Post # 1
Ladies, I have a fitness/weight loss related problem.
I have been trying to lose weight for YEARS (with the usually falling on and off the wagon).
I’ve done the typical 1200 cals per day plus exercise (usually running ~30 mins) mixed with yoga and light weight lifting. Nothing – if anything my weight stayed the same. And it wasn’t “gaining muscle” or “maintaining a healthy weight” because I am quite overweight for my frame/height.
So then I was told “Maybe you aren’t eating enough!” Ok so I up my food intake by a couple hundred cals and I GAIN weight. I try this for months so it’s not just an overnight water weight thing. I eat the right foods – lean meats, whole grains, eggs, greek yogurt, veggies and NOTHING.
Now here’s the kicker…
Due to a few very busy days one week I barely ate anything and did not work out. I ate around 800 cals or LESS each day and lost 5 lbs. Even knowing how stupid that is I tried it on purpose the next week and lost 5 more. Of course all that weight came back when I ate normally again.
So for some reason THE ONLY THING that seems to work is basically starving myself which is obviously unhealthy and impossible to maintain. So why doesn’t eating healthy and exercising work? I’ve had my thyroid checked and it’s fine. My mother has the same problem and her thyroid is fine too. I don’t want to be unhealthy but nothing works! HELP!
Post # 3
Have you met with a nutritionist? I thought I was eating healthy and eating the right amounts, and to some extent I was. I met with one and she totally re-did my diet and way of eating. I ended up seeing quick results. One of the biggest things she had me do was eating 5-6 small meals per day rather than 3 large ones. I ate a normal breakfast and then I would make a normal lunch but eat half at 11 and half a 1 and the same with dinner. I ate half before the gym and half a few hours later.
I would also try changing your workouts. Running really isn’t that great for changing your body especially when its only 30 min. Try some heavy weight lifting, an interval type work out, and longer cardio. My weekly workouts include 3 hour long circuit training classes (they are 60 seconds of high intensity and 30 seconds of a break of low intensity level), and one day of heavy weight lifting. If you can afford it I would try and find a personal trainer.
Post # 4
@ValerieBee03: What kinds of things are you eating? I know that when I eat a whole, plant based food diet I lose a LOT more weight than when I eat whatever I want but restrict calories. I still tend to plateau though.
I’m sorry though. I totally understand the frustration and am nowhere near my goal weight. It makes no logical sense, but I think sometimes our weight pulls itself to where it “wants” to be, even if that number is WAY higher than we like or is considered “healthy”.
It seems like you are doing and have done everything you are suppose to.
Have you tried getting a personal trainer and upping the weight lifting? I know a friend in a similar position who started lifting HEAVY and she has lost SO MUCH weight and looks so freakin amazing! I at this point am way too self conscious to even get a trainer, but I know several girls who took up weight lifting and it has changed them, their lifestyle, and their bodies. One even went from being a slightly overweight new mama to a bikini competitor!
Post # 5
See a dietician/nutritionist or other medical professional. You may have an underlying medical cause (thyroid issues are the most common, or PCOS).
Perhaps you need to increase your exercise, as well. Add something new. Your body could have adjusted to what you do and needs a shakeup.
Post # 6
@ValerieBee03: I’m thinking that your metabolism is probably messed up from so many attempted diets. You should ideally meet with a nutritionist. If that’s not an option, work out what your daily caloric requirement is to maintain weight (My fitness pal has a really easy to use calculator) and then eat your required calories to maintain weight for a month or so. You may gain at first, but this should help to ‘reset’ your metabolism and get yourself of track.
Once you’ve got yourself back to ‘normal’ then try cutting out 500 calories a day – that by itself will be 1lb a week, if you add exercise then that’s extra. If you’re burning a ton of calories, make sure you are consuming at LEAST 1200 calories a day AFTER you deduct for exercise. If you’re eating 1200 AND burning 500 at the gym you’re only getting 700 and then your body thinks you’re starving so you won’t lose anything!
Post # 7
@ValerieBee03: it could be that you also have to switch up your workouts – your body does get used to them after a few months, so you have to find new ways to “shock” it. If you run for cardio, try interval runs, incline runs, and add the occasional spin class. It may also be that you need to up your frequency – shorter workouts 5 or 6 days a week, rather than intense ones 3 times a week.
Post # 8
I would meet with a nutritionist to figure out your diet. You don’t need to eat under 800 calories/day to not be overweight. I would do more cardio as well- an hour/day if you can. Good luck!
Post # 9
Weight loss is complex because our bodies are complex, so a scale is ONE way to gage progress, but it is NOT the only way and in truth, it’s really a blunt instrument.
What you really did between the two techniques is manipulate your body’s water storage. In the first example, when you were running and lifting weights, you didn’t see an immediate change on the scale probably because the body will retain water in order to address new energy requirements and to help support the growth of your muscles.
In the second, the 5 pounds you lost each week was probably almost all water. The body will jettison it’s quick-energy stores, which are carbohydrates, when you don’t give it enough food daily. Carbohydrates are packaged in water, so to speak, so when that happens, your body basically jettisons water. If you don’t believe me, trust me–not only can a woman’s body retain in excess of 5 pounds in water alone, but it’s also basically impossible to lose 5 pounds of fat in one week. Losing two pounds is relatively difficult, and even those will be not all fat because the body doesn’t just lose fat–it always loses it in conjunction with water and even some muscle.
The scale takes time to catch up to changes you make–some people don’t see a change for as much as 6 weeks. But what I CAN promise you is that eating 800 calories–especially 800 calories of crap versus a balanced diet comprised of real food–and not exercising is not going to make you healthy, it’s going to be next to impossible to sustain, and it’s the sort of thing that is likely to backfire spectacularly.
The cold, hard truth is that weight loss is hard and it doesn’t happen overneight. Eat sensibly. Exercise reasonably. Go ahead and keep tabs on the scale, but give yourself more context AND bigger goals: what are your measurements? How do your clothes feel? How’s your energy? Can you run faster and longer this week than last? You want to stand taller and stronger and feel more vivacious, not become depleted and hungry and angry.
Treat yourself well; the benefits will follow.
Post # 10
I don’t have much advice, but I wanted to tell you that you are not the only one with this annoying and frustrating issue. I have done it all… literally. I was seeing a nutritionist, working out daily with a very respected physical trainer, and still lost nothing… actually I gained inches, and no it was not muscle. Both of them were so confused they said I definitely needed to see a doctor and that they couldn’t believe I wasn’t losing anything. So off to more doctors I went and after about a bazillion tests they were stumped too. They said maybe it’s just genetics….. great! Lol. What I have learned though is that even though I lost nothing I felt a bit better. So stick with healthy eating and hopefully we both will see the results we want some day! I am looking forward to seeing some of the responses on this board, maybe one of them can help me too!
Post # 11
@ValerieBee03: Have you considered doing more cardio? Usually you need to reach your target heart rate for AT least 30 minutes straight 3xs a week to just maintain your weight so you will have to do MORE in order to lose. I Zumba (I am an instructor) or swim 5-6xs a week at about an hour per session.
Also, most diets are VERY unhealthy or don’t teach you to eat healthy (I.E. Nutri System just feeds you). Personally, I try to “eat the rainbow”. Your plate should always have a variety.
@MsGinkgo: I totally second all of this too!
Post # 12
The general consensus seems to be – find a nutritionist! I will get on that! Thank you for the encouragement and tips ladies! Glad to know I’m not alone and I’ll definitely increase my workouts 🙂
Post # 13
@ValerieBee03: Have you looked into ketogenic diets out of curiousity? I also recommend seeing a nutritionist or doctor.
Heres a link to Keto…http://www.reddit.com/r/keto/wiki/faq
Post # 14
Part of it could be WHAT you are eating. Avoid any kind of processed food. For instance, things that come in a box or can, or anything other than vegetables or fruit from the frozen section. Processed foods have a lot of chemicals in them and your body has a hard time eliminating them. Also, up your water intake. Best of luck. I can relate to how you feel!
Post # 15
@ValerieBee03: I agree, it sounds like you’ve royally messed up your metabolism.
Also, IMO, light weights aren’t worth the time to do them. It’s unlikely you’ll bulk up by lifting heavy weights. However, you will increase your metabolism for the next 12-24 hours. And you will reshape your body. In addition to a number of health benefits (good for bone density, etc.) IMO, its not worth it to lift weights lighter than your purse.
Post # 16
@VikingPrincess: I’m a tad familiar with ketosis…is that the same thing/idea?
@sostobe: I totally agree, I’ve always had a messed up metabolism. I used to be a heavy drinker and smoker (not anymore) and of course have tried every diet on and off again…I’ve always been worried about “bulking up” since my limbs and pretty thick to begin with. But from what I’ve been told recently I guess I *can’t* bulk up genetically.