Weight Loss NHS

Weight loss plateau question

At the moment I'm running about four times per week. Eating around 1400Kcal per day. I have one treat day per week. I'm doing a little bit of weight training too. I've hit a weight loss plateau. Shall I carry on as I am and see if more comes off or shall I increase my activity/reduce calorie? I've been at this plateau for about 2 weeks now.

6 Replies

How far are you running each time and do you know what your current BMR should be?


Carry on doing what you're doing. Plateaus are annoying but they do happen, and then suddenly those pesky scales will start to move again. You could consider trying a couple of non-consecutive days of 500 calories a week. I lost three stone that way and now keep it off by just 'fasting' one day a week. It's actually easier than you think.

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This is so annoying when it happens good suggestion from gingermut. You mention a little bit of weight training, are you training to build muscle using heavy weight slow reps or are you using lighter weights with more reps to tone and help reduce inches? Measure you may be going down size wise at the moment. Don't despair it will happen! Well done for having lost weight and good luck with the rest . :)

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Don't worry about the plateau yet - 2 weeks is fairly short time to get stuck and things should start moving soon. If you only weigh once per week it is quite normal to see no change or even increase in weight. If you have recently changed your exercise habits that can make your muscles retain a bit of water for repair as they get used to the new workout. Either way, if you are eating 1400kcal and doing that much exercise then you should certainly still be losing, even it it doesn't immediately show on the scale.

If you get stuck for a month or more, that is when to start looking at changes. I can almost always see a clear reason for prolonged stalls (month or more) - I review a couple of weeks and can see I have got lax in my food diary. Not weighing my food properly plus "forgetting" to record a few snacks here and there. The extra cals really add up quickly!

I tried, without success, to find a blog I read about weight loss progress. The blogger had a good graph showing what to expect: many ups and downs with several weeks of little change followed by sudden quick losses. If you google "weight loss graphs" you will see what I mean :)

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i know the feeling!! Im struggling. I have been doing bootcamp twice a week and running to 3 times a week with sit ups & squats every day, and eating 1200 calories, logged on 'myfitnesspal' but Im not loosing either, in fact i put on 1lb this week. I have Saturday as my treat day, where i eat and have a few wines, but being good 6 days a week should counteract the 1 bad day!!! Its sooo frustrating isnt it??? Im contemplating trying the juice plus diet. Any advice?

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@dona76 - Juice diet, is a diet....it will work while you do it, but once back onto solids the results will fade fast. I know, I tried!!

Obviously exercise you have covered, so there are a number of logical explanations:-

1) Firstly, how did you calculate your 1200 calorie intake? If you didn't use a device or an online calculator I would suggest you start there this will give you your basic metabolic rate which in turn will explain the number of calories that your body needs a day to a relatively accurate degree.

You then subtract your calorie deficit, so if you are cutting 500 a day then remove that first.

You may find that myfitnesspal can over and under estimate calorie goals, so it is best to calculate yourself and then you can update the information within myfitnesspal, following which it will automatically adjust your calories as you log weight loss.

2) Are you looking at your macros, and not just your general calorie intake? I.e. are you keeping a good balance between protein / carbs / fat, this is a crucial overlooked area, again you can adjust these settings within my fitnesspal and you can monitor the breakdown of your food intake. As a general rule protein and carbs should make up around 80% of your daily calorie intake and the remaining 20% healthy fats (avoid processed foods).

You can then slide the scale between carbs and protein to suit your body i.e. you can split that 80% into 40/40 or 50/30 etc. You will find when following an exercise regime having a higher protein intake can be a great advantage to recovery and also muscle growth.

3) Are you calculating your body fat level or measuring your body on a regular basis? I say this because sometimes the scales are useless when losing weight, as you have to take into account that you may gain muscle due to the healthy lifestyle you are now living, and remember muscle mass is heavier than fat.

So a good way to keep you from panic when gaining weight which will happen now and then is to keep track of your body measurements firstly,

I tend to keep a log once a week of my waist / chest / thigh / bicep / forearm / neck.

These can also be entered into myfitnesspal so you can veiw them as a graph, the physical measurements will tell you more about what is happening sometimes than the scales.

Secondly you could get your body fat percentage calculated, you can get scales that do it for you, but ensure you read up as they are only accurate if used correctly.

Another great thing which you can do is take pictures every two weeks, this will give you motivation to continue and also you will notice which areas need more focus during exercise.

Also you can try change up your exercise, i.e. intensity and routine.

My most important tip, is don't make it all about the scales, and don't pay too much attention to BMI once your reading is around 25. As neither measurement tells you how much your muscle to fat ratio is.

By all means have a weight goal and work towards it, but just dont put too much emphasis on it. When you are ready to stop cutting calories and maintain the weight you have reached the only factor that will determine it will be how you feel when you look in the mirror.

Hopefully my advice will help!, I wish you good luck and if you need any more tips just ask.


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