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Muscle gain or plateau?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created October 20, 2012 at 7:31 PM

I eat paleo & do CrossFit 4 times a week.

I have been losing weight slowly (compared to others) but steady. Most importantly, I have lost 6% of my body fat so that is encouraging.

I still have about 4 more kg to get to my first weight goal and I have stalled at this weight for a week. The darn scale won't move. Not even half a gram. In fact, I've gone up a few grams. This week I started lifting more weight, about 3 more kg.

I remember I had this happen a few weeks ago but without gaining and without change I suddenly started losing again.

I'm wondering if I am just stuck there because of muscle gain or have I reached a dreaded plateau? I started paleo/CF about 7 weeks ago. Lost a total of 4 kg so far.

I eat between 1200/1300 calories, I dont snack, I don't eat nuts, I work out fasted (about 5/6 hours after a meal), fruit intake is minimal (less than a cup a day) and keep my carbs (from fruit & veggies) around 50/60 g a day.

I should also mention I started taking Prucalopride for chronic constipation 3 days ago.

Any ideas as to what's going on?

00cd3b6f51530a6832fcda1712edbec3

(2411)

on October 22, 2012
at 11:11 PM

Another reason might be that you're getting very close to your goal weight. I did the math on your stats (see the pages http://www.builtlean.com/2010/08/03/ideal-body-fat-percentage-chart/ and http://www.builtlean.com/2010/05/04/ideal-body-weight-formula-how-to-calculate-your-ideal-weight/), and the weight formula says you ought to weigh about 130-132. It's conventional wisdom that the last few pounds are the toughest to lose, esp. for women (more complex hormonal system).

00cd3b6f51530a6832fcda1712edbec3

(2411)

on October 22, 2012
at 11:07 PM

Before your body sheds weight, the adipose cells that have had fat flowing out of them fill with water. No one's sure why, but it might be to to guard against deflating them, and ultimately, reabsorbing those cell structures into the body prematurely. This would have made evolutionary sense when people's environments made them routinely go through feast and famine cycles. Anyway, that's one reason your body might have paused in its weight loss.

9a5e2da94ad63ea3186dfa494e16a8d1

(15833)

on October 21, 2012
at 09:47 PM

I guess the theory is that you might be adding muscle and losing fat, though many trainers say that it is impossible to do both. Maybe they just mean like serious muscle bulking, and not just out of shape people like me firming up. In any event, the effect is unmistakeable, as measured by my belt every morning.

58908e2a5be1d634e49c97da9f2558ce

(185)

on October 21, 2012
at 05:28 PM

Thank you so much for the reply! It is very encouraging to hear your story. Like you, I have noticed a huge difference in how my clothes fit & when I get measured at the gym, I'm always down 3/4 cm...that's why I am puzzled though, shouldn't that show weight wise? Oh well, I guess I'll put away the scale for a while and just measure change with my clothes, waist, etc.

58908e2a5be1d634e49c97da9f2558ce

(185)

on October 20, 2012
at 10:28 PM

Hi, thank you! I'm 5'5 and 137 lbs. 24% body fat. I'm 24 years old, and I do take BCP, been on thrm for 2 years though and they have never been a problem weight wise. I do wonder if these new pills I am taking for constipation could be messing up my weight though? They make me hungry, but I refrain from eating.

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4 Answers

1
9a5e2da94ad63ea3186dfa494e16a8d1

on October 20, 2012
at 11:44 PM

When I first went Paleo, I was 6' and about 228#. At the time my only form of exercise was running. I pretty quickly lost weight down to about 210-215#. Then I switched from running to strength-based HIIT exercise -- not crossfit, but just doing exercises at home. This pushed my weight down to about 205#.

During this time, I lost several inches off of my waist and became noticeably thinner and leaner (still not thin mind you, but thinner). I was feeling great.

However, my weight then started to creep up, to around 210-212#. Around this time I started to do Crossfit. This immediately caused me to lose significantly more girth, about 3-4 more inches, and I am noticeably thinner in the face and hands and have noticeably more muscle, especially in my upper body.

However, my weight is still around 205-210#, and I am still losing girth, my new clothes (that I bought 6-7 months ago) are already loose, and I had to cut a new hole in my belts. However, my weight hasn't changed.

So basically I lost weight from 228# to 210# and I stayed at 210# even while losing several inches on my waist and gaining strength and muscle. So I have determined that my weight is not a good metric for my health or body composition. My waist size is what I pay most attention to now. If I had a reliable way of measuring body fat (I'm skeptical about my Tanita scale) I might use that, but the waist size is so easy to follow that I just use that instead.

58908e2a5be1d634e49c97da9f2558ce

(185)

on October 21, 2012
at 05:28 PM

Thank you so much for the reply! It is very encouraging to hear your story. Like you, I have noticed a huge difference in how my clothes fit & when I get measured at the gym, I'm always down 3/4 cm...that's why I am puzzled though, shouldn't that show weight wise? Oh well, I guess I'll put away the scale for a while and just measure change with my clothes, waist, etc.

9a5e2da94ad63ea3186dfa494e16a8d1

(15833)

on October 21, 2012
at 09:47 PM

I guess the theory is that you might be adding muscle and losing fat, though many trainers say that it is impossible to do both. Maybe they just mean like serious muscle bulking, and not just out of shape people like me firming up. In any event, the effect is unmistakeable, as measured by my belt every morning.

00cd3b6f51530a6832fcda1712edbec3

(2411)

on October 22, 2012
at 11:07 PM

Before your body sheds weight, the adipose cells that have had fat flowing out of them fill with water. No one's sure why, but it might be to to guard against deflating them, and ultimately, reabsorbing those cell structures into the body prematurely. This would have made evolutionary sense when people's environments made them routinely go through feast and famine cycles. Anyway, that's one reason your body might have paused in its weight loss.

00cd3b6f51530a6832fcda1712edbec3

(2411)

on October 22, 2012
at 11:11 PM

Another reason might be that you're getting very close to your goal weight. I did the math on your stats (see the pages http://www.builtlean.com/2010/08/03/ideal-body-fat-percentage-chart/ and http://www.builtlean.com/2010/05/04/ideal-body-weight-formula-how-to-calculate-your-ideal-weight/), and the weight formula says you ought to weigh about 130-132. It's conventional wisdom that the last few pounds are the toughest to lose, esp. for women (more complex hormonal system).

0
00cd3b6f51530a6832fcda1712edbec3

(2411)

on October 22, 2012
at 11:13 PM

Regarding resolving your constipation, try entering the search term "constipation" on this site. This topic has been discussed before.

0
00cd3b6f51530a6832fcda1712edbec3

(2411)

on October 20, 2012
at 08:59 PM

Maria, How tall are you and how old are you? Also, are you taking birth control medication? Those answers will help people in this community troubleshoot your situation.

58908e2a5be1d634e49c97da9f2558ce

(185)

on October 20, 2012
at 10:28 PM

Hi, thank you! I'm 5'5 and 137 lbs. 24% body fat. I'm 24 years old, and I do take BCP, been on thrm for 2 years though and they have never been a problem weight wise. I do wonder if these new pills I am taking for constipation could be messing up my weight though? They make me hungry, but I refrain from eating.

0
1ec791b705efc80e62d8a83c02aa6363

on October 20, 2012
at 07:59 PM

My eight year old son and I have only been using Ten Minute Trainer for a week and a half and we are both seeing results. My sister said this is the first time she has seen my waistline since my C-section and two hernia surgeries. This is very exciting for me. I wasn't sure it was possible! My son has shown progress, too. He is a big and tall 8 year old, weighing in at 85 pounds. We did this workout together to keep him in shape in between baseball season and football season. Check out www.fatlossfactoring.com/10-minute-trainer to try it out!

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