How to lose 15lbs?!

posted 3 months ago in Fitness
Post # 16
701 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2012 - Iowa

I’ve used My Fitness Pal in the past whenever I need to get back-on-track with my calorie count (which I really need to do now!). My goal is usually 1200-1400 calories / day. I find that once I track for a couple weeks I can ‘reset’ myself and continue those good habits. I’m not one that wants to give up food, so just eating smaller portions is easier for me to do.

I’ve found that crunches have helped a TON as well, for me I am pretty thin but when I gain weight it goes straight to my stomach, so ab workouts really helped and don’t take up much time. With 2 LO’s at home I don’t have much time to give.


Post # 17
430 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2018

I’m in the same boat, I’d love to drop about 15-20lbs to get to my goal weight. I’m not sure what your timeline is BUT I my focus was to drop weight as quickly as possible and then I would focus on toning up my body. A good ratio of nutrition and working out is key to dropping weight, and while other PPs have great advice I am doing to go against the grain just a teeny bit.  

Basically, what I aim to do is to stay between 1000 to 1200 calories a day with 1200 being the maximum, this does not count exercise (calories burned). Most days I stay between 1000 calories plus, burn between 200-300 calories in a small 30-minute workout. **Disclaimer: NO, this is not sustainable long-term BUT it does help drop the pounds faster. I also knew my body could handle doing this for a few weeks until I was happy with my weight. I don’t plan to increase my calories until I get to a point where I am cool with what the scale says and am ready to focus solely on muscle-toning/building.

I’m going to catch crap for that BUT even if you do 1000 to 1200 calories for say… 3 weeks, you aren’t doing to do any long-term, super terrible damage to your body. Please do what feels comfortable to you.

Another big piece of advice I can give is don’t be overly restrictive to yourself. I can tell my body needs carbs and a little bit of sugar or else I get shaky and crash. I just watch what TYPES of those foods I consume. Example – whole wheat toast VS a donut for breakfast, cup of fresh pineapple VS candy bar from vending machine, soda/punch/sugary-sweet drink VS water with some Mio or zero-calorie water flavoring. When it comes to other carbs like pasta, tortillas, etc I just watch my portions. I don’t overload on spaghetti at dinner or if I make tacos, I load it up with fresh veggies to balance out the tortilla I am using. Also – cheat DAYS versus cheat MEALS are a game changer. A cheat day can totally ruin a week of fantastic eating. If you go out to dinner… splurge on the cheeseburger and all the fries and a beer but know that is your one cheat meal for the day or weekend. I typically ONLY let myself have a soda/a few beers on the weekend but I don’t over-do it.

Good luck bee – you’ve got this!


Post # 18
956 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2019

alexaj12 :  It doesnt matter what diet you eat (high carb, low carb, keto, whole30, etc etc etc)

Its basic chemistry – Calories In vs Calories out.

Look up a TDEE calculator to estimate your daily caloric needs. Then aim to eat/workout to be in a deficit of about 500 calories per day to lose 1 lb per week.

You can eat your calories in pizza and still lose weight… but it will be much easier to feel full and stick to your calorie limit if you eat filling and healthy foods. Lean protein, fruits/veggies, etc. But eating well still gives room for indulgences. I have a sweet tooth and can easily budget in a ~200 calorie candy bar.

Post # 19
1738 posts
Bumble bee

mel2 :  I can’t believe people still actually buy into the calories in calories out method. It’s not that simple. Different nutrients do different things to your body. And if you aim to just cut calories, your body downregulates to accomodate for the lower calories making you plateau and just have to cut calories even more.

Post # 20
2476 posts
Buzzing bee

You can always try Intermittent Fasting.

Post # 21
956 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2019

kristin36890 :  Yes different nutrients affect you differently, but the general science still applies and works. I have lost 35 lbs doing it that way. its the ONLY thing that worked for me after years of failed diets.

And your body does moderately adjust your TDEE to correlate with your lower weight but the starvation mode is a myth. Look at the victims in concentration camps… did their bodies suddently stop burning calories bc they ate less? No.

Sorry, but from a scientific standpoint you are not correct.

Post # 22
2208 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2019 - Chateau Lake Louise

slomotion :  I can’t BELIEVE you would give such irresponsible advice. 

CLEARY, meth.

Seriously, though OP 

alexaj12 :  I have recently lost 10 lbs with a combination of a few things – intermittent fasting: 10 hours a day as the “eating” window, vs 14 hours a day where I consume nothing but water. It’s not that hard, really because 8-9 of those are sleeping hours. So I eat my last meal at 6pm and don’t eat again until 8 am. 

Then, I downloaded a calorie tracker. I’m going with 1400 a day limit. Which feels pretty reasonable and doesn’t leave me super hungry and prone to cheat. 

That’s really all I did. I am walking a tiny bit more, but not consistently. 

I did use Noom for a few weeks and I did learn some interesting things about caloric density. So like, 100 calories are not all created equal. 100 calories of grapes are going to be more filling than 100 calories of raisins, right?

The thing that was super nice about Noom, is that it would track the density of your foods and do a visual display of your progress. It also had a menu feature, where it would offer you a list of meal options with instructions, that fit into whatever calories you still had available for the day. 

One of my biggest challenges with dieting is decision fatigue. By the end of the day I am exhausted trying to make good choices, so this really helped point me in the right direction when I was least likely to go that way unaided. 

Post # 23
660 posts
Busy bee

So I’m 5’2″ and I used to weight a little more than you but ended up losing about 20 lbs in 7 months! I was able to lose weight by doing the following

1. Eat at a calorie deficit. This is the only way to lose weight. Of course exercise helps, but if you exercise but overeat than what your body burns, you will not lose weight. Find out what your TDEE is and only consume 75% of that. If you find this difficult, then you can start by eating at 90%, 80%, and work your way down. You don’t want to eat too little, or your body will go into starvation mode and you will barely lose any weight. 

2. Resistance training. Lift weights. And I mean heavy weights. This will not make you bulky. This will help you lose body fat and gain muscle. If this is your first time going in an intentional caloric deficit while lifting weights, you’ll be able to lose body fat and gain muscle at the same time (legit newbie gains. won’t last forever so take advantage while you can).

That’s all you really need to do. Theoretically losing weight is easy (just caloric deficit and resistance training), but of course the implementation is hard. Here are a few tips regarding nutrition (since what you eat is more important than exercise)

1. Eat foods you like. If you like carbs, don’t completely cut them out. Carbs are actually good for you. The reason why we think carbs are not good for us is because some people who want to market low carb foods told us so. Be careful with carbs though because they do tend to be higher in calories than other foods. For instance, on average 2 oz of dry pasta is 200 calories (so yes, buying a food scale and weighing your food is important). I love having toast and eggs for breakfast, so I still ate that for bfast even when I was cutting (even though some people believe carbs to be the devil). In fact, I have 

2. Eat when you like. Some ladies here suggested intermittent fasting for weight loss. If done properly, then yes it’ll work since the basic idea is that you’re eating one less meal and thus consuming less calories. If this works for you, then totally go for it. But if you’re the type that can’t skip a meal without thinking about fried foods (haha, me) then my advice would be to not do intermittent fasting. 

3. Have occasional cheat meals. When I first started, I had about 3 cheat meals a week that really helped me stay sane. I absolutely love fast food (still do), so I would occasionally indulge. I’m no longer in a caloric deficit but now I’m able to control myself and only indulge once a week. Twice if there’s a special event 🙂

4. Weigh yourself everyday at the same time everyday (I always did it naked first thing in the morning), but don’t stress too much over the numbers on a daily basis. Your weight fluctuates on a daily basis based on many factors: salt consumption, water consumption, bowel movements, hormones (I would legit “gain” 5 lbs on the first day of my period, but of course it’d go down to my normal weight afterwards). Instead of looking at your daily numbers, take the average over the week and compare the weekly averages. Again, since 3500 calories is one pound of body fat, if you cut your calories by 500 a day x 7 days a week then that means you should be losing around 1 lb of body fat a week, which is a healthy rate.

5. Take weekly progress photos. Because I see my own body everyday, it was hard to tell the difference in the begining, and so I felt very discourage. I started to take weekly progress photos (again, same time i.e. Sunday mornings) and that’s when I started to see a difference on a weekly basis. These progress photos for me really helped me to stay on track and motivated me to keep tracking calories and lift weights. 


Some good resources: 

Thinner Leaner Stronger by Mike Matthews 

Lift with Sohee


Good luck!

Post # 24
1213 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

I do not ever count calories or weigh myself (I had an eating disorder years ago and I feel like counting can trigger it). I eat lots of veggies and lean meat..but I also got a nice Bundt pan  for Christmas so I’ve been eating a lot of that too 😀.

I have managed to lose some weight and several pants sizes the last few months by walking on the treadmill, but I crank the incline Waaaay up. I started at 7-15% and now I do 20-25% incline which absolutely scorches calories, even just walking. It also gives you a great butt/thigh!

Post # 25
9333 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2012

kristin36890 :  It literally is that simple for many people. I lost 50 lbs just counting calories and kept it off.

Many people would probably be surprised by how many calories they are eating if they wrote them all down.

Post # 26
660 posts
Busy bee

kristin36890 :  Scientifically, it has been proven that even if you eat like crap but you eat at a caloric deficit, then you will lose weight. But of course that doesn’t mean that that’s the best way to lose weight. If you eat 1200 calories of Mcdonalds but your TDEE (total daily energy expenditure) is 1700 calories, then yes you will lose weight, you just won’t feel full or great. 

And yes your body will eventually catch up with you and you will plateau and not lose weight even when consuming 1200 calories. This is normal. So people then start to increase their calories to get their metabolism back up. Putting on muscle also helps with this since muscle requires a lot of calories just to stay put. You should google cutting and bulking cycling. 

Now, if we’re talking about building muscle, then of course nutrients REALLY matter since muscle only grows with certain foods (i.e. high protein). 

The reason why the following fad diets work

1. Keto: Because you’re cutting out carbs and carbs tend to be higher in calories than most other foods. If you’re almost eating the same but just without carbs and you’re losing weight, voila it’s because you’re in a calorie deficit.

2. Paleo: Because you’re eating nutrient dense foods rather than processed foods, again creates a caloric deficit. Rice and chicken is more filling and nutrient dense than mcdonald’s

3. Intermittent Fasting: You’re not eating for a period of time hoping that you eat less, again caloric deficit

4. Low fat: Avoiding foods high in fats. Protein and carbs has 4 calories per gram, whereas fats have 9 calories per gram. So again, caloric deficit.

Post # 27
2646 posts
Sugar bee

I’ve lost 37lbs since Sept and it’s easy–limit what you eat {and yes, it’s OK to cheat} and I go the gym 3 times  a week to rev up my metabolism.  It’s that simple, for me, anyway.

and I  gave up liquor. and drnk a lot of water

Post # 28
5186 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: July 2018

kristin36890 :  Different nutrients do different things to your body, obviously, but calories in calories out is still the foundation of weight loss. Of course nutrients and macros still need to be balanced no one is saying eat 1500cals of burgers every day but if you did and it was at a calorie deficit for your body then you would still lose weight.  People buy into the million different diets on the market but their goal is the same; to lower the calorie intake, they just do it in different ways. For example, no sugar, no dairy, cut out carbs, don’t eat after 7pm etc etc, all these so called diet rules are just different things that ultimately reduce calories. 

And if you aim to just cut calories, your body downregulates to accomodate for the lower calories making you plateau and just have to cut calories even more.

Actually it isn’t a plateau, it is just that as you lose weight your body needs less calories to operate than it did at a higher weight.  You can’t cut calories for a month or two to lose weight and then go back to eating the same after and expect weight to stay off, you need to permanently adjust how you eat after weight loss. 


Post # 29
310 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2018

I’ve lost just over 25 pounds since the beginning of the year with no crazy changes. I’m 5’5″ and had gotten to a weight I was unhappy with from just not being responsible with the foods I chose at all and I’ve never enjoyed working out…I love to hike but last summer I was way deep into getting my masters and didn’t do much activity wise…and then winter where I live it’s too cold. By the end of 2018 beginning of 2019 I was just over 155 pounds and I’m back down to 130 recently (wanting to lose about 5-10 more total).

I have cut all breads and pastas from my diet and also any treats like candy, cookies, etc. 

I’m an all or nothing person. I can’t let myself have just one cookie – I’ll eat the whole box. So it’s easier for me to strictly cut out all together a few things….but then let myself have however much of other things I want. I gave myself no limit on proteins, fruits, veg, etc. and strictly stuck to not eating breads, pastas or sweets.

I haven’t even added in excercise yet…which I plan on doing very soon. I own a treadmill and want to do the couch to 5k program again…I did that a few years back and liked it. I also already don’t drink alcohol or soda so I didn’t have to really cut anything there. I drink a lot of water and I also drink sun tea/iced tea (unsweetened) and for a caffeine boost I drink Advocare Sparks (has caffeine and vitamins and flavors your water).

Post # 30
930 posts
Busy bee

If your diet is consistent and has been, I wouldn’t worry about it so much. You seem to think the change in weight has happened because of a descrease in activity level. 

Instead of depriving yourself, I would give consistent gym days/at-home workouts a try. 

Your weight is perfectly normal at 120 and 5’3”, so up the activity, develop some muscle tone, and see how you feel before you fixate on the number on the scale. 

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