That is a good point Unident (and sorry about forgetting about the metabolism thing... I was focusing on the cardio causing weight gain thing and it didn't occur to me it'd be relevant). I'm not sure about the suggested calories for losing weight and exercise, I assumed that the exercise was implied, since he (the doctor) said to continue exercising at 1500 to maintain. Not crazy exercise though... I think I *am* doing more than they would expect. The last time I dropped 10% I was training for a half marathon and eating 1100-1400 calories a day, depending on if it was a high mileage day or not, and that seemed to work. I wasn't overly watching what I ate beforehand though, so I didn't notice a weight gain when I started, just the eventual loss over about 3 months of running and dieting. Also, I do eat plenty, I just eat very low calorie foods. I eat at least 5 times a day, if not 6... I just fill up on veggies and lean proteins, which give you a more "sense of full" for the number of calories consumed. And tea, I drink a *lot* of tea.
Thanks again for taking the time to read and respond. I appreciate it!
Well, y'know, that's kind of important to know when you've asked for advice on losing weight. :) LOL. You should really have mentioned that to start with.
I maintain the basic principle though. Perhaps you're doing more cardio than really works for you? You said "eat 1200 to lose weight and eat 1500 and exericse to maintain". Where does exercise figure into losing? If you are supposed to eat 1200 and not exercise to lose, then adding exercise increases your daily deficit, and may put you at a point where your body doesn't want to lose.
Unfortunately (seriously, I mean unfortunately) I'm a bit of an odd duck when it comes to my metabolism due to hormone issues... so I actually have a lower range than normal people do when it comes to calories. If I eat 1500 calories a day I steadily gain weight. I've talked to professionals about it, and have been told to do 1000-1200 calories a day to lose weight and 1500 calories plus exercise to maintain weight. It sucks, but I'm trying to live with it. I'm getting further testing in a few weeks to see if I'm eligible for treatment for polycystic ovarian syndrome which my doctor thinks could be further complicating the weight loss. But it still doesn't explain why adding cardio has resulted in a spike in weight gain.
I am right with you all on the calorie range, and fought having to go as low as 1200 for a long time. But after 3 years of dieting and trying different things, it seems to be the magic number that lets me lose weight at 1-2 pounds a week, with added cardio. Though, at this point, something may have changed. So I'll increase intake for a week or 2 and see what happens. Again, thanks so so much for the advice :).
(also, we say "weight" in the dieting world to mean "fat loss", arguing about gravity is pure semantics)
I agree with CJ that it seems most likely you're simply not eating enough for your body and your exercise level. When you reduced your daily calorie burn a little by not exercising as much, you were now able to lose weight. Now that you've added exercise again, you're back to significantly under eating for your body.
1200 calories the absolute minimum that a slight and completely sedentary woman should eat. Anyone with weight to lose, or who does any exercise at all, has no business eating so low. Unfortunately, the 'diet world' out there has offered a general advice that everyone everywhere should "eat 1200 calories to lose weight". That's just stupid.
If you under-eat, you will find it much more difficult to lose weight, and if you eat enough, the weight falls off. You just experienced that. Trust in it.
Perhaps you think 1200 is okay because that's the bottom of your spark range? That's the absolute minimum range Spark allows and you'll almost always be on it when you have an aggressive weight loss goal. Try aiming for just one pound a week weight loss, and then use more like the middle of the provided range for that.
1. Stop weighing daily unless you can mentally take into account that daily weight can fluctuate up to ten pounds due to a variety of things: salt intake, water intake, exercise, strength training, cardio, time of the month, and more. If you cannot mentally account for this, then put away that scale except every week or every other week. I don't mean to sound harsh, but a lot of us simply can't do that and that's why a lot of us weigh weekly instead.
2. Exercise and dieting changes how our body acts. It is NOT a linear mathematical progression of fat loss: you cannot say "well my exact BMR is 2005 and I ate 1506 calories and I burned 432 calories therefore my daily differential was exactly blah and thus I would've lost .blah pounds today." That's impossible, will always be impossible, and is not worth attemping to keep such intense track of. Fluctuations in weight are always going to occur; go run ten miles and weigh before and after. You'll have "lost" weight between then, but did you really lose fat? No, you just sweated out a bunch of water.
3. That said, do not confuse weight and fat loss. We're here to lose fat, because fat is what makes us look pudgy and larger than we can look. Weight is simply the effect of gravity on your body. If you wanted to lose weight, I'd offer to chop your leg off with a chainsaw: you've just lost 40 pounds! But did you get any less fat? No, you're just one-legged now, see what I mean?
4. Consistent nutrition (80%), strength training (15%) and cardio (5%) is the way to go. Diet matters most, then strength training, and cardio last of all. Doing HIIT workouts is good, but I don't think eating at 1200 calories on a HIIT day is appropriate, to be honest. I think at your weight, you're eating too few calories and working out too much for that intake level; eat closer to your high end and you'll see better results after 4-6 weeks. We need to fuel our body for our workouts, not starve it. You can either exercise little and diet a lot, or diet a little and exercise a lot. You can't diet a lot and exercise a lot, it won't work (and I mean that in numbers only, not in quality). Focus on the intake side, and ignore the output numbers of calories except for a general estimate.
I've been at this losing weight thing for a while now. I have a history of dieting and exercise (in the last few years I've run 2 half marathons even!). I have a question about my current situation though:
I did a good job dieting and exercising in November and early December... an hour of cardio 5-6 days a week and stayed on the low end of my calorie range (about 1200 calories a day). I managed to lose down to about 188, then went abroad for Christmas where I gained about 5 back in 2 weeks, which is to be expected. I got right back on the horse in January, except that I struggled with the most stubborn cold ever, so I was only dieting and unable to exercise too until this past weekend. So it's only been about a month and a half since my consistent working out. I ran 3.5 miles on Saturday, ate a high calorie day on Sunday (about 1800 calories) and was back to 1200 calories and an hour of high intensity elliptical cardio yesterday (Monday). In January, with dieting alone, I dropped down to 183, which I hit on Saturday (before the run). Then Monday I was up to 185, and now today (Tuesday) I'm up to 188 again! So I've gained 5 pounds in 3 days when all I've done is re-introduce cardio! I don't think it could be muscle weight, as I don't think I lost *that* much muscle, and it's just cardio exercise, no lifting weights yet. And I don't think I had such a bad calorie day on Sunday to justify a gain of 5 pounds!
I feel so frustrated! It's not just the number either, my pants are way tighter today and I visibly look bigger than I was just a few days ago. And there are no other "cyclical" reasons for the gain.
Anybody with some experience with this or some insight??
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