Weight loss question - Plateau

Discussion in 'Health Nutrition and Supplements' started by lischoux, Mar 10, 2004.

  1. lischoux

    lischoux New Member

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    Howy,

    Just a(nother) question about dieting, weight loss and cycling.

    I started a few weeks back with a diet to loose about 15 kilos in excessive weight. I am 178 cm and want to get down to 75 kg by the 1st of May. I started at 90 kg.

    After 4 weeks of healthy progress (using the calorie counting method of 8000 calories = 1 kilo fat) loosing about 5.5 kilos... I reached a plateau. Actually the weight loss has stopped although I stayed at the same training intensity and length in any given week.

    During the last 10 days I have not lost ANYTHING although my dieting method has not changed. :mad:

    Without getting into a discussion of my diet, what and when I eat bla bla bla ... Plan A vs. Plan B, etc... I just want to know if anybody out there has heard of this "plateau" where your body actually gets used to the exercise and develops more muscular tissue from excessive fat, thus keeping the net weight stable ?

    I read somewhere that there are cycles to weight loss. The first cycle being loss of weight in the first week(s) due to loss in excessive fluids, the next would be a loss of fat combined with an increase in muscle mass, thus not loosing weight, then another acceleration in weight loss due to the completion of the muscle buildup... I have no clue where I read it and was wondering if anyone has information about this.

    Since this would actually explain why so many diets fail (e.g. people getting discouraged about the entire thing the moment the loss stops and they reach the "plateau") it would be interesting to determine if I could extrapolate from other eople's experience on the relative length of this muscle buildup (in function of my training intensity). :confused:

    Thanks reader for any help/info ! ;)
     
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  2. firegooroo

    firegooroo New Member

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    I read somewhere that there are cycles to weight loss. The first cycle being loss of weight in the first week(s) due to loss in excessive fluids, the next would be a loss of fat combined with an increase in muscle mass, thus not loosing weight, then another acceleration in weight loss due to the completion of the muscle buildup... I have no clue where I read it and was wondering if anyone has information about this.

    You are correct in this, I have been losing weight for over 6 months I'm 5'6" tall and weighed over 220lbs. I now weigh 179lbs but still need to get down to 160lbs. I have gone through 2 plateaus I still don't get discouraged because its alot of weight to take off and if you do it right it will take a little while to get it all off. have patients like I have and keep doing what your doing.

    If you want a quick fix to get you passed the plateau consider some supplements to get you going. alter the diet a little to shock the body and see what happens. If after a couple of weeks you see no change, change again until you find what need.

    If you need details as to what I do, let me know and I'll email you exactly what I do.
    :cool:
     
  3. 2LAP

    2LAP New Member

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    This is where monitoring of body fat not just weight becomes important!
     
  4. lischoux

    lischoux New Member

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    Yeah I thought about that too... Besides going to a professional (medic or similar) is there a quick and dirty method to do it ?
     
  5. larry barr

    larry barr New Member

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    Most catalogs have calipers that you can use to do the measurement. I have never done it, to afraid of the results. By the way, what is the deal with all the Treks. That is some kind of rut to be in. I recommend something italian.:)
     
  6. lischoux

    lischoux New Member

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    I tried "shocking the system" last week but I basically fall back to counting calories. I varied the protein content a little bit (more protein now as before) and I am waiting what happens this week. I will also try to spread out the intake into 4-6 meals compared to 2 meals as before.

    Supplements... well I take Magnesium and Potassium anyway before longer outside or indoor rides... I take something called L-Carnitine that is supposed to help metabolize fat (although I have no proof that it works/or doesn't). I also take a regular multi-vitamin dose every other day but without conviction. It's more to keep my mind at ease that I don't start suffering from any deficiencies in any major vitamin area. You know that scurvy is not really my thing :D But other than that... I am cautious about those things... Not only because they may be risky ... Also because there's a lot of BS going around and frankly the stuff is oftentimes too expensive.

    Just for reference FIRE... How long were your "plateaus" ?

    Any other suggestions are welcome.
     
  7. vichercules

    vichercules New Member

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    Some gyms I have been to have electronic body fat measuring devices that send electric current through your hands and give an estimate of your body fat. I do not believe they are totally accurate, but I do believe they provide a reasonable baseline and are consistent enough to use to track your successes. You can order them online.

    What worked for me when I started to get older, got a desk job, moved from where all my riding buddies lived and got fat on super delicious New Mexican Enchiladas, was weight training. It might do well to add some resistance training to your cardio workouts. Increased muscle mass increases motabolism though there is a delicate balance in diet necessary to gain muscle while losing fat. You can not expect to gain any fat burning muscle on a super low calorie diet. In order to avoid injury and be successful, it is best to work with a trainer for a while to establish proper technique and diet.

    Also, avoid the BMI (Body Mass Index) it is nonesence. It basically is a number that bases your fat situation by using your height and weight. A muscular and fit rugby/American Football player who is 6' tall and 230 pounds has the same BMI as your 6' 230 pound neighbor who lives on cheese puffs and reruns.

    I am pretty fit now using the bike and the weight room, though the cold winter has me in the weight room more than on the bike so, I have porked up a little more than I should.

    The real problem that I have now is that I am as much addicted to weights as I am riding and trying to accel at both condemns me to mediocrity. Since I don't race or compete in powerlifting tournaments, I think it is ok because I do have fun.

    Good luck
     
  8. lischoux

    lischoux New Member

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    Well... When I grew up I was a big fan of STAR TREK ... then I went to the US and went on a mule TREK through the Grand Canyon... before going TREKKING through the Rockies and then I TREKKED into Indiana where I purchased a cheap (but nevertheless very nice) bike.... And since they were fresh out of Cannondales ... I got me a TREK... T'was in 1995... Then the whole Armstrong-stuff started... "An American for an American team on an American bike" and suddenly owning a TREK was cool... But when I was in the market for buying a really nice (not so cheap) bike I found the 5200 to be an EXCELLENT value for money... TREK - The Next Generation :D

    No seriously... Check it out here dude... http://www.cyclingforums.com/t41866-15-24.html
    it really LOOKS nice :D
     
  9. lischoux

    lischoux New Member

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    Will check them out, thx.



    My goal is to loose weight in order to become able to climb some serious mountains. I figures to get down to 75 k's would be not a bad start (basically 20 kilos less as when I started). I shy away from weight training as I do not really want to develop my upper body, although I did so only by getting out of the saddle more (I found my pectorals the other day...for the first time in 20+ years). I may do some cross training (Squash, badminton, even some basketball) but I try to focus on endurance rather than on pure power. If I do (half) or more of my work burning calories using the legs (i.e. the muscles I'll need to climb) I should be able to develop these muscles first, right ? Also, even if I don't have the big powerhouse muscles in the legs, if I have the endurance (and the appropriately high lactate threshold) it should compensate for the lack of mass. Hence I do higher cadence training (usually between 90 and 120 rpm with peaks beyond 130 -easy on the trainer, harder on the road, impossible on the uphill sections :D )

    Any thoughts ?
     
  10. CatSpin

    CatSpin New Member

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    Dieters,

    I hear this all too often from some of my clients too. There is no mystery to weight loss, no "condition" that prevents you from loosing more weight. When you plateau you simply consume the near-exact amount of calories to maintain this weight with your current workload (exercise). Change either your input (food calories) our output (exercise) and your equation (you) will change.

    Don't look too much into reasons. You simply need to consume less than you expend. My guess is that there is something in your daily intake you can cut, some sportsbar, glass of wine etc. or something hovering at 250-500 daily cal that you consume. If you cut this out alone, in about 2weeks time you would have cut 2500-5000 calories (3500 cal = 1lb of fat), cut more, loose more.

    Some advice; loose it gradually (which means you count), and drink plenty of liquids to help your body through this. If you are consuming sugar, cut it out. Go to fresh squeezed juices too.

    Good luck and refrain from searching the Web for magical answers. You are human and bound by certain physiological truisms; just one is weight loss. When you feel like you are fooling or cheating yourself in this area, you probably are.

    No one said it would be easy. Good luck.

    CatSpin

    PS - by the way, you need to weight train to stay lean throughout life. Neglect the development of lean muscle mass over your whole body and you are looking for trouble if one of those Treks break-down on you or if you suffer an injury. Don't go though life with a nice set of legs and flab everywhere else...you will also be surprised the power you develop on your bike when other muscle groups are toned.
     
  11. kneighbour

    kneighbour New Member

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    mmm...as completely logical as this sounds, I really doubt that this is true.

    Most people trying to lose weight hit this sort of plateau spoken of here. I myself am at one now. I have lost around 20kg, and simple cannot seem to lose any more.

    In line with what you say, I thought I should simply increase the exercise amount to unbalance the equation you mention, or simply to give the body a wake up call.

    My "shock" was to ride MANY more miles. I am now doing a 100 mile century every month, plus the scattered (almost every weekend) 100 km ride. Plus general shorter rides (<100km). And this is at a fairly high pace (25+ kph av).

    So I have gone from around 3-400 km per month to 6-700 km per month on average. My weight is actually creeping up slightly!

    My food intake is around the same. My exercise has nearly doubled - to the point I think my knees are about to give out on me (really).

    On a typical 100 mile ride I burn around 8,000 kcal (by my Polar S710i). I eat very little on the day itself - a few food bars, gel packs, some toast, 2 litres of water. A fairly normal (light) meal afterwards.

    This is a definite total loss of calories here - by many thousands of calories. Still no weight loss. I have even gained weight on this sort of ride. Going by normal fluid loss/intake amounts, this does not seem to be fluid retention either.

    I have kept up these sorts of rides for about 4 months now - no weight loss at all. About 1-2kg weight gain, in fact.

    For the 12 months before this last "plateau" I was losing about 1kg a month with the same diet and comparitively low exercise routine (ie about 3-400km a month at a more casual pace).

    This gradual and quite acceptable weight loss has stopped, and even reversed.

    How does this fit into the general weight loss equation?
     
  12. larry barr

    larry barr New Member

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    No question they make a nice bike. I admit to being an elitist snob. I like to be on something that not everybody else has.
     
  13. lischoux

    lischoux New Member

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    Kneighbour... You scare me ! :(

    Seriously... In line with the previous posts, what would be your body fat percentage ?

    I guess at some point... You cannot loose anymore weight. Simply because the system will not allow it. To me it seems logical that at some point there is no more fat reserves that can be easily burned and your performance may actually suffer. (I wish I were at that point but I'm far from it... I can actually see and feel my excess fat reserves).

    I was thinking about the earlier post from CatSpin... I will re-evaluate my caloric intake vs output in a given day. I may probably not do enough so I'll need to step things up a bit. At this time I calculated with a 1500 caloric deficit per day (e.g. eat 3500 calories, consume 2000 calories during the day at normal, work out for 3000 calories. Calories in 3500, calories out 5000 - Net loss 1500 calories)

    I think I may have overestimated the exercise part where I may not have consumed 3000 calories but "only" 1500 - 2000. So I'll re-calibrate my diet and check results 1 week from today.

    If I happen to get to a gym I try to measure my body fat too.

    Will keep the post updated.
     
  14. kneighbour

    kneighbour New Member

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    Well, just now, I am 105kg and 29.5% fat. When I started all this (about 3 years ago) I was 123kg and 32% fat.
     
  15. firegooroo

    firegooroo New Member

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    My plateaus have varied from 2 weeks to as long as 3 1/2 weeks. Also L-Carnitine is a proven supplement to help lose fat.

    Research was done on 20 dogs. These dogs were split into 2 teams, one team was given a low fat, mod carb and mod protein diet with some other fat burning supplement. team 2 was given same diet but with L-Carnitine, after 6 weeks studies showed that the team of dogs generally lost a 6.25 % more body fat versus the other dog team with only 2.65% body fat loss in the same time frame.

    On the human side I currently take L-Carnitine at 2g serving per day 1g in the morning and 1g in the afternoon and is doing well for me. A few years ago I tried to reach a 155lb weight for bet I was doing with a friend that said I couldn't do it in 4 weeks coming down from 175lbs. I won the bet on the stuff but with some additional help that happens to be illegal now in the US not roids but Ephedren. Great stuff but bad on the nerves.

    How is L-Carnitine helping now, well I am a little more free on my diet and noticed that I don't gain the weight back but in addition I still have some weight loss although quite minimal at this time because of the bad diet in the last 2 weeks.
     
  16. lischoux

    lischoux New Member

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    Well throw me a bone and call me DOG !:D

    As I said I have no proof that L-C works for me... Damn plateau... It's cool when you hit a plateau while going up a mountain... Time to recover and catch your breath... But when it happens on a died it's really frustrating. I'll stick to it though. Counting calories and taking 250 mg of L-C before the effort.

    I found a website that's pretty cool (and free) http://www.trackyourdiet.com/
    to help. I also re-evaluated my workouts... results should be coming early next week. I'll post an update then.

    Cheerio mates and thx for all the replies.:p
     
  17. Olddrone

    Olddrone New Member

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    Thanks for the thread all, very interesting reading. Good luck to all us flab fighters...

    Olddrone
     
  18. firegooroo

    firegooroo New Member

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    Lischoux, try upping the L-C to 500 to 1000mg per day. See if that works for a couple of weeks.
     
  19. lischoux

    lischoux New Member

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    I updated this post here : http://www.cyclingforums.com/t103883.html

    1000 mg... I dunno but would that not be pushing it ?

    I have no medical evidence of the negative effects of L-carnitine over-use but I could imagine that there are some.

    Well...Maybe not... As I was writing this I performed a search and found this site: http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/infocenter/othernuts/carnitine/
    Seems that there are no real side effects... Unless you don't want to smell "fishy" ha ha ha...

    Okay... I will up the dose a little bit. (However this stuff is expensive.... I'll need to find a dealer that lets me have it in mass quantities for dirt cheap :D )
     
  20. firegooroo

    firegooroo New Member

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    I buy the 16oz bottles for only $17.00 U.S. they can be a little expensive but its worth it. Also the reason for upping it is that I was told by a sports nutrionist that its o.k. and like you said no side effects.
     
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