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Cycles in weight loss and exercise?
mmm1812 posted:
Over a year ago, I finally decided at nearly 60 years old to make some permanent changes in my weight and fitness level after decades in a sedentary job where I hunched over a computer for 60+ hours/ week. I decided I was tired of turning into an old lady who could not go up my own staircases in my home without being winded. I was 80 lb overweight, with arthritis and was recently diagnosed with a bulge in my spine. After some physical therapy, I found a personal trainer who was also a physical therapist, and started working out twice a week. After some encouraging progress, I then engaged a nutritionist, who helped me on a reduced calorie (permanent ) diet with smaller, more frequent healthier meals and snacks, that had me losing 1-1.5 lbs/week. I am now 1/2 way to my weight goal, having lost 12 inches in my waist. I now have an amazing amount of stamina and improved balance.

That's the good news.

For over a month now, I seem to be in a point where my weight loss is stalled. My trainer has been constantly pushing my fitness level upwards, most recently working so much on my upper body and core that my arms are bruised front and back. I believe I may have again lost some inches, especially in my upper arms. But no matter how I adjust my eating without drastic changes , I am stuck at my halfway point weight-wise.

Is it possible that I am putting on muscle that is compensating for the weight loss? Is there really a "set point" that my body is getting used to before I can resume losing again? After all of this wonderful progress, I am starting to get discouraged...

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Suggestions on what, if anything, I should do now?
  • Should I re-engage my nutritionist; temporarily eat even less?
  • Should I slow down my exercise regimen
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Tomato05 responded:
Congratulations - 40lb down is a huge achievement. You should feel very proud.

Remember that the difference between maintaining an extra 40lb and being without that 40lb can be easily 600 calories. You will constantly have to keep adjusting your calorie intake downwards as you lose weight, as there is simply less of you to maintain.

Cardio is a reasonably good calorie burner, depending on what and how intense/what length of time you do it. Maybe increase your cardio time, or add a cardio session here and there, and throw in some interval training if you can.

If you don't want to cut down a lot you could experiment with 100 fewer calories, and a bit of extra cardio and see what happens after two or three weeks.

Good luck and try to keep up your enthusiasm.

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