Anyone here reached a 'plateau' ?

Starting dieting seriously in Feb 2014. Had tried various diets before - none worked! Then I started to religiously record my daily calorie (net) intake by recording what I ate and my exercise levels and by aiming for a target of consuming 1200 calories/day together with light exercise (walking) my weight dropped off and I was averaging around 1lb a week (not too drastic but consistent) and lost 4 stone in a year . Brilliant I thought. However now I have reached a plateau. I am still careful with what I eat and now eat around 1300 calories a day and yet my weight remains roughly the same (lose a lb one week - gain it the next but overall no change for the past 4 months). My BMI is now 23.5 (dropped from 34!) but ideally I would like to drop a further 3 lbs mainly to shed another inch from my waist.

My question is this: if my daily calorie intake is constantly below my metabolic rate (which is around 1450 ) why is my weight constant? A daily intake of 1300 calories isn't a great deal and whilst my exercise levels have dropped a little (I walk but not as regularly as I used to) my consumption of calories is still less than my BMR and based on the old adage that weight loss requires to burn more calories than I consume why do I not continue to lose weight?

Has anyone else reached a plateau when losing weight and what should I do?

11 Replies

  • How do you know what your BMR is?

  • I have used various BMR calculators on the Internet which uses height, weight, age and gender to calculate BMR. In addition my bathroom scales also show BMR. They all give a reading somewhere between 1450 and 1550 so I used the lower , more conservative, estimate

  • Your body seems to be having other ideas? I would suggest increasing your intake for a while so that your body doesn't get used to being on such low calories all the time, though not so much you regain weight of course.

  • Have a google of 'adaptive thermogenesis' which explains the weight loss plateau.

    Your BMI sounds good, well done on the weight loss, perhaps it's the right weight for your body?

    The kind of food you eat is as important as the calories. If you want to lose more weight, you may need to change what you are eating. Perhaps try less carbs and more protein.

  • Thanks- may try looking again at what I eat rather than just simply counting calories. When I first started dieting for example I did cut out bread virtually altogether and now I do tend to eat a little more than I used to eg toast for breakfast rather than cereals so perhaps that has had an affect?

  • Bread and cereals are from the same food group

  • Plateau happens, not had it this time round.

    Your body gets used to your regime, and diet and decides not to lose weight, over eat by 200 cals for 2 days, you should start losing again.

    Mix up your days and excercise, try to over eat by say 150 cals , 2 days a week, to trick your body, the other days you could reduce your allowance or stay the same.

    Good luck

  • Thanks - will have a go!

  • No science behind this but when I got stuck on a certain weight I would have a little blow out. Gain a pound or two then get straight back on plan. I would quickly lose the extra weight and then more besides. Sounds risky but has always worked for me and after 8 stones down I can't be doing a lot wrong.

    You could google Joe Wicks (the body coach) I have followed his plan after I plateaued and it worked for me. One of his mantras is that you need to eat a certain amount of food and fat to burn fat and I believe there is some science behind this. It may be that you are not eating enough and your body has gone into starvation mode.

    I tend to fry most of my food in coconut oil which is a saturated fat and it has not affected my weight loss.

    Everyone is different but if you are stuck just have a look at alternative strategies and try and find something that works. If you don't try you will never know.

    Good luck to you.

  • Yes I am in a similar position to you! I'm two stone down but haven't really lost any weight for a month, I want to lose another two stone which would be a healthy 11 stone for my height.

    This week I'm trying to change my exercise a little bit, going to start strength exercises tomorrow and walk a little bit more. I'm hoping this will make a difference. Let me no how you get on, good luck! Emma X

  • Thanks Emma. I may also try increasing exercise a little. I have slackened off a bit since the Summer (mainly because everything was going so well!). Looks like I'll need to pick it up again! Hope it works out for you!

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