T Nation

Getting Past Frustration

Okay, so a tiny bit of backstory… I’ve been lifting weights for roughly 6 months consistently. I eat well, keep my calorie intake in check, etc. Recipe for success right? I’ve lost probably 30-ish lbs and gained a bit of muscle, but I haven’t reached my goal yet.

Here’s the problem. I’m stuck. I’ve even added volume and days to my weightlifting and it doesn’t matter. I can’t drop these last 9 lbs and my inches aren’t changing either. I’m feeling defeated and I don’t know what to do. What’s missing? Maybe I just need some encouragement or something. I don’t know.

First, congratulations on losing 30 pounds! Takes a lot of work and discipline to do that.

Now, to the scientific part. Going to ask a couple questions to get a better read.

  1. What is the breakdown of your diet? Total calories, grams of protein, grams of carbs, grams of fat.
  2. Are you doing any cardio right now? I know when I want to lose weight, doing a mixture of sprint cardio and long steady state helps. This is in addition to your weightlifting.
  3. What does your weightlifting program look like right now?

You might just have to mix it up a bit and give your body a new challenge. It’s an amazingly adaptable machine and you have to surprise it every so often.

Hey PixieThrower,


  1. Total calories is roughly 1500 on non-workout days with added calories to round out workout days. Protein is between 175 and 200 grams a day, carbs 100-150, fat 50 max. 2 meals a day are taken up by protein shakes and usually I add a Metabolic Drive bar on workout days.

2 + 3. I vascillate between doing cardio and not, depending on what workout program I’m doing. I just started a new one, where I have 4 days a week at the gym. 2 days of legs, 2 days of upper body. I’m on my 2nd week and now that I’ve got a bit of a groove I’m adding cardio. I have bikram yoga 1x a week and I do half an hour of Just Dance daily, plus walking my dog.

That’s just it. I rarely do the same workout for more than a month. I’m doing everything at least mostly right. I can’t figure out why I keep stagnating. Last time I got here, I did a v-diet, but that was in August. It’s too early to do another one.

When I get stuck I try adding in some intermittent fasting, whether it’s a 24hour fast every other week or 16 hours once a week. I’ve also done some juice fasting to break out of a rut.

Or…I’ll keep diet the same and just add more HIIT workouts. Regardless, I pile most of my calories around my workouts for greatest utilization.

Maybe those methods would work for you maybe not. Just a couple things that have been tried and true for me :slight_smile:

Thanks, theBeth!

If you’re only sticking with the same workout program for a month, that might be where your issue is. When you’re first starting out, if you’re lifting and you’re eating well and you’re doing it consistently, you’re going to make progress - especially if you had thirty pounds to lose (great job, by the way!) to begin with. Only giving your body a month to adjust to a program, however, isn’t enough time. It typically takes about twelve weeks or so for the body to adjust to a program enough to actually make real progress. If you change things up too often or not often enough, you aren’t giving yourself the chance to make as much progress on that routine as you could.

Also, what exactly are you doing lifting-wise? Specific lifts, reps, weights, etc? Adding more days or increasing volume doesn’t necessarily make a workout more effective on its own, so it would be helpful to get more details.

Don’t get discouraged - it’s always easier to lose the weight when you start, but everyone always has a sticking point where their progress always slows or even stops altogether. It’s one hundred percent normal. You already have a lot to be proud of, and as long as you keep working at it you will end up making more progress.

You calories should be the same every day. You body uses energy even when you don’t workout to repair your body.