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8-month plateau? Help me break it!

I've stalled for about 8-months now. I'm a 6' male at ~170lbs, maybe 13-14% body fat.

Here's what an average day's meal plan looks like for me:

Steaks

Burgers

beans

eggs

bacon

sausages

pork rinds

Can anyone tell me whats happening? I'm planning on not doing a cheat day this week because it's been nearly a week since my last one and I'm not even in ketosis yet (my pee usually smells very distinctly). Also, when I do have cheat days, their incredibly tame. Like a few bowls of cereal, a poptart, a bowl of chips, maybe. Nothing like the mounds of junk Tim eats in the book on his cheat days.

I drink enough water, I think; though I might have a bit too much diet soda. My thinking is that my body is burning through all the dietary fat I'm eating and not getting a chance at my BODY fat stores. Could this be it? Steaks and burgers are pretty fatty, after all...

An 8-month stall is pretty frustrating. Any help, guys?

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What's your vegetable and beverage intake look like?

  • Tyler Pedraja commented Aug 6th 2012:

    Vegetables are nearly non-existant. My only form of plant-based foods is coming from the beans of which I might have 1 can of black bean soup (no carbs/sugar or anything dangerous, i checked the ingredients). My water intake is ~56oz plus 36oz from diet soda.

    If you don't mind my asking, how would vegetables help in the weight loss? Most low-carb type diets suggest restricting vegetables.

    Thanks!

  • Jake commented Aug 7th 2012:

    The veggies are filled with micronutrients that you can't get from just meat and beans and they help to nourish your body. That sounds fuzzy - but when the body is starved of nutrients, it increases your appetite even if you are eating enough calories. Separate from the nutrients, the fiber also helps keep us full, and has the side benefit of binding to cholesterol in our intestines and helping to move the cholesterol out of us. I don't know what your levels are, but that might be important given your diet.

    If you google fiber and weight loss, you'll find some good articles. Also - this is a slow carb diet, not exactly low carb though it ends up being lower than the standard diet. Slow digesting carbs are okay, and certain vegetables are encouraged without limits.

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Don't be greedy, I would kill for 14% body fat, mate.... :)

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What's your exercise level like? I think it would be very very difficult to drop into single digits of body fat without a considerable amount of exercise and training.....

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Congrats on the loss, the soda would seem to be the obvious culprit there.

I would add one thing perhaps: I don't see much there in terms of fiber, and we all need to aim for 30g+ per day (I aim for 35-40).

All that meat certainly has the potential to leave behind some fat. Fiber carries fat out of the body. So it the meat is leaving some fat behind, maybe adding in some more fiber with it will keep your body from adding it? Might be worth a try.

  • Tyler Pedraja commented Aug 8th 2012:

    Thanks for the suggestion; I do eat two cans of beans a day, so I think that probably covers my fiber needs for the day. I'll keep you updated on my progress :)

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Hi, Tyler!

First off Considering that you are 6' tall, 170 lbs, and 13-14% body fat that you may already be at your "ideal body weight"? Maybe the plateau is your body telling you, "Ya know you shouldn't lose anymore. I like this setpoint" :) BUT, I digress. :)

It sounds to me that you have no veggies and it you need them. It seems like your diet is primarily animal-fat based. Also, that diet pop HAS GOT TO GO. If ANYTHING would cause a plateau it is diet drinks. You DO realize the artificial sweeteners can act just like sugar, make your body produce insulin, and start storing fat, right?

Take out the diet soda, up your veggie intake (broccoli, green beans, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, kale, spinach, etc.) Drink at least 3L of water if not more since you are a 6' guy. Get rid of the sausages and pork rinds as they are probably pretty fatty AND also probably cured with some sort of sugar in them.

Also, how much meat/beans are you getting in ounces? Just saying "Steak, burgers, beans...." doesn't help us to help you better. Tim says to eat as much as you want until you get full, but if you are eating just enough to maintain your weight, you will just maintain. :)

Let us know and...

Good Luck!

  • Maria Rider commented Aug 6th 2012:

    Oh, btw, I admire your perserverance with the lifestyle....plateauing for 8 months straight would drive me nuts! :) I wouldn't wait that long to ask questions or tweak. :) I usually don't let stalls last for more than a week(at most!) ;) But, that's just me! :)

  • Tyler Pedraja commented Aug 6th 2012:

    Yeah, I much prefer this way of eating even though I haven't lost weight with it in quite some time. As far as vegetables, they're pretty much non-existant. While I know Tim says that most are okay, I didn't think that they were critical to the weight loss. My diet soda intake is around 3 cans a day (36oz) on top of drinking somewhere around 56oz of water a day. I also sometimes drink crystal light which has no sugar, but DOES have aspartame, so I'll cut that out too.

    For one of my most common meals, I'll eat two 4oz burgers (16g protein, 29g fat) and half a can of black beans (~900kcal).

    Are peas okay? I used to eat them all the time but thought that they might be a little too glycemic.

  • Maria Rider commented Aug 6th 2012:

    Peas run into that "starch" category, much like corn. You should try to stick to having around 1800-2000 a day being a guy to lose weight. If you are consuming more calories than that it could be just your maintenance diet. But, veggies are important for fiber cause just going strictly protein and legumes can be hard on your system. And yeah, the diet pop intake is like way too much...nevermind the crystal light. All of them contain aspartame and will bond to whatever fat cells you have and keep them on your bod, NOT take them away. It may not have sugar, but it still acts like sugar to the body. So, I BET if you got rid of the diet pop and crystal light ALONE you'd start to lose weight again. Try it for a week. Wean yourself of the diet stuff...

  • Maria Rider commented Aug 6th 2012:

    It's nasty chemicals your body doesn't need and if you are wanting to feel better and be healthier, having less UNNATURAL stuff in your body is the way to go. Keep us updated! :) Good Luck!

  • Douglas Sheehan Douglas Sheehan commented Aug 8th 2012:

    I'm not too sure artificial sweeteners raise your insulin levels. I have seen a lot of articles on the contrary. What do you think?

    http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/artificial-sweeteners/AN00348

  • Maria Rider commented Aug 8th 2012:

    It's still nasty chemicals though. UNNATURAL = STAY AWAY. :) IMHO :)

  • Maria Rider commented Aug 8th 2012:

    Oh and even Stevia.... :) But I think that's the lesser of two evils...stevia on maintenance perhaps. :)

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I wholeheartedly agree with both Jake and Akane and I would try putting their advice to practice to see if anything changes. In addition though, being a guy of similar build when I'm on maintenance (6' 0" ~175-180 with around 12% BF), I've noticed a lot of my "maintenance" foods are on you're list of "diet/lose fat" foods. You see, not only are some of those foods heavy calorically, they are heavy in their respective categories. Red meats like burgers, steaks, and sausage are actually a little worse for you than white meat. You're saturated fat intake must be ridiculously high. To induce proper and effective ketosis, one must ramp up their mono/poly-unsaturated fat intake, while limiting their saturated and restricting completely their trans fat intake. The chemical structure of saturated and trans fats actually are harder to burn off/don't burn off at all, taking it longer for your body to use your own fat stores as energy. If you're at 13-14%, you're most definitely going to need the last mile. You're diet doesn't seem calculated as it should be, and ketosis is all about calculated success. A good ratio to follow is 50-40-10 or 40-40-20 (fat-protein-carbs). If you're eating hardly any carbs, you'll be in ketosis, but if you're caloric intake exceeds your BMI, you're just maintaining your gaining weight. Since fats have 9 kcal per gram, they should be taken more seriously when utilized for fat loss. If you need any help we have some good ketosis articles here on the site, or feel free to ask any of us! Hope that helps!

Jones

  • Tyler Pedraja commented Aug 7th 2012:

    Well, In the book Tim eats somewhere around 6,000kcal in order to prove that it's not an issue of calories-in/calories-out. As for the last mile, Tim also was able to combine slow-carb and kettlebells to reach around 10% body fat. I'm just trying to meet this same goal, but it's not working as well for me than it did for Tim. I cut out diet sodas for the past 3 days and will weigh myself tomorrow and see if I've dropped any weight.

    Fingers crossed =O

  • Maria Rider commented Aug 7th 2012:

    Good Luck!

  • Minnesota commented Aug 7th 2012:

    Same here, good luck!

  • Tyler Pedraja commented Aug 8th 2012:

    Good news! 167.5lbs today, down from ~170lbs three days ago. Cutting out the soda worked and now I seem to be on the right track. =)

    Thank you guys for helping me; I've been stalled for so long!

  • Maria Rider commented Aug 8th 2012:

    YAY TYLER!! Told ya it was the darn diet pop! :) Keep on going! :)

  • Minnesota commented Aug 9th 2012:

    Woot!

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