HELP! Analyze & Shoot Holes 'Cuz I am STUCK!!
I have been doing this for quite sometime now and admittedly in the beginning I had some struggles because I was cheating and cutting corners everywherebut stopped the madness and finally started to see some results BUT for the last 4-6 weeks I have been completely stuck. My goal is 135lbs and I am SO close!
History (for those who don't know me yet): I am quite fit, very active, my job requires a lot of exercise and fitness, no kids, 35 yrs old, 5'10", about 17-18% body fat. In June I had a hormone releasing IUD removed and have started a menstrual cycle for the first time in 8 yrs. It is not regular at all yet.
This past weekend I fell off the wagon for the first time and now I feel like crap. I am retaining a TONNE of water as a result and though I realize it is not the end of the world and I am still committed to SCD I DO need your help because before falling off the wagon I was feeling very FRUSTRATED and I was totally stuck and hovering around 139lbs for about 4-6 weeks. I tried all the stuff that we always recommend and still nothing. I am thinking that it is possible that I am simply not getting enough food but am trying to trust in the MAJOR changing of views to not worrying about calories too much as per Tim's suggestion it's hard though because everything I have been taught tells me that I am consuming too little. Lately I have been averaging about 1200 cals (sometimes less) with the following ratios:
Fat 45.2g 35%
Carbohydrates 62.6g 21.5%
Protein 126.5g 43.5%
Here is what a typical day looks like for me and I really do not vary much because I am one of those people who can eat the same thing every day:
In a day I drink anywhere from 4-6 litres of water.
9am: 500ml ice water, agg, b complex, potassium, cla
9:20 am: 1/3 c pourable egg whites, 1/2 c ground turkey, 1/4 c lentils, 1-2 c fresh spinach.
1pm: agg, cla
1:30pm: 1/3 c Ground Turkey, 1 c Cauliflower mash, 1.5c Broc, 1/4 c lentils, 1 tbsp of balsamic vinegar (no sugar), drizzle of franks red hot (no sugar)
2pm: 25-40 min of cardio daily. I scaled back weight training to 3 x per week and in the beginning I was doing up to 60 minutes of cardio a day and scaled that back to what I am doing now.
5pm: 1 Hard boiled egg, 5 stalks of celery. (at work and literally have 3 seconds to throw something down)
8 or 8:30pm: Agg, cla
Chicken breast bbq'd with franks red hot (no sugar), 2 cups of steamed broc, sometimes a tbsp butter.
9:30 pm Sugar free jello. Ice pack on neck for 20+ minutes.
11pm: 1 hardboiled egg and PAGG & Cal/Mag
Please, help me find what I am doing wrong. I am at a total loss. I realize that it *could* be the exercise but it seems that there are plenty of members who exercise regularly and still see results. I really hope it is not the exercise.
This week I am trying IF 16/8 as per JOshua's suggestion and hopefully that might kickstart things but I still have to get off this frigging wagon weight
I really appreciate you reading this and taking the time to help!
Thanks a bunch!
EDIT (this is what I ate yesterday as per joshua's request):
Egg Whites, Raw, Lrg
Beans, Lentils, Mature, Ckd
Spinach, Baby, Fresh
Beans, Lentils, Mature, Ckd
Green Beans Prez Choice Low Sodium (rinsed them as well)
1 1/2 Cups
Fish, Tilapia, Ckd, Fda
Beans, Lentils, Mature, Ckd
Eggs, Hard Bld, Lrg
Gelatin, cherry, sugar free, dry mix, svg
Carrots, Baby, Fresh
Weight Lifting Light/moderate
Fat 42.6g 29%
Carbohydrates 90.3g 27.3%
Protein 144.3g 43.7%
I think I should clarify that my job requires me to be fit in all aspects (cardiovascular, endurance, flexibility, core strength etc) I do not exercise a significant amount while working. Maybe 20 or so squats, some burpees, pushups, chin-ups etc but not enough to get my heart rate up for any extended period of time.
I do aerobic activity 6 days per week and my heart rate stays between 125-144bpm depending what I am doing. I do not *need* cardio per say but it is time I take for myself that actually makes me feel good because I enjoy it. Would I be willing to ditch it for a week to as an experiment and swap it for a good meditation session? Possibly. Will I consider that? Absolutely
The Best Answer
I think you hit the answer in your question - you are eating very few calories, so your body might be in starvation mode - clinging onto eatra calorie that it can. Are you doing any cheat days? You might need a cheat day to get your metabolism going again or maybe just a slight increase in your daily intake.
You are 5'10". Perhaps you don't have any more weight to lose? Have you measured inches? I have not cut back on exercise at all. In fact, I added in kettlebell swings, myostatic crunches and cat vomits. I have only had about 5-6 lbs to lose, but now I was 1.5 lbs away from my goal (cheat day was Sunday).
Give yourself a break. Hormonal fluctuations can be crazy. Just stick to it and eat enough food,. You are also eating brassicas (broccoli, etc.) which induce bloat. Have you tried eating Beano?
How about being kinder to your stomach some of the time with other vegetables and salads?
I so think you are starving yourself; especially at your height.
However, I am also questioning the wisdom of going completely nuts on cheat day. It seems like the price to be paid is too high.
Dang, you eat so little and clean/lean! (if I ate like that I'd weigh 90 pounds by now. LOL)
But, I should mention how I'm having similar issues you mentioned. (I haven't been SCDing as long as you but...)
For the first time ever while being on the SCD, the post cheat day pounds haven't dropped. Took me three days to lose a measly 1 pound. And I went as far as eating almost no carbs whatsoever the day after. (All meats,eggs, and veggies with VERY low carb content. No beans) I'm chalking it up to pre-menstral bloat but it's still making me wonder what the heck is going on. (my pre-binge weight has been the same for about a month as well)
Maybe my body is fatigued or used to the SCD? Maybe my liver and muscle glycogen needs to be depleted even further? At any rate, I won't be sure until i'm done with my period. So riding on the notion that the bloat will stay with me for the week no matter what, I'm taking a few days off of the SCD and eating carbs. (gasp!). Mostly fruits and complex carbs, on top of what I normally eat on the SCD. I plan on skipping the next cheat day altogether. (I'm trying out carb cycling for fat loss that I read about on bodybuilding sites it's eating low carb for 3 days and high carb one day. repeat) Besides, I really need to reset my eating mentality because the cheat day bingeing is setting some very poor habits ('Must stick to eating healty complex carbs. Not flour-sugar-butter laden crap)
Not sure if I'm any help but will keep you posted with results from my little experiment.
I'm gonna say up your protein a bit and up your lentils to 1/2 cup for Breakfast and Lunch.
Also, I am gonna take a shoot in the dark and notice you use that Frank's Red Hot a bit in your meals. Try cutting that out and stick to spices(no sugar ones). Perhaps it could be water retention from the sodium? I know it is probably just a tiny amount, but hey at this point, why not?
Otherwise, your plan looks pretty darn spot-on.
Let me know how it goes!
Hope your IF is going well
Looking at your food example, I am not entirely convinced you are reaching the Fat/carb/protein numbers you listed... unless that ground turkey is reallly fatty! Do you have excel logs or something with more exact numbers and such? If so, I'd be interested to see them. But as others have mentioned, you probably need to be eating more, especially considering your energy expenditures:
So, your job: how often are you doing that (days per week, and hours per shift), and how intense is it (estimated average heart rate range)? Also, how intense are these cardio sessions you are still so convinced you need to be doing (estimated heart rate range/target), and are you doing that 7 days/week? Additionally, how long are your weight training sessions, and what are their intensity (estimated avg heart rate range)?
Congratulations on your progress! I think you are amazing!
I'd like to offer my tall girl perspective. I'm 5'9", just an inch shorter than you.
In my early 30s my body fat was 12%. (I used hydrostatic weighing to get this measurement.) I was very active. My main activities included aerobics instructor and white water river guide. I ate whatever I wanted and drank a lot. I didn't have kids (still don't). I was in the best shape of my life!
Even though my body fat was 12% my scale weight was 150!
Perhaps you're not plateauing, but gaining muscle instead!
Join the 4 Hour Body Superhumans!