? I'm thinking of doing triathlon training (not racing, just training), which, as many of you know, involves three different aerobic disciplines (swim, bike, run). The main reason for the running (and I REALLY HATE RUNNING) is, well, a compliment to the cycling leg muscles, and the swimming is because I used to be a competitive swimmer all the way back in high school. I'm doing core exercises and weight lifting right now, and I would still be cycling if I had a bike that worked
    .
    I think cross-training does not help weight loss directly, but it does help a lot indirectly. Cross-training means you're less likely to develop overuse injuries that could halt exercise all together. Also, it might be easier to stay motivated and avoid boredom.

    Ideally your alternate exercise would use different muscle groups. For cycling (almost exclusively lower body), good alternatives are rowing and swimming.

    Also, as you lose weight and gain fitness, you might start enjoying physical activities that aren't really "exercise" but are both fun and good for your body. I'm thinking activities like dancing, frisbee, softball, martial arts, etc.


    "Think Outside the Cage"

  24. #24
    Faster but still slow slowandsteady's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aikigreg
    Doctors should never, ever prescribe diets, nor should they recommend any. Most doctor's knowledge of nutrition comes from 30 year old data that was written by the FDA and USDA (a lobbying organization for crying out loud!). I would love to see doctor's eat that diet for a year and see how they recommend it afterwards. And I'm pretty sure those clinical trials were paid for by WW, not any independant double blind study.

    If the numbers you gave were not accurate that may change some things, but the numbers you gave before GUARANTEE metabolism slowdown. That is a *bad* thing for anyone trying to lose weight and keep it off. A sedentary (non exercising) person with a slow metabolism still needs at least 10 calories per pound of bodyweight. That would still likely be enough to cause weight loss. 12 cals/pound is closer to the real baseline.

    At the low calories you were mentioning, the person will lose a LOT of weight - unfortunately for them a lot of it will be muscle weight and not as much fat. Their bodies know they're being starved and thus shed themselves of some useles muscle so they can hang onto the fat the body thinks it needs. Once this goes on for long enough, the body adapts and actually puts on fat even at the lower calorie amounts - but it doesn't add back that muscle - because muscle is metabolicaly active.

    Take that same person, prescribe the right amount of calories with proper food choice, some light exercise, and have them spread their meals from 3/day to 6/day, and they will lose more FAT than muscle, which should be the real goal. They will still WEIGH more than someone who has done weight watchers, but they will have slimmed down more and can continue to "diet" and lose fat.

    The person on your caloric intake will eventually rebound from starvation - I have seen it again and again. They will have ravaged their metabolism and will gain fat more easily. They will be more lethargic from the loss of muscle and less likely to diet again. They will stay fat.

    You need to read less propaganda from a company trying to seel something, and more current research info from the last 10 years. Holy crap - you're telling ME I have no clue? You can read BETTER and MORE CORRECT information from a men's health magazine than from whatever source you have learned about nutrition from.

    I get my scientific data from www.pubmed.com as well as the data I personally generate which just happens to be in peer reviewed literature such as Vaccine.

    Since I have several degrees both in the sciences and in business, including graduate level degrees AND work as a scientist in biotech developing in vivo models of disease, I think I can understand nutrition and critically evaluate peer reviewed literature just fine.
    "Ride lots." -- Eddy Merckx

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roody
    I think cross-training does not help weight loss directly, but it does help a lot indirectly. Cross-training means you're less likely to develop overuse injuries that could halt exercise all together. Also, it might be easier to stay motivated and avoid boredom.

    Ideally your alternate exercise would use different muscle groups. For cycling (almost exclusively lower body), good alternatives are rowing and swimming.

    Also, as you lose weight and gain fitness, you might start enjoying physical activities that aren't really "exercise" but are both fun and good for your body. I'm thinking activities like dancing, frisbee, softball, martial arts, etc.
    In response to the part I put in BOLD: THAT'S WHY I LOVE CYCLING SO MUCH! IT DOESN'T FEEL LIKE EXERCISE AT ALL! In fact, it's one of the only "exercises" that doesn't feel like exercise to me, no matter how I hard I push it (martial arts and swimming being others)!

    As for the cross-training thing, I suppose that makes sense. I just figured on adding running (which I HATE HATE HATE--can't emphasize that point enough...running is my most hated exercise, period) to complement the cycling muscles. The swimming's because I used to swim in high school and still enjoy an occasional dip in the pool over the summer.

    Of course, I was in the best shape of my life when I swam in high school. Maybe being an upper-body as well as lower-body workout aided in that.

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