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LILLIPUTIANNA Posts: 1,038
9/7/13 10:56 A

You started walking two weeks ago and you are surprised you haven't lost any weight?

I'm sorry to say, two weeks isn't long enough. Sometimes it's four weeks...six weeks....eight weeks. It takes time for the changes in your body to start.

As for the eating situation. I used to eat 1200-1500 calories like SP told me. Then I'd walk five miles a day. I hit a weight loss plateau like I was hitting a brick wall. Only when I increased my calories did I see any movement on the scale. So, some folks are saying not to over-estimate the power of exercise. I say, at the same time, you have to make sure you aren't freaking out your metabolism by eating too little.

YOGAGEEK SparkPoints: (2,592)
Fitness Minutes: (3,903)
Posts: 130
9/7/13 10:04 A

When you first start tracking, it's a good idea to do a week or two where you eat normally and just record what (and, ideally, when and why) you eat, without judgement or second guesses. The reason for this is that it allows you to see where your problems lie, whether you mindlessly snack in front of the TV or eat chocolate because you're feeling stressed. That, in turn, makes it easier to work out what to eliminate to improve your diet and how to do so without feeling deprived. For instance, if you're regularly over your calorie count by 200 a day because you have a large glass of wine with dinner and a biscuit with your afternoon tea, then you can easily reduce your intake by eliminating them from your everyday diet.

The other advantage to tracking like this is that it helps you to see the calorie content of the foods you eat regularly, making it easier to increase or decrease your daily calories as needed to remain within your goal.

KCLARK89 SparkPoints: (26,271)
Fitness Minutes: (15,946)
Posts: 1,078
9/7/13 8:42 A

When I started tracking my food, I was shocked at what I was actually eating. It helped me to re-think too what I was putting in my mouth because a voice inside my head would say "remember... that has to go on your tracker!!" and I knew other people saw it, so it would keep me in check that way too.

Once you clean up your diet, you'll not only feel better, but you won't be battling a bad diet and trying to out-do it with exercise.

LOSINGFORBABY SparkPoints: (6,354)
Fitness Minutes: (3,309)
Posts: 616
9/6/13 9:30 P

Others mentioned that you can input recipes, but I'm not sure anyone said where to do that. The site sparkrecipes.com is where you go to find the recipe calculator. Make sure you are logged in first, then you can save the recipe to your recipe box and add it to your food tracker (it works with sparkpeople.com).

DROPCONE Posts: 1,540
9/6/13 6:20 P

I can completely relate to not wanting to count your calories or use the tracker. When I first started it was a royal pain and I spent SO MUCH time with it. But, it really does pay off. I learned so much about how my diet was sabotaging my weight loss efforts that I just wouldn't have been able to comprehend otherwise. And I thought I was eating healthy!

You can save to your "favorites" items and groupings that you frequently eat together. Another thing that makes it tons easier is that other Sparkpeople have added so much data to the nutrition tracker, that I rarely have to actually enter anything in myself, I just have to find it. Sometimes, I see if I can find some item before I eat it, and if I can't I have to decide before eating if it's worth entering it in. This has the effect of improving my eating habits out of laziness.

Seriously, just start. You don't have to keep it up forever but you won't really know how to change your diet until you start tracking.

SEAGRAVESA SparkPoints: (1,371)
Fitness Minutes: (137)
Posts: 5
9/6/13 4:28 P

I love to walk, but I have found it hard to do a lot of exercises if the weather is too hot. My asthma keeps me from doing a lot of things. I have found that I do have problems losing weight because of this problem. On cooler days, I workout an hour or two. Lately, I have been able to work out for an hour 3-5 days a week. This has been going on for about a month now. And...after all of that, I still haven't lost more than 2 pounds. I am so lost. That is why I joined Sparkpeople. Hopefully they can help.

BARBANNA SparkPoints: (107,558)
Fitness Minutes: (83,883)
Posts: 3,412
9/6/13 3:53 P

The body has internal mechanisms to protect us in case we are starving. If you are getting more exercise and not loosing weight your body may be stuck in that slow metabolic rate for protection. Unless you increase your movement or eat less it can stay the same. It takes a lot of walking to increase your metabolism, You must be active enough to increase your heart rate for 20 min longer. Take some time and read about the Gherlin and leptin metabolic enzymes.

MEGAPEEJ Posts: 732
9/6/13 3:45 P

You can input a recipe and the number of servings, and spark automatically calculates the calorie/nutrient content for you. It's much easier than trying to figure it out once it's already on your plate! It also makes it easier to realize that instead of filling my plate with casserole, I may have to only put half a plate of casserole, and fill the rest with a salad if I want to stay in my calorie ranges.

_KANNND SparkPoints: (44,425)
Fitness Minutes: (45,679)
Posts: 764
9/6/13 3:35 P

There are some great recipes on this site that already have the nutritional info. You can also create your own by adding the individual ingredients and how many servings it has. This will aid in the counting thing. Good luck!

MSTAYLOR75 Posts: 7
9/6/13 3:31 P

Thank you all for your ideas.

I have dreaded the idea of counting calories. When making simple things or eating one thing at a time, it is easy. But what about making a whole meal or casserole type meal, for example Chili, or chicken n' dumplings. How do you count those calories? Should I just stop eating those kind of meals and stick to the things I can accurately measure (1 chicken breast, 2 slices of bread, etc)

I am still new to this whole idea. I used to just eat less and lose weight without a problem. As I work my way through my 30s, I feel I am no longer able to to that.

_KANNND SparkPoints: (44,425)
Fitness Minutes: (45,679)
Posts: 764
9/5/13 10:28 A

I totally second what ZORBS13 said!

ZORBS13 SparkPoints: (105,004)
Fitness Minutes: (105,284)
Posts: 13,246
9/5/13 8:01 A

That's because you can't out exercise a poor diet. Weight loss comes mostly from diet. Track your food and eat quality calories.

NAUSIKAA Posts: 4,848
9/5/13 7:38 A

Many people drastically overestimate the relationship of exercise to weight loss. Exercise is one of - if not THE BEST things you can do for your health, but it doesn't usually cause weight loss, because an activity like walking might burn a few hundred calories in an hour, whereas a bagel has a few hundred calories too -- it's just too easy to eat back any calories you burn through exercise. Exercise is also an appetite stimulant especially in women. So if you are not tracking what you eat, even though you think you might be eating less, you are probably just not eating enough less to make a difference to your weight.

As an example, my body burns about 1800 calories/day including what I burn in my daily hour working out. If I eat 1500 calories/day, that gives me a 300 calorie deficit, and I should burn about a pound every 12 days or so. But if I eat 1500 calories/day plus a bagel, I'll never lose weight, even with my one hour/day intense workout. And 1500 calories isn't actually that much. Left to my own devices, I tend to eat around 2200 calories/day! That's why tracking is SO essential. Luckily SP has a great tracker you can use. The best tool you can have is a digital food scale (for better accuracy), but even if you don't have one, you can still track your food. Let SP tell you how many calories you need in order to lose about 1 lb/week (2 lbs/week may be possible if your weight is high enough, it's a little too ambitious for most of us though), and follow that calorie recommendation by using a food scale and the SP tracker. You'll probably start losing.

NSALVADORE Posts: 463
9/4/13 10:00 P

Good progress on your walking! Try making changes in your diet! Tracking what you eat may help you! Also you could add some weights/strength training to your routine. Often when you have 1-2 lb weight gain in a day it's usually due to fluid fluctuations. Keep up the good work!

NANLEYKW SparkPoints: (59,125)
Fitness Minutes: (29,299)
Posts: 847
9/4/13 9:59 P

If you haven't changed your diet (even if you think you might be eating less), that's probably the culprit. Since 80% of weight loss comes from diet, your eating habits are going to have a much bigger effect than your walking. (Even though you're making great progress--way to go!) Try tracking your food and see if that makes a difference.

The other thing to keep in mind is that it can take as much as 6-8 weeks for diet and exercise changes to show up on the scale, so you won't necessarily see weight loss right away. If you continue to eat at a caloric deficit and keep walking, though, it will come!

MSTAYLOR75 Posts: 7
9/4/13 9:04 P

I just started walking with some friends a couple of weeks ago. At first I barely made it to 10 miles per week; this week I am already at 14 and plan for 6 more before the end of the week. I have not changed my diet. In fact I probably eat less (not necessarily better just less) and I have not lost any weight and on some days I have gained 1 - 2 pounds more. I have not "hit a wall or plateau", because I haven't lost anything. Anyone know what could be going on? I had a goal of losing 15 pounds in 7 weeks and now I am 2 weeks into it and haven't lost anything. Did I mention I haven't lost any weight?

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