Plateau Alert! Myth or Reality? No Its just another before pic!

Plateau Alert! Myth or Reality? No Its just another before pic!

Here is a great way you can completely stop your weightloss progress!

Get yourself onto a sportive ride!

13KG down in 10 weeks - loads and loads fitter and stronger this is me stopping my weightless progress!

I've actually gone up about 500g over the course of the week! The Garmin said I'd burned 7000 cal - I'd been sensible with nutrition before the day, during the day, and after the day but my weight has actually slightly risen. I'm really thrilled with the level of fitness I've achieved. I remember a time about 10 months ago when I tried and failed to follow the route of a local club run - got about three miles and had to turn around and freewheel home. Hopelessly unfit, overweight and incapable. This weekend it was 100+miles and we trounced it. (100 Miles -7 hours ride time!) Just an example of what you can all do if you decide, take some action, do it over time and repeat what works and ditch what doesn't. The next ride is already booked and in the training schedule. Listen to me! training schedule LOL!

What is bugging me and I've still got to understand and master is losing the next 10KG to get to a healthy weight. The weight loss had slowed down and I think there are a few reasons behind this. Some of these are biological but there are also some psychological ones going on as well.

I'm doing well at sticking to 1500 cals a day with the flexibility to go over slightly a couple of times a week - never over 2200.

I'm killing the exercise - 6 KM run three times a week. Walking on other days and cycling at least once a week. And where I live there are only very very very big hills (1800 feet in every direction except one!)

Started some strength work daily too.

Very careful on the balance of food during the day.

Not even tempted by 'treats' a big blow out for me has been a banana! Honest! Crazy!

So why has the weight stopped coming off?

I've had to go out and buy new clothes as the old ones were far too big, and I've got back into a waist size which has been the smallest I've ever had as an adult. Thats been really great but I also think thats where the problem lies. Subconsciously I wonder if I think I've got there.

I've still got 12 KG to lose to get to a healthy BMI. I know that your BMI is a broad and blunt tool and I might be struggling to get to 88KG but at 100KG I know I'm still a load over where is good for me. And frankly enough is enough!

It feels like I've got to the size my brain thinks is good for me, but the numbers say different. I've been at or around 100KG for three weeks despite good eating and significant levels of physical activity. I've read all the stuff on weight loss plateau.

And then I've had a good think.

If you are just starting the 12 week plan then take heart. If I can do this then you can. (There is another before pic on an older post.) But, I thought, I could have been the weight I am now and decided to lose weight, gone on line and found the 12 week plan. So what I've decided to do is just carry on with the final two weeks of 12 week plan number one and then start again! So instead of an after pic or even an "I'm on my way pic" please accept my contribution to before pics!

I am going to look again at portion sizes and calorie counting.

I am going to look at my strength exercises.

I am going to look at 12 week plan No2 as if I was coming to it for the first time.

One of the things I am going to do differently is really improve my diet. I watched the first episode of Jamie's superfoods and bought the book from one of the big supermarkets - its full of calorie counted balanced meals and menus and that's something which will make a difference and start to build a way of cooking & eating which I'll like and I can easily carry on with. To be honest its the first cookery book I've been inspired by for a long time and its aims seem right in line with where I am right now.

I think my weight loss has stalled because my body has got used to the changes. The exercise I'm doing is building up heavier muscle, lets be honest not that much! The big events disrupt weight loss for a few days, but ultimately contribute to Weight loss. My diet has probably crept towards a few more carbs. I think the new clothes mean I've made it but I'm stopping at two pairs of jeans and one pair of chinos - nowt else until I've got a lot closer or got to a healthy weight. But perhaps the biggest change has got to come in my head not on my plate!

Two weeks to go and I'll be joining you on the 12 week plan!


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21 Replies

  • Its so true - the psychological battle is often harder than the physical challenge.

    But are you sure 1500 isn't too low for you? If you are burning that many calories and being that active 1500 seems incredibly low to me? Are you sure your body is not getting to a point of hanging on to the fat as it feels like there is a calorie deprivation occurring which is moving towards not having enough sustenance?

    I remember hearing about some experiments where they progressively lowered the calorie intake for young men who were very active - farmers from memory - measured their calories burned versus calories in.

    As they continued to reduce the calories the young men kept losing weight and burning the same amount of calories e.g. they ate 2000 calories but were burning 3000.

    It got to a point where they were eating 1,500 calories (not the actual amount just an example) and their body started to reduce the amount of calories being burned until after a couple weeks it was about equal 1500 cals in and out. They were still doing the same work but their metabolism had found a way to reduce their burn.

    They then increased their intake and the calories burned increased at the same time but they never got back to the 3,000 they were burning each day - they were about 200 cals short because the metabolism couldn't completely recover from the extreme calorie deprivation.

    Thought this was at least worth mentioning but I am sure you have considered this already.

    Are you eating protein or carbs after you finish? Carbs after exercise can substantially reduce the beneficial fat burn you may otherwise be experiencing after strenuous exercise also prevent human growth hormone from being produced, two things which can slow down your loss.

    FInally...maybe your body has hit a substantial setpoint - this can happen - where the body is not willing to release any further weight. There are ways around this and plenty of info on Google re setpoints - here is an example.

    Your exercise regime is an inspiration for someone like me who is still panting up a slight incline :)

  • Loads to think of there Dave - I've been tending to just exercise and eat but perhaps that needs more thought. I do find the calorie target fairly comfortable - I get hungry only now and again. I'll have a look at setpoints just as you write it it seems to ring a bell.

    Remember I was that bloke panting up the stairs a year ago!

  • Hi Andrew,

    Congrats on what have achieved, and the activity amazing !! You sound really happy and that what counts😃

    Maybe there is something in thinking you've reached your 'goal', but at the end of the day if fitter and happier do you need to push self further, what about a spell at maintaining ? Then if feel need to loose a bit more go for it. The 12 week plan is always the way to go I think no matter where people are on their journey.

    Have a great week


  • Hi Andrew, I'm also in awe of what you've achieved so far, especially in terms of fitness. Your new 'before' pic is incredible - look at those leg muscles!

    To get started with renewed weightloss - can I suggest something that we never like to volunteer to do but which we know works - interval training! I just ran to the c25k+ 'speed' podcast and am really feeling the burn. It was only 2.17km in total but every 60 seconds you switched the speed up or down and I was really struggling! The switching was the challenge rather than the speed, as overall I ran slower than my ususal runs. You could follow this, as I did, with a straight run afterwards, but doing the intervals is definitely a good discipline to learn I think. There are also circuit classes, HiiT classes etc, that also work by making you do quick spurts of exercise. I think this would really help you to see a difference, even more than running your 3x 6km routes each week and doing your bike training :)

    I also agree with Dave1961 about reviewing your calorie allowance. Maybe go for 1800 everyday rather than allowing those 2 high calorie days every week, and keeping it so low on the other days.

  • Hi Ruth - I'm going to look at the approach in the podcast. I do rumble round my six K route but I've never given the concept of speed any thought! Speed! Hah I laugh at speed with my persistent shuffle! I do agree that I need something more informed and structured than what I'm doing. It will of course require a huge number of fartleck jokes! ;-)

  • Mix up your runs, perhaps do one shorter, one interval-style, and one slow 6k each week. The ironic thing about the 'speed' podscast is I found it made me focus on going slow! I think it's about becoming aware of your pace, becoming better able to switch up or down as needed, while managing your breathing, heart rate etc. I think I'll need to do it a few more times to get the hang of it - my breathing was really suffering! Just looked up 'fartlek' by the way - hadn't paid attention to the word when it kept popping up on the c25k forum. But thanks to you, I now know what it means! :( A word like that perhaps only deserves to be incorporated into as many jokes as possible! :)

  • Hi Andrew, I've 'followed' you from my day one and found you to be committed beyond any of my own experiences....because you're a usual chap achieving extra ordinary things. Know what I mean? This makes your posts so inspiring for me and I really hope many of the forum will read and take note of what is possible....thinking about a hundred mile cycle is just amazing...what a fantastic experience. was this always in your dreams?

    youve really analysed where you are and thought through your next steps..How to persuade ..the subconscious you? ? it's just auto pilot? Or perhaps the reptilian brain saying danger danger! On something that your body may feel is life threatening....cos let's face it, the survival of mankind depended on being able to do extra ordinary things on very few nutrients at if it is subconscious, how do you persuade yourself that this is healthy and not a risk? I've rambled on...good luck on week 10😉

  • Hi PP! Dreams are what should keep us awake at night! I'm hankering after a French end to end - It'll have to be next year as the seasons are changing now and I've a part time course to go on from September. But last year I bumped into a retired couple while queuing for the ferry at Portsmouth. We were bravely off to Normandy for a couple of days on out bikes. "Where are you two off to?" we asked. "Oh we're off to Florence - it'll take us about three weeks but any faster and the roads across the apps won't be open yet."

    Florence . . . . Now thats something more to dream of.

    As you say, ordinary people doing extraordinary things. Why accept life with limits when you don't have to?

  • The more I read here on this forum, the more I believe this. Joy!

  • Florence. . . .

  • And then....the world!....muahhhhhhh...(that's my evil chuckle)

  • Hi Andrew,

    Just a thought. Are you sure that rigidly relying on your BMI is the way to go? I've read that it's intended as a guideline and is inaccurate when applied to the very active and muscled body types eg rugby players.

    I also think 1500 cals is too low. It's less than I'm allowed and I do sweet FA!

    Are you happy with your body shape, because if that's a before photo, I think you're looking pretty sharp! :)

  • HA HA ! The camera always lies! You are probably right "Em be guidelines!" (In a pirate voice!) 88KG might be a stretch but I know for certain there's a good few more KG to go. If (WHEN) I get to 95 I might have another think. I've lost a few KG so far and I'm back to the weight I was happiest at and even though its still a bit over where I need to be careful do aim for a target based on science rather than an ill informed bit of my brain!

  • Not for me it doesn't, it tells the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth! (so help me God!) :(

    I'm glad you've got your sensible head on tho, I'd hate to see you make yourself ill.

    Roll on the day that I'm in your shoes. You're a real inspiration and thanks for that :)

  • I think most people would benefit from re-sharpening the saw periodically; you don't have to reach a plateau to plan it.

    I do think, because we need to maintain homoeostasis, that the body adjusts. We should spend some time away from calorie restriction so that our body doesn't think it's starving and reduce metabolism for instance.

    I have often spoken to people about increasing intake a week of each month; for longer weight-loss journeys even longer may prove better.

    I would like to remind you that when you were making a 500 kcal deficit each day, that deficit was being met from your body-fat reserves - animal fat :-) When people do increase their intake, part of the problem in maintaining may be that instead of replacing like for like (ingesting natural fat instead of utilising body-fat reserves), they increase all of the macro-nutrients consequently disrupting the hormonal balance they had achieved whilst losing weight.

    Good luck.

  • You're going great guns, ALO. Impressed! :D #cycliststhighs

  • As seen in the first pic on here

  • Love that movie! Check out Sir Chris Hoy's crushers:

  • Okay I now feel my own rather large thighs are very justified, even if my cycling style is perhaps slightly more leisurely than Hoy's :)

  • Brilliant, well deserved and actually very sensible legs too! :-)

  • Ha Ha I hope not!

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