Post # 1
Fitness Bees! I need your help!
I am concentrating on getting my fitness up, weight down and toning up. I am 5’3″ and relatively small to begin with at 125 but would love to either turn a lot more of that into muscle and/or slim down 5-7 pounds. I feel like I’m doing everything to right and yet I can’t lose weight!
I went to have my Metabolic Rate Tested and I apparently burn approx 1600 calories when resting, approx 500 with day to day activities, and anything else at the gym is extra. I eat 1500 cals a day (I count) and I use a heart rate monitor at the gym when I work out. I do not eat back calories that I burn at the gym. At the gym, I run 1.5-2.5 miles and then lift weights and a little yoga at the end to mellow out. My HRM usually says that I’ve burned somewhere between 500-800 cals every time I’m at the gym.
Nothing changes drastically. I weight 124.5 one day and then 126.5 the next. IMy weight hasnt yo-yoed as much which is nice, but I would like to see something happen! WHY is nothing coming off? Should I eat more? Eat less? What am I doing wrong!?!
Post # 3
@1stRosie: 1 pound of fat is 3500 calories, and it’s safe to lose about 1 pound a week for someone your size. I would say you’re not eating enough on a daily basis… as a personal trainer, this is the thing most women struggled with. Eat some extra veggies/almonds throughout the day and see how things work from there. I wouldn’t eat less than your RMR… you don’t necessarily have to make up anything from your workout, but I would atleast cover what you burn by living.
Post # 4
Have you ever heard the saying “your body isn’t a bank account, it’s a chemistry lab”?
I u sed to subscribe to the calories in calories out theory and found it really difficult to manage my weight. Later I read a book called “why we get fat” about energy metabolism that got me thinking less about calories and more about the type of food I was eating. I change the way I was eating and now weight loss and maintenance is a lot easier.
Post # 5
@1stRosie: Honestly.. looking at the math:
700 (splitting the difference at the gym. I will say I wonder about this number though because I am bigger than you and I run about the same amount and will get nowhere near that number. So either you’re running super fast or that might not be accurate)
2800 calories on workout days.
Thats a 1300 calorie gap. I think that would be great if you were on the heavy side for your height or overweight, but you’re at a healthy weight. Everything I’ve ever read says that at a healthy weight, the calorie gaps needs to be much smaller than this or your body might freak.
I’d really suggest upping your calories. Maybe add 200 every two weeks. So say 1700 for 2 weeks, 1900 for two weeks, 2100 for two weeks. I’d honestly try to not make more than 500 calorie a day gap ultimately, and see what happens from there.
Also, maybe give the book “Making the Cut” by Jillian Micheals a shot. It’s specifically for people wanting to tone up or lose “vanity pounds.”
Post # 6
@abc123joanna: The nutritionist who took my RMR said to eat 1500 cals a day, up to 1700 if I felt like I had an extra hard workout. I will try adding in an extra 100 and see what happens– thank you!!
Post # 7
@cbgg: I tend to eat pretty healthfully– hard boiled eggs, mixed berries, oatmeal, turkey sandwiches, chicken/fish/ and veggies for dinner. Chocolate is my achilles heel but I have a serving of chocolate covered pretzel slims at night and I’m good. Any insight on what makes you slim down?
Post # 8
@1stRosie: Does your nutritionist know how much you’re burning during workouts?
1500 eaten calories – 1600 RMR – 500 day to day – 675 average workout = 1,275 caloric deficit
If you do this everyday of the week you would ‘lose’ 2.5lbs per week… that’s definitely not enough intake. Your body is most likely in starvation mode, and with eating more I guarantee you will see more results.
Post # 9
@Mrs.LemonDrop: I dont *just* run at the gym to burn that many cals. When I run I burn something like 200-350 cals depending on how far/fast I run. (350 for example is when I recently ran 3.5 miles which is more than I usually do) and then I lift weights. My heart rate is still going from the running and the weight lifting burns plenty of cals itself so the HRM says XXX cals by the end of the workout. Sometimes I just run and its only 300 cal, sometimes I go really hard and its 700. It varies. I’ll try upping my cals and see where that gets me, thanks!
I will also look into “Making the Cut”! 🙂
Post # 10
- Wedding: August 2013 - Rocky Mountains USA
@1stRosie: How long have you been doing this? At your size (fairly small already), it’s going to take a while. I’m 5’5′, 120-125 lbs, and I have to seriously bust ass for weeks and weeks to drop a couple pounds permanently.
Also, I call BS on burning 500-800 calories by running 1.5 to 2.5 miles, lifting weights, and doing light yoga. Sorry :/ I burn ~80-90 calories per mile. Unless you’re lifting weights for hours, there’s NO WAY you can be burning that much.
Here are some good calories-burned calculators. I don’t really trust heart rate monitors or the calculators on workout machines.
Keep it up though! You’re definitely on the right track.
ETA: Even if you’re running really hard, that doesn’t really change the calories burned if you’re doing a set distance. The calories burned running 3 miles in 60 minutes or in 20 minutes are about the same.
Oh, and I suggest trying high-intensity interval workouts – these will KICK your ass, but it definitely works. Run sprints, try Insanity or a bootcamp class, etc. It’s a much more efficient way of burning fat.
Post # 11
@1stRosie: I always recomend people check out the book Why We Get Fat. After reading that I did some experimenting and eventaully went paleo. Making the switch to consuming more fat and fewer carbs (no grains, still lots of veggies) worked for my body. It’s probably not right for everyone, but for me it really stabalized things. I’ve been doing that for 2 years now.
Post # 12
If you’re only eating 1500 calories and burning 500-800 at the gym that you don’t eat back, your net calories are between 700 and 1000 – you are effectively starving yourself. I’d make sure that your NET calories are in the 1300-1500 range per day and you’ll likely see some improvement as your body realizes you aren’t starving it and starts to offload some fat.
Also, what cbgg said: what you eat matters too. Cut out added sugars and refined grains if you haven’t already and increase your fiber and water intake.
Post # 13
You might need to increase your cardio. I lose more weight by doing cardio than weights (mabye it helps that I like cardio more).
FWIW I burn around 100-120 per mile (I’m 6′ and around 160 normally). So based on what you’re doing, you might not be burning as much as you think you are. It doesn’t matter how fast you run, you should burn roughly the same per mile no matter your speed. It’s more about the distance than time. Yoga can burn a lot, but not all types of yoga require very much calories (some are as little as 150 calories an hour)…so it depends on how intense it is. Weight lifting can be the same, you can burn not very many calories or a lot depending on what exactly you’re doing (I can’t judge based off of what you’ve described). Just doing the weight machines isn’t going to burn very much, while doing something like crossfit or other weight based trainings would burn a lot more.
Even then…I don’t trust a lot of those calorie calculators either. I would maybe try a time based cardio and try increasing your resistance. So try doing 45 minutes of cardio 5 times a week, and every so often make it harder (increase how fast you run, increase the resistance, etc). That worked best for me. I had to workout at least an hour a day for 5 days a week to lose a lb a week. And that was 45 min to an hour of cardio, weights I did on top of it a few times a week.
How much time do you spend in one session to do the 500-800 calories? I weigh more than you and I feel I average about 500-700 per hour at the gym and that’s with mostly cardio. And that is assuming the machines are accurate.
Also, if you’ve never done weights before, you will gain some muscle mass (muscle weighs more than fat). So even if you drop a few lbs of fat, you might gain a lb or two of muscle and not see much movement on the scale.
Post # 14
I will echo that you are not eating enough. At your weight, you should only be aiming to cut 10% from your TDEE maximum.
This is an awesome spreadsheet that a user in the MyFitnessPal community created that I and several others have used with great success. What you see below is the generic google doc he created with number already plugged in. Save it to your computer and then input YOUR values in the yellow cells to get an idea of what you should be eating.
I mentioned this on another thread this morning- but I was personally eating (maybe*) 1400 calories and running 6x a week for an hour, doing pilates 6x a week for an hour, circuit training for 45 minutes 3x a week and yoga for an hour 2x a week. I was running myself into the ground! I sat at 5’4” and 125lbs for 5 months. It wasn’t until I put my own numbers into that spreadsheet and saw at the very MINIMUM I should be eating almost 1800 calories a week to lose way more than I needed to that I changed it up. Within a few weeks, the extra weight started flying off. ETA- When working from TDEE, you don’t eat your exercise calories back because they will be included in your final calorie number.
I’m currently off all cardio until March as I am trying to gain muscle by eating above my TDEE & heavy weight lifting because once I cut down to my desired goal weight, I didn’t love how I looked. I can already tell with what very *little* muscle I have added over the last 5 months that I will likely only want to cut back down to around where I platued! Everything in my body has shifted with weight lifting and I look sooooo much better than when I was a cardio bunny! You may experience something similar, but you may not!
Either way, best of luck!!!
Post # 15
I think you’re too focused on counting calories and using machines to give you information. I wouldn’t trust any of these gadgets. I bet they’re way off.
It sounds like you’re pretty close to the ideal weight for your height. I’m 5’4″ and I WISH I weighed 125… last time I was at that weight I think I was in high school.
You might be putting on muscle, which would account for not losing weight. I wouldn’t fixate on the number on the scale.. do you clothes fit better? Do you look more toned?
I’d suggest eating less and/or healthier foods and see what happens. I wouldn’t deprive yourself too much, though.
ETA: I read some of the PP and your follow-up posts and I think maybe they’re right… you’re not eating enough.
Post # 16
@lolot: I’ve defintiely heard of HIIT workouts but the intensity on my knees worries me. They’re okay, but not wonderful. I’ve started thinking about doing 1 mile running really hard and then 1 mile walking. I dont have extra cash for Insanity or boot camps so I have to find something that works just for my regular gym 🙁