fasting plateau

This topic contains 34 replies, has 15 voices, and was last updated by  yusra 6 years, 10 months ago.

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  • I do a 36 hour fast every 2 days and lost around 20 lbs in a week now i am at a plateau what should i do, i do not feel weak

    i was around 279 and lost around 20 lbs and now im stuck on 256

    any advice

    Hi hue and welcome:

    People that do not eat anything lose an average of about a pound a day. Your 20 pounds in a week was mostly water weight.

    You have not hit a real ‘plateau’ – your body has lost most of the water weight it is going to lose and now you have to just wait for fat loss to occur.

    So what you do is what you have been doing. Just keep on. Your weight will start to go down when it is ready to go down any more. But you cannot expect to continue to lose 20 pounds a week – given your eating pattern, about a pound and a half to two pounds a week would be about right. So over time that is what you should expect – including your initial 20 pound loss – so you will have more than one week where your losses are minimal. Or you might even go up a bit if you regain some of that water weight.

    Good Luck!

    Have to agree with Sim, it would have been mostly water loss. Even if your TDEE was 3000+ and you didn’t eat anything for 7 days that would equate to a real fat loss of about 4-5 pounds. A real loss of 1-2 pounds is sustainable over the long term. I only lost on average 0.7 pounds over the course of 2015.

    Stick with it and good luck.

    sorry, lost around 20 lbs over “2 WEEKS” not 1 week

    I lost 69 pounds (4.92 stone) from June 2015 to December 2015. I went from 253 (18 stone) to 184 (13 stone). Since then I’ve been fighting to lose more weight. I go up a pound or 2 and come back down a pound or 2. I haven’t given up. I even increased my exercise but I’m just not losing.It’s driving me NUTS. No weight loss in 5 months. This is a monster plateau. I’m really careful about my eating and the amount of water I drink. I don’t drink soda or juice. I don’t eat added salt, no sugar and no processed foods. Has anyone else been in this predicament and, if so, what did you do to turn it around. Thanks for any suggestions you can give me.

    What about your simple carbs like pasta, bread, rice, potatoes? Are you still having those as part of your staple? Swap those out for fish/meat with salads. Do you eat breakfast cereals? If yes swap that for high fat low sugar yogurt or egg and bacon.

    Have you decreased your TDEE inline with your weight loss?
    How many days per week are you fasting and when do you eat on FDs?

    Keep the carbs as low as possible without making yourself miserable, reduce the amount you eat on non FDs.

    If you eat more than once per day on FDs change it to dinner only and if you are already doing that consider zero calorie FDs

    Add another FD into your routine.

    Because I’m a diabetic (well, pre-diabetic now) I rarely eat pasta, bread, rice or potatoes. I also don’t eat breakfast cereals or bacon. The only meat I eat occasionally is chicken and fish. The reason I don’t eat much meat is because I’m trying to keep down gout attacks. I have tracked my protein amounts that I get through other sources and I’m where I should be with that. I do eat low fat cottage cheese (1/2 cup) or low sugar yogurt (1/2 cup), but not every day. I’m at a loss.

    Amazon, I was just reading about the TDEE because I didn’t really understand. I’ll have to look into it further. I fast 5 days. Okay, I’ll try that – changing to dinner only. What does FD stand for? Never mind. It stands for fast day. I’ll try that too.

    I thank both of you for your feedback. (Amazon & bigbooty)

    Hi SkunkOnARug,

    I give my few cents to this. You cannot obviously lower your calory intake endlessly, long term very low cal intake slows metabolism down. Fasting is working, but body adapts to every change and after few months weight stops to drop. If you eat below your TDEE you shouldn’t eat even less during feast days in order to lose weight, this is the same with lowering carbs, you cannot avoid it completely, but you are diabetic and it’s different.

    If you do all things right, and don’t lose, you must change something. You have to also overeat sometimes to re-start your metabolism. If you follow the same pattern for a long time, you must change it in order to confuse your body. Try different approach with fasting, like two consecutive days, if you eat 500 Kcal during your fasting day, eat them after 24 hours and then continue fasting the next day and after another 24 hours 500 Kcal. Changing the schedule or pattern may help to re-start loosing weight. Fasting has health benefits at the first place and weight loss is just side effect of it.

    Dr. Fung gives very good advises on losing weight especially for diabetics. Read these
    questions and his answers, he is specialist. Here is the link:

    You might be interesting in sections: “Weight Loss Problems and Intermittent Fasting” and “Intermittent Fasting and Type 2 Diabetes”

    Thank you TrueMirror. I’ve been working up a new plan of action today and the info you provide will help greatly. I’m also going to check out that link you provided as soon as I sent this message.

    Have to agree with truemirror. If your fasting for 5 days and eating normally for 2 then your body’s metabolic rate has slowed to a crawl. When you say you fast, is it zero cals or 500/600 cals? Id be swapping it to 2 days of zero cal fasting and eating normally up to your TDEE on the other 5 days. You want your body to not think its in diet mode so that your metabolic rate increase again. This may take a while.

    On fasting days I was eating 500/600 calories, but I don’t think I was keeping good track of the amount. Yesterday signed up for a site where I can keep better track and yesterday I had 926 calories. It was a non-fast day and I just didn’t feel hungry to eat more. I don’t eat unless I’m hungry. Anyway, the good news is I weighed this morning and the scale finally budged (downward). I’ll be changing things up per everyone’s suggestions and keeping better track of calories also. I have written down everything I eat for almost a year but was estimating calories in my head. I better not count on my head anymore. And by the way, I sure do appreciate everyone’s help. Without it I feel like I’d still be “stuck”.

    Hello everyone,

    When we face a plateau, it seems that just happens to us and we will not lose weight

    I began April 01, and looking at my numbers, I realized that these three months the weight loss followed a certain pattern, a week weight down and stopped two weeks and then repeats the loss and the plateau.

    In three months gone 6 kilos, but many days the scale stop weight up, the important thing is to persist, even not losing weight my body is changing, becoming more defined, my clothes are looser now than when he was less weight.

    Today another day of fasting and a lot of determination because I have a goal to lose another 15 Kilos.

    Hugs to all of Brazil

    What I find useful is a free app to track my weight. It’s called Libra. You put in your current weight and your goal weight, and it shows you the trend and forecasts the day you will hit your goal weight. I find it useful to focus on the big picture. With these fasting diets, weight fluctuates even more than it would if you were eating the same every day.

    I’ve gained weight the past 2 days. I’m losing about 1/3 of a pound each week, which is very slow. But as long as the app shows me making progress I know all is well!


    And to all who are interested

    Still on plateau and WHOOSH

    Keeping it all in perspective:

    A STALL is defined as having lost no pounds and no inches in at least four weeks. Two days is not a stall. Two weeks is not a stall. It has to be at least four weeks. The reason anything less is not a stall is that sometimes your body just needs to take a break and adjust to the body fat you’ve already eliminated. This can take a few weeks. If it’s over four weeks, though, there’s probably something else going on, and you should examine your approach for ways you may be sabotaging your own progress. Too much protein? Not enough sleep? Food sensitivities (which, BTW, can develop at any time)? Stress (cortisol can be a huge problem for some people)? Carb creep? Too much processed food? Not enough fat? Hormone upheaval (as you eliminate fat – which is a metabolically active entity in its own right – your hormone balance shifts and can impact your progress)?

    Any number of underlying factors can cause a stall/plateau. Stalls/plateaus can be a natural consequence of shifting hormones and metabolism as our bodies adapt to a different composition, resolving on their own with persistence. Stalls/plateaus can be the result of increasing muscle mass, so body composition is improving even though the scale isn’t budging. But, stalls/plateaus can also indicate that we’re dealing with an underlying issue we haven’t considered yet, like: sleep, high stress, undiagnosed autoimmune disease, adrenal fatigue, micronutrient deficiencies, overeating calorie-dense foods like nuts, or UNDER-eating calories. It’s important to consider all of these possibilities and correctly address the underlying causes for sustainable elimination of body fat.

    A PLATEAU occurs when you’ve been stuck at the same weight for a couple of weeks, but less than four. A plateau is extremely annoying, frustrating, discouraging, irritating, aggravating, bothersome, troublesome, disturbing and vexatious. It’s also perfectly normal and healthy, and is going to happen every now and then. Again, it’s your body adjusting to the fat that it has already eliminated, or to an increase in exercise, or a reaction to some transitory variation in your diet. Fuss and fume and gripe and whine, but don’t sweat it. And if you were eliminating body fat before the plateau, DON’T CHANGE WHAT YOU ARE DOING! If it worked last week, and the week before, it will probably continue working in a couple more weeks. Save the tinkering for a true stall.

    A POST-INDUCTION (fancy term for any significant drop in dietary carb levels) STALL is just what it sounds like, except it’s really a plateau instead of a stall. Remember how much scale weight you lost the first couple of weeks of eating CLEAN lower carb Paleo? 5 or 10 pounds in a couple of weeks, more for some people? 5% or more of your body weight is not unusual, though some of it is the release of water you’ve been retaining for the purpose of processing carbs and responding to inflammation. That’s a big change for your body to get used to! With that big of a change, it may call a halt to the whole process while it figures out whether everything is ok. Your body needs time to come to come to the conclusion that it is still being fed appropriately, and that there are no new health issues to worry about. Also remember, your fat cells don’t go away. As they release fat, they replace it with water in order to reserve the storage space should you lose your mind and go back to eating higher carbs… the body is efficient that way (also why you can lose inches, but not weight on the scale… water is heavy but does not take up as much room as does fat). After a couple of weeks, when they realize that the storage space really is no longer required, your fat cells will respond accordingly. Which leads us to our last definition….

    A WHOOSH is a big, sudden drop in scale weight, usually after a plateau. You may wake up one morning and find that you’ve lost 2 or 3 pounds overnight. Congratulations! You’ve just had a visit from the Whoosh Fairy! The fat cells finally decide that it’s ok to collapse completely and let go of the water/space they’ve been hording ‘just in case’. Your elimination of body fat should resume, but probably at a slower rate than during the first few weeks. Some people are slow but steady, and others are habitual ‘whooshers’.

    This overall process will continue in one stage or another as long as you stay with LCHF, and are working on eliminating body fat. You’ll eliminate for a while, and then suddenly, without anything else changing, you’ll be stuck. You’ll be frustrated and annoyed and aggravated, and you’ll whine and gripe and complain, and you’ll want to change something, but it probably won’t matter what you change because your body needs time to adjust and find its way through the process. The elimination of body fat isn’t a linear relationship to the variables in play, however if you trust the overall process, you’ll be more successful in the long run, than if you are constantly tweaking the variables.

    Plateaus are normal. Stay focused on your success

    I think I’m on a plateau…

    I had 2 weeks over christmas where I didn’t fast, and came back weighing in at exactly the same amount! I was pleasantly surprised. Except now, I keep losing up to 3 pounds in a month (still fasting), and it immediately those 3 pounds come back again. This cycle has been going on for 3 months now. Is this a plateau, and how do I keep those 3 pounds off and move onto losing more?

    Hi Kelly,
    Jason Fung(The Obesity Myth) would suggest that your body is simply doing what it aims to do which is to maintain the status quo. So, if you want to change your bodies set weight then it is necessary to fast for longer and make sure that you are not snacking between meals. I have lent my copy to a friend but this is what I can remember off the top of my head.

    Try a couple of 24 hour fasts and then see what happens. I eat my evening meal, then miss breakfast and lunch..then eat again in the evening. I was very skeptical but found eating less was easier than having 500 calories. I also got the scales to shift and my waist to shrink.

    Fung regards obesity as a multi-factorial problem and suggests that it is also important to reduce stress, get enough sleep, reduce sugar and reduce complex carbs(rice/pasta/bread) and to fast for 24+ hours.Apologies if have forgotten anything. I will try and get hold of my copy and update you soon.

    Hi Kelly:

    If you have neither gained nor lost weight for three months, by definition you are eating to your TDEE. The only way to lose weight is to eat less than your TDEE. So the answer to your question is to eat less than you have been eating.

    Here are somc thoughts on plateaus:

    Good Luck!

    Have to agree with Sim. 3 months is not a plateau, its maintenance. So take stock of what you eat and how much you eat and change something. Just remember exactly what you are doing for when you finally reach your goal weight and what to enter maintenance mode. Although 5:2 doesn’t “ban” any foods, I have found that certain foods make the task of weight loss very difficult to achieve. Alcohol, cereal based foods, sugar in all its forms makes the task very difficult. A 2000 calorie daily diet of chocolates and cakes and a 2000 calorie daily diet of veggies is going to yield very different results.

    I do not lose weight too and whenever I say that I hear advice of cutting carbs. Before I used to have low or no carbs diets and I could lose weight very fast and effectively. BUT that was not something I could continue that’s why I turned to fasting. Now if I should fast and reduce carbs and many other diet advice what’s the use of this fasting for weight loss?!!! I don’t see the point. I know fasting is very good for health but I see from my experience and others not a special thing for weight loss.

    Hi Schatzii,

    For a lot of people fasting is a do-able diet regimen that they can keep doing. You do not necessarily have to go low carb as such, you just need to choose the carbs very wisely. 2000 calories of sugar based carbs and 2000 calories of carbs embedded in fibre like veggies will yield different results.

    Yes fasting is very good for health. I have now been fasting for about 2 years and still fast once per week every Monday as part of my maintenance> I have been doing this for over a year now. I regularly have bloods taken to check my state of health every 6 months. I have seen a massive improvement in key markers. I typically change one aspect of my diet and then check if it has had a positive or negative result after 6 months.

    Personally I think intermittent fasting produces better results than attempting to do a constant calorie restrictive diet. i.e. If you want to lose weight and you calculate that you need 2000 cal per day to achieve this would it be better to eat 2000 per day for the week = 14000 cal. or would it be better to eat 2800/day = 14000 for the week and then to fast for the other two days. No contest intermittent fasting is the way to go.

    Hi @bigbooty

    thanks for ur comment. Actually reducing carb normally results in reducing calories. I mean when any how we have to reduce carb (wether we fast or not) then what’s the use of this fasting for weight loss? We can reduce carb and lose weight and that’s all. As a matter of fact, fasting lonely does not result in weight loss. what u r losing weight with are the beside factors like reducing carb and etc.

    Thanks everyone, this is really useful stuff! I’m going to try 2 days straight of the 24 hour fast that annette52 suggested. I normally fast by doing 3 meals a day, and spreading those days out, so hopefully this shake up will help 🙂


    Reducing carbs does not necessarily mean reducing calories. You are correct fasting does not necessarily mean weight loss. I have now been fasting and maintaining my weight for over a year. I could just as easily stop fasting once per week and decide to eat less each day. However I believe that there are decided benefits to fasting which you just don’t get with a constant restricted calorie diet. There is a lot of research out there on fasting.

    Each to their own though, and you need to do what works for you.

    Hello all. I have been 5 weeks on 3:4, I am 160cm and 68.5 kg…I have an underactive thyroid and have elevated cholesterol. I thought that by doing 3:4, and making sure I stay under my TDEE I would shift weight. Gained 2.2lbs this week. Feeling angry…if I have been diligent in my 3:4, and watching my non-fasting behaviour, I expect better results than this. I may as well go back to non-stop dieting…all I am doing now is counting calories, there is no sense of eating ‘normally’ on non-fast days, and even when keeping to 3:4 and my TDEE, it isn’t enough, and, yes, I walk everyday. The 3:4 was supposed to give you a greater buffer against weight gain. It doesn’t work, and I’m thinking I may as well give up and go back to a normal life.

    Hi Poppy,

    Im assuming you have had a thyroid function test and measured T3, T4 and TSH? Are your T3 and T4 levels low and TSH high? If indeed you do have a thyroid problem then the TDEE calculations are really meaningless.

    By definition if you are fasting 3:4 (4 days of fasting?) and not losing weight then you are eating your TDEE (or more)for the week. There is no magic involved. The TDEE calculator on this site will give you a close estimate of what your TDEE will be but it could easily be 10% or more out. It is only a rough guide.

    While 5:2 does not ban any foods, some foods make it very hard to lose weight. The concept of a calorie is a calorie is at best misguided and at worst completely false. If the concept was correct then 2000 calories worth of chocolates and cakes would be exactly the same as 2000 calories of broccoli. Do you really think the results would be the same if you ate both of those foods daily for a week?

    Eating sugar and other simple carbs inhibits the production of CCK by the small intestines. CCK is a hormone that signals the brain that you are satiated. Fats and to a lesser extent protein increase the production of CCK. Further compounding the problem is that fructose (they put this sugar in ALL processed foods) inhibits the uptake of CCK to the brain. So your brain never resisters that you are “full”. Eat fruit in moderation and NEVER as a smoothie.

    So not only do you have to watch the overall TDEE intake choosing the correct foods plays a HUGE role in weight gain/loss. As a general rule avoid ALL sugar in ALL its forms. Avoid simple grain based carbs. So no bread, cake biscuits, cereals, muesli bars etc. If its made from grains or flour don’t have it.

    Good luck.

    Hi Booty,

    yes, low T3/4 and high TSH. I’m fasting 3 days a week (I guess it is 4;3, then). I use a calorie tracker and log everything – there are very few days that I go over TDEE, and if it is it is only but 100 calories or so. I don’t eat much sugar at all, no red meat, no fried food. I keep a pretty clean diet. The scales don’t budge. I appreciate the feedback, though.

    Kind regards Poppy.

    Wow, just on the first day I lost 2 pounds doing that 24 hour fast!
    I have learnt from it that maybe I could do a full day fast? I made the deadly mistake of having a cake as part of the 500 calories, it only had a drop of icing on top, but it severed my willpower to do 2 days in a row. I’m doing my second fast day later in the week now. Thanks again Annette!

    hi @bigbooty
    Thanks for ur idea. Surely I will read more on this subject to learn more.

    @ kelly_diet congrats for ur results 🙂


    get the book by Jason Fung, the obesity code. Very good read and written in a very accessible manner.

    @kelly_diet – a part of the 2 pounds you lost will be water, don’t be discouraged when it comes back. Over time you will lose fat, become slimmer and lose weight. Fasting tends to really dehydrate people.

    Hii…. I was 65 killos when I started my water fasting …. for 5 days I lost to 58.5 killos … on the 6th day I decided to eat my favourite meal with high calories .. then I went to check my weight on next day I was 59killos … I didn’t mind … I just started my new water fasting diet the next day…..n now t has been 3days since I started but everything is same …i lost nothing…but also in this new weak of water fasting I reduced drinking water from 2liters to 1litter bcz I was scared of water poisoning. …. ey friends , do u think I reached weight plateaus already … and if I did , how long can it take to lose weight again 😢 ..

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