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Julia123

I've Plateau'd - Too Much Exercise?!?!?!

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I've been on WW since July 04 and have lost about 35 pounds to date. I hadn't really exercised a lot, so 2 - 3 weeks ago I got serious at the gym and started going to step/cardio strength classes nearly 5 days a week. I feel great, I'm way more flexible already, but...my weight loss seems to have plateaued. I've been eating my regular points daily or maybe 1 or 2 under and NOT using the activity points gained. I haven't been hungry so I haven't wanted to eat when I wasn't hungry. I want to gain muscle and be stronger but I also really need to see those numbers going down on the scale!!:) Does anyone know when the number should start going down again? Isn't there a 3 - 4 week "adjustment period" for your body when you start exercising? Thanks!!!

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It helps to be a pack-rat at times. :) I save the posts that speak to me and this one sure did. It's great!!!

 

The thread this post came from is no longer on the server. It was posted in September a year ago by "girlinmotion". It's worth repeating and might help you see what you need to do to get the scale moving again.

 

"It seems like a triumph to see that big flex points bank, you think "look at all those calories I didn't add to my hips" right? Unfortunately, as other posters have noted, it's just not that simple. Warning: this is going to a long one...

 

If weight loss just meant drastic calorie reductions, juice fasts and starvation diets would be succesful weight loss methods. Obviously they are not. They have been proven to slow the metabolism and cause water and muscle mass reduction rather than a reduction in body fat. So obviously there is a "sweet spot" that we need to find between starving and maintaining that allows weight loss. That's what your WW Flex is all about.

 

WW is a reduced calorie diet. Let's go through the math and see why they actually give us Flex points and try to determine whether it is better to eat or not to eat those flex points:

 

Target points of 20 can be approximated to 1000 calories per day. If you ask a dietitian they'll tell you this is already quite low for a weight loss plan. Now, if you add flex points to that you get approximately 20+5 points per day or 1200-1300 calories per day. This is a very common range given as ideal for weight loss. In other words eating ALL your flex points puts you in a range commonly recommended for weight loss by the nutritional and medical experts. Woo hoo. Hence you can eat all your flex points and still lose weight.

 

Now, when you add exercise to this equation, you burn more calories. That's why we get APs. In fact, the WW AP formulas are designed to be conservative, in other words when you calculate APs they don't add up to nearly the number of calories that you burn. Many BCBers with HR monitors have checked this and find that APs are roughly half the food burned. This gives us margin for error (lots of people have been known to call walking in the mall moderate exercise on their less-than-stellar days, not BCBers of course but the general WW population ). In other words, EVEN if you eat ALL your APs, you should still have a calorie deficit.

 

Now, there are obviously some other factors at work. If you've been a yo-yo dieter for a long time, or you are quite sedentary, then your metabolism might be quite slow. Someone like this might need to eat less flex points to lose weight. This is why there is a range. If you find you are not losing, you have some room to tweak the program to meet your needs. Learning to obey your body's hunger signs is the best way to do this. If you are hungry or low energy, eat your APs. If you are not losing weight and eating all your APs and flex points, cut back a bit. If you are eating none of your flex or APs, try eating more...

 

There are some other issues that you may want to tweak as you work with the Flex program:

 

-Watch out for the quality of food per point that you are eating. Eating all your Flex points as your junk food fix may seem like a fun idea, but its not doing your body or your metabolism any favours. Eating high quality food will satisfy you more, and keep that digestive system working to your (weight loss) advantage. Fiber and water are important, so are nutrients. If the body gets all the main nutritional needs met, it won't be as hungry and cravings are usually less. What could be better!

 

-Varying your points each day (target one day, target+2 another, target+8 next.. such as on the Wendy Plan) can keep your metabolism guessing. It also allows you to have a big hungry day, as long as it is balanced with a day where you eat less. Recognizing a "big hungry day" and a "I don't need to eat so much day" naturally, is a great skill for maintaining your weight later on. This is how thin people eat!

 

-When you eat too little, your body starts storing as much as possible in order to ensure long term survival. In addition, it starts to create energy by using stored fat AND muscle instead of just fat. This means weight loss may slow significantly as the body is VERY good at trying to conserve to survive. Not a good thing for your weekly WI. Hence it is important to eat enough to stay out of this area (for most people close to their healthy weight under 1000-1200 calories or 20-24 points would be the line).

 

-Having muscle and daily cardiovascular exercise means your metabolism is higher naturally. This means you may need more flex and APs to stay out of that starvation mode and continue to lose weight. In addition, making sure you have enough fuel means you have more energy for your workouts and you build more muscle etc etc.

 

-It is preferable to lose weight by reducing food intake as little as possible. Obviously we have to create a calorie deficit for weight loss. But the best way to do this is to combine modest calorie reduction with lots of calorie burning exercise, rather than drastic calorie reduction. Not just for your pleasure either. For your metabolism. In the end when you reach goal, your maintenance range depends on your metabolism. So tune it up! Exercise, drink your water, eat enough.

 

And to end this novel of a post, I should let you know that the reason I'm suggesting this is because it worked for me. I ate every point I was given in Winning Points, and all my APs (usually 3-8 per day) and I lost about 1-1.5 pounds per week. Now I can maintain my weight eating 32 points per day PLUS APs!! I know other lifetimers at my weight who are afraid to eat more than 22 points per day. Not that the goal is to be able to eat a lot, but I really value the flexibility those points give me."

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Guest 1texasmom

This is SO AWESOME! Thanks for saving it. It is the perfect answer to a discussion in our Triathlete thread. I'm going to save it, too.

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