Has anyone hit a weight plateau?

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Has anyone hit a weight plateau?

This topic contains 26 replies, has 17 voices, and was last updated by  AuroraMagic 2 years, 1 month ago.

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  • Hi All, I am hoping for some good advice on this issue.

    I started 5:2 fasting in September and all went well until the third week of October when my weight now seems to have hit a plateau. I weighted myself yesterday (I check my weight every Saturday), and not only I haven’t lost weight but I’ve gained weight since last week! (0.8lb)

    Measures of my hips, waist, bust and neck have also hit a plateau since 2 weeks ago.

    This makes no sense to me as I haven’t stopped fasting, I’ve kept the same dieting plan since the first week in September, I’ve kept my HIIT and walking routine, I don’t drink anything that isn’t water, black coffee and tea, even in NFD, and also during NFD I eat and cook the same meals I plan from Mimi’s books. I may eat some ice cream or a scone during the weekend however, even if I am out in NFD, I make sure I choose meals that are healthy and in line with the meal plan.

    I fast on Mondays and Thursdays and do one 500-calorie meal in the evening around 8pm.

    This week, I added a 3rd fasting day on Wednesday but didn’t really work due to work commitments. I had to change the meal plan in the last minute, still I had one low-calorie meal at around 9pm after fasting all day, and then fasted as normal on Thursday. Next week, I will fast on Tuesday instead and see how it goes.

    I am fasting for all the health reasons it has however, I am also fasting to lose weight and hit my goal.

    Has anyone got a similar story? I’d appreciate some comments as I am not sure what am I doing wrong or what I need to change.


    nobody? πŸ™

    Hi Beatriz. Plateaus are pretty common on any weight loss plan. I’m doing maintenance now (same 5:2 fasts but eating a little more on NFDs) but have been living the 5:2 way of life for about 18 months. I hit a couple plateaus along the way too. I never counted calories on NFD, just tried to eat mindfully. When I thought my NFDs were ok and I wasn’t snacking too much, I just added an extra FD for one week and that usually broke the plateau and got things moving again. .8 lbs is really not much. My weight can vary by over 2 pounds between some FD and NFD. I weigh everyday but concentrate more on the general trend downward.

    Eating a lot of fresh or frozen vegetables and fruits works well for me because they’re so filling. A whole bag of frozen broccoli is often a good part of my meal. (I like broccoli.) Keep in mind that this is a long term way of eating . If you treat it like a diet, you’ll just gain it all back when the diet is over. It gets to be so routine after a while that you’ll hardly think about it, other than to occasionally move a day around to accommodate a holiday or other event.

    Do you have a lot to lose? When your weight gets close to goal, things tend to go a little slower too. Good luck to you. You can do this!

    Thanks CalifDreamer for your message and encouragement! I feel better knowing plateaus are common. It sounds like I am being a little impatient and relying too much on numbers.

    I’ve done 3 FD this week and today I weighed and measured myself again (I do it every Saturday), and I’ve lost weight and volume. Although I had already achieved today’s weight 3 weeks ago, it’s always good news when I know I’ve lost some weight.

    To prepare my meals on both FD and NFD, I use the recipes on their books which are calorie counted, and I am mindful that this way of eating is going to be for life. I’m learning how to mix new flavours and I always look forward to cooking and eating, which is unheard of!

    I’d like to lose 10kgs; so far, I’ve lost 4kgs.


    Yep! I have hit it. Not sure why. I am getting back into ADF again though.

    Forgive my ignorance. Is ADF alternate fast days or similar? I can’t work it out.


    Yes, alternate day fasting. It seems to work for me most of the time. I just naturally don’t get hungry a lot! We will see how it goes.

    How are things for you? Any progress?

    Thanks. Yes, I did three FD last week and that seemed to work. I’ll do the same this week and find out if I need to add more of them, or perhaps try alternate days too.

    Sounds good. I am about the same with ADF. I love it actually. Just sometimes I get hungry on FD when I workout, but not starving. obviously! I totally have enough on me to keep me going;)

    Have a great day. Today is FD for me!

    Beatriz, when I gain or hit a plateau, I become scrupulous about what I eat on a Slow Day. I write it down, since that is a reality check. Eventually, the plateau will be passed.
    I’ve been known to gain 3 pounds from one week to the next, due to large eating events like a holiday meal or a dinner out. With careful management, that goes away sooner or later. In my 5 years of Fasting, I have come to recognize that certain foods, like white rice and beer, put on weight on me and that weight is harder to lose. You will find you own way.
    Good luck.

    Hi fasting_me, thanks for your message. It’s very helpful advice and I appreciate it.

    I’m now typically around 80kg, but when I started I was at 106kg. I did the normal calorie restriction and always felt bad, mostly hungry while losing weight. I made down to about 92kg and was stuck there for two years. It was a horrible experience. I consider that a plateau.

    Finally I fixed it by cutting foods with added sugar out of my diet. I was able to eat more and the weight started dropping and my hunger was greatly reduced. After that I started fasting, I’m on my 3rd year of fasting now. At this point I’m fasting more for health. However I’m maintaining a much lower body weight than I could with calorie restriction. (Actually starvation!)

    I think it is pretty normal to get stuck a weight for a month or two, it happens to almost everyone.

    Yeah – i hit plateaus but then i’ve been fasting for nearly 18mths now. I just do 5:2 and don’t calorie count on non-fast days. I used to get very annoyed if i had a disciplined week and the weight didn’t move! But you learn that your body has a mind of its own and if you feed it well then it decides when its ready to shed the weight.

    I find my body holds a lot of water weight if i eat processed carbs – white bread, crackers, beer, sugary things. Even if they are within the calorie limits. It makes for bigger swings one week to the next. So i try limit them but its not easy! Keep going and don’t worry if it takes a while to shed the 6kg as you want to keep it off.

    Start think now about what you will do differently when you hit your target – fast 1 day a week or go vegan! My grandmother was a dancer and she told me she fasted a day a week to stay slender while on stage and that was in the 1930s. I should have listened to her yrs ago.

    I hit a plateau too. I am on one now, about 1.5 kg above my ultimate weight goal, having lost around 8 kg since I started 5:2 7 months ago. Not a big deal, since even after I ultimately do reach my goal I intend to keep on with the fasting. I feel so much better doing this. Hang in there BeatrizFD, this stuff works, not only with the weight, but overall with feeling good.

    Hi John, thanks for the encouragement. Well done! That’s a great progress.

    I think I panicked a little when I didn’t see any change in two weeks. I seem to associate the numbers with being successful, and also with motivation, so I get demotivated when ‘nothing’ happens.

    Having said that I’ve lost another kilogram since I wrote my first post, making a total of 6kg since I started fasting in September! I changed from 5:2 to 4:3 and then to ADF. It looks like it’s a matter of finding what works for you.

    Feeling great overall! And dreading the Christmas holidays… I wonder what’s people’s plan to keep things under control…

    my plateau is annoying me too much frankly. I have been on the FD since feb this year and it was all going well with a steady decrease in my weight. I lost 10Kg in the first 6 months, i was 93 when i started. I skipped for 10 days when i went for holiday in the summer and that’s it. Now my weight has gone up to 87KG and can not get it below that for 3 months. not really sure what to do!!
    I normally have boiled egg and cucumber in the morning, an apple for lunch (just as Mimi Spencer suggested in the book) and finish off with fish, salad, low fat yogurt at night. my calorie count is 600 to the mark which is what is recommended for a male. On non fast days, i eat well but wouldn’t say excessive. I like bread!! dont drink much alcohol. i cycle 1-3 a week.

    i tried 3 days but didn’t fit into my work. i tried to skip one week as it was suggested in the book to reboot the loss and it did work for a bit.

    any advice or suggestion? morale is low….

    Hi hilali1 and BeatrizFD, I’m not an expert (still have stacks to lose), but an extra tip that has been going the rounds in the past few months is 18:6 – i.e., fast for 18 hours in a 24 hour period, and only eat within a 6-hour window. That could mean no breakfast, lunch at 1 p.m., and dinner at 6 finishing by 7 p.m. The idea is that it is a daily intermittent fast that puts the body each day into ketosis so it burns fat instead of glucose. I’m trying 17:7 rather than 18:6, and it’s going okay. A friend has been doing 18:6 eating for a while and lost stacks of weight. Anyway, it’s another option you might like to add to your routine.

    Just an extra comment – I’ve lost weight dieting in the past (5:2 is a way of life, not a diet) and routinely plateau about every 3 kgs of weight loss. It’s common.

    Don’t know much about the 18:6. Does it have the same health benefits of the 5:2 and when you are fasting can you still have tea, water and coffee?

    The 6-hour eating window, 18-hours not eating system can be added to the 5:2 diet, and you keep to it whether it’s a fast day or non-fast day. It fits in quite well, unless you’re someone who needs 3 meals a day. Eating 18:6 really depends on whether it’s something you could fit into your lifestyle. Tea, water and coffee are definitely allowed, but during the 18-hour not eating time, no milk or sugar, as you’re wanting the body to move across to using fat, not glucose. Drinking plenty of water is encouraged!

    It’s just a suggestion that can be added to the 5:2 regime of eating, particularly to aid the weight-loss process. Unlike the 5:2 eating regime, I probably wouldn’t keep doing it once I reached maintenance weight.

    1)do you mean i do this in the non-fast days and keep the fast days as they are with the calorie restrictions?

    2) can you eat anything in the 6 hour window?

    The theory I’ve heard is that you can do it all the time, fast day or non-fast day. My friend who has been doing the 18:6 is not doing the 5:2 way of life, but has said that she doesn’t take much notice of what she eats in the 6 hour eating window. Irrespective, she’s lost several kilos very easily.

    If it fits the way you eat, or you can easily adjust the way your eat, it may be an extra option to try, but it has to be something which suits you and your lifestyle. Why don’t you do a google search and get more information about it? I don’t really know a lot.

    I’m not doing SW, but I did want to respond as stalls are so frustrating!

    I do think losing weight is hard, and once you’ve lost as much as you have, your body really fights for every pound. I’ve lost just over 9 stone, but the last 2 months have only see me lose a pound or two. Things that have helped me:

    have goals that are not scale number related eg walking more, going down clothes sizes, finding you fit in a space you didn’t before
    focus on how much better you feel, and how good your skin/hair etc. looks.
    measure inches. So many times I haven’t lost weight, but have lost inches
    vary food. I read that sometimes your body gets used to eating the same meals. So I have tried to vary. I have no idea if this is based on anything scientific, but I figured it can’t hurt to try
    I went on holiday in June, and had a small gain. But 1 week of not counting meant I lost when I came back. So you can think about upping your syns for a week and see what happens

    Other things you may want to look at are:

    check your water intake and make sure you’re drinking enough
    have you ever looked into food intolerances? Sometimes this can cause water retention.
    are you eating a lot of carbs? Maybe up your protein?
    have you started exercising? This can affect scale weight
    do you drink/eat a lot of sweeteners? Some people claim this affects them, although I’ve never had issues
    are you constipated?
    do you eat a lot of fruit? This can add calories, so you can think about cutting back
    Are you sleeping properly? If not this can affect weight loss.

    Good luck

    Thanks for that I needed to hear it so I can keep going !

    Hi Hilali and Betsylee,

    Yes, the ‘window’ approach really does work.
    My husband and I lost about 10 kg last year just by skipping breakfast and having lunch and supper between 1 and 8 pm.
    After a few days of getting used to this, it was very easy. We started this instead of 5:2, as that felt too much like dieting. πŸ™ (That feeling has changed by now, but we’re happy this way!)
    Apparently you don’t compensate the loss of calories with the two meals in your eating window. That makes it effective.

    Give it a try and good luck to all. πŸ˜‹

    To generally reply to the thread .. .
    Yes I too have found that you plateau, from a weight perspective, but you will very likely find (as I have) that your shape is still changing even when your weight isn’t!
    I have used the Dr M Mosley The Low Blood Sugar Diet (800 for 5 days and around 6-700 for 2 days) but I can often miss brekky.
    I started slowly last May – eating the bad stuff out the cupboard. Then replacing with better more varied foodstuffs and many things I’d never heard of! πŸ™‚
    I’ve now lost almost 2.5stone! And I’m looking ‘good’! Even like what I see in the mirror – but not at my general target. I want to be around 8.25st-8.5st.
    So a few lbs to go yet. πŸ™‚
    I’ve cut out all sugar, rice pasta, tatties (potato) and no biscuits etc etc… and I feel so much better. Even my cholesterol is now reducing too…
    And if I can do it then anyone can because I had such an awful comfort eating problem! And I did this while I had a leg in plaster / air boot too, so it can be done without any excerise. Although I’m delighted to say that I am not starting to excerise again! πŸ˜€
    Just stick at it … eat a large variety of the right fish, meats, chicken, eggs etc, and the right veg! Keep food diary & a photo diary too perhaps (I have). πŸ˜€
    It is so so good to finally feel in control of your weight and yoru cholesterol.
    It takes dedication but you can do it! πŸ˜€

    Depends on what causes the weight plateau.

    It could be that you gain muscle at the same time you’re losing fat, which is really a good situation if you ask me.

    However, if not, it could be metabolism syndrome that comes in undereating. That is, after caloric restriction, even for a week, the body starts to regulate the body metabolism to compensate. So, when eating the similar amount of calories may results in fewer fat loss, until eventually your body shed no fat – weight plateau.

    As solution, you could either just eat more and workout more, more so, start strategic cheat eating to spike your metabolism every week. This works for me sometimes

    Hi! It’s been a while, how’s everyone doing? My progress is still good, I’ve lost 10kg since I started in September 2018 and I feel great about my current results. I seem to have found the way to keep losing eight steadily and I’m on my way to reach my goal (70kgs, currently 77.6kgs)

    Thanks for all the tips and for sharing your stories!

    I am currently stuck in a plateau, juggling the same two lbs. for 2 weeks. I have lost 12 lbs. and have 26 to go. My daughter suggested I try carb cycling to get me back on track. I’m not sure I understand it. Has anyone else done that to jumpstart from a plateau? Thanks.

    Not sure what carb cycling is, I have never heard of it. Sorry.

    Yes, after losing consistently for two months and a total of 13 lbs., I have losing and gaining back the same two lbs for a month now. I am trying the 16:8 for a couple weeks to see if the change helps. Still working at the remaining25 lbs I want to lose. Not giving up!

    Hi All – been going 4 weeks now and lost 18lb but seem to have hit a plateau now and that is demotivating. Reading your posts this morning after stepping off the scales stopped me from falling off the wagon! I have been eating some processed this food this week rather than whole food albeit still within calorie allowance but perhaps that is the difference.

    I have done a couple of 21 hour fasts and doing alternate fast days rather than 5:2. On fast day I am on 500 calories and try and eat my meal(s) within a 2.5 hour window.

    Hopefully the next visit to the scales might be more encouraging.

    @fartogo – I totally hit a plateau around 4 or 5 weeks, I had only lost about 12lbs, but the plateau got me. Just stick with it, also hormones play a big part in what happens on the scale. I changed over to water fasting for some of my Alternate fasting days… I do that too. Weight wont budge on a 5:2 maybe later for maintence. But now its 4:3.

    So Yeah I did WFD for a bit and it kicked it into gear. WFD can be a challenge tho, so be prepared with a dash of salt under then tongue when you are close to ending your day or if you feel dizzy or nausious.

    Good luck on your journey, you got this!

    I know I’ve ‘hot a plateau’ recently too but it’s partly because I’m getting back into doing DIY as my ankle slowly heals enough for me to (finally) do so! And I can see that my muscles are re-developing so I think (could be wrong) that as I’m physically changing and I’m doing a lot more work my previous food intake is enough to maintain weight only. But as I’m changing I don’t want to deprive myself of important food as I change the activity. I know that I can get very hungry as the body craves some carbs. I still take the ‘heath pea’ but I’ve limited stock so try just twice a week, which really helps too! πŸ˜€
    So as I get more tuned in physically then I’ll reduce the intake (still doing 5:2) but following the LBS diet, but not food precise. eg I’ll follow fish / meat / cheese and have a salad or ‘with veg’ to keep it more simple. Perhaps not as good, but I can stick to it and enjoy it. But I will have to try harder to get back to under the 9st. I did it breifly soI know it’s achievable! πŸ˜€
    I don’t find fasting possible at the moment. Just the 2 meals a day on wknds I can cope with. (Been on this for just over a year now!) πŸ˜€

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