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LOVEXAVIE SparkPoints: (42,809)
Fitness Minutes: (48,231)
Posts: 2,449
8/10/13 12:01 P

Lots of great advice here.

My two cents: I, too, think you may be under-eating. And while that's awesome that you are eating good food and not junk, what constitutes your "good food" may hold they key.

For me, the pounds started to FLY off & everything became easier when I started eating 7-9 servings of veggies a day. And that was eating at the high end of my Sparks calorie range or over. Those veggies just seemed like the magic key for me - it was unbelievable.

Also add your fruits, etc. but you might try really ramping up the veggies for a week and see if you don't notice a big difference in how your clothes fit, etc. And eat more in general. You are very active and your body might be holding on for dear life to every calorie because it doesn't think it is getting enough.

DIANE7786 Posts: 4,910
8/10/13 11:15 A

Do you take meds for your headaches. Some meds can cause weight issues. I hope you find reasons for your headaches and weight issues soon.

ARCHIMEDESII SparkPoints: (197,206)
Fitness Minutes: (294,448)
Posts: 27,083
8/10/13 8:34 A


One thing I've learned from my own years of yo yo dieting is this, what works neatly on paper doesn't work so neatly with the human body. IN THEORY, everything that you posted should help you to lose weight. However, theory is very different from practice.

While you've told us a lot, there is still a lot we don't know. So, do keep in mind that anything I am writing here is strictly an educated guess. One thing you don't mention in your original post is how long you've been trying to lose. While a safe weekly weight loss would be 1-2 pounds per week, there will be weeks you don't lose. There will even be weeks you gain ! And that doesn't mean you're doing anything wrong. The weight doesn't magically drop off the minute we decide we need to lose. It really could take 6-8 weeks of healthy eating and exercise before a person sees a change in the scale. And that too is perfectly normal.

Also, how do you know how much you're eating ? You mention that you may eat 1500 or so calories a day of healthy food, but what about those portions ? Are you measuring your food with cups and a scale ? If you're just eyeballing those portions, you may well be eating more than you realize. One thing I learned from my own years of trying to lose weight is that I suffered from portion distortion. What I thought was say a 300 calorie muffin turned out to be a 600+ calorie muffin. So, even though you're reading labels, unless you're weight and measuring out your food, you may be eating more than you think.

Another possibility, you're not eating enough to sustain the workouts you do. eating too little and exercising too much can hinder a person's weight loss ? Why ? You're forcing your body to decide what is more important, having calories to be able to exercise OR having calories to keep your heart pumping. I can assure you that your body doesn't care if you're trying to lose weight or not. All your body cares about is having enough calories to keep you alive. And if your body feels there are not enough calories to keep your heart pumping and exercise, then it's going to start slowing down your metabolism to compensate.

So, there is the possibility that the amount of exercise you've been doing combined with the decreased caloric intake has caused your body to conserve fat instead of release fat. In order to lose weight, you have to find the right balance. You have to eat enough to keep your vital organs functioning as well as eat enough to sustain any extra exercise.

The fact is (as you'd already seen), increased exercise does not speed up a person's weight loss. If you want to take the weight off and keep it off, you have to eat right. So, why isn't your weight coming off ? Once again, too many different factors to consider.

First factor ? How long have you been trying ? If you only started trying in the last 3-4 weeks, you need to be more patient with your body. If it's been longer than 6-8 weeks, then you need to take a hard look at your portion sizes. you may be eating right, but you may be eating more than you think i.e. portion distortion.

And if you have been in recovery from an eating disorder, that too can cause problems with weight loss. why ? Goes back to your body trying to keep you alive. If your body thinks there is a famine, then your body is going to do everything it can to conserve fat in order to ride out that famine. Dieting (calorie restriction) is a form of famine.

How are you determining your BMR calories ? Did you have the oxygen expenditure test ? Did a doctor hook you up to a machine to determine how much oxygen your body uses ? If you're just using the online calculators, that really is a rough estimate. An oxygen test is more accurate.

Cause like I've been saying, what works neatly on paper doesn't work so neatly in the human body. Human biochemistry has a way of really throwing off all a person's calculations. So, how did I lose the weight ? I was patient. I let my body lose when it wanted to lose, not when I wanted. In short, I didn't put my body on a schedule this time around. I took my time to lose the weight. I didn't fixate on numbers or the scale. I just did my best to try to engage in a healthy lifestyle.

Just a few thoughts.

SLIMMERKIWI SparkPoints: (247,245)
Fitness Minutes: (41,397)
Posts: 26,809
8/10/13 8:04 A

I wonder if your previous history of anorexia may have clouded your ability to properly tell you when you are hungry?? I really think that with your height/weight, AND the amount of exercise you do, you would probably be better off eating a bit more. For what you do and your weight, it certainly sounds that you aren't eating enough.

I am just under 5' 6" and you can see what my initial weight was. I was put on 1400 calories (no range) by my Dietitian. I lost steadily, and in 16 months lost just over 50lb. I will add that I don't do anywhere near the exercise you do because of skeletal issues. The bulk of my exercise was walking - about 3.5 kilometers per hour, and about 1 1/2 hrs total in a week.

Do you drink enough during the day? I am not one to normally push fluids, but a low BP can be caused by insufficient fluid intake.

You say " I try not to skip meals and eat when I'm hungry rather than when the clock tells me to...with the exception of eating after 6 pm. I wont do it and just drink water to put my appetite off until morning."

I think part of the problem might be there!
What time do you go to bed?
I take it that you do get hungry after six - using water to stave off hunger isn't the best thing out. You would be far better off to eat something than rob your body of what it is trying to tell you it needs.

If you are concerned about calories turning to fat because of the time of night you have eaten, that just won't happen. Your body doesn't care what the time is, so long as it gets enough. I ALWAYS have a snack around 2300hrs - midnight, just before I go to bed and often it is around 200 calories.


JSHEFFIELD1986 SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (1,116)
Posts: 2
8/10/13 5:23 A

Hi, thanks you all for your replies and input. I do actually read labels and cut out all unnatural sugars. The only sugars I take in each day are those found in fruits and/or veggies. I stay away from processed foods so there's really not a LOT to read in that department. As far as my calorie intake is concerned I actually raised it. Two years ago I lost almost 60 lbs due to anorexia. I didn't find out until later that it was even considered anorexia. I always had it in my head that anorexia was just not eating. I was taking in 500 calories or less back then. Earlier this year I was only eating around 1200. With 1200 calories and working out I found myself not losing weight so I up'ed them to where I am now. I've uping them a little at a time to see where I need to be. I've always ran. ALWAYS. That's why I started doing a bit of the rowing as well to see if maybe the running just wasn't going to cut it anymore since I've always been a good runner. I am honestly a little afraid when it comes to my heart rate. I've always had an issue where my heart rate will shoot up to around 200 (this happened back when I was thin and fit as well at 147) and stays there while I run or workout. It's not hard for me to maintain and I can literally just run and run while breathing through my nose. It just doesn't seem to work me like a heart rate of 200 should. Also, my resting heart rate is low and is usually around 40. Even though the 20 heart rate has never bothered me, I'm afraid to let it go any higher. I'm currently having a blood panel done as well as a few scans for issues I have with blackout type headaches so until they figure out what's causing them I wont go past 200. My BP is very low. Last time I was at my doctors (on the 7th) it was 109/90. I try to not eat carbs unless they are in the form of whole grains or raw foods. I eat lean protein three times daily. A normal daily meal for me are egg whites in the am, turkey and mustard sandwich on organic whole grain bread for lunch , and something like salmon, baked seasoned potatoes and cauliflower for dinner. I don't eat after 6 and if I get hungry during the day I eat something like a cheese stick or a slice of lunch meat. If I get a craving for some type of sugar or sweat thing I will make one of those chocolate slim fast type shakes. I figure 190 calories is A LOT better than eating a candy bar or something pretty high in sugar and calories. When I do make the shake I use skim milk and only make half the serving. Half is more than enough to satisfy the sugar craving for me. I try not to skip meals and eat when I'm hungry rather than when the clock tells me to...with the exception of eating after 6 pm. I wont do it and just drink water to put my appetite off until morning. Organic, no preservative type foods are very easy to find here. If I haven't mentioned I currently live in Norway. My husband is still active duty so for now, we're stationed here. People here are VERY healthy and everything tends to be pretty well kept free of preservatives. I buy my meats from the local butcher and my fresh foods from the farmers markets down town. Heck I even go to a farm to buy my eggs. I think when I go to the gym today I'll try a bike or something in place of running. Rather than running for 30 then rowing for 1 or 15 I think I'll just ride a bike for 45 on a higher resistance and see how that feels. Maybe I'll start alternating my cardio from day to day. I mean I do for muscle groups so why not cardio.

SUNSHINE6442 Posts: 2,257
8/9/13 9:47 P

The main sweetener in Crystal Light is aspartame and could be derailing your efforts. Some people who eat sugar free stall weight loss. Also, you might want to consider several days of fewer carbohydrates and more protein...maybe have 3 ounces of protein at every meal as protein stimulates the body to release the fat burning hormone glucagon.

Look at the labels and check sodium and sugar content of the foods you are might be surprised

DIANE7786 Posts: 4,910
8/9/13 7:52 P

You might do a Sparks search "exercising and not losing" for suggestions. Do you use the Nutrition and Exercise trackers? Those help me a lot, especially getting close to the right right percentages in the pie chart. The newest thinking is that we should vary running or walking speeds for better results. I agree with the previous poster that you might talk with your doctor. You might have an undiagnosed problem, like thyroid, that keeps you from losing weight.

8/9/13 7:03 P

I have the same problem. Sore from working out and still no weight loss. Hang in there we will make it.

ICEDEMETER Posts: 1,332
8/9/13 5:48 P

Just curious, but when you say that your caloric needs for maintenance are 2397, does that take in to consideration your exercise? I haven't done the calculations, but that just seems a bit low to me.

With that in mind, I'm wondering how long you've been eating at the 1500-1700 level without losing weight. I'm also wondering how long this has been your standard fitness routine. If you have only recently gotten back to working out, then it's possible that your muscles are retaining more water, which is masking your actual loss of fat. I've heard that it can be 4 to 8 weeks for some folks to start dropping the water and have the scale show the loss.

As you're no doubt aware, our bodies get really efficient at doing the same thing repeatedly, so if you have been doing the same fitness for a long time, then your calorie burn for the exercise may not be what you thought it was. If you've given your body too little calories for a long period of time, it could also have gotten more efficient in its day-to-day functioning in order to "preserve" itself.

Have you tried eating at closer to maintenance level (say, 1850-2200 calories per day) for 2 or 3 weeks to see what your body does? Have you tried changing up your fitness routine (throw in some HIIT, for instance) to see if that gets a response?

Honestly, I do very little exercise, am 5'8", now 187lbs, and will stop losing completely if I drop below 1400 calories for more than a day. At 1500-1700 calories, I lose about 1-1/2 lb per week. There doesn't appear to be any logic to it, but I lose faster when I eat more (and, as you say, good calories and not junk). It also takes me at least a week of eating more for my body to start losing again, so I have to say that it might be worth trying a higher range for at least a couple of weeks to see what happens.

If nothing changes after you've given the changes some time, then I'd have to say it would be time to see a doc for a complete work-up to see if there's something going on that is working against weight-loss.

Good luck!

JSHEFFIELD1986 SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (1,116)
Posts: 2
8/9/13 4:58 P

Hi, I'm Jackie. I'm 5'8 and am currently sitting at 210 lbs. I'm ex-military where I was a physical training leader and weighed 147. I've since had 3 big boys (all in a row). So, I know HOW to eat right and I know HOW to exercise, but I'm now sitting here wondering what in the heck it is that's going wrong. So here is my run down....Minimum 4 days out of my week I go to my gym where I run for a minimum of 30 minutes (only running at 5.5mph), followed by another 15 minutes of rowing on max resistance, followed by a rotation of weights working every major muscle group. My caloric needs for maintenance are 2397, fat loss 1917 and for extreme fat loss 1680. I average around 1500 to 1700 for my caloric intake. My calories are healthy and nutritious without junk food. I do drink coffee everyday, but it's just black coffee. I DO NOT drink sodas or sugary drinks of any kind (this includes Gatorade or other fitness drinks) I drink water only with ONE glass 8 oz glass of skim milk a day. If I get bored with water I use crystal lite. Yet, I haven't lost a single pound!!!!! For the first time ever I've actually not been able to lose weight. Can someone......anyone please let me know what in the heck is going on.....I even zig zag ONE DAY....figured I'd try that since it's just not doing any good....I go up to 2000 calories one day a week and then go back to my normal 1500 to 1700....and even then the extra calories are GOOD calories....Advice would be very much appreciated...THANK YOU!

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