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Metabolism has me down



 
 
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ELANAFATE
Posts: 6
1/1/13 12:36 P

I can't tell you how much your message meant. I know there are more of us in this boat but I so admire the effort and time you have put in. You haven't given up despite the weight loss not happening. I think you must be some much healthier due to your diet and exercise. It's hard to judge what you can't see. You inspire me to change for the sake of change. Thanks



DMARTIN302
SparkPoints: (47,163)
Fitness Minutes: (38,374)
Posts: 90
12/31/12 10:01 P

Elana -- You sound like me! I joined a gym (a hospital-affiliated wellness center) in October where I weight train 3x week, do core classes 2x week, spinning classes 2x week, and do the stationary bike/treadmill/elliptical or run outdoors and ride my road bicycle in good weather for a total of 7-8 hours a week. I'm 5'3" and 155 lbs, I eat 1400 calories a day, and have not lost weight. To add insult to injury, my waist and thighs have GAINED INCHES. My trainers referred me to the hospital nutritionist.

The nutritionist looked at my diet and said I'm doing everything "right," though I can always do better (more protein for breakfast, never eating out, always having side dishes of vegetables even if the entree is a vegetable stew...geez, she made me feel TERRIBLE). Then they did the oxygen testing for my metabolism and my RMR is a paltry 1010.

If I keep on my 7-8 hour a week exercise (averaging 2100 calories burned per week, more if you go by my heart rate monitor), I should cut my calories to 900-1100 per day to lose weight (and I've got at least 25 pounds to go because I have a tiny frame buried in here, so it's not the last 10 vanity pounds). If I stop exercising, I should drop to 800 calories to attempt to lose weight, or remain at 1100-1200 to maintain on a sedentary lifestyle. I will NEVER* be able to eat more than 1400 calories a day unless I exercise more than 8 hours a week.

There's always a "but," indicated by the asterisk, above. I'm hypothyroid, and 'supposedly' properly treated. I say 'supposedly' because I still have so many of the symptoms: brittle hair, dry skin, feeling cold when others don't, and weight gain or lack of weight loss despite attempts to lose. The nutritionist has referred me to a specialist because low RMRs can be indicative of low thyroid and other medical conditions. If they can uncover another medical problem and correct it, only then might I be able to increase my RMR and eat more. Or add more workouts, which I plan to do by adding swimming for several hours a week, because I start swim lessons next week.

I hear you on the tailspin. While it was nice to FINALLY be validated that it's my metabolism, as I've been tracking diet and exercise for 33 months and kinda figured that out already, it also meant that I'm going to have to eat and exercise like this FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE. There is little room for error in such a restrictive diet, and even eating a mountain of savory vegetables doesn't feel nearly as satiating as pizza and a beer on Friday night. I'm hungry and cold ALL THE TIME, and a warm bowl of beef stew has far too many calories for me to consider.

I guess we just have to reorganize our mindset to realize that we are SPECIAL PEOPLE and are so efficient that we don't require much in the line of food!

But I'm still depressed. I want to give up and just eat what I want. What's stopping me? It's taken almost 3 years to lose 29 pounds, and by going back to my old ways of eating, I'll gain it all back in a matter of months. I've lost zero pounds in the last 15 months (I gained 7 pounds despite maintaining my diet/exercise and then lost them last October through March by eating less/exercising more, and have remained constant since then, despite dramatic increases in exercise). I feel like there's no hope anymore. I'm doing the eating, the cardio, the strength, being more active in daily activities. AND NOTHING. That's a LOT of work to maintain.

I can't offer any words of wisdom, except to take that RMR report to your doctor to check for a medical condition causing the low RMR (thankfully, most are quite treatable!). But, you can see that my story is similar to yours, so I can offer a lot of commiseration! Hang in there! Being healthy is good. Seeing a change in the scale/tape measure/SOMETHING would help, but eating healthy and exercising is still a good thing!



ARCHIMEDESII
SparkPoints: (135,698)
Fitness Minutes: (204,345)
Posts: 20,179
12/17/12 11:58 A

Elana,

I'm a firm believer that stress is a neglected aspect of weight gain. If a person could reduce their stress, they'd automatically reduce their waistline. Losing weight is NOT about having or not having will power or self control. It's all about making better choices, not perfect ones.

Don't look at good health or weight loss with an "all or nothing mentality".

You don't have to be perfect to be healthy. Yes, even a slice or two of pizza can be a part of a healthy lifestyle as long as you are mindful of that portion size. It's okay to have pizza, just don't eat the entire thing. Have 1-2 small slices and pair them with a big leafy green salad. that way, you get your pizza and your get your servings of veggies.

What's a normal slice of pizza ? Two small pieces should fit comfortably onto a paper plate. In short, if the slice is bigger than the plate, just eat that one slice. Don't inhale it like a Hoover. sit and savor it.

I've found that the faster a person eats, the more likely they are to eat more. Why ? They just don't taste their food. eat more slowly ! that will help. And if you do increase the amount of fresh fruit and veggies you eat, you WILL reduce those cravings for sugary treats.

If you just do one healthy thing for yourself this week, do your best to increase the amount of servings of fresh fruit and veggies you eat each day. Can you eat 2-3 servings ? If so, that's a great start !

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Edited by: ARCHIMEDESII at: 12/17/2012 (11:59)


SP_COACH_NANCY
SparkPoints: (158,833)
Fitness Minutes: (112,042)
Posts: 46,222
12/17/12 11:58 A

ELANAFATE,

It can be quite overwhelming to try to change too many things at one time, which is why incorporating small changes over a period of time allows you to make these new changes habits. Even if you are replacing meat pizza with a veggie pizza or adding a piece of fruit and veggie at every meal can lead to a change in mindset.

Remember too, that you do not have to have a PERFECT life to live a healthy life. If you feel you are going to have to give up every food that you enjoy, this can actually cause you to crave those foods even more so.

Take care...you can do this!

Coach Nancy



ELANAFATE
Posts: 6
12/17/12 11:49 A

Thank you for the support. I went to the Johns Hopkins Weight Management center and they did the breathing test for metabolism. They recommended between 1500 and 1800 cals a day. Even knowing the right things to do I am floundering. I cook healthy meals all the time for the family but find myself eating Friday night pizza too. I roast chicken but eat too much of it. I need more fruits and veggies but always go for something else. Sorry, I'm just tail spinning. I know the right thing to do and really want to lose weight, so why can't I overcome my cravings? I need to be stronger.



ARCHIMEDESII
SparkPoints: (135,698)
Fitness Minutes: (204,345)
Posts: 20,179
12/17/12 11:34 A

Hello, Elana !

Where did you get your metabolism checked ? Was it at your doctor's or from some other source ? Unless you had your metabolism checked by a medical professional, take any "reading" with a grain of salt. How did this person test your metabolism ? Did they test you for oxygen expenditure ? If not, then you can't be sure the readings are correct.

When some one tells me they've been exercising and not losing, the first thing I ask is,"what have you been eating ?" I took a look at your food diary, you don't have a lot posted. So, I'm not sure what you've been eating. One thing I will say is that a healthy diet really does make a big difference. While it's true that most Americans eat too much and need to eat less, the problem is that they are eating too much of the wrong food and not enough of the right food.

Weight loss isn't just about eating less, it's about eating right. QUALITY of the food you eat has a huge impact on your waistline. So, one thing I look for in a person's food diary is how many servings of fresh fruit and veggies they eat. For optimum health, a person should eat 6-9 servings each and every day. If I were to go back in time and give myself one piece of advice that would help me lose weight, it would be to eat more veggies.

Diets don't work. Lean Cuisines are okay once in a while, but you shouldn't be relying on them for the food you eat. you should be eating wholesome foods that nourish your body. One piece advice I would give you is to do your best to eat more servings of fresh fruit and veggies. If a person should be over eating anything, they should be over eating their veggies. Popeye never got fat overeating his spinach, neither will you.

Also, if you are going to engage in more exercise, then you have to eat more too. Eating too little and exercising too much can hinder a person's weight loss, not help it. It really IS okay to eat a bit more on days you do longer swims.

Let's say you are eating 1500 calories each day. And let's say you swim and burn 600 calories. that means for the day, you're only netting 900 calories. that's not enough to sustain a healthy adult female. In general, a woman should not be eating less than 1200 calories per day and that includes exercise.

I know this is going to sound strange, but a person has to eat in order to lose weight. The quality of the food you eat really does make a big difference. get away from the fad diets. do your best to eat more wholesome foods like fresh fruit and veggies, whole grain breads and cereals, eat more beans, avoid highly processed foods when possible.

There are plenty of healthy meals you can cook for your family that will not only help you lose weight, but they'll enjoy too ! Check out the Spark Recipes section. Chef Meg as well as many members have posted thousands of great recipes. Look through those recipes. healthy food does not taste like cardboard. it only tastes like cardboard when you cook it that way.

here are a few examples of meals you could try.

recipes.sparkpeople.com/browse-results.asp
?category=Kids




SP_COACH_NANCY
SparkPoints: (158,833)
Fitness Minutes: (112,042)
Posts: 46,222
12/17/12 11:32 A

Hi ELANAFATE,

How and who did you metabolic testing?

Your BMR is just the number of calories your body needs to continue normal biological functioning (breathing, regulating heart rate, temperature and blood pressure) and this number can vary widely, which is why there is no 'real' standard.

If you are not tracking your nutrition, that would be a great place to start. Don't feel the need to make any drastic changes. You want to see what you currently eat so that you have a baseline as to where the changes need to be made. Remember too, that while exercise offers us great benefits, keep in mind that the active daily living activities count just as much, if not more so. Things like walking the dog, cleaning, shopping and just being more active without emphasis on weight loss.

Coach Nancy



ELANAFATE
Posts: 6
12/17/12 11:22 A

I feel lost. I joined a gym in late August. I've been going five days a week. Swimming 60-90 minutes a day. I haven't lost a pound. My measurements are basically the same no magic inches gone. Which I don't understand since my clothes fit different and new things are physically possible. So I went and had my metabolism tested. Found out that a woman my age and bmi should burn 2200 cals when sedentary. I only burn 1500. I feel like I should be relieved that there is a medical reason behind my weight. But I find myself in a tailspin. I finally found the discipline to exercise and I feel like my weight is out of control. I can't figure out how many calories to eat or what diet to do. I am so hungry after a major swim that I am eating with no guidelines. I also am worried about programs like weight watchers that are one size fits most. One week I buy food to do Atkins which I don't really like and the next week I'm buying lean cuisine and calorie counting. I need to settle and stick with a diet but I feel so overwhelmed. I also have a nine moth old baby a two year old and a four heal old. So I have to make food for everyone and not just myself. Sorry for ranting but I am so lost right now.



 
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