how long does a plateau last

dolly O.
on 2/23/10 1:19 pm - league city, TX I have been at a stall for 2mos. How long does this last...its driving me nuts. Also, why is it that some days I can eat more than others. One day I can only eat a half of something or less and the next almost all of it. I am almost 6mo out and I am praying that the weight loss hasn't stopped. Can any of you give me some good did you break the plateau, does it do it on its own...Thanks in advance

Don't put a question mark where God has put a period! 
Dolly Oliver


on 2/23/10 5:17 pm
Hi Dolly,

I'm glad you asked this question because it will be interesting to read what others have to say.  I'd like to know this as well.  It looks like you and I are close to the same as far as surgery date and weight loss.  I'm happy with my success so far, but I really do want to get to my goal.  I just started walking on my treadmill yesterday in the hope if I bump up the exercise, I'll start losing again.  Good luck to you.



on 2/23/10 9:46 pm - Baltimore, MD

Well this is more for general information (for all who may read this) but there are two phenomena that occur during weight loss:

A stall is a brief period (although it can seem like forever) of no weight loss. But eventually weight loss starts to happen again.

A plateau is a longer period of time where absolutely no weight has been lost at all. I believe (Pam, jump in here) that a plateau is several months of no weight loss.

In the WLS community (from what I've seen) when you are still in the losing phase, it is more likely to be a stall. Stalls typically happen as your body tries to process what is going on. The important thing to remember about weight loss is that even though YOU want to lose weight, your body does not. It is not designed to do so. In fact, it is designed to more easily gain weight than lose it. So it's going to fight you every step of the way. One way it does that is through stalls. During a stall your body slows down the wheels, burns calories at a lower rate (because it thinks you are going to starve to death).

That is why we are big advocates of EATING round these parts! If you eat a good amount of healthy calories (lean protein, complex carbs, good fats) your body will begin to "trust" you again, so when you are active it will burn calories. Stalls also happen because you are doing the same routine for too long. The body is extremely efficient at burning calories. Sure, doing 30 minutes on the elliptical burned mega calories when you first started doing it. But after a while your body learns to do it with less calories. I liken it to your new post-op food budget. You buy better foods so the first couple of shopping trips it may be more expensive than you thought it should be, but then you learn the sales, learn where to go and eventually you learn to get that same grocery list for less money. Same concept.

Now plateaus are a natural end-destination of our process. We SHOULD plateau at some point. Problem is where *we* think we should plateau and where our *bodies* think we should plateau sometimes differs. Sometimes people come out smaller than they wanted to be and some come out a bit heavier than they thought they would. I would be in the latter category. I'm ok with where I plateau'd now (well...most days I am) but it's definitely  not the weight I thought I'd be.

So that's the best information I've got. I'm sure others have better stuff!

RNY Gastric Bypass 1-8-08 350/327/200 (HW/SW/CW). I spend most of my time playing with my food over at Bariatric Foodie - check me out!

dolly O.
on 2/24/10 7:22 am - league city, TX
thank you so much...I hope this is a have done great

Don't put a question mark where God has put a period! 
Dolly Oliver


on 2/23/10 11:29 pm - Houston, TX
Well, I guess I'm in a plateau.  I have been at 187 since the end of November.  It doesn't matter what i do....I'm just there.  I've tried upping exercise, protien and lowering carbs.

At my 1 yr appt my vitamin levels were off so now I am adjusting those in hopes that the scale will start to move again.

Problem is, when I get frustrated over the lack of wl, I eat.  I'm an emotional eater and I'm thinking it's going to take some serious therapy to overcome that.

I would be thrilled to see 165.  I'm not happy with 187.


on 2/24/10 2:14 am

I had surgery the same day as you and I too am in a stall.  I keep gaining and losing the same 2lbs for the last month.  I am currently restricted from working out due to my broken leg which I blame fully for my stall but I am also letting the carbs squeak in so I am going to make a pact to let go of the carbs, up my protein and lift weights with my arms only to try and get the scale moving again but there is no way at 6 months that we are all done losing weight so we have to just keep focused.  Hang in there.
 Deb B
Banded 2006
Debanded and RNY 8/25/2009

"It's a brand new day"
dolly O.
on 2/24/10 7:25 am - league city, TX
That is intresting...I was a bander and debanded on 8/25 as well. Staying focused is hard... but who ever said it was gonna be easy...thanks

Don't put a question mark where God has put a period! 
Dolly Oliver


Pam T.
on 2/24/10 2:30 am - Saginaw, MI
A plateau will last as long as it lasts.  As much as we'd like to believe otherwise, we don't have much control over a plateau if we're already doing everything right.  I'm going on 16 months.... I'll let you know when my body feels like losing again.

But in the meantime... here's a list of questions to ask yourself to make sure you really are on the right track.



Breaking a Stall


Weight loss stalls and plateaus are very common after WLS -- or any type of weight loss program. We didn't gain weight steadily over the years and we will not lose weight every day or week when we're losing weight it's not going to melt off every day or week. It's frustrating, but it's all part of the process and we just have to be patient and work through these little bumps in the road.

But when the scale hasn't moved for a couple weeks or months - this is the perfect time to take a very close look at what we're doing and figure out if we need to make change. Have we allowed bad habits to creep back in or are there adjustments to routines that need to be made to jumpstart the weight loss again? Here's a list I typed up earlier:


  • Are you tracking your food intake in a food journal? Is it on track?
  • Are you tracking every single calorie that passed your lips? (flavored water, vitamins, gum, single pieces of candy) Even if you aren't keeping track of calories, your body is!
  • Are you eating too MANY calories?
  • Are you eating too FEW calories?
  • Are you taking in enough protein? 80-100g/day
  • Are the fats you're eating healthy (polyunsaturated and monounsaturated)
  • Are you eating too many simple carbs (bread, pasta, potatoes, sugar, pasta, rice)
  • Are you eating enough fruits and veggies?
  • Are you drinking enough water (water flushes fat toxins from our body)?
  • Are you grazing?
  • Are you eating the right quantity? Measuring and weighting foods?
  • Are you eating on a schedule?
  • Are you exercising hard enough? Long enough? Fast enough?
  • When's the last time you changed your exercise routine? (The body becomes efficient and doesn't burn as many calories after we've done the same thing for 4-6 weeks)
  • Have you added weight training to your workouts? (muscle burns more calories at rest)
  • Are you taking all your vitamins and supplements?
  • Have you started taking any new medications that might promote weight gain?
  • Have you taken your measurements (you might be losing inches even if the scale isn't moving)

Also, here's a great post by DxE that has a ton of information that might trigger ideas in some other areas to break a plateau.

Hope this helps...


My Recipe Index is packed full of yumminess!
Visit my blog: Journey to a Healthier Me  ...or my Website

The scale can measure the weight of my body but never my worth as a woman. ~Lysa TerKeurst author of Made to Crave


dolly O.
on 2/24/10 7:29 am - league city, TX
wow! That is a long list, Im gonna print it out and work on some things.

Don't put a question mark where God has put a period! 
Dolly Oliver


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