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HELP! Analyze & Shoot Holes 'Cuz I am STUCK!!

Hi All,

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 everywhere (see this post) but 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%

Sodium 929.9mg

Carbohydrates 62.6g 21.5%

Fiber 24g

Sugars 16.9g

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!

Tea

EDIT (this is what I ate yesterday as per joshua's request):

Breakfast: 251

Egg Whites, Raw, Lrg

3 Each

48

Beans, Lentils, Mature, Ckd

1/3 Cup

76

Turkey Ground

1/2 Cup

120

Spinach, Baby, Fresh

1 Cup

7

Lunch: 286

Turkey Ground

1/2 Cup

120

Beans, Lentils, Mature, Ckd

1/3 Cup

76

Balsamic Dressing

1 Tablespoon

45

Green Beans Prez Choice Low Sodium (rinsed them as well)

1 1/2 Cups

45

Dinner: 433

Fish, Tilapia, Ckd, Fda

6 Ounces

219

Broccoli, Fresh

3 Cups

93

Beans, Lentils, Mature, Ckd

1/3 Cup

76

Balsamic Dressing

1 Tablespoon

45

Snacks: 328

Eggs, Hard Bld, Lrg

2 Each

155

Gelatin, cherry, sugar free, dry mix, svg

4 Each

40

Carrots, Baby, Fresh

6 Pieces

21

Hummus

2 Tablespoons

70

Cauliflower, fresh

3/4 Cup

19

Broccoli, Fresh

3/4 Cup

23

Exercise: 233

Weight Lifting Light/moderate

15 Min

50

Elliptical

Vigorous

25 Min

222

Fat 42.6g 29%

Sodium 1,412.7mg

Carbohydrates 90.3g 27.3%

Fiber 35.8g

Sugars 19g

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 :)

Thanks again!

  • TeaLove commented Aug 18th 2011:

    Yeesh, ran out of chars...

    Here is the weight training info:

    My weight Training sessions are typically short but efficient. I superset 2 large muscle groups and do 2-3 exercise each. Ex. Incline Press 35lbs 3sx12-15r, Lat Pull Downs 100lbs 3sx12-15r. Then Pec Fly 15lbs 3x 12-15r, Yates Row 3sx12-15r etc. OR I will do a full body HIIT which takes about 12 minutes and gets my heart rate up to 150bpm+.

    I would say that during my regular isolation weight training my heart rate does not go over 100bpm.

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The Best Answer

United-Kingdom flag

Hiya,

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.

Good luck

  • Amorpheus commented Aug 16th 2011:

    Tezzayk could be right, are you pigging out once a week?

  • mushin3212 commented Aug 16th 2011:

    So perhaps it's not enough calories during the week. Would eating a bit more fat do the job as eating a little more beans?

  • mushin3212 commented Aug 17th 2011:

    Thanks Tezzayk! I think you've helped me out aswell!

  • tezzayk commented Aug 17th 2011:

    Glad to have helped mushin3212 and TeaLove, let me know how it goes, eat more and loose weight strange old world...

  • TeaLove commented Aug 16th 2011:

    Yep! Saturday is my treat day and I follow all protocol but otherwise go COMPLETELY nuts that day lol. Am talking 4000+ cals.

    Thanks guys! Tried to update post to include cheat day info but iphone won't let me.

  • TeaLove commented Aug 16th 2011:

    I am thinking you could be right. I cut out peanuts because they are too hard to stop eating and I thought those might havebeen the cause of my stall (cut them 2 wks ago) but will add more beans and protein during weekdays and see what happens. Going to see how IF goes this week first and make those changes on Sunday. Thanks again and I will keep you posted!

All Answers

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United-States flag

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.

  • kcsportsdoc commented Aug 17th 2011:

    I think AJ has hit it on the head with the "hormonal fluctuation" comment. The biochemical changes involved with re-booting menstruation can bring any fat loss to a screeching halt, even if you're doing everything else "perfectly". Additionally, I wouldn't fixate on the weight number to such a degree. BF%, how you feel, how you're functioning, how your clothes fit,etc., are all much better measures than the scale, imho. Ride the hormonal wave out and enjoy your process. As long as you're doing that, everything else will take care of itself!

    GL

  • kcsportsdoc commented Aug 17th 2011:

    There can be a very fine line between cutting yourself some much needed slack and slacking off. :) Especially if you're particularly driven, you can be too hard on yourself sometimes, ya know?

  • TeaLove commented Aug 17th 2011:

    All very good points and I will start by increasing the amount that I am consuming:)

    I am also going to scale back cheat day a little & see what happens!

    Thanks so much.

  • TeaLove commented Aug 17th 2011:

    Oh and I should clarify that my goal is 135 which is well within a healthy range but thank you for expressing concern :)

  • TeaLove commented Aug 17th 2011:

    Thanks, Doc & AJ. I really needed to hear that because I feel like I have been banging my head against a brick wall and wasn't sure if I was just trying to use that as an 'excuse' of sorts.

  • TeaLove commented Aug 18th 2011:

    Lol are you spying on me??? Thank you *hugs*

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United-States flag

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.

  • TeaLove commented Aug 16th 2011:

    Thanks a bunch for answering! I used to carb cycle when I was BBing and found it very effective, I hope you have good results with it too:)

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United-States flag

Hello Tea

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! :)

  • TeaLove commented Aug 17th 2011:

    Done! Thanks doll:)

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United-Kingdom flag

I wish you the best of luck. Please keep us abreast of your results as I am in a strange plateau it seems and other peoples achievements could teach me about how to improve my own.

You can do it!

Chris

  • mushin3212 commented Aug 16th 2011:

    It's an exceedingly interesting post as its a similar situation to mine. So if I can help I will :)

  • mushin3212 commented Aug 17th 2011:

    Yeah I will. I'm going to up by bean intake to a tin a day (split over breakfast and lunch) Or will this be too much? I'm going to give the IF a try too.

  • mushin3212 commented Aug 17th 2011:

    After my last comment I've decided to drop IF too. likwise let me know how it goes :-D

  • TeaLove commented Aug 16th 2011:

    Thanks, I look forward to your updates as well:)

  • TeaLove commented Aug 17th 2011:

    Saw your post to Tezz, you going to try the same thing?

  • TeaLove commented Aug 17th 2011:

    Cool! Let me know how it goes. Scrapped IF for now and added more beans starting today. Will see what happens :)

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United-States flag

meh...go vegan for a week. BOOM!

get a new challenge to make it interesting besides weight.

:-I

and get a massage. (for real)

  • justin commented Aug 18th 2011:

    well since the main benefit for 30 gr protein is to avoid cravings during the day and you're attempting IF - you should already have a mastery over your cravings so it's moot issue. It's also the vegan diet not the SCD so the protein requirements may be different; however, legumes + almond butter, hemp protein are fun. the book lists a bunch.

  • justin commented Aug 18th 2011:

    the main point wouldn't be to lose weight during this week, but to throw something new at your system (like IF). It's something Tim recommended doing after 3-4 months and worked for me when I was stalled. nomeatathlete.com and the book covers the protein and foods.

  • TeaLove commented Aug 17th 2011:

    Lol Justin, your answers never fail to enlighten me AND to crack me up :) I have a question about going vegan though...how does one meet the 30 gr protein requirement in the morning while vegan? Thoughts?

    Good point. Weight loss didn't start out as being the focus for me and somehow it has become that way. Annoying :/ Paradigm shift, here I come!

    Yes, Sir!

  • TeaLove commented Aug 18th 2011:

    Thanks for your help Justin, I may try that next week just to change things up!

0

United-States flag

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)?

  • s joshua commented Aug 19th 2011:

    Are you eating 4 servings of sugar free jell-o/day, or did I read that wrong? Ditch the artificially sweetened stuff! I'd suggest permanently, but at least temporarily.

    It sounds like the combination of work outs you do at work doesn't equate to anything more than a "damage control" type work out. I doubt that is causing issue.

    As far as your cardio goes, that's a pretty good pace to be going 3-4 hours/week. I understand the "my time" aspect of it, but skipping it completely (and trying your meditation), or even just taking that time and instead of running, go for a walk/hike at a ~3 mi/hr pace or so (heart rate <115 or so). Moving is great, but no need to be running all the time!

  • s joshua commented Aug 19th 2011:

    (continued):

    For the lifting, have you considered trying a more condensed approach, such as geek2freak/occam's style MED lifting? Even just for a few weeks to experiment: 1-2 sessions max/week, depending if you want to split up the body groups, and 1 set to failure of 1 lift per muscle group with an ~8 rep failure load weight. I'd say the day(s) you do this, skip the walking and stick with the meditating.

    Also, are you saying you would do a HIIT workout (instead of lifting) on the same day you already did your cardio? That seems excessive! If you want to get in 1 HIIT session/week, then make it the only thing you do that day - no lifting/walk, and keep it to your 12 minute max time frame.

  • s joshua commented Aug 19th 2011:

    Don't worry - you aren't giving all the cardio you love up forever... just try it out and see how your results differ for a couple weeks (and then decide to give it up! ;))

    Backpacking sounds fun! Probably an activity very similar to "primal" style living.

    Don't be too hard on yourself while on vacation, such as trying to stick with an IF schedule. Especially if it would cause you to have to backpack for hours before eating your first meal. I would suggest just trying your best to eat according to slow-carb rules, but dont let it get in the way of your vacation enjoyment. If you are going on a backpacking trip, there is no way you are going to gain 20 lbs!! Just stock up on friendlier backpacking snacks likes trail mix/jerky instead of "grain bars".

  • TeaLove commented Aug 18th 2011:

    Phew. OK, I did it. Lol. I just copy pasted my tracking into from yesterdays entry :)

  • TeaLove commented Aug 19th 2011:

    Thanks bebe! Nope, just one serving and not sure why I put in 40 calls :/ Okay...I had a feeling that you might say ditch it entirely lol. EFF! Cardio- check. Next week I will spend the time walking instead and see what happens.Heading to Europe in 1.5 weeks but will try MED lifting when I return. Will just stick to walking and body weight stuff while we are backpacking :) Lol and yes I would do HIIT/CArdio split#facepalm I AM AN ADDICT lol. OKee noted.

  • TeaLove commented Aug 19th 2011:

    Thank you for taking the time, friend! I really appreciate it. What is your personal opinion on IF while we are away? Do you think that will be the most effective way to not gain 20lbs when I am gone? I am ok with a few lbs but after my total bed shitting this weekend I do not relish 3 full weeks of that heehee.

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United-States flag

Hey TeaLove,

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!

  • TeaLove commented Aug 17th 2011:

    Thanks for responding Kath, I totally hear you and that is awesome lbs of LMM holy! :) but as far as my current training prog goes, I really haven't been doing much lifting for Hypertrophy these days so I doubt that I am gaining LMM. I might just started training for side gains again though because it is satisfying and I like a more muscular physique! WOOT!

  • loretta commented Aug 17th 2011:

    Oh, how I long to have that awesome lbs of LMM holy again! That's what I'm aiming for... and at age 52!

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