1

votes

Why why why am I stuck at this weight?

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created September 01, 2011 at 5:40 PM

I am 32, 5'10" currently 217lbs at a size 12. I know that sounds pretty chunky, but it's not too terrible on me. I really do have a very large frame. Nine years ago I was over 320lbs and a size 26. I went low carb/Atkins route and lost most of the weight. Over a year ago, I went Paleo and got down to 180, which put me at a size 8. Since I no longer had migraines, I kicked Topamax to the curb. I also kicked my Vyvanse for ADD since my thinking was so much clearer. However, since then (roughly since Christmas) I gained back up to 230, though I also attribute that too being a bit too lax and following the 80/20 rule. I have pretty much come to the conclusion I have to be all in. About 2 months ago, I cut out all sweeteners, nuts and dairy and dropped down to 220 within a week. Scales wouldn't go any further until I threw in IF, though only I lost a few more lbs then. Today is the first day I did the IF without coconut oil in my coffee.

Yesterday was so hectic that all I got to eat was a 12oz chuck eye cut steak at dinner aside from the tablespoon of coconut oil I had in my coffee that morning. This morning I weighed and I actually had gained a few ounces! I don't understand it.

I do 30 min of strength training every day. I have not gone grass fed yet, but that's what's on the list next. I eat VERY low carb with definitely less than 20g per day. I supplement with the usual multivitamin plus 4000 fish oil per day and 10000iu VitaminD per day along with a few other things. My lab work looks fantastic, so I am pretty healthy aside from the stubborn body fat. I also feel pretty good.

While I was taking Topamax and Vyvanse, I could easily drop a lb a day if I tried. However, I don't at all care to go back to it since it scrambled my brains and I don't need it.

Maybe I need to start carb cycling? Heck, I don't know.

F5a8a14fc6a4d33c2563d0dd3066698a

(714)

on August 09, 2013
at 07:29 PM

For anyone reading this thread historically, I feel I should mention that patience-- and, yes, upping the exercise-- eventually blew me past that plateau. Currently I am around 190, and have my sights set on 180 - 185. I suspect even then, though, I will be a little unhappy with my body fat percentage. But, hey: My northern European genes want a little energy backup. Probably for those long, cold winters. Who am I to force the issue much farther?

6b8e74dd6bf3bfbe68310b5265b2eb1a

(364)

on September 06, 2011
at 12:22 AM

Tomorrow I am giving up my beloved Diet Dr. Pepper and cheese. The last two vestiges of my old unhealthy lifestyle. I've been putting it off for too long. Who would have thought it would be harder to quit diet drinks than to quit smoking cigarettes.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on September 02, 2011
at 05:07 PM

Also, and perhaps everyone is aware of this but the more weight you lose, the leaner you become the harder it gets to lose more weight. This happens with all people regardless. This is why even lean fit people have trouble getting those last two abs for the six pack etc etc. It gets harder always, not easier.

98bf2ca7f8778c79cd3f6c962011cfdc

(24286)

on September 01, 2011
at 07:03 PM

Don't get discouraged! This is very common. I believe you are right and this is a strong set point for your body. Your body is just doing its job. Stay the course and your body will eventually give it up.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on September 01, 2011
at 07:01 PM

I think it's okay, and even helpful to watch the scale, as long as you are aware of its limits.

6229cd9a7ca9882590259fae022e2647

(3209)

on September 01, 2011
at 06:59 PM

Definitely not discouraged in the way of thinking about changing diets. I feel great and have never been healthier. Plus the food is fantastic! I just wish I could get the same awesome results I see on others.

6229cd9a7ca9882590259fae022e2647

(3209)

on September 01, 2011
at 06:54 PM

I am actually waking up on my own about 10 min before my alarm is set. I feel good in the morninings currently, but that may change as they season changes. I have a hard time with this during the winter.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on September 01, 2011
at 06:45 PM

My perfect amount of sleep is 7 hours. More than that and I wake up feeling tired.

6229cd9a7ca9882590259fae022e2647

(3209)

on September 01, 2011
at 06:41 PM

I don't look bad as long as I am clothed. But after 3 kids and being so heavy those years ago, I really need to improve my saggy belly and thunder thighs!

9aa2a816c61170cc0183a68be0386ba5

(1702)

on September 01, 2011
at 06:38 PM

Just keep going - don't be discouraged. You're making yourself healthier no matter what.

9aa2a816c61170cc0183a68be0386ba5

(1702)

on September 01, 2011
at 06:37 PM

I sleep similar hours. Trust me it is not enough. You need at least 8 hours as uninterrupted as possible. I can't help it because I just *don't* get tired until.. and I have to leave for work at 6:45. It *sucks*.

D9032e4f6540f9e6bcbb07143002bedd

(449)

on September 01, 2011
at 06:35 PM

hows your sleep? if you go "all in" that will certainly address the insulin side of the coin, but what about cortisol? maybe instead of cycling (which I do, so I'm not dogging it) you should take a walk at night, or do yoga, or something else "fun" that might help sleep. recovery can go a long way.

9aa2a816c61170cc0183a68be0386ba5

(1702)

on September 01, 2011
at 06:34 PM

Hey, I'm a size 12 too! When I got to that from sizes 16 and up I was THRILLED! Don't freak out - at your height and with the strength training you probably look AMAZING! You are normal - what isn't normal is the people your height who weigh 130 because they're skin and bones! Not healthy!

6229cd9a7ca9882590259fae022e2647

(3209)

on September 01, 2011
at 06:34 PM

Yeah but I should have seen some small negative movement on the scales just because I had barely eaten anything yesterday. I know I shouldn't watch the scales, but my clothes don't seem to be changing either.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on September 01, 2011
at 06:30 PM

It's not easy, but it sure does work! For me, I prefer it to tinkering with my ratios or changing up exercise and waiting to see if that works. I'm an immediate gratification kind of gal. (Hence how I ended up obese in the first place. LOL)

6229cd9a7ca9882590259fae022e2647

(3209)

on September 01, 2011
at 06:28 PM

Yeah I am thinking this may definitely be a set point.

6229cd9a7ca9882590259fae022e2647

(3209)

on September 01, 2011
at 06:26 PM

I feel pretty good that I am not going nuts when I do eat because the IF really blunts my appetite. I am thinking you're right about the setpoint though. I am just not content at all with my body fat right now.

6229cd9a7ca9882590259fae022e2647

(3209)

on September 01, 2011
at 06:23 PM

Yeah I am definitely very low carb. I was REALLY hoping to be able to get back into my winter/fall pants before it started getting cool. I've been wearing summer dresses to avoid having to buy more clothes.

6229cd9a7ca9882590259fae022e2647

(3209)

on September 01, 2011
at 06:22 PM

I may need to look into the protein sparing modified fast. Mark's list there is what I've been looking at to eliminate stuff. When it was undeniable that I had to do something about the weight creep up, that's the list I starting going by that let me know I had let me boundaries blur a wee bit too much.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on September 01, 2011
at 06:21 PM

It was my 40th and my sister was in from out of town for two weeks, so yeah, it became a birthday month. :D

6229cd9a7ca9882590259fae022e2647

(3209)

on September 01, 2011
at 06:18 PM

I am drinking around a gallon of iced green tea a day plus a cup of coffee or two. I should be getting enough sleep (from 10 or 11pm to 6am), though it does get interrupted at least once by the kids.

6229cd9a7ca9882590259fae022e2647

(3209)

on September 01, 2011
at 06:14 PM

Really it may be a set point. 220 seems be a magic number that my body seems to love to go to through the years. My 12 yr old daughter is already my height and is very athletic and active but she already weighs 200lbs. However, she looks fantastic in a bikini. Maybe I just need to work harder with my strength training and add the resistance training to get rid of this stubborn fat.

6b8e74dd6bf3bfbe68310b5265b2eb1a

(364)

on September 01, 2011
at 06:13 PM

You have a birthday month. That's awesome. I thought I was stretching it with a birthday week.

6229cd9a7ca9882590259fae022e2647

(3209)

on September 01, 2011
at 05:48 PM

Typical day meal for since starting IF: Breakfast - skipped Lunch - 4-5oz of raw beef strips on a bed of greens w/ approx. 2 tb of homemade olive oil vinegarette Dinner - 12oz steak I'm drinking completely unsweetened iced green tea (I brew myself) throughout the day. Maybe a cup of coffee in the morning and afternoon with canned coconut milk.

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9 Answers

5
7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

on September 01, 2011
at 06:08 PM

Mark's Daily Apple had a great post on this called 17 reasons you are not losing weight.

http://www.marksdailyapple.com/17-reasons-youre-not-losing-weight/

I hit quite a few plateaus on my way down. To beat each one usually took an extremely concentrated effort for 6 weeks to eat perfectly and make sure I got my training in.

Right now I am doing a protein sparing modified fast to drop my set point back down. It appears to have gone up during my 40th birthday party month.

You mentioned you hadn't added resistance training yet. I know 100% that when I added weight training and HIIT to my routine, I not only lost more weight, but more FAT. My body comp was obviously improved from adding that in to my regimen.

6b8e74dd6bf3bfbe68310b5265b2eb1a

(364)

on September 01, 2011
at 06:13 PM

You have a birthday month. That's awesome. I thought I was stretching it with a birthday week.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on September 01, 2011
at 06:21 PM

It was my 40th and my sister was in from out of town for two weeks, so yeah, it became a birthday month. :D

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on September 01, 2011
at 06:30 PM

It's not easy, but it sure does work! For me, I prefer it to tinkering with my ratios or changing up exercise and waiting to see if that works. I'm an immediate gratification kind of gal. (Hence how I ended up obese in the first place. LOL)

6229cd9a7ca9882590259fae022e2647

(3209)

on September 01, 2011
at 06:22 PM

I may need to look into the protein sparing modified fast. Mark's list there is what I've been looking at to eliminate stuff. When it was undeniable that I had to do something about the weight creep up, that's the list I starting going by that let me know I had let me boundaries blur a wee bit too much.

2
9a5e2da94ad63ea3186dfa494e16a8d1

on September 01, 2011
at 08:13 PM

I lost about 25 pounds recently with two plateaus, and now I seem to be plateaued pretty solidly at my current weight (about 205-208). I'm not unhappy with the current weight, but it seems a lot harder to get lower from here.

Things that helped me break my previous plateaus:

1) Be very careful with calories. Nobody likes to count calories, but do it for a couple of weeks to make sure you're eating what you think you're eating. When I was losing initially, I was eating about 1500 calories average per day (at the time I was 6' 230#), some days 1000-1100 calories, and working out 3-4x per week. This is less than half what many online metabolic rate estimators say I should be eating to maintain my weight (many say 2100-2200 per day plus 50% for working out). But if I eat anywhere near 2000 calories per day, I gain. If I ate 3000 calories per day I'd become a sumo wrestler. I think that some people just have slower metabolisms and need far fewer calories. I have read research that says that you need to run a calorie deficit of 500-1000 per day in order to lose weight comfortably.

3) Keep your carbs very low. I need to keep it to 50g or less per day to lose. This varies from person to person, but a couple of small cheats per day (piece of fruit, glass of juice) can put you way over this.

4) Figure out a way to skip meals or fast intermittently. I usually skip either breakfast or lunch, or have something very small (1-2 tbsp cream in my coffee, or a handful of nuts). With the Paleo diet, my appetite is much lower, and this is pretty easy to do. This really brings down your weekly calorie total.

5) Try strength training 2-3x per week, and walks for your other workouts. Not sure what you are doing for strength training, but it should be very intense and short-duration. If you are doing it every day, it is probably not strenuous enough. I do a full body + kettlebell workout 2-3 days per week, and it leaves me wiped out, and there's no way I could do it every day. I try to walk for 20-30 minutes minimum on the non-workout days, and I think this really helped with the weight loss.

6) Cheat about once every 10 days, but no more often than that. It is strange, but while I was losing, I found that a cheat (defined as relatively high-carb foods, including possibly some grains) would actually cause me to lose weight within a day or two. I did this by accident at first (was staying with friends and ate their food to be polite), but later started doing it on purpose. I later read some research from Lyle McDonald about "cycling" low carb diets by eating lots of carbs once every week or two. The theory is that the carb meal restores your glycogen stores and improves fat burning on the other days. I have to say this is right on for me, though it may vary by individual. Obviously you have to be careful with this and not overdo it.

Good luck!

2
F5a8a14fc6a4d33c2563d0dd3066698a

(714)

on September 01, 2011
at 06:00 PM

Well, I'm a dude, so there's a difference between us.

But my experience is not dissimilar. At almost six feet tall I got down as far as 197 lbs. Then over the next year or so I was less strict, and then gained back around 20 lbs.

I have two observations: For those of us with a tendency to put on weight it seems there may be a natural set-point where our bodies want to be. With moderate exercise and 80/20 paleo eating, my body just seems to want to be between 205-210. Anything lower requires effort.

Also, for folks like us, it seems we can't just ignore calories like some people can. I fully accept that all calories are not created equally. But I simply will not lose weight past a certain point unless I really up the exercise, or lower the calories to around 1800.

IF, obviously, can help with the calories. So long as we don't go nuts when we do eat.

6229cd9a7ca9882590259fae022e2647

(3209)

on September 01, 2011
at 06:26 PM

I feel pretty good that I am not going nuts when I do eat because the IF really blunts my appetite. I am thinking you're right about the setpoint though. I am just not content at all with my body fat right now.

F5a8a14fc6a4d33c2563d0dd3066698a

(714)

on August 09, 2013
at 07:29 PM

For anyone reading this thread historically, I feel I should mention that patience-- and, yes, upping the exercise-- eventually blew me past that plateau. Currently I am around 190, and have my sights set on 180 - 185. I suspect even then, though, I will be a little unhappy with my body fat percentage. But, hey: My northern European genes want a little energy backup. Probably for those long, cold winters. Who am I to force the issue much farther?

2
6b8e74dd6bf3bfbe68310b5265b2eb1a

(364)

on September 01, 2011
at 05:55 PM

I'm going through the same thing. I went from 315 down to 260 in a flash. Now I'm at 245-250 and cant budge the needle. There is a theory that your body has set points. I remember being 245ish for a couple of years on my way up. Now on my way down my body recognizes this weight and is comfortable there. I don't know either. I'm going on three months now and it discouraging.

98bf2ca7f8778c79cd3f6c962011cfdc

(24286)

on September 01, 2011
at 07:03 PM

Don't get discouraged! This is very common. I believe you are right and this is a strong set point for your body. Your body is just doing its job. Stay the course and your body will eventually give it up.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on September 02, 2011
at 05:07 PM

Also, and perhaps everyone is aware of this but the more weight you lose, the leaner you become the harder it gets to lose more weight. This happens with all people regardless. This is why even lean fit people have trouble getting those last two abs for the six pack etc etc. It gets harder always, not easier.

9aa2a816c61170cc0183a68be0386ba5

(1702)

on September 01, 2011
at 06:38 PM

Just keep going - don't be discouraged. You're making yourself healthier no matter what.

6229cd9a7ca9882590259fae022e2647

(3209)

on September 01, 2011
at 06:28 PM

Yeah I am thinking this may definitely be a set point.

6229cd9a7ca9882590259fae022e2647

(3209)

on September 01, 2011
at 06:59 PM

Definitely not discouraged in the way of thinking about changing diets. I feel great and have never been healthier. Plus the food is fantastic! I just wish I could get the same awesome results I see on others.

6b8e74dd6bf3bfbe68310b5265b2eb1a

(364)

on September 06, 2011
at 12:22 AM

Tomorrow I am giving up my beloved Diet Dr. Pepper and cheese. The last two vestiges of my old unhealthy lifestyle. I've been putting it off for too long. Who would have thought it would be harder to quit diet drinks than to quit smoking cigarettes.

1
2fdb7a6236b04bdfc3dacaf2bc236515

on September 01, 2011
at 10:26 PM

Also keep in mind that weight loss is absolutely NOT linear for a lot of us. I might see no loss (or even a slight gain!) for a few days and then, like magic, I'm down two or three pounds :)

1
1b85b7649707eb07f26bb0fb0dc874c1

(125)

on September 01, 2011
at 06:12 PM

This post also helped me realize my pitfalls: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/weight-loss-sabotage/

Not getting enough sleep or water also screws me up, from a weight-loss perspective.

6229cd9a7ca9882590259fae022e2647

(3209)

on September 01, 2011
at 06:54 PM

I am actually waking up on my own about 10 min before my alarm is set. I feel good in the morninings currently, but that may change as they season changes. I have a hard time with this during the winter.

9aa2a816c61170cc0183a68be0386ba5

(1702)

on September 01, 2011
at 06:37 PM

I sleep similar hours. Trust me it is not enough. You need at least 8 hours as uninterrupted as possible. I can't help it because I just *don't* get tired until.. and I have to leave for work at 6:45. It *sucks*.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on September 01, 2011
at 06:45 PM

My perfect amount of sleep is 7 hours. More than that and I wake up feeling tired.

6229cd9a7ca9882590259fae022e2647

(3209)

on September 01, 2011
at 06:18 PM

I am drinking around a gallon of iced green tea a day plus a cup of coffee or two. I should be getting enough sleep (from 10 or 11pm to 6am), though it does get interrupted at least once by the kids.

0
Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32556)

on September 01, 2011
at 08:26 PM

I'd replace your fish oil with Neptune Krill oil--the fish oil could be rancid and creating some inflammation for you.

Magnesium can help and you are likely deficient. Suggest 400-600 mg Magnesium Citrate before bed (or any kind ending in -ate)

Carb cycling once a week may help.

And a protein modified fast is a great idea for a short amount of time. Just be aware you may retain water until you add back a carb refeed.

0
100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on September 01, 2011
at 06:30 PM

I wouldn't worry about the scale measurement of a single day. There are too many variables.

You might try going even lower in carbs. Try cutting them all for 2 or 3 weeks, and eat just meat. That's what worked for me.

6229cd9a7ca9882590259fae022e2647

(3209)

on September 01, 2011
at 06:34 PM

Yeah but I should have seen some small negative movement on the scales just because I had barely eaten anything yesterday. I know I shouldn't watch the scales, but my clothes don't seem to be changing either.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on September 01, 2011
at 07:01 PM

I think it's okay, and even helpful to watch the scale, as long as you are aware of its limits.

0
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on September 01, 2011
at 06:08 PM

Scale is just merely a number. Continue to do Paleo and ensure you are eliminating those carbs- coconut oil is actually great for you!!!

You will come to a point where you won't lose weight very easily and perhaps your're building muscle mass- that's okay!

You just have to be patient and continue to eat healthy and you'll feel great!!!

Good Luck!

6229cd9a7ca9882590259fae022e2647

(3209)

on September 01, 2011
at 06:23 PM

Yeah I am definitely very low carb. I was REALLY hoping to be able to get back into my winter/fall pants before it started getting cool. I've been wearing summer dresses to avoid having to buy more clothes.

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