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Need advice--four month plateau!

So I've been on these boards a few times posting about my plateau but I am back for more help as I still haven't broken through the wall.

I've been at the same plateau for 4 months now--constantly regaining/gaining the same 3 pounds. The first month I was eating about 1500 calories a day and doing 240 minutes a week ofcardio and two strength training workouts. After the first month of the plateau I begain trying every plateau buster possible--eating less calories (1300/day), eating more calories (1600/day), cycling calories (ie high day/low day but averaging 1500/week), cutting out processed food, cutting out sodium, working out harder/switching up workouts, even drastically upping/downing my calories (11/day or 1600/day during different weeks)--you name it, I've tried it for at least 2 weeks at a time (so my body has time to adjust to the changes). I RELIGIOUSLY journal and measure every, single solitary bite I eat. Yet no matter what I try the scale won't budge--nor am I losing inches either. I've even gone to my doctor to confirm there is no medical reason (thryoid, etc.) I'm not losing weight. Its so frustrating I end up crying every week when I weigh in from the frustration.

As a last ditch effort I'm looking for someone with stats similar to mine that can tell me EXACTLY what they are doing each week to lose b/c no matter what I try it just isn't working. Again, I'd really appreciate someone who has similar stats telling me EXACTLY how many calories they eat per week/day and how much they work out so I can break this plateau (Although helpful, advice such as eat less sodium, journal every bite have already been tried so I really just want real world examples of calories/activity levels from someone at my weight/height who is successfully losing).

My stats: I'm 5'6 and currently at 155 pounds. I do cardio 4x a week for an hour (treadmill/elliptical) burning 600 calories (6 APs validated by a HRM) and strength train 2x/week for 30 minutes. The rest of the day I'm very sedentary b/c I'm a student.

Thanks in advance for your help!

Sun. Apr 13, 7:07pm

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You don't have a sleep disorder where you get up and eat in your sleep do you???

Sunday, April 13, 2008, 7:44 PM

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ha, I am no help - I am in the same boat. Hopefully someone out there can help us.
5'7'', f, 150-152 depending on the day (size 8)
I have been here for 3 months and can not figure out how to make it end! I am very active both go to the gym and do outdoor activities, restrict cals, etc.
I am just working on strength training so I will look more toned at the size I am. In my head I want to be 5-10 lbs lighter though.

Sunday, April 13, 2008, 7:47 PM

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OP here. No, no sleep disorder.

Sunday, April 13, 2008, 8:02 PM

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women tend to carry their weight in the hip and thighs. the best way to lose any inches is working your core and lower body. get a experience lifter to show you how to squat and deadlift. max out those 2 exercises and your inches will melt away in 6 weeks at the most. please dont worry about "bulking up" its impossible for women. i see women all the time in the gym pushing weight thats less than the kids they carry out of the daycare. trust me max out those 2 moves and the weight will fall off, of course to balance it out, the other days in the gym max out your back shoulders and chest, and just do 1hr cardio a week tops. yes im a bodybuilder i know what im talking about, and i ask women all the time (who ask) how much cardio do you ever see lifters do? as far as your diet, just like training
yo yo it, some days high carbs other very low carbs. the idea behind that is to continue to trick your insulin levels. which is the key to losing once you start stalling. the other thing you can start doing (women love their cardio) is to circuit train. which is maxing out on a set, and zipping on the next without resting. by the summer i promise 15 lbs will be gone quick

Monday, April 14, 2008, 12:46 AM

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Thanks for the advice--unfortunately I have an atypical body for a woman and carry all my weight in stomach/chest (I'm an apple), so working my lower body doesn't seem like the best solution as its my smallest spot...

Monday, April 14, 2008, 2:02 AM

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op thats not true, your core is the single most important area to train. it balances your entire belly. give deadlifts and squats 6 weeks and i promise you will come back here and thank me. its important to note not to overtrain with those exercises, as some do with calves or biceps, because those areas are your stablelizers and you can wreck every thing you have done. train your back, core, simmetry (sp) is what its all about. sort of like boxing, kill the body the head will fall. if you train your core the rest of your body cant help but fall in line.

Monday, April 14, 2008, 3:39 AM

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Your body is used to what you're doing, you need to shock it!

A short version of my story. I'm 31, 5ft7. Jan '07 I was creeping to 160, going onto size 10. Never was a member at any gym. I joined one last Jan. I did it on my own, lost the fat by crazy cardio and strict diet. Made sure my shirt was soaked when I left. A few months later, I met a figure competitor who also worked out at my gym, I then became her work out partner. Its 15 months later, I'm a size 4, weigh 138. I never counted a single calorie. (I'm a good eater)
I go to the gym 5 - 6 days a week, 2 hours, in the begining devote 45 mins to intense cardio, but be sure to allow one day of normal pace.....not so intense. Weight train every part of your body, (rest it 24/48 hours before working it again) and most importantly, eat 5-6 small meals a day!
You need to switch it up, throw in a morning work out if you normally go after work/school. Or vice versa. Depending on your diet, maybe cutting out carbs. Go for a long hike, kyak, be sure you have enough protein in your diet (it should be in every meal you eat)
You said you do elliptical/treadmill. I personally dont use ellipticals, I'm a treadmill girl (intervals, jog, spring, jog, sprint, walk uphill, (no holding!) spring, jog etc) stairs that move on belt, again, in intervals....and the stepper, and the arc machines. I also hike once a week. Go on cardio machines you hate, you hate them because they are hard. Do not use the ones that dont make you sweat. Make it burn, make it hurt!
Hope this helps!!

Monday, April 14, 2008, 9:01 AM

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9:01 - re: cardio machines - 'you hate them b/c they're hard' YES!! So true.

I love your advice. I do think the OP can get similar results without the 2 hours a workout, but shaking it up and making every minute of a workout count - definitely!!

Monday, April 14, 2008, 9:17 AM

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Keep it simple - even less calories more cardio - DONE.

Monday, April 14, 2008, 10:33 AM

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I'm 5"6" and weigh 145 lbs I am stuck too. I keep plateauing here and want to lose 8 more lbs.
My problem though is I do really well for a few days and then eat too much other days.
I have an ellptical at home that I use daily to burn 1500 calories, I've just added every 10 minutes getting off and doing push-ups, free wts etc to change it up and 2 1 hour runs outside a week. I aim to eat 1900 calories a day.
I'm hoping the change in push-ups etc will break my plateau. I carry my weight in my stomach.

Monday, April 14, 2008, 12:51 PM

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