T Nation

Fat Loss Plateau


Hey Everyone,

Im looking for some information regarding my fat loss journey.

Im 5'9, 165lbs, approx 20% body fat. I have a history of anorexia (in my teens, Im now 30) and some serious dieting (starvation) for competition in Figure shows about 5 years ago. Im a chronic undereater, when not dieting strictly, I usually do not go above 2000 cals. I have had short periods of 'maintenance eating' accompanied by no cardio. Like a week here and there.

I have been dieting since November 2010, I wanted to start slow and gradual so that my body would respond favourably, if I cut too drastically too soon my body just shuts down and will not change.

In this period I have managed to drop 10lbs while maintaining my lean mass (Im assuming, most likely not ALL of it but most).

I have been carb cycling this entire time and started out with calories at 1600/1800/2000, have made incremental drops as needed, and most recently have been eating low carb (calorie) during the week with structured refeeds on Sat (around my workouts). I have done this for ONLY 2 weeks.

My diet right now is 40P/30C/30F. 1450 cals, 165g PRO, 100g CHO, 45g Fat. Sources are whites, chicken, shrimp, tuna, cottage cheese. Oats, brn rice. UDO's, almonds.

On my refeed days everything stays the same, but in the 3 meals surrounding my workout I consume 150-200g carbs (75g pre, 75g pwo, 50g meal 3).

I do circuit/metabolic type workouts with varying rep ranges (6-8 for compounds, then increase to 10-12 for other mvmts) 4-5 days a week. 25min step mill (level 12 - aka difficult) + 10min tread (walking)5-6 days per week. This plan lasts 4 weeks. I then go to a more bodybuilding type workout with lower reps, heavier weights, one body part per day etc etc.

Im totally stuck. My weight hasnt moved in a good 3 weeks and Im not seeing difference in the mirror or with the tape measure.

My plan was to decrease my cals to 1350 low x 5 days, 1500 mod x 1 day, 1700 high x 1 day. This would result in a weekly decrease of 2000 cals (equating .5 loss per week).

My concern is that this is too low. I never feel hunger EXCEPT after my refeed day. I dont want to get stuck going lower and lower with my calories because I know that increasing calories can also have a beneficial effect. My thoughts are that Im not seeing changes from the refeed implemenation (however its only been 2 weeks).

Should I wait out the refeed diet or switch to a lower cal/carb cycling plan?

Or do something entirely different!?

I appreciate the help :slightly_smiling:


Sounds like a good plan and you can buy fat burners to help.

Reduce your body fat to about 15 % and then you will see all the muscle definition


Please disregard this information. As a new poster, you probably aren't aware of this fact yet, but there have already been a couple of threads DEDICATED to getting this bunny bench to stop posting as well as encouraging all new lifters to not read any of his/her advice. You only need to type the name into the search function, to see that he/she only gives advice to blatantly piss off everyone in the thread.

My question, which may seem counter intuitive, is have you considered INCREASING caloric intake for some time? You are contemplating dropping to roughly 8x your BW in kcal 5 times a week. You are surely right in diagnosing yourself an undereater, especially considering your activity levels.

Also, am I correct in assuming you are supplementing with omega 3's, or are you relying on the tuna?


Sometimes the body won't drop weight in a linear fashion...I've read this is very common in women, so they tend to get very frustrated on diets...

it has to do with water balance(which is a complicated issue)...it is possible you are burning fat still, but you are retaining water which is masking fat loss...

i would do the drop regardless though and see what happens...then, you might want to consider doing a maintenance phase for a couple weeks where you raise cals/carbs(as you've been dieting for a fairly long time)...then go back to it...


uh yea because your advice makes so much sense.....Lay off the Tuna.

Listen If your still not as lean as you like think to yourself why? Maybe your not overtrainng enough or maybe your over eating all the omega 3's in the world won't do anything for you if your having to many calories.


lol...I never actually gave that advice, or any advice for that matter. Reread my post. It contains: 2 QUESTIONS for the OP, as well as 2 STATEMENTS reiterating portions of the OP...but no advice.

Respond if you like, but it may not be worth your time, because you won't piss me off and you'll be taking attention away from the OP. I only find your antics amusing. I have hopes we will one day uncover your true identity bunny!! For the record, you could've done much better trolling up T-Nation, and at least made your posts kind of funny or ironic...instead you assumed the persona of a 12 year old know it all (and nobody really likes them).


I have considered increasing, hence the refeed on Sat, I was also thinking about going back to the original calories I started with (cycling through 1600/1800/2000) for a week or two to get things moving again. I get into this place where Im scared to eat more HOWEVER at the same time I realize that what Im doing isnt working AND that dropping to 8x BW isnt necessarily good... I have the type of mentality where Ill over work and undereat - which I suppose is good but ends up working against me.

I dont supp with Omega 3s - I take a multi, probio, B, CLA, greens supp. Would you recommend a fish oil, and if so, which one?


Take fish oil. On a diet, take a substantial amount (up to 3g of combined EPA/DHA). Really any brand will work, it would take 1 typical fish oil pills, or fewer (3-4ish) if you use something super concentrated like Flameout.

If your current plan seems like it should work. (and I'm no expert, but it seems like it should), then I say give it a full month to see how it works, it will also give you a full month to see how your womanly cycles affect your water weight with this setup.


If I were you, I would be sure to discuss any diet you plan on with your doctor or psychologist. To make one suggestion, I would suggest that you might just opt to "diet" without being too rigorous or structured starting out. Eating disorders are generally an issue of control, and you might find yourself overdoing the "control" aspect of it instead of the "being healthy/dieting" aspect of this change.

Hunger for people like you can often be a poor measure--your body has likely been conditioned to deal with hunger in ways other than sending signals to your brain saying "eat" (in the form of stomach discomfort/pain). It might have been a long time ago, but eating disorders are psychological conditions--the physical ramifications are just the physical manifestation of those psychological issues.

BenchBunny--your posts are generally absurd, but you seriously should not be giving anyone with a history of serious eating disorders any advice unless you have personal experience with that sort of thing.


I have had an eating disorder before.

There was a time when I only drank protein shakes and ate vegetables.


so it was called the V-Diet?

anyway i want to reiterate the point of not listening to bunny bench....


also, prolonged starvation dieting in the past may have shut down your thyroid (aka lowered your metabolism). it happened to me and for the longest time i couldnt understand why i was unable to diet normally.

i too, would try to diet and no matter how much i cut calories or increased cardio i would only lose a VERY minimal amount of fat.

i got blood work done and i had low testosterone and T3... i would HIGHLY recommend you do the same


Lol.....to late you already read my post.

But seriously It was Bad I wan't gaining any muscle in fact I was losing muscle I had already built despite exercising more.


ok... this is not your thread. keep it on topic. you do not need to respond to this post


Ok I wont bye.


I think my metabolism has lowered, however when I got blood work done everything came out to be normal.

I think Im going to implement a week of higher calories and see where that gets me. Obviously what Im doing right now isnt working and Im really hesitant to drop further.


Instead of just increasing your peri-workout carbs on your refeed days, why not keep the peri-workout carbs what they normally are (on your baseline days), and spread some of the wealth around to other meals. Make your body think that this is going to be the norm for a while. That should cause a reaction when it gets 'hit' the next day with your usually intake levels.



well did you get FREE T3 and FREE testosterone checkedd? if you got the script from your primary care physician, chances are he/she only checked TOTAL testosterone (which means nothing) and TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone).

my TSH was "in the normal range" but my T3 (what the thyroid is supposed to make) was far below the normal range


I didnt just increase pre wo CHO, I increased pre, post and post-post THEN I had sushi LOL So Id say my total carb intake for that day was 250g.

Do you think doing this consistently on Sat only will be sufficient enough to cause a reaction that will stimulate fat loss the day after the load or should I include another moderate carb day during the week?

I wonder also if Im at a sticking point, where if I just remain consistent things WILL change, just more slowly than Im used to.


well did you get FREE T3 and FREE testosterone checkedd? if you got the script from your primary care physician, chances are he/she only checked TOTAL testosterone (which means nothing) and TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone).

my TSH was "in the normal range" but my T3 (what the thyroid is supposed to make) was far below the normal range[/quote]

No, only had the TSH checked, and Im a woman so TEST isnt really relevant :wink:

I did have my estrogen, fasting glucose, B12 etc etc done. Everything was great. The thing is that Im not experiencing any symptoms of low thyroid. I assume (incorrectly?) that along with sluggish metabo Id also experience dry skin/nails/hair, tiredness etc. I have none of the above.