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Stall since beginning exercise?



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Hi friends,

I'll be 1 year out from RNY on 1/31/19 - exciting! I was a naughty girl and didn't incorporate exercise until about 3 weeks ago. Since then I've been really diligent going to the gym 5-6 days a week, doing primarily cardio and core but strength twice a week as well. Since then the scale has been awful. I'm going up and down the same 2lbs over and over and over when I'm absolutely maintaining a caloric deficit (eating ~1100 calories a day). My diet obviously has been the key to losing for me, but now I'm so close to the finish line and trying to do good by myself with the exercise and it's stalled out completely.

Has anyone else had any experience with this? I'm trying not to be discouraged, and I'm so super happy about my progress.. but I am dying to get that normal BMI for the first time in my life!!

Thanks in advance. :)

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17 minutes ago, yes_anastasia said:

Hi friends,

I'll be 1 year out from RNY on 1/31/19 - exciting! I was a naughty girl and didn't incorporate exercise until about 3 weeks ago. Since then I've been really diligent going to the gym 5-6 days a week, doing primarily cardio and core but strength twice a week as well. Since then the scale has been awful. I'm going up and down the same 2lbs over and over and over when I'm absolutely maintaining a caloric deficit (eating ~1100 calories a day). My diet obviously has been the key to losing for me, but now I'm so close to the finish line and trying to do good by myself with the exercise and it's stalled out completely.

Has anyone else had any experience with this? I'm trying not to be discouraged, and I'm so super happy about my progress.. but I am dying to get that normal BMI for the first time in my life!!

Thanks in advance. :)

Yep, I experienced this.

Weight loss may slow the closer you get to goal. Your body has less fat to burn. Give your body time to adjust to your exercise plan. Weight loss is diet exercise is fitness. Great that your lifting. Sometimes we lose muscle with rapid weight loss.

Don't get discouraged, You are doing fantastic.

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What you are experiencing is totally normal and should be expected. If you start a diet/lifestyle and don't incorporate exercise in that new lifestyle, you can lose plenty of weight with diet alone (with or without bariatric surgery). The moment you change your lifestyle habits by adding in what sounds like a new and reasonably intensive exercise regimen, you're going to probably experience what appears to stall or slow down in weight loss. Your body will begin to increase your volume and percentage of skeletal muscle--which is a good thing. Muscle burns calories at rest, which enhances your metabolism even when you're not at the gym. At the same time, muscle is more dense than fat. You can lose inches by adding muscle, but your total weight stays the same (depending on the rate that you burn through your fat reserves). In the beginning of your new exercise regime, you may initially gain muscle faster than you lose excess fat. This could look like a gain or stall on your scale, since a regular scale only tells you how much you weigh--without distinguishing fat from muscle or considering body composition. If you have a good BIA scale or invest in something like an Omron Body Fat Monitor (Omron HBF-306C Body Fat Monitor) you'll see a change in your body composition over the course of a few weeks of moderate to intense training (with a drop in body fat % and increase in skeletal muscle). As long as your body fat is dropping and your muscle mass is increasing, you're making progress in your weight loss journey. After a few weeks, you'll see the scale drop as your body (including your new muscle tissue) needs to burn more calories to meet your daily requirements and turns to fat tissue to get the job done (provided you are sticking closely to your diet).

Here's a tip--never fall into the trap of thinking that because you're hitting the gym, you can eat more calories--that's how you get into a true stall or end up gaining weight. Adding calories with exercise only applies to certain types of athletes and bodybuilders (which should exclude pretty much everyone on this forum--myself included!!).

Another tip is to keep your cardio to a reasonable amount, but don't over do it. Most experts and trainers would advise that a non-athlete do no more than an hour of cardio a day at a moderate to reasonably intense level (spending most of your cardio time getting your heart rate into zone 3 or 4 (your BPM changes with age, so you should look into this for yourself using this Target Heart Rate Chart. Also, you may want to increase your weight training from 2 days a week to 4. Even better, you might want to try doing something like a boot camp class or orange theory, which combine weight training and cardio into a one hour class so you're doing both at the same time. This is called High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) and it's probably the most effective and time efficient way to get fit (and lose weight). Don't let the name scare you, what's high intensity is always relative to your age and fitness level so anyone can do it.

[P.S. I worked as a certified personal trainer for about 4.5 years when I was in my 20's--seems like a lifetime ago. I know what to do, just haven't been doing the right things for myself for a long time!].

Edited by SteveT74

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Yes, that makes sense because your body senses that you're doing something different and it wants to wait and see what's going on before responding. Keep up the good work!

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I am experiencing the same thing I am a year post op 4/17 and went from 287 to 232 I started working out last July and lost 20 pounds to get the point I am now and I have been stalled ever since. I did however complete a half marathon and am now training for a full. Its been 4ish months at the same weight. I do see gains at the gym but it is frustrating to say the least to not be moving the needle on the scale.

Sent from my SM-N950U using BariatricPal mobile app

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On 1/25/2019 at 8:57 AM, SteveT74 said:

What you are experiencing is totally normal and should be expected. If you start a diet/lifestyle and don't incorporate exercise in that new lifestyle, you can lose plenty of weight with diet alone (with or without bariatric surgery). The moment you change your lifestyle habits by adding in what sounds like a new and reasonably intensive exercise regimen, you're going to probably experience what appears to stall or slow down in weight loss. Your body will begin to increase your volume and percentage of skeletal muscle--which is a good thing. Muscle burns calories at rest, which enhances your metabolism even when you're not at the gym. At the same time, muscle is more dense than fat. You can lose inches by adding muscle, but your total weight stays the same (depending on the rate that you burn through your fat reserves). In the beginning of your new exercise regime, you may initially gain muscle faster than you lose excess fat. This could look like a gain or stall on your scale, since a regular scale only tells you how much you weigh--without distinguishing fat from muscle or considering body composition. If you have a good BIA scale or invest in something like an Omron Body Fat Monitor (Omron HBF-306C Body Fat Monitor) you'll see a change in your body composition over the course of a few weeks of moderate to intense training (with a drop in body fat % and increase in skeletal muscle). As long as your body fat is dropping and your muscle mass is increasing, you're making progress in your weight loss journey. After a few weeks, you'll see the scale drop as your body (including your new muscle tissue) needs to burn more calories to meet your daily requirements and turns to fat tissue to get the job done (provided you are sticking closely to your diet).

Here's a tip--never fall into the trap of thinking that because you're hitting the gym, you can eat more calories--that's how you get into a true stall or end up gaining weight. Adding calories with exercise only applies to certain types of athletes and bodybuilders (which should exclude pretty much everyone on this forum--myself included!!).

Another tip is to keep your cardio to a reasonable amount, but don't over do it. Most experts and trainers would advise that a non-athlete do no more than an hour of cardio a day at a moderate to reasonably intense level (spending most of your cardio time getting your heart rate into zone 3 or 4 (your BPM changes with age, so you should look into this for yourself using this Target Heart Rate Chart. Also, you may want to increase your weight training from 2 days a week to 4. Even better, you might want to try doing something like a boot camp class or orange theory, which combine weight training and cardio into a one hour class so you're doing both at the same time. This is called High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) and it's probably the most effective and time efficient way to get fit (and lose weight). Don't let the name scare you, what's high intensity is always relative to your age and fitness level so anyone can do it.

[P.S. I worked as a certified personal trainer for about 4.5 years when I was in my 20's--seems like a lifetime ago. I know what to do, just haven't been doing the right things for myself for a long time!].

This is far and away the best explanation I've read about what happens when you add exercise to life after weight loss surgery. I too used to be a PT 😊 (talk about do as I say and not what I do!!) and I'm 6 months post vsg and training hard. You would think I would know why I weigh basically the same but have dropped a dress size this past month, but the scales have done my head in. Reading your explanation has reminded me to be patient and let my body catch up!!

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You are building muscle and also probably having Fluid fluctuations. Hang in there! Exercise will be your life saver.

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