Plateau: Hi, been lurking a while & have... - Weight Loss Support

Weight Loss Support

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UserError profile image
UserError2021 May

Hi, been lurking a while & have read posts about this but TBH most of it goes over my head as I'm not used to the jargon.

My wife & I started Michael Moseley's Low Blood Sugar diet and we're now coming towards the end of week 7. I've lost 10kg but have now been at 87 kg for at least a week and still religiously sticking to the diet (aiming for 800 calories a day, mostly achieve that, occasionally 750, sometimes 900 & rarely 1050). My wife is in a similar stuck position .

Looking around online, I can't see any other reason than "as your weight decreases, your maintenance requirement decreases" but that doesn't account for the stickage as my requirement has dropped only from 2480 to 2330 ish, so that's 150 per day but I'm at least 1100 to 1500 calories a day under that need.

Anecdotally you hear about tough dieting regimes "your body goes into starvation mode and uses a lot less energy" - is there any truth in this?

Has anyone got a good reference they can point me to that explains what's going on & how to beat it?

Many thanks

9 Replies
BridgeGirl profile image

Hello and welcome back, UserError :)

Here's one post that may have something useful for you

And another link re getting off a plateau, though from a different starting point from you so I'm not sure how useful it will be

Plenty of people have found Mosley's 800 cals diet gave them a great start. Does he not give any guidance for moving on from there? Where were you expecting to go after this stage?

Perhaps StillConcerned or TheAwfulToad could give you some pointers.

You'll find all our clubs and activities by following this link to Pinned Posts I recommend joining a weekly weigh in, for the team support, and using the Daily Diary, where members share their meal plans. You'll see some big "losers" and they'll be happy to answer questions about their food choices.

And if you do come across jargon, please do question it. It's too easy for people to slip into but it isn't intended to exclude people.

All the best


UserError profile image
UserError2021 May in reply to BridgeGirl

Thanks BG those references back up the starvation mode thing.

Basically our general daily diet has been pretty good, but we've been doing the slow middle-age spread: a couple of pounds a year over the last decade or so. So eating just a bit too much rather than really badly.

The plan was to get a kickstart with a good loss and we'd be halfway to our goals. Then for the summer including our holiday, eat normally but sensibly and a bit more carefully than we were beforehand. We'll be doing several weeks of work on our boat then taking a few weeks away, so plenty of whole-body exercise over the summer period which we reckoned would allow a few holiday treats with sensible eating in between.

Then after summer, we were planning to do another 8 weeks However, that may be less useful than planned and it would seem that we should just transfer to a general weight loss regime of a few hundred calories per day less, which we can easily do having followed the no-carb thing successfully for 7 weeks.

BridgeGirl profile image
BridgeGirlAdministrator in reply to UserError

It's worked in giving you a good start. I'd say concentrate on the 'what' now, rather than the calories. As you say, if you keep the carbs low and have a relaxed approach to healthy fats, that should keep you on an even keel.

This is about as straightforward as it gets

Have a great summer: wishing us all a bit less rain and a bit more sunshine

UserError profile image
UserError2021 May in reply to BridgeGirl

Thanks. here's hoping we all have a good summer. Less rain and less wind as well as more sun.

TheAwfulToad profile image

Your username reminds of a old oneliner (which only geeks of a certain age will understand):

"Who is General Failure, and why is he reading my hard drive?"

Anyway ...

Regarding your problem, it's one reason I dislike ultra-low-calorie diets. When you've done the painful part, you think "So ... where do I go from here? Surely if I eat more I'm going to get fat again?".

A few initial thoughts:

1) You haven't plateau'd. You're just impatient :). Consider how long it took you to reach 97kg; it was many years, right? It's going to take some time - at least six months - for your bodyfat to drop to a sensible level. It'll start off fast and then tail off to an imperceptible rate, but eventually - reasonably soon! - you're going to look in the mirror and do a double-take and think "Is that me?".

2) Weight loss does tend to go in fits and starts. I have no idea why. It's just a thing that many people have reported on HU. As long as you're eating a healthy diet and doing some exercise, you're doing all that can be done and you just have to trust your body to make the right decisions.

3) On that theme, understand that all low-carb diets (including Mosley's rather over-complicated version) all work in the same way: they allow your body to work properly again. People get fat because they are eating a diet that causes their bodies to malfunction in several different ways (that's what years of low-fat, high-carb, high-processed-food diets do to humans). It is not normal to get fat, whatever nutritionists might think. It's a fault, induced by bad diet. Stop eating the bad diet and your body will fix itself. Eventually.

4) Your body is capable of winding down its basal metabolic rate to about 900-1000kCal/day, and that's what it will do if it is given a starvation diet. Any other strategy would be suboptimal (therefore evolution would have eliminated it many millennia ago). Your goal for now is to reintroduce proper meals: vegetables, meat, eggs, dairy, in adequate amounts. Mostly vegetables. Of course you'll need to keep your carbs relatively low (aim for <50g net carbs per day) with a sensible amount of fat, but there's no need to obsess over it. Eat when you're hungry and stop when you're full. You'll probably gain a pound or two of bodyweight, but it will quickly stabilize out and you'll continue to lose fat.

UserError profile image
UserError2021 May in reply to TheAwfulToad

...stems from my time working with IT :-) A while ago now.

Thanks for the bigger picture.

The Moseley thing came up as a friend did it when he was diagnosed with diabetes & it worked, then I was told I was pre-diabetic so that was enough.

We found it easy enough to adapt what we eat (my wife has been wanting & failing to lose weight so we're in this together) basically by not eating cereals, bread & rice/pasta. I'm a bit of a fussy eater so I've been eating some odd meals but I'm used to that! Supper has been the same (we cook from scratch anyway) just without the carbohydrate element & more veg to compensate.

I think the Moseley diet has been helpful and has done what I wanted. I consider that I'm probably off the critical list* and within sight of the weight I was half a lifetime ago (I'm 56) and if I now move to a normal-but-better eating regime I'm OK with that. I don't plan to obsess over exactly what I eat - that's not what life's for AFAIC, but I will be more careful.

*I've never been told formally - about 10 weeks ago I went in for (unexplained) blood test & pressure and the nurse casually mentioned the pre-diabetic thing & I've had no follow-up or contact from the GP but I will be contacting them for certain.

Bear789 profile image
Bear7892st 7lbs in reply to TheAwfulToad

What you have described is exactly what I am doing and I have never had such weight loss success. There is now no trace of my fatty liver and all parts of my body just seem to work better, IBS totally cured, asthma symptoms better, sleeping better, blood pressure ideal. I really used to eat far too much sugar and carbs and when you stop I actually think you feel less hungry.

MichaelJH profile image

Please accept that I am expressing a personal view here.

I first encountered what I call "extreme" diets when the egg diet became popular. There have been numerous variations on this since. I regard Max Moseley's and other 800 calorie diets as extreme. They can be a kick starter but for only about two weeks too avoid the body going into starvation mode. After that I believe people should go on to about 1209 calories per day. This is the recommendation of many specialist clinics. Basing it around a Mediterranean diet is worthwhile to maintain a healthy balanced diet.

Lytham profile image
LythamAdministrator in reply to MichaelJH

I agree about extreme diets like the egg diet, I've done many of them in the past, only to regain any weight I lost. For me 1209 calories would be too little, here's a link to the nhs BMI calculator where you can find what's right for you :-) x

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