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helinut 05-17-2011 9:15 AM

Weight loss plateau
 
Heya,

Been losing weight this year and have hit a couple of these plateaus. I'm at one now that I just can't get past. Any suggestions for working through it? I figure I need to change it up somehow, but I'm needing some ideas. Right now I work out about 5 to 6 days a week for around 45 minutes to a hour. Treadmill for about 30 minutes and weight for 30 minutes. Every other day I was doing a hour of fat burn level on the treadmill.

Ideas?

Thanks!

nauty 05-17-2011 10:29 AM

Sounds crazy, but when I hit those plateaus a really greasy super fattening double cheese burger and fries seems to do the trick. It jolts your system and sends you to the toilet for the next couple of days, then when you start eating right again the weight starts coming off. Crazy I know, but it seems to work.

helinut 05-17-2011 10:31 AM

Ya know, I lost a bunch of weight a couple of years ago, and I'd have to agree with you. It always seemed after I did a binge of eating crap food, I ended up blowing through the wall. Just scared to do it this time. I'm soooo close to my goal. :)

acurtis_ttu 05-17-2011 2:34 PM

lay off the cardio ( treadmill) ...to much IMO. rotate between high intesity weight training and low intensity. Incorporate circuit training one day a week.

google the "300 workout" for random ideas for circuits.

Keep an eye on yoru heart rate during your workouts...find your optimal fat burning zone.

And finally...diet...it's almsot 80% of the equation. IMO. I'm a big beleiver in eating enough protien every day and trying to keep insulin spikes as low as possible.

acurtis_ttu 05-17-2011 2:36 PM

also look at some of the cross fit stuff...they can give you a few good ideas , but I'm not a huge fan of their overall methodology.

jason_ssr 05-18-2011 7:25 AM

if you are not already doing so, play a rec league sport. Even if you suck at it, the competition seems to stress the body in a different way, promoting more loss. I know lots of guys who broke plateaus with soccer, basketball, and flag football leagues. Plus, it beats the treadmill anyday.

misteve 05-18-2011 12:15 PM

Not sure what kind of weights you are doing, but I recently starting lifting full body whenever I lift. Instead of the traditional, back/bi's, chest/tris etc. I really have liked that and have put on some muscle all over my body quickly and shed some fat too. It seems there's a lot of research coming out now that recommends full body weight training, getting as many muscles involved as possible as opposed to working smaller muscles harder but less often.

The workout I've been doing I got from Men's Fitness (I usually make my own up, not from magazines) the April issue I think.

jarrod 05-18-2011 2:33 PM

Good post by Steve.

We're really just making guesses without knowing the specifics or your lifestyle and how it effects your hormones. Also with no knowledge of your diet, and how it aligns with your metabolic type. There's a lot that goes into it. Ultimately, hormones are the controller of your body composition. Much more powerful than any diet and exercise program. They work for some, but not all.

That aside, I can comment on your workouts and tell you what I would do.

Treadmill and running in general is not the best use of your time. Over time your body will adapt to help you run long distances as efficiently as possible, so that you're NOT using a lot of energy necessarily. I would switch to a 100% circuit workout of resistance training exercises Like Steve suggested. By moving fast, repeatedly, through a serious of full body exercises, you can get the cardio you're trying to achieve with the treadmill workout, while also adding muscle.

For Example: 1.Max Rep - Back Squats, 2. Max rep - Push ups, 3. Max rep - pullups or body row.
These three patterns hit every muscle. Nothing is isolated, so they take a ton of energy. If you do them back to back, you'll be out of breath, and you'll gain muscle.

The more muscle you add, the more you increase your energy demands (metabolic rate) Meaning that with your new added muscle, your body is going to burn through calories faster in order to feed and maintain the additional muscle mass. Assuming your diet stays the same, and you pack on a little extra muscle, you will metabolize your food (at fat) faster. This is why programs like P90x and Crossfit really work. I would also make the workouts a minimum of 60 minutes until you reach your goals.

helinut 05-18-2011 3:58 PM

Thank you very much for the info.

The treadmill stuff was basically the hill climb setting for 40 minutes which is where I assumed most of my cardio was coming from. I would rotate every other day with that and 1 hour of just fat burn speed which is 4 mph at a 2 degree incline. I don't run on the mill since my body just isn't made for running. :) I'm 223 right now and 6'4" tall.

I do need to hit the weights more. 2 years ago I did this same thing but I hit the weights much harder. My diet is pretty light. I'm probably not eating enough protein, eating a bit too much carbs, and not drinking enough water.

I'm cutting down the carbs as of yesterday and going with more protein. Tonight I'll be hitting the weights. I'm more of a machine kind of person. I'm not comfortable doing the free weights as I have no clue what I'm doing.

I did P90X a bit last year. Only made it 6 weeks though before I was bored and it was just hard as heck finding the time some days.

Thanks again for the help! I'll let you know how it turns out. I'm shooting for 215 by the first of July.

helinut 05-18-2011 3:59 PM

BTW, on my hill climb days on the mill, I was hitting the weights for 20 to 30 minutes afterwards. So there was some weight training going on. :)

jetskiprosx 05-18-2011 8:27 PM

Recently I was running 4-5 times a week and not seeing much weight loss. I used to be able to eat whatever I wanted and workout and still drop weight. Not so much anymore. 7 weeks ago I decided to cut out chips, crackers, bread, etc...and replace with fruits and vegetables. The only carbs I eat right now come from my morning cereal (wheaties or kashi) and fruit. I'm eating lots of chicken and turkey, some cheese and eggs, and lots of fruits and vegis and drinking lots of water. Since April 1st I've dropped 14lbs and I have only worked out a handful of times. I find that I'm slowing down on my weight loss in the last 2 weeks so I'm going to try and start working out again, but just been busy with life. I really suggest cutting back on carbs. Not saying to go on that crazy atkins diet or anything like that, but just be mindful of how many you intake. Carbs aren't all bad, but I realized I was getting way too many.

sailing216 05-19-2011 7:27 AM

Jarrod and everyone is right on

I too 'over-trained' on the treadmill. Body adapts to it and it's easy for your body. I cut my cardio in half and rotated lifting to certain areas once a week. Similar to p90x. When on the treadmill, change to intervals. I eat more frequently too, less portions, less carbs, more protien.

If not a treadmill guy, try a spinning bike. I'm not an elliptical person. Do what's feels good but change it up.

jarrod 05-19-2011 7:28 AM

You were just eating the dead, processed carbs. Vegi's and fruits are also carbs. I agree they are not all bad. Carbs are the preferred energy source by the body during workouts. They're also the first thing I replenish after a hard workout. If I go straight to protein after a hard workout, I feel like collapsing. I believe in a high protein diet, by I power down the carbs near workout time.

Paul Chek did a lecture about how something sweet after a workout triggers the release of insulin which happens to be the ideal carrier expediting protein into your system, which he suggests should come later.

magic 05-19-2011 8:57 AM

When I am dieting hard (all crap food cut out...) I'll do a refuel day once a week or once every two weeks. So something like 5000 calories that day and bring back in lower quality foods (pizza, breads...) for that day. I find that 2 days later I'll start loosing weight again. Need to mix things up diet and exercise wise.

jarrod 05-19-2011 1:13 PM

I can understand having a recovery day where you eat big, but there's no benefit that I know of to loading up with nutrient deficient processed food. Flour and grain based foods can form a sludge in the GI track that hinder a healthy digestive system. I'm not saying I never eat pizza, but I keep it to a minimum.

It could have something to do with the fact that the body speeds up and slows down the metabolism based on the volume of food. Meaning that if you are ending your days with a caloric deficit, your body thinks that it's being starved, and therefore it's holding on to everything, for fear that you may not feed it again. As you increase your caloric intake, it recognizes the surplus of incoming food and can begin to process faster with confidence that more food is on the way.


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