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Stalled for 4 months now, maybe advice on meal plans for lifting heavy?
03-24-2016, 10:23 AM
Post: #1
Stalled for 4 months now, maybe advice on meal plans for lifting heavy?
I have been stalled at the same weight for about 4 months now and am looking for advice on where to go next. It's not just the scale, clothes aren't fitting any different at all. I'm thinking my diet needs a tweak, but if anyone has any other advice, I'm all ears!

Some background - I maintained at around 140 lbs/size 6 for 6 years by heavy lifting and minimal cardio (I'm 5'7"). I was at 1800 cals a day and 40/30/20 macros. I was very happy with where I was at and was hoping to be bikini ready (for the first time in my life EVER) that summer, at age 40. I wanted to get my midsection a little more toned, so I dropped my calories down to 1600 and upped my cardio, adding in half an hour a day to my lifting schedule. Yeah, I know, in hindsight, stupid. Sad

Long story short, I gained weight. Rapidly. Some weeks were 2 lbs a week weight gain. I kept dropping my calories until I was at 1400. Still gained. I was up to 170 lbs in 6 months and had to buy new clothes in size 10. I tried different exercise routines, tried intuitive eating, gluten free, you name it. I couldn't stop gaining weight. Saw several doctors, all who said bloodwork (and thyroid) looked fine. My GP finally sent me to a well-respected endocrinologist in a larger city. He did a thorough workup and told me I was eating too much - I should be at 1000 cals a day. And I needed to be lifting heavier weights (I can curl 30 lbs; how much heavier was I supposed to go???). At that point I had pretty much given up and then I found the information here on the metabolic reset. Total lightbulb moment.

I did the reset for 4 months, and gained 17 lbs. But my weight gain during this time was slower than before, at least. I then cut my calories down to 2000, based on my Fitbit HR, which has been consistently showing my weekly average burn to be 2500. I started dropping a lb a week until I hit 170 - where I had originally started. It has been stuck there ever since, 4 months now.

I have tried different combos of exercise while still lifting heavy and nothing seems to matter. So my thoughts have turned to diet again. My diet isn't the best - if I have an extra 150 cals and leftover carbs at the end of the day, I'll have ice cream - but I have been consistent on nailing my calories and close to my macros (I'm aiming for 150g protein and that's hard to do some days). I was thinking of going for a 3 month trial of high protein/fiber (still at 2000 calories) clean diet - something like female bodybuilders would eat for cut for competition. Just to see if it makes any difference at all.

So, first question - would there be any harm in doing this?

Second, if it's worth a go, does anyone have any good websites (ie, respectable websites, not junk) for meal plans and the like?

If anyone else has any other tips for things that might work, I'd love to hear it. This has been going on for too long and I'm really tired of it! Thanks in advance. happy

Stacy
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03-24-2016, 10:49 AM
Post: #2
RE: Stalled for 4 months now, maybe advice on meal plans for lifting heavy?
Have you taken a diet break and eaten at TDEE for a week or two? I know personally, sometimes I lose track of time and before I know it I've been at cut for WAY longer than I should be. If you have been at cut for 4 mos, maybe you should think about eating at TDEE for 2 weeks. Stay active and keep working out like usual, just eat at maintenance. Maybe that will "shock" your metabolism and get you back on the right track. Good luck!! Hope this helps!!!big grin
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03-24-2016, 08:18 PM (This post was last modified: 03-24-2016 08:18 PM by AnitraSoto.)
Post: #3
RE: Stalled for 4 months now, maybe advice on meal plans for lifting heavy?
Well, great thought to check your intake and macros and not just resort to dropping calories and upping cardio (which obviously had the reverse effect in the past...)

I was thinking the same thing ^^^ Have you taken a diet break and eaten at TDEE during that 4 months?

Also, another question: when you did your reset, what level did you eat at? That 2500 average your FitBit is giving you?

Personally, I wouldn't try to find a "diet plan", but instead just really work on hitting that 30% protein macro goal. Set your carbs at 40% and fats at 30%. If you set Fiber at 25 grams and keep that as an absolute minimum (rather that a goal) that should be perfect! Getting on a "diet" or program is just setting you up for restriction, cravings and falling off the wagon sometime in the future. If you are nailing your macros, there is nothing wrong with having some ice cream. Just don't make that the mainstay of your daily intake. Allowing ourselves to have those treats is what makes this so sustainable, long term! There is nothing wrong with trying to eat "cleaner". Unprocessed, whole food options are always going to be the best choice, health-wise, but there is always room for chocolate! Just make smart whole food choices whenever possible and save some room for things your enjoy.

Since the heavy lifting with minimal cardio worked for you before that would obviously be the best choice going forward. I seriously can't believe any doctor told you that you should be eating 1000 calories! That is crazy, and one of the main reasons we are all where we are today! Great job staying clear of that advice!

So get back to us with the answers to those questions, and we will be happy to try to help!

Anitra Soto
Team EM2WL
ISSA Certified Fitness Trainer
ISSA Certified Specialist in Senior Fitness

My EM2WL Journey: http://eatmore2weighless.com/never-too-old-anitra/
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03-24-2016, 08:46 PM
Post: #4
RE: Stalled for 4 months now, maybe advice on meal plans for lifting heavy?
Thank you for the responses! I didn't think of going back to TDEE for a couple of weeks, I will give that a shot. When I did the reset, I went above - 2700-3000 daily for 4 months. I wanted to make sure my body was completely out of starvation mode before trying to cut. I will see if I can clean up my macros and up my calories for the next 2 weeks, see where that takes me. happy
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03-25-2016, 01:52 PM (This post was last modified: 03-25-2016 08:47 PM by AnitraSoto.)
Post: #5
RE: Stalled for 4 months now, maybe advice on meal plans for lifting heavy?
Well, that sounds like you got a great reset, so yes, just try a TDEE diet break for a couple of weeks and then return to your cut and see if that gets things moving again. Just remember, anything that you do for much longer than a couple of months, the body will adapt to very quickly. So, if you stay eating at a cut for more than a couple of months without taking a diet break, you will notice that any weight loss slows as the body simply adapts and tries to achieve homeostasis. Gotta keep switching it up. Much like our periodized strength training programs, if we eat in "phases" the body doesn't really get a chance to adapt...

Anitra Soto
Team EM2WL
ISSA Certified Fitness Trainer
ISSA Certified Specialist in Senior Fitness

My EM2WL Journey: http://eatmore2weighless.com/never-too-old-anitra/
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03-26-2016, 10:31 AM
Post: #6
RE: Stalled for 4 months now, maybe advice on meal plans for lifting heavy?
hi wookie, I would definitely diet break again. And once you resume your cut, you may want to check that your calorie counting is accurate just be using a food scale instead of measuring cups - there actually can be a very big difference that adds up over the course of the day. When we are using that smaller deficit, there isn't so much wiggle room and unintentionally eating larger portion might negate your deficit.
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