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Weight Loss
Moderators: spoiled_candy, Mollybygolly, devilish_patsy, nycgirl

Howdy folks.... no I have not lost my mind. I have come only bearing gifts! The gift of knowledge. Okay, that sounds totally corny, but this might have you smiling all the way back to the fridge.

So many people hit plateaus. The fat will not go anywhere, and your measurements and scale weight at the same.  My longest plateau was 7 weeks long. Depressing yes, but in my quest for the truth about fat loss, I discovered something..... Cheating once or twice a week, actually helped with moving beyond that plateau.

A fluke? Wishful thinking?  Nope... it is actually based in medical science. It has to do with Neuroendocrinology. Seriously!

We talk about insulin, we talk about testosterone, we talk about estrogen, but have we every talked about LEPTIN?

Leptin? What the, who the huh?

Yup Leptin, a hormone. There not just for sex anymore.

Named after leptos, the Greek term for "thin," leptin is a hormone released by your fat cells. Although it has a number of functions, one of leptin's main roles is to let your brain know how fat you are.  It actually controls your metabolism. Yes I am serious. Leptin is produced by fat tissue and is secreted into the bloodstream where it travels to the brain and other tissues. Leptin causes fat loss and decreased appetite. It also plays a very important role in calorie intake and calorie burning. Hmmm, that sounds pretty important to all this hubbub we are all going through doesn't it?

The bottomline is that by mastering Leptin hormone in your body you will be mastering your body weight. Why?

Leptin causes you to burn stored fat; most fad diets, or unrealistic dieting robs the body of both fat and muscle. When you diet, your body compensates for reduced calorie and fat intake by lowering your energy and metabolism. Leptin can actually enhance your energy and metabolism. What does this mean, well what it means is best diet and exercise plan in the world will not work unless the Leptin levels are correct. Something Nutrisystem does not share with it's customers I assure you.

Leptin levels are related to a number of things, including insulin, your caloric intake, and your current level of bodyfat. Think of it as one of the big ??fat-loss decision makers.? Generally speaking, the leaner you are, the lower your baseline levels of leptin are. Under normal conditions, though, leptin is plentiful. However, while your calorie intake is at sub-maintenance levels, and particularly if you're on a low-carb diet, which lowers your levels of circulating insulin, leptin levels drop.

Decreased leptin levels cause a number of other regulatory changes ?? namely, decreased thyroid output and metabolic rate and increased catabolic hormone activity and appetite. In an attempt to become more efficient, your body will try to slow down to make that lowered caloric intake its new maintenance intake. That is, it'll try to do the same amount of work with less energy. And unfortunately, this usually means having to continuously lower calories to maintain your progress, which inevitably makes it very hard to hold on to all your hard-earned muscle. None of this sounds too good to me. However, periodic days of high calorie and carbohydrate intake may help with this.

Remember our bodies want to adapt. That is a good thing and a not-so-good thing when trying to lose body fat. So how do we increase levels of leptin enough to kick start the fat loss again. (exercise is still required here people)

Researchers have identified a system that 'senses' nutrient flux (flux = what's going in versus what's going out) through both fat and muscle cells.  This affects a lot of process. When dieting, more calories are leaving the fat cell than are going in (negative flux). This nutrient sensing system  'senses' this and affects many processes, one of which is leptin production (decreasing leptin production).  So leptin drops.  When overfeeding, more calories are entering the fat cells than are leaving (positive flux). The system 'senses' this and  affects many processes, one of which is leptin production (increasing leptin production).  So leptin increases.  Hence the need for cyclical dieting: when dieting, leptin drops and your body fights back. 

What is cyclical dieting... well to make a long story short. A cheat day. Now I do not mean go nuts with the KFC, I mean, eat more carbs, protein and fat, don't worry. Meaning try 4 days of dieting per week.  Meaning consume 500 -800 Calories less than your Maintainance Level, and then have 2 days at the maintainance level, and one day with maybe an extra 500 calories above your maintainance level.  Keep working out, drink plenty of water... try this for a couple of weeks, and see if this works, remember change it up each day.  mix it up.

Your plateau will start to vanish.  It did for me.

Eat people.... it is what gives us the energy to live.
Edited Jun 26 2006 01:58 by Erik
Reason: Restored content as agreed with coachdee
77 Replies (last)
haha! After last weekend at the fair, it's nice to know I'm right on track to get off this plateau...
I'm going to try it.  Thanks coachdee!
I found that this technique helped me break a 4 week plateau. Now ,if only I could stop this binge eating.
I added a protein shake to my breakfast every morning, and my plateau is in pieces on the floor. apparently that was the change up my body needed.

5lbs to go...^_^
I have been doing this and it has worked for me.  In April my weight loss slowed down but i did not completly plateau.  I still lost 4lbs.  I then upped my water intake and I lost 8lbs in May.  I have also found that this is something that I can live with.  I don't go crazy on the food I just alow myself more pasta or maybe a couple of slices of veggie pizza that I usually donot have during the week.

Thanks for the helpful information coachdee!!
yeah this does work. I change my cals to suit me daily, if i am lump they are low, if i work out I eat allot more. But like sunday, i am between lump and athlete. And I started a new tradition, it is Pizza Slice Sunday! One giant peice of Greasy, ooye gooye pepperonie pizza in the park with the hubby and kiddie. I work it into my cals though, cant help it. But this shock of fat and fat topped with fat seems to have triggered something. I also have corn chips on sunday. not much, but more carbs then normal... I am loosing fairly normal now. Come sunday I am drooling for my oh so good slice! May i add i always feel queezy after. But it taste good and seems to help. Since I am a steamed fish and broccli gal, i guess i need that fat!

I tottaly agree not to eat the same cals each day. if i eat 1,500 all week i dont loose. if i eat 1,800 all week i dont loose. if i am up and down and then high on sunday it melts away, just like the cheese on my slice of pizza....

THANKS COACH DEE, for keeping everyone so informed!

keepin it fresh and funky,
It sure worked for me.  On your advice I increased my calories then decreased again.  I finally got off my month long plus plateau and I've lost 4 pounds so far this month on 1300 to 1500 calories a day.  I've kept a good balance and have been eating nutrition dense foods almost exclusively.  Every third day I have extra carbs or a "cheat" day.  Today was it.  I made blueberry cobbler from scratch and had about 400 calories worth on top of my 1300.  I had been upset a bit because I love to cook and the thought of never baking again was bothering me.
Chocorific I am going to try that morning protein shake idea! I usually have one after a workout on monday, wednesday and friday but not every day.

Thanks, coachdee! Here's hoping all this great advice can help me get off this plateau!
If I eat 1,500 calories one day and then 2,000 the next day, and I am always alternating, will that help? Or should I mix in different foods too? Thanks for all the great advice and information...
As usual, coachdee comes through with the goods :)  Thanks for this - having lost around 45 pounds, the last two weeks I've lost nothing.  I've still felt good, because I'm enjoying having a body shape that I've never had before in my life (like \ / rather than / \ ), but I think I'll try this cheating thing.  I think I've been so proud of the fact that I haven't touched any fatty food in about five months, maybe I should just give in and let the leptin take over!
So do these over the counter Leptin pills work? Like Leptoprin, etc.? Do they actually increase Leptin production or are they a waste of money. Can the same results be achieved by just eating different foods? 
soooo, my plateau may have broken even if i ate the pretzels and hershey kisses yesterday?! dang! oh well, it broke, and i am happy!
ahh man.  I just had a cheat day last Friday.   Scale didn't budge.   Think I'm due for another?   I keep calories between 1200 and 1400.   Last Friday I was around 2000.   Isnt' that cheating enough?  I really want to start moving again!  I'm sooo close to reaching my goal!
I checked my BMR with a calculator, and I think my plateau was brought on by the fact that I wasn't eating enough calories to maintain basic body functions, apparently. once I upped my intake and added a little more protein, I started losing again.
Thanks coachdee, as always I have enjoyed reading your post. Now, if I could only stay "moderate" as far as cheating goes... I always tend to go to extremes, whether it be eating or cheating - lol.

I'd say thats great news for those of us who cheat regularly!

Just wanted to say I cheated yesterday (had a cheeseburger and fries from McDonald's) and lo and behold I went from 216 to 214 this morning! How the heck did that happen! I don't really know or care - just love to see the scale move down! Thanks again, coachdee! But I promise I won't get in the habit of delicious oniony cheesy... nevermind. Can't go down that road again!
That's the way I lost my weight - over 30 pounds of it!  I'm now wearing a size 4 (and they're loose!) and a small top (and it's big too!).  This totally works!

There's a book called "The Cheater's Diet" that I used as a guide and I detailed it in a previous post (and in my Blog, too).

Happy Cheating!
well I guess I should not feel so bad for the bad lunch that I thought that I was not ordering.  We will see if it makes a difference.  Sure it won't for me but I will see.
This so works! I burn 2000 calories a day just breathing, I never eat the same amount of calories, one day 1494 the next 1836,1505,1718 etc.. one day I even ate 3808 ( not proud of that) and my average weight loss is 2.5 lbs a week.
77 Replies (last)