How I Deal With Plateaus


Hey, guys! So, I’m a lifetime dieter. You know the drill - been dieting all of my life. I have successfully lost the same damn 60 pounds at LEAST 4 times in my lifetime (I’m 58) but have ultimately never been successful at keeping the weight off. So, I’m now doing Keto, and I really love it. I think that this is going to work for me in the long term (every other diet I’ve been on has involved suffering for however many months it takes to lose the weight, and then being so happy I could “eat” again), as I’m almost never hungry and have no cravings. All, good, right? Well, I’ve just made it through my first plateau.

Quick basics: I’m a 58 year old female. I’m 5’ 9.5" tall and I currently weigh 219.4 lbs. I started strict Keto on 7/8/20 and weighed 227.2 lbs on that day. (I had been doing no starch/ no sugar for 3 weeks before that and had lost 9 lbs during that time). So, It’s been exactly 30 days on Keto and I’ve lost 7 lbs, BUT, here’s the thing: I lost a total of 16.2 lbs between 6/14 and 7/28. AND THEN I HIT MY FIRST PLATEAU! I knew it was coming. Because I’ve dieted so much in my lifetime, I know where my plateaus are, and my first very strong plateau is always 220. I hit 220.4 on 7/28 and I just broke 220 today. It’s taken TEN DAYS to break this plateau!

I’m being exact because I want to help others who are struggling with a plateau. Let me say this: I have not cheated at all. I’m using the Carb Manager app to track my food and I’m being very precise on my measurements and tracking. While Carb Manager allots me 26 g net carbs, 164 g of fat and 132 g of protein, I never go about 20 g net carbs and I usually stay at 10-12 g net carbs. I know that I have carb issues and I find this works best for me. So, no, I don’t cheat and haven’t cheated during this plateau time. I started swimming in the ocean (I live right on the beach in NYC) about 6 weeks ago. The first day I could only swim about 30 minutes and, maybe 100 yards. Today I swam for 90 minutes and swam a mile! (Yay me!). I have swam every single day since starting this with the exception of last Monday and Tuesday due to the tropical storm. So, I haven’t been cheating on exercise either.

Here’s the deal with plateaus. I know that I have 3 major plateaus between me and my goal weight of 175. They are at 220, 203 and 187. I can stay on those weights for weeks. My body LOVES being at those weights and it fully resists moving from them. So how do I deal with it? I relax.

I usually weigh myself every day or every other day. I do not fret about the number on the scale because the number always jumps down, then goes up, then goes down, then goes up, the jumps down again. For instance, my weight was 228.4, then it dropped down to 225. I knew that this wasn’t a real weight and that it would go up. It did. It went to 227.8, then 226.2 then 226.8 then 225.4, then it dropped to 223. Then it went to 225.8, then 224.7, etc. etc. This is normal for me. THEN I HIT THE PLATEAU at 220.4 and it stayed there for 10 days. Didn’t move. I knew it was the first plateau.

And you know what I did? Nothing. I did nothing. I didn’t eat less. I didn’t exercise more. I just stayed the course. I got all of my fats in. I made sure that I didn’t let myself get hungry. I didn’t get obsessive. I knew that, eventually, it would move. Yesterday, my weight was 220.4. The same. However, yesterday I was hungry. For the first time, I was REALLY HUNGRY all day. I just kept eating the same, but more. Yesterday I ended up eating 22 g net carbs, 217 g of fat (53 g over the recommended) and 159 g of protein (27 g over). I was also 160 calories over the recommended 2105. It didn’t matter. I was hungry. I knew the scale was getting ready to drop below the plateau and today it did.

So, when you hit a plateau, try to relax. Keep on the course. Don’t fret that you’re eating too much or exercising too little. If you’re hitting your macros (or however you do your food), then just keep doing what you’re doing, if it has been working for you. It will move. It will. It might take 10 days. It might take a month. It will move. And, I usually find that I lose fairly quickly between plateaus.

I hope this helps!

(Bunny) #2

I was curious do you make any distinguishments between lean body mass including muscle volume, water weight (we can store up to 10 pounds of water esp. when athletic and constantly active; muscle glycogen) besides actual body fat?

I know there is no actual way to measure this accurately and when it is attempted it is still a guess other than physical appearance; Height to waste circumference and visual muscle increase.

Seemingly when we empty the glycogen storage facilities we can eat more calories thus increasing the thermic effect of food that is seen in a ectomorph (high metabolism which is a boon and bane where lean body mass cells out numbers fat cells but no increase in muscle volume) when muscle volume is increased in other body types they mimic the ectomorph and do not go into fat storage mode, swimming is probably the best exercise you can get.


I’ve been down to 18% body fat before (I was a professional athlete), but I was still mesomorphic. In fact, one reason I don’t pay any attention to BMI, is that even as low fat and high muscle as I was then, I was considered obese by BMI. I have extremely big and dense bones and I easily build muscle. Unfortunately, I also easily store fat. Since I’m now out of menopause, fat is where my body heads. I don’t believe that swimming will get me as thin as I’d like, but it’s what I do at my age and fitness level. Swimming in the ocean is different from swimming in a pool. Much more challenging.

(Wendy) #4

Alittle suggestion. Try logging your food for a good week. Maybe you can see something that has caused it to halt. Once again, I’m loosing agian! Very happy! And I have also been off dairy for a week. When I started this 1.5yrs ago. I realized the same thing. Just when or if you have been on keto for awhile you can get alittle lazy. And yes I did. So back to no dairy! Lost 3# this week, 20 to go! Hope to have it whittled away by Oct. Hunting season coming up, and have to get in shape and loose the last extra pounds. Just a thought! Good Luck. Its different with everyone.


Oh, I track every morsel that goes into my mouth. I have to, or I get lax. Yea, I have to be careful with dairy, too. I don’t eat much dairy and I try to focus on dairy other than cow dairy. Goat and sheep are better for me. They are less triggering.

(Wendy) #6

Yes me too. I was raised on goat milk. I’m allergic to dairy protein. It dosen’t like me… bummer cause I love cheeses and HWC. But I also found a great goat cheese. Reminds me of creamcheese! Great alternative!


There’s an amazing sheep cheese called Manchego. It is phenomenal. You can get it at Costco.

I also found a fantastic sheep-milk yogurt.

I still try to limit the amount of dairy I do, no matter what it is.

(Wendy) #8

I will have to look into it. Safeway usually has unusual cheeses. No Cosco around for a few hours. Closest 1 is Vegas or Phoenix. So I will totally look next time I get my butter. They carry Amish roll butter. Funny, it dosnt bother me. Although, if we make our own, :grimacing: awful!

(Bacon by any other name would taste just as great.) #9

Dr. Phinney’s advice for people who feel stuck on a ketogenic diet is, first, to cut carbohydrate intake. If that doesn’t work, he says, add more fat to your diet.

It helps to get enough calories, and it also helps to make most of the fat we eat be saturated and monounsaturated fat. Avoid the industrial seed oils, and cook with butter, lard, bacon grease, and tallow.


I use a LOT of ghee, but I also use EVOO and Rice bran oil (not as much as I used to). Please explain why EVOO isn’t the best choice. I’m not a fan of lard, and just don’t seem to use tallow that much when I have it. I usually cook with only ghee. I use EVOO on food, such as veggies or salad.

(Kirk Wolak) #11

Swimming or even walking laps in a COLD pool will burn more calories…
Your body REALLY struggles to maintain your body temp!

This is why I am missing the gym right now, it was part of my program!


I swim every day in the ocean. This is the warmest time of year and the water is around 74 degrees. I prefer it around 72. I am always in for at least an hour and I try to go for 1.5 hours. Most heated pools are around 81 degrees. A bit warm for my tastes. It’s dangerous to be in a water under 70 degrees without a wet suit. I’m not sure what I’m going to do once the weather gets colder and the water temp goes down. I might try using some surf clothing initially. I live right at the beach in NYC, so I like to take advantage of it.

(Kirk Wolak) #13

Yeah, I am in South Florida. The ocean is probably 84, as evidenced by being at Josephine already in the named storms setting an all-time record…

I don’t do heated pools, as I want the cold.

I don’t know of anything saying water below 70 degrees is dangerous… I grew up in Michigan. I would say the water in most rivers felt just above freezing at the beginning of summer.

I wish I was ready for the Polar Bear Club…


And, BTW, I am still at the plateau. I dropped below 220 for 1 day and since then have been all around it. That’s OK, though. It will drop again. I’ll let you know when. So far, it’s been over 10 days.

(Wendy) #15

Hang in there! I’m in the same boat. 189# goal was 180. But getting irritated, and decided to push it to 170# that’s my ideal weight. Was hoping to give me more of a boost. To be more accountable.


I finally did the real drop out of 220 today. 218.7. It will stay there. I was at that plateau for nearly 2 weeks. It happens. Just have to be patient and stay the course.

(Wendy) #17

Yep Never give up! Congrats on the weight drop! Very encouraging!I think even when I’m at my goal weight, I will still have to continue to be accountable. Personally, I feel better when I eat Keto. My health issues tend to clear up. That’s reason enough!

(Bob M) #18

There are studies indicating cold (even icy) water is good for you. I used to take cold(er) showers because of this. Not a lot of evidence for that though; it has to be colder.

(Bacon by any other name would taste just as great.) #19

Olive, coconut, and avocado oil are all fine, being nut oils, not seed oils, and therefore minimally processed (generally speaking). Their smoke point is not the highest, so using them on food is better than cooking with them (again, generally speaking). The issue with the seed oils is their excessive PUFA content; the traditional solid cooking fats (which have been used for millennia) are almost entirely saturated and monounsaturated fats (there are threads on the forums that discuss the fatty-acid composition of these fats versus the seed oils).

I actually cook mostly with bacon grease, since it has more flavour than lard. But I prefer the taste of lard over that of tallow (though I don’t dislike tallow, actually).

Your kilometrage is certain to vary.

(Bob M) #20

Hate to say this, but I avoid olive oil and particularly avocado oil. I will use EVOO at times, on a salad, but otherwise don’t add it except as a flavoring.

Oils don’t have a long history with humans. Even olive oil, that miracle of food, wasn’t eaten (supposedly) until recently.

Animal fat rules! (Though I’m hesitant to use lard even, due to its potentially higher PUFA content. Tallow is where I place emphasis.) This has some good data:

I’m erring on the side of lower PUFA, higher saturated fat. I’m testing to see what happens. Can I “remove” PUFA from my fat? Unfortunately, there’s no way to know.