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SNAZZYMC SparkPoints: (28,212)
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6/10/13 5:46 P

Hi PATIENCEPIE - thought I'd chime in from the perspective of a "shortie" like yourself... I am just over 5 feet, and very petite. I cannot tell people that I need to "lose weight" or they look at me like I have 2 heads (or an eating disorder), and really it's not even an accurate statement since, like you, I'm trying to stick to healthy choices and tone up.
So here's what I have learned works for me: I need to stick to lower carbs and higher protein; I need to eat 5-6 small meals/day; I need to lift weights (and heavy); I need to drink a lot of water. These are the things that contribute to me being leaner and losing the "jiggle" that makes me feel yucky.
That's the physical stuff. I've also learned that my "mental game" is just as important - and for me, that means planning my meals and my workouts ahead of time. I also weigh and measure all my food - I had a classic case of portion distortion before I started doing this, and quickly saw how I was seriously underestimating my intake.
These are the things that work for me; like others have said, everyone is different and it may take a bit of trial and error before you find the right combination that works for you.
And don't lose sight of the great things you have already done to improve your health - cutting out the junk, exercising more - all fantastic accomplishments that you shouldn't dismiss!

PATIENCEPIE SparkPoints: (714)
Fitness Minutes: (39)
Posts: 50
6/10/13 10:47 A

Thanks, I really had a hard time with the confusion between "healthy" and "low cal" issue. Definately going to pay attention to that.
After reading all the helpful posts everyone wrote in with, I realize that since I am so close to normal weight that its about the muscle training like you mention. I have been spinning doing all this cardio but I need to strengthen my muscles. I think I am getting it, I'm a slow learner but all the advice is sinking in! Thanks so much! Going to check the videos here and start down that path.

DRAGONCHILDE SparkPoints: (57,014)
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Posts: 9,646
6/10/13 10:31 A

Patiencepie, it seems like weight loss is not helping you. That's okay! What you're looking for is body composition changing. It's time to hit the weights.

No, seriously. ;) If you want to change the composition of your body, but you have no more weight left to lose, and you haven't been strength training, then it's time to start. As you lose weight, as much as 25% of what you're losing can come from lean muscle mass.

And your muffin top? I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but that's caused by poorly fitting pants. ;) Get pants that fit! No, I'm not being flippant. A properly fitting pair of pants will fit the body you HAVE. Size doesn't matter; I can pull off a size 10 jean, but it gives me hella muffin top. A size 12 fits my body, and my fat, and I don't spill over the top. In a size 10, I look 10 lbs heavier than I do in a 12. Even though it's a smaller size.

I strongly suggest you go to the fitness board, and start asking about body composition. Unfortunately, that's not my realm of expertise, so I can offer no real advice beyond "get thee to the strength training." You don't have to lift barbells or have a gym membership; a $15 set of resistance bands can do just as much, and are versatile and efficient. There's even a phenomenal resistance band Sparkteam here headed by SergeantMajor you should check out!

As for healthy and low calorie... these are two different terms. Low calorie isn't necessarily healthy, and healthy isn't necessarily low calorie! as you learned, Avocado is NOT a low calorie food... it's very calorie dense. However, it's also nutrient-dense, and is considered a "superfood" because it packs such a powerful nutritional punch! You just have to be careful with it because it's easy to overindulge. Low calorie can be loaded with artificial chemicals, sugar, and additives to make it taste halfway decent. The two terms aren't synonymous. :)

PATIENCEPIE SparkPoints: (714)
Fitness Minutes: (39)
Posts: 50
6/9/13 9:40 P

Thank you, this post was very insightful. I am just 5 feet tall. I didn't weigh myself over winter because I was guessing I would be gaining muscle and my weight would stay the same or increase. Instead, I have been trying to gauge how my clothes fit and how I feel. I hear over and over that you can not lose weight in just specific areas (like the belly, upper arms and thighs) and that it had to be over all so that's what I have been all stressed about. I have been doing crunches like mad (thinking was getting rid of the muffin top) and lifting weights, squats and lunges thinking I would be building muscle but when ever I talk to people about it, they say no amount of crunches will take away belly fat and that it's all about reducing calories and increasing cardio (which I have been doing).

I agree with what you said about cutting out more food backfiring coz I am really feeling it! I am grouchy and hungry all the time. All I can think of is when I get to eat next.

I will talk to my doctor this year about the body fat test but for now will check out the recipes and plan better. I just dont know the differwnce between what is "healthy" and what is "low calorie" i was eating tuna and avacaco a lot one week and noticed i was way above my calorie limit.
Thanks for the insight. It is good to know that the reason nothing is happening is because I am so close to healthy weight.

AZULVIOLETA6 SparkPoints: (59,957)
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Posts: 2,844
6/9/13 8:44 P

Oh yes...track before you eat as much as possible!

ANARIE Posts: 12,436
6/9/13 8:42 P

What makes you feel "unfit?" Is your weight ticker accurate? It says you weigh 125 pounds, so unless you're under 5 feet tall, you're not overweight. If you're within the healthy weight range but not happy with how your body looks and feels, it's probably time to look at body composition rather than weight. In other words, you should get tested to find out how much of your 125 lbs is fat, some of which you might be able to lose, and how much is muscle and bone and organs, which you have to preserve and even build.

Step one is to get a reliable body fat test. If you've been dieting a lot (and assuming you have insurance), you can probably get a doctor to order a bone scan that also tells your body fat percentage. If not, see if a nearby university does it-- if they have a biomechanical science, kinesiology, or sports medicine program, they might do DXA or another type of high-tech scan for a low price so students can learn to use the machine. (A major university near where I used to live did it for about $150, which included a follow-up scan six months later to see if you changed.) There are also machines that use air pressure; you sit in a special chamber and they see how much space your body takes up proportional to your weight. It's a less messy version of weighing you underwater (hydrostatic weighing,) which is also a possibility. High-end gyms often offer those tests.

Once you know how much fat you have that you can lose, you'll be better able to figure out how to go about losing it. Be aware that to get the look you want, you might actually have to *gain* weight or stay the same. The way to look slim is to be muscular. Muscle is dense, which means a pound of muscle fills up a lot less space than a pound of fat. If you to weight training to develop your muscles, you'll look thinner and wear a smaller size at the same weight. And we're not talking about big, bulging muscles. Women have to work out for hours every day and/or take steroids to have that happen. A woman who just has a sensible resistance training routine will look smooth and trim, usually without any really visible muscles.

At this point, you have to eat healthy food so you're not taking in any empty calories, but you probably can't lose a lot of weight by diet. When you're in or close to the healthy weight range, the difference between the amount of calories that will maintain your weight and the amount you have to eat to be healthy is really small. There's just not much you can cut. For women who are close to their healthy weight, very good nutrition and exercise are the keys. And even if you do have fat weight to lose, it's going to be VERY slow. When you're down to the last 10 pounds, losing a pound a month is pretty normal.

Cutting foods out of your diet is likely to backfire if some of those foods are healthy. Cutting out sugar was a good move, because nobody needs that. Cutting out pasta and cereal probably isn't going to help. If you switch to whole-grain pasta, it's actually pretty high in nutrients-- you get a surprising amount of protein and a good dose of fiber, plus a lot of micronutrients we don't usually think about. The same is true of high-fiber, low-sugar cereal. Cereal with milk and fruit is actually pretty filling.

The lesson you're learning is that calorie density matters. Cheese and nuts, for example, have a lot of calories in a bite. A grilled cheese sandwich on whole-grain bread is actually probably a better choice than a hunk of cheese by itself, because the bread has fewer calories per ounce. It fills you up more. An ounce of cheese and 2 oz of bread is going to be about 300 calories. Put some baby carrots and maybe a little dish of coleslaw with it, and you've had a whole meal for the same 450 calories as your little cheese plate. Calorie density is also the reason fruit is better than juice-- the juice will have 100-150 calories in a cup, compared to 35-70 calories in a cup of cut-up fruit.

It might help you to turn on the menu plans in the nutrition tracker here, just to see what kinds of foods they suggest for your calorie level. You don't have to follow those plans-- most people here don't because they're not always practical-- but it will give you an idea of how to combine things to reach your nutrient and calorie goals.

Another thing that helps is to sit down every night and plan the next day's menu ahead of time. Then you don't get those surprises like "OMG, that cheese had 450 calories!" Instead you see ahead of time that the cheese will put you really high in calories and fat, and you play with serving sizes and other foods and realize that you could have half the cheese plus some fruit and veggies and fill up for fewer calories. It's always better to get the calorie shock BEFORE you eat them.



SOCAL_LEE SparkPoints: (33,792)
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Posts: 246
6/9/13 8:23 P

Why don't you try tracking or looking up calorie counts before eating? That way you won't be taken by surprise and feel cheated or blindsided by a "small plate of cheese". If you plan ahead, you'll be able to figure out what foods help satisfy your hunger without sabotaging your weight loss plan.

I fill up on salads and steamed vegetables with some protein to keep me feeling full. So lunch for me might be a salad made with four or five big red-leaf lettuce leaves, a cup of shredded cabbage, and half a cup of zucchini slices, plus a couple of ounces of tuna fish. Dinner is 4-6 oz. grilled chicken, steamed cauliflower and broccoli, and another salad. I try to stay away from cheese and nuts because it's too easy for me to eat too much of those foods. I also don't drink juice or eat high-sugar fruits like bananas or apples, that just makes me hungry again in an hour when the sugar rush fades.

Congrats on eliminating processed foods, that's a huge step to take! I hope that at least you feel better, even if you haven't seen the changes in weight you're hoping for. Good luck!

PATIENCEPIE SparkPoints: (714)
Fitness Minutes: (39)
Posts: 50
6/9/13 7:54 P

Hi, I'm 5 feet tall and just weighed myself 125.
I would not be considered "fat" but I have "muffin top" rolling out over my pants, and a lot on my upper arms and thighs. Everywhere else seems "normal" and I am told again and again tht you can't lose "spots" , that it is over all weight loss that reduces those areas.
I have tracked many many times and it never seems to work for me. What I eat is never in the selection and over time like 2 weeks it becomes inaccurate. I have mentioned in many posts here, that I eat healthy, no fast food, sodas, breads, processed food and I began spin about 6 months ago, do weights, yoga, dance and nothing has budged. Not sure what to do. Apparently I have lost 10 but not using the same scale, I am sure that's not accurate, as I have been measuring by whether or not I can fit into some pants I have, which I still can not....also measuring tape around the belly and thighs, have not gone down.

SUSAN_FOSTER Posts: 1,228
6/9/13 7:41 P

What is your current weight, and where do you want to be? How tall are you? Is your tracker (at bottom of your post) up to date? If it is accurate you are at a moderately low weight already (for most heights), and it will be hard to take off the extra weight.

Are you only starting to track your calories now? If so - have patience. It will take time to realize what works best for your body.

What is your calorie range? If you truly don't have a lot to lose you will have to temper your expectations and put your goal weight loss at .5 to 1 pound a week, and update your spark settings to reflect that. When you set up, did you put in the exercise you are getting in? Between moving out your goal date and updating your exercise settings you might get some extra calories to play with,

AZULVIOLETA6 SparkPoints: (59,957)
Fitness Minutes: (69,653)
Posts: 2,844
6/9/13 7:40 P

Processed or unprocessed, some of us are just really sensitive to carbs. I have learned that if I want to lose weight, I need to stay around/below 100 G/day. I CAN come up with a daily eating plan that looks like that, but lately I have just not been disciplined enough to follow through with that as much as I need to.

A couple of things to think about:
1. It might be time to see your doctor. If you are putting that much effort in and seeing NO change, something isn't right. Could you have a thyroid problem, diabetes or another metabolic issue? Is the weight that you are at already in a healthy BMI range?
2. There are some things that seem healthy that just might not be for you if you want to lose weight. Dried fruit and fruit juice might be on this list. They are for me. I can have about 10 Crasins a day and that is my dried-fruit limit. I rarely have more than one serving of fresh fruit a day. Seriously.
3. Are you doing any weight training? More muscle=more fat-burning capability.
4. Have you considered sharing your trackers? It's hard to give you much meaningful feedback when we can't see the details of what you are really eating and doing for exercise over time. Plus sharing your trackers can be motivating in itself.
5. Consider looking at the shared trackers of Sparklers who have been sucessful. This can be a great way to get meal ideas too.

DRAGONCHILDE SparkPoints: (57,014)
Fitness Minutes: (14,252)
Posts: 9,646
6/9/13 7:33 P

I posted this on your other thread, but I will repost it here. :)

www.sparkpeople.com/resource/motivation_ar
ticles.asp?id=620


You don't have to cut out a lot of foods; denial is a great way to lead yourself into a binge, because your mind doesn't like being told no!

It takes time to learn how to make healthy choices... this isn't all or nothing! So you're at your calories today. tomorrow, that'll be better!

You're learning the power of tracking... things you thought of as "good" may not be so good in larger portions!



IT gets better. Keep making SMALL changes over time, and you'll find they start adding up to big changes.

I ask you this: Although your pants fit the same, how does the rest of you feel, compared to last year?

DIETITIANBECKY Posts: 26,614
6/9/13 7:31 P

How tall are you?

To give more suggestions for your food intake, it would be helpful to see your SP Nutrition Tracker. Do you want the steps to make it public?

Also...add up the daily calorie intake for the past 14 days and divide by 14...what is your typical daily average intake for calories?? Do the same for protein. What is your daily gram amount? Do fiber too. What is your gram amount?

Dietitian Becky

PATIENCEPIE SparkPoints: (714)
Fitness Minutes: (39)
Posts: 50
6/9/13 7:18 P

Yes that is exactly where I am at, I DON'T know, nothing is working. I threw out all the sugar in my house last Christmas and began spin class 4 times a week. I quit ice cream, crackers, cookies, all processed stuff, no changes, quit pasta, quit cereal, I eat tofu, chicken, cheese or eggs for protein. Salad. Began weights, yoga, some dance classes, trying to be more active, my body is staying the same, I swear! I do not understand how my pants fit EXACTLY the same as they did last year at this time when I ate ice cream every single night, and lived on french fries and grilled cheese sandwiches.
I feel like I am cutting more and more out of my diet to try to figure out what is keeping me unfit. Today I noticed I had a small plate of cheese for lunch, and when i put it in my tracker, it was like 450 calories! Frustrated.

AZULVIOLETA6 SparkPoints: (59,957)
Fitness Minutes: (69,653)
Posts: 2,844
6/9/13 6:48 P

Well, today I screwed up too, even though I have been doing this for a couple of years. It happens. :)

Over time, you will find a combination of meals that work for you. Plus it's not really about being perfect all of the time, it's about doing well MOST of the time.

I suspect that you need to think about how to get more protein in your diet so that you feel fuller for longer. There are some whole-grain carbs that can be good for this too, such as oatmeal. A bowl of oatmeal is my go-to morning meal.

Do you eat meat? I would prefer not to, but I find that I can't avoid it if I want to keep my weight under control. That's one of the points of tracking...even if you mess up, over time you can use it to learn what does and does not work for your body. Good luck!

PATIENCEPIE SparkPoints: (714)
Fitness Minutes: (39)
Posts: 50
6/9/13 6:37 P

Ya the juicing is starting to sound like not the best idea....
I tracked everything I ate today, tea, cheese, almonds, the juice, rice milk, a banana, raisens and it's only 3:30 and I am over my calorie limit already. Which is even more sad because my stomach is growling and I feel like I am starving.
How do you guys do it!?

AZULVIOLETA6 SparkPoints: (59,957)
Fitness Minutes: (69,653)
Posts: 2,844
6/9/13 4:06 P

Read this article, especially the second page.

www.sparkpeople.com/resource/nutrition_art
icles.asp?id=1800


Of course fruit has carbs...and by juicing, you are taking away all of the filling fiber. Eating whole foods makes a lot more sense than juicing. Chosing items that contain both protein and fiber will help you stay full without too many carbs.

ERICADURR Posts: 241
6/9/13 3:32 P

If you have 2 tablespoons of skim milk, that's 1/8 a cup, so 10 calories. A medium banana has ~105 calories. 1 cup of beets has approximately 60 calories. One medium carrot consists of 25 calories. Now, I don't know how many of each thing you put in your juicer, you can see how they will add up (just with one vegetable/fruit each, you're up to almost 200 calories). I second the recommendation that you EAT your food rather than drink it. It's more filling that way.

GIMME! Posts: 111
6/9/13 3:22 P

If you're trying to lose weight, I recommend EATING your fruit/vegetables instead of juicing. Especially if you're trying to cut down on calories and/or sugar. Eating the actual food will fill you up much more than drinking it. It will take longer for your body to digest the food you eat as opposed to drinking it...the juice is kind of "pre-digested" so your stomach doesn't have to do any work to break it down.

How long did it take you to drink your juice? And how long did it fill you up for? Think of that compared to eating each fruit and vegetable in your juice.


DIETITIANBECKY Posts: 26,614
6/9/13 2:12 P

What are you supposed to be eating? Answer: Real foods in a more whole state. Check out this list of 100 super foods to get you started:
www.sparkpeople.com/resource/nutrition_art
icles.asp?id=307


The calories in your juice would depend on the portion of the drink. I assume you did not add any sugar. I would estimate about 100 calories in a 1 cup portion.

At SP you can not track by just "sugar" , so I assume you are tracking someplace else??? Tracking sugar is deceiving because it includes the added sugar but also the natural sugar in milk, fruits, etc. You had milk, banana, apple...all have natural sugar.

Becky
SP Registered Dietitian Nutritionist

PATIENCEPIE SparkPoints: (714)
Fitness Minutes: (39)
Posts: 50
6/9/13 1:57 P

I am trying to track AGAIN and I just DO NOT understand what I am supposed to be eating....

I had a cup of black tea with skim milk, a banana and a carrot/apple/beet juice from my juicer...according to the tracker the juice has anywhere from 230 to 400 calories! IS THAT TRUE? Also with this breakfast I am in the negative of my allowed sugar for the day already!

So according to the tracker, if I juiced 3 times a day, I would not only be over my calories potentially, but starving and way over in sugar.

Can someone explain this to me? WHAT am I supposed to eat, to lose weight but not starve? Also if all that fruit and veg is all sugar, what am I supposed to eat to get off my sugar addiction? I gave up ice cream, all processed sugars like cookies, breads, crackers, etc and now I am still loading up on sugar....
Please help. I just want to eat.

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