Plateaued

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  • posted by DSonn
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    Hi, I have been on the 800 calorie diet for 4 weeks. I lost 5kg (starting weight 80.5kg and I am 5’10”), within the first 2 1/2 weeks and then for the past week or so nothing. Also my blood levels have not changed at all since day 1. Initially they seemed to go down by 0.5 points but now back up again. All the food I am eating is low glycemic, the only thing is maybe not quite enough fibre if I am being super critical. I have not exercised during this time due to work and travel. Is this a crucial part of the regime to get results, especially in the area of blood glucose levels?

  • posted by JGwen
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    Hi DSonn,
    I will leave it to others who have measured their blood sugar levels daily on their journey to reply to your question on those levels. –

    If you let us know more about your daily routines and food intake people are happy to see if they can recommend any changes.

    But I think there are some important issues to raise about measuring your progress by weight changes
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    The initial rate of loss comes from the fact that our bodies hold water when we are on a carb high diet, as you move to low carb your body will release that water causing an initial rapid weight loss. There is no point in comparing yourself against others on how much weight you will loose because it depends on how long / how carb heavy your diet has been.

    Its not really considered to be a plateau unless it lasts for 3 weeks, simply because there are so many fluctuations in our weight daily. You have to take into account that the weight of the food in your digestive tract will fluctuate. 800 calories of celery will weigh much more than 800 calories worth of a high fat food. Also if you are drinking 2 litres of water a day thats 2 kg of weight you are taking in and releasing.

    Once the initial water loss stage is over your aim is to be burning fat. One lb of fat is equal to 3500 calories. Its important to monitor the calories you are eating against the calories burnt to be realistic on expectations. But don’t worry about the exercise aspect. Weight loss is mainly about what you eat not exercise unless you are highly active each day.

    However, our bodies don’t burn fat from one cell at a time, they burn a little bit of fat from a number of cells and replace the fat with water, this keeps on going until all the fat has been used from that batch of cells and then you have a whoosh, the water is lost and weight drops. Search the forum for whoosh to read more. This is the reason its best to measure trends in weight rather than focus on daily changes.

    A better way of measuring progress is measuring inch loss rather than weight. – The hormone systems are more like an orchestra with interlinks between them. As we keep insulin levels low it enables other hormone systems including those which control the body healing to work as they should. So low insulin may mean that your body is healing, bone density is improving, muscles are building in response to exercise, all of which will increase weight. But its a healthy weight increase. Your body shape will be changing, if you are burning fat from under the skin. (Fat from around the organs probably not so much.) Making the tape measure the best way to record progress. but remember to look for changes over the whole body not just on spare tyre. Some of us have even dropped a shoe size, but most of us find our collar bones before we see any changes at waist or hip level.

    Hope this all helps, the bottom line is that this WoE does work, just trust the process, you will get there.

  • posted by Scottishgal
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    Hi Dsonn and welcome to the forum. I’m type 2 diabetic and been on meds for a long time. I noticed a reduction in my BG levels almost immediately. I have since reduced my meds and got my levels almost into normal range. I should point out that reducing calories alone can result in weight loss but to reduce BG levels it is crucial to drastically reduce your carb intake. You should be consuming no more than 50g of carbs per day. Some people need to reduce it further to 20g per day. I am sure if you do this you will see a difference within days. Exercise helps but isn’t a must.
    How often do you test and at what times of the day? First thing in the morning reading is usually the highest due to the dawn phenomenon and can be the hardest one to get under control. There are a few diabetics on here so any more questions just ask.

  • posted by DSonn
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    Thank you for your reply. I have reduced my carb intake and would say that my average over the period is about 30g per day, with quite a few days in the teens and a highest day of 45g. I normally test first thing in the morning in a fasting state. My levels are pre diabetic at around 6, but I want to knock that out before it progresses. I was wondering f I need to try to build some muscle mass to assist

  • posted by Scottishgal
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    Sorry Dsonn, I assumed you were diabetic. I’m afraid I’ve no idea if building muscle mass would reduce your BG levels. I’ve never heard of that one before. Although I know exercise can reduce it. Personally I’m happy when my levels are in the 5s and 6s. Have you tried testing later on in the day? Perhaps 2 hours after a meal.

  • posted by JGwen
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    Hi, How frequently are you eating? are you having 3 meals and snacks, or are you incorporating time restricted eating.

  • posted by DSonn
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    Sorry no I’m not and I am hoping to get it licked before it gets to that. I haven’t really tried testing later but i will give it a shot and see what I get.

  • posted by DSonn
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    Yes, I am eating mostly 3 meals regularly and some small snacks in between

  • posted by JGwen
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    Eating three meals and having snacks may be part of the problem.
    Have you thought about adding time restricted eating to the mix? It could be as simple as delaying and eventually skipping breakfast, and cutting out the snacks, so you move to two meals a day in an 8 hour window.

  • posted by Jennie10
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    Hi DSonn and congratulations on the 5kg down. That’s great going.

    Yes, like you, when I first started BSD, I got stuck on week 3 and didn’t lose anything for 2 weeks. It’s really frustrating. I think it happens a lot. I can’t really offer much advice on managing plateaus when they happen, I basically just stick them out – knowing they’ll pass – eventually!. Also, understanding what’s happening and the whoosh effect JGwen describes is really helpful. (Btw, KazzUK posted a video on the whoosh effect recently – you’ll find it on the Take A Look At This thread near the end of the thread – it’s ‘quirky’ but sometimes watching something can help. (You can search for the thread using the search box at the top of this page.

    But, what I really wanted to respond to was your questions about your blood sugar levels.

    Like Scottishgal, I have Type II diabetes. I started BSD on first being diagnosed in 2016. I also tested my bgls and my blood sugar levels also started coming down quite quickly. I know people can respond differently but that does tend to be the pattern unless you’re on insulin, or maybe some types of T2 medication, which clearly you’re not. That does make me think that there is something in your current plan that is stopping it working for you. My best guesses are:

    maybe eating to the glycaemic index isn’t working for you – there are some things that are low GI (some of which MM also advises) which personally spike my blood sugar levels, e.g. pulses, brown rice, carrots, apples. Some of these will affect my blood sugar even in the tiniest portion. Personally, I find dietdoctor.com https://www.dietdoctor.com/ a better guide on which foods to eat to impact your blood sugar levels. I base my meals on the info there (and on advice and tips on here). I find the visual guides to foods particularly helpful, but there’s lots of other great info as well.

    eating 3 meals and snacks – as JGwen says, that might be part of the problem, even when they add up to only 800 cals. The underlying problem of Type II diabetes, pre-diabetes and rising blood sugar levels is now believed by many experts, (although not enough!), to be too high insulin levels in your body. Insulin is produced every time we eat. So the idea behind not eating for a period is it gives your body a break from the insulin response, helps lower insulin, which in turn helps lower your blood sugar. Jason Fung (diabetes expert) advises that, at its simplest, this can just mean not snacking between meals. Or, as JGwen says, some people move to 2 meals a day, TRE, or intermittent fasting (Jason Fung’s schtick).

    you might be eating more carbs than you think – I say this as someone who is useless with guessing portion sizes etc. Or, it might be worth keeping to one level of carbs per day for a period, testing and seeing if your bgls are reducing, and if not, lowering your carb levels a bit and testing again for a period. If you do decide to test more than your fasting bgls then it would be worth testing before and after a few meals to see the impact of that meal. The standard advice is to test just before eating and then 2 hrs after eating. If your blood sugar has risen by more than 2 mmol/l then that meal has probably got too many carbs in it for you.

    Finally, as Scottishgal says, the fasting bgls can often be the last to reduce, so seeing what your numbers are like at other times might be helpful.

    As far as exercise goes, I’ve read that building muscle mass can help to manage blood sugar levels, but that sentence is the sum of my knowledge. I do exercise and walk, but you don’t have to do any of that for this way of eating to work.

    I’m always conscious I might be teaching granny to suck eggs (did I just call you granny??!!) but hope this helps.

    Jennie xx
    Edited: btw, I’m not suggesting you need to do all these things at once, I’d just start with anything you instinctively feel might be the problem with your current plan x

  • posted by DSonn
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    Hi Jennie, First of all let me thank you for taking the time with such a detailed and encouraging reply. I will try sticking to only two meals a day and no snacks. Also I have been eating quite a few carrots so maybe that is something to look at as you suggest. I will cut them out and see if that has any effect. I am using the Fitness Pal App to measure my carbs, so it should be quite accurate.
    I will also try measuring bgls before and after meals to try to get a better picture of what might be going on. I will definitely just keep on persevering because the objective is too important to take lightly. Granny xx

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