The following was posted by JeffN in his forum, and it was so brilliant I am reposting it here where I can read and remember it:viewtopic.php?f=22&t=27333
Sometimes, there is also another issue that comes into play in these situations, which I have seen often...
.. as someone loses weight and gets closer to their recommended weight, the weight loss becomes more difficult because the "margin of error" in the "energy balance" equation becomes much more narrow.
For instance, if someone is around 300 lbs, they are burning about 3000 calories a day, even if they just lay in bed all day. Most any attempt to eat healthier will result in a lowered calorie density, lower caloric intake, and weight loss. So, lets say, they are consuming around 1800 on their best day and 2300 on their worst day. Either one would result in weight loss. Even if they were not very compliant and adherent and had a few more indulgences than ideal, and took in 2500 to 2700 calories, they would still lose weight. It would be hard not to. They have the capacity for a large margin of error in their calories and food intake and could still lose weight. So, even though it is not what is recommended, if it is what they are "hearing," they could actually be eating all the wanted whenever they wanted and still be losing weight.
But, time has passed and they know weigh 200 and burn about 2000 calories a day, not counting any activity. If they are consuming the same foods, the days of 1800 calorie intakes would result in some much slower weight loss, but all the other days that are 2000 to 2300, and even the 2500 to 2700 wouldn't. [They might even see some weight gain]
So, they would now have to make adjustments to the calorie density of the diet to lower the overall calorie density of their intake and to also look at whether they are really understanding the concepts of MWL and Calorie Density correctly.
This would be the same principle if someone successfully went from 215 to 165 and now was having a harder time trying to get below 160.
The margin of error has become very narrow know and it is important to really understand the principles and to be much more compliant and adherent to them.
This is why the last 5-10 lbs are always the most difficult.
There is literally, no more wiggle room
Of course, this is where sometimes people go elsewhere, thinking the program has failed, and as explained in the earlier thread, they may find some new tricks to use, that, in the end, will work only if they end up in helping them to eat less calories. There is no magic.
They could have also just done a very honest and thorough appraisal of the guidelines and principles of the MWL program and calorie density and their understanding and adherence to them.
Then, make the recommended adjustments as needed.
Remember, the program always works because it is based on sound science and the laws of physics.
This is the situation I constantly find myself in. I have the appetite of a 300 pound woman in a 145 pound body. Last week, as I posted above, I made a delicious, fat-free bean and potato-based casserole and had it every night for dinner instead of the steamed or stir-fried veggies and brown rice I usually have. As a result, I actually gained a pound last week instead of losing. My weight is that much on a knife edge.