I'm in a similar predicament, so rather than make a new thread I'll just add this here. I've been at the same fat-loss plateau for two months, despite spending over ten hours a week at the gym, and its driving me crazy.
I've been cutting since new year. The first eight weeks went really well. Like, really, REALLY well, taking me from 290 to around 265. I accomplished this by continuing the heavy lifting I was doing, but cleaning up my diet, keeping carbs to the peri-workout window and a single cheat meal, and taking my calories down to around 3000kcal/day (I don't know what they were at before. Higher, I imagine).
Then I took four weeks off for a religious fast. My lifting and kcal both decrease, my eating gets kinda dirty (more on this later) but I end up dropping down to 255. I figure 'great!' I plan my progressions for the next fourteen weeks (the next phase in my fat loss) and set a goal to get down to 240. Piece of cake, I figure.
Nothing. Nothing since then. Nothing for eight weeks.
I weigh myself every two weeks. After the first two weeks, I see no fat loss (I actually see some miniscule weight GAIN), but I figure, no biggie. I stop adding Surge Recovery to my workout drink so that now its only Surge Workout Fuel. I figure if I limit daily carbs some more, it'll force my body to use fat for fuel even more.
Two weeks later, and no change in body composition or scale, and I figure something else has got to give. I begin to sprint three times a week, each time doing three sprints. Its small, but its good conditioning for my heart and lungs, and there's sure to be some EPOC that'll kick-start my fat loss. Also, I jump from one to two HOT-ROX each day.
Two weeks later, there's no change. This is definitely peculiar, but there's still some things I could change. I increase my sprinting from 3 sprints 3 times each week to 4 sprints 4 times each week. Also, I add in some more work, just for GPP. I flit from just LISS running for 20 minutes, to doing tire flips for a few days, before deciding on doing about 400 kettlebell swings each week. Not for cardio, just to have more activity, but some extra fat, and provide some extra stimulus
Two more weeks later, and we're at last Friday where I weighed in at 255, exactly where I was eight weeks ago.
Now, its not all bad. I've managed to put about 20 lbs on my working bench and deadlift 3rm, and 10 lbs on my power snatch and front squat. Also, I've quit smoking and my lungs and heart are feeling happier and healthier. Mood is good. Mobility is good. Sex drive is good.
But I'm not busting my ass in the gym for over ten hours a week to FEEL good.
So, continuing to work with the idea that 'big results come from small changes', I'm going to drop my kcals from 3000/day to 2500, ramp up my cardio to 5 sprints four days a week, and add ten KB swings to the total amount each week.
If that doesn't work, two weeks later I'm going to increase from two HOT-ROX caps to 4 HOT-ROX caps each day. Sprints will increase from 5 to 6 sprints four times each week, and kb swings will continue to rise at ten swings more each week.
Two weeks after that, if I don't start seeing the scale move, I'll begin a program of super-setting crying and praying in the AM so it doesn't interfere with my PM workouts, and two weeks after that this phase in my cut will be over and I'll cycle back into maintenance mode.
Thats the plan, at least. And I think its a pretty good plan. It should work. Should.
There's a couple of things that make me doubt the efficacy of my own design.
1) its possible my body is just trying to establish a new set-point. Like, it hit the panic-button weight weeks ago and isn't losing any more weight unless I sign up for the Auschwitz boot camp seminar. If this is true, and busting of ass is about as useful as tits on a bulldog. Probably less so, because you could take a picture of those tits. And then throw it on youtube. In fact, there's probably a vet somewhere with a plastic surgeon friend who...
2) What I really need is more carbs. During the fast, on the week I dropped from 265 to 255 there was 5/6 of a Vietnamese wedding cake in my refrigerator. At the end of the week, there was none. Also, some pizza. I don't even pretend to know how this makes sense, but it occurs to me that somehow, through the magic function machine that is the diet and health of my body, what I really need is to sit on my ass and play through another of the Final Fantasy series while eating cake. And that this will magically cause me to drop fat again. With magic.
3) If increasing my level of exercise doesn't start the fat loss, why should I expect decreasing the kcals would have such an effect? Granted, I've got the room to maneuver, I've got maybe 1000kcals a day to drop before I start thinking like the Donner Party but I'm still REALLY far away from my goal and I don't want to drop kcals too early (currently halfway between 270 and 220, the latter being the goal I'm shooting for. I figure I'll be ~10% at that point).
4) I know I'm not the only person to whom this has happened. There's at least two other dudes at my gym, who are experience lifters, well into the intermediate range, who are trying to diet down and have been stuck at the same place for two to three months. Between the two of them, they've tried increasing calories, decreasing calories, increasing cardio, decreasing cardio, sleeping more, sleeping less, ECA stack, increasing the density of regular lifting, and probably even crossfit. Okay, maybe not that last one, but still.
I'll accept any and all advice, but I'm kinda hoping one of the many lifters whose gone from Gordo to Good-looking can comment on what the appropriate thing to do is when you hit a fat-loss sticking point and the usual workarounds won't work.
Because I know this will be asked (and, I guess it might even be important)
Breakfast: green tea, two scoops peanuts, 3 scoops Metabolic Drive, Psylium husk. 76/650
Lunch: 1 lb ground chuck, pinto beans, 1 tspb EVOO. 116/1300
PWO: 2 scoops Surge Workout Fuel, 1 tbsp creatine. 0/160
Dinner: 1 lb chicken, frozen veggies, 2tbsp EVOO, 4 slices bacon. 108/1000
On the weekends, it looks like this:
Breakfast: 6 eggs, 3 egg whites, four slices bacon, 1tbsp EVOO, psylium husk. 70/850
PWO: 2 scoops Surge Workout Fuel, 1 tbsp creatine. 0/160
Dinner: 1.5 lb t-bone steak, frozen vegetables, 1tbsp butter. 130/1500
And there's a cheat meal in there somewhere. Its about 300g protein and 3000kcal on weekdays, maybe 200g/2500kcal on weekends. There's less food because I sleep more.
Also, I throw back 3 Flameout capsules a day. I go through a can each month. And HOT-ROX, which has already been talked about.
TL:DR- I'm having a fat loss plateau despite doing everything short of sacrificing a new-years resolutioner to Gods of iron and body-composition. What do I do?
For everyone else, I'd really appreciate if someone whose gone from really fat to actually having a six-pack could give me tips on how to handle and get through this particular period in my cut.
Thanks in advance.