You've gotten a lot of good advice. I just want to chime in with an "atta girl" on your workouts and your efforts to get healthier. It will take some time. I'd love to weigh 140; I'm sure that's not a lot of comfort, but you're not starting from a real heavy weight. Fine-tune your diet a little, add more cardio, and try not to obsess over the scale, because your workouts and your calorie restriction are NOT in vain. Eventually the weight will come off.
Fitness Minutes: (120)
2,171 2/21/13 10:51 A
I would agree that maybe you are eating too much to see weight loss. I eat 1700-1800 to maintain, without exercise. I would also try to get more protein, and NOT from protein powders. Are you a vegetarian/pescatarian? I didn't see meat in any of your meals, and only saw seafood a couple of times. If you are, you might want to look at getting more protein from stuff like beans or tofu or try to eat more fish. If you're not a vegetarian, try to integrate more lean meat to get more protein. 4oz of chicken breast is only around 140 calories, but has 26 grams of protein, so pretty good bang for your buck.
Another thing I've found that helps is only having one "high carb" meal per day (I don't always follow this but I've noticed a difference in how I feel when I do). So like, if you have pasta for lunch, don't have a bunch of crackers with dinner too. Your carbs are really high, and while I don't know if that actually affects your weight loss, you might find you feel more full and satisfied with less calories if you eat less carbs and more protein/fat.
My other thought is, are you weighing and measuring your food? If you aren't, there's no way to guarantee that you're not eating more than what you think you're eating. You really should weigh/measure if you're not.
Looking at your foods, you eat A LOT more processed foods than you think you do--your granola bars, your bread, your Jello cups, your slimfast, your crackers and pasta? All processed. They've also got lots of added sugars. While you seem to have some good fruit intake, I'd suggest eating more veggies, adding more "good carbs" and less "bad carbs", and even upping the fruit.
Fitness Minutes: (14,252)
9,673 2/21/13 10:19 A
Stardust, you will not be putting on muscle mass as you work out, not while eating at a calorie deficit. That's a common misconception.
Also ignore the advice about "light" weights for weight loss. Your trainer has the right of it.
Weight loss is, at the end of the day, NOt about the exercises you do. I know you know this, but it comes down to how much you are eating versus what you're burning. Make sure you're weighing and measuring all your food, and accurately tracking your exercise (without trying to get calorie burn for strength training.)
You're doing all the right things... it just takes time. Trust the process, and know this: Even if you lose ABSOLUTELY NO WEIGHT at all, you will be making improvements in your body, overall health, and just taking care of yourself is worth all that effort.
Experiment with your calorie ranges. Some people find calorie cycling (eating at the high end one day, and the low end the next) to be helpful. 1700 calories may be too much for you.
Make sure you're varying your workout, and challenging yourself. It's easy to get in a rut... and to use a phrase my Aunt (a very wise lady) says... if nothing changes, nothing changes!
I took a quick peek at your food tracker, and many days you're low on protein and some days calories. Have you input your information into Spark, and if so is it accurate (calories burned estimates, is your goal reasonable, etc)? Are you getting within most of your ranges every day?
It appears you don't have much to lose, so you will have to be patient. You will also have to make sure that the time you spend in the gym COUNTS--no phoning it in. While you're doing cardio, make it short but intense. Intervals will give you the most bang for your cardio buck. Make sure you change things up to keep it fresh and keep adaptation to a minimum.
On the strength training, aim for a full body workout 2-3 times a week, and make sure you're working to fatigue with low to medium # of reps--no light weight and high reps!
As another poster mentioned, make sure you're not just using the scale, but other gauges as well...measurements, a "goal outfit", strength levels, increased cardio response, and how you're feeling in general.
Fitness Minutes: (2,646)
4 2/21/13 8:21 A
I do cardio too, but my personal trainer told me that you burn more calories from gaining lean muscle even when not working out.
I do 30-40 minutes strength training and 15 minutes - 30 minutes of cardio each time at the gym. I will make room for dedicated cardio days I think....
I don't eat any processed food apart from protein shakes to up my protein levels...I think I may need to cut down on carbohydrates. Is that a good idea?
Thanks for all the responses!
Fitness Minutes: (0)
18 2/20/13 11:49 P
see cardio is must to start any workout plan !! and instead of doing strength training do repeatations of light exercise which is use for weight loss purpose !!
On Eating Front :
For weight loss balance between calorie intake and calorie Burn is important !! The more is the balance ,better will be the weigth loss !!
replace your processed food with Egg whites which is rich in protein as well as low in calories !! it will help you as it not containes calories , the lesser you have to burn calories !!
Everyone else has made great suggestions, but here's my two cents:
What are you doing at the gym? Strength training only, or are you also working in straight cardio? Sore muscles retain water, and if your diet is high in sodium, water weight will stick to you, and that's often those first lbs we lose that give us the emotional boost when we start living healthier.
For food, depending on how intensive your workouts are, 1600 might be just fine...I would definitely consult more with the dietician who posted below (or someone else qualified you might be comfortable talking to), and I would also look closely at the foods you eat. Do you get enough protein? How about real vitamins, from fruit and veggies?
I am struggling with this myself, I lost weight eating 1200 calories/day, but those were mostly empty calories...now I'm trying to eat fresh produce, lean proteins, and cut down on the processed "diet" foods marketed to us.
I hope you figure it out. Just remind yourself that the changes you make ARE healthy, and quitting them certainly won't make you lose weight or be healthier. Persevere, you got this :)
Fitness Minutes: (10,248)
196 2/20/13 9:15 P
1600-1700 calories daily, for many women would not bring about weight loss. What is your age, height, weight? You can spark-mail me privately too. Are you getting at least 5 servings of fruits-veggies daily? 20 grams of fiber?
My guess, if you cut your calories and carbs some you would start to lose. Maybe try 1500 calories a day for an entire week and see what happens. Then if that doesn't work, then 1400. Maybe even 1200. I would suppose at 140 pounds you have to really cut those calories since it doesn't take as many to maintain your weight.
Fitness Minutes: (2,646)
4 2/20/13 7:32 P
Thanks Sue. Yes I know that as I put on lean muscle my body mass will increase, it's just that I don't think the fat is going anywhere! Clothes that used to fit are still that little bit too tight for me. It's getting really really depressing! I love the gym, it calms me down and I need it (I suffer from anxiety) to keep me in check.
I also can't eat a lot of processed foods for the same reason.
I will try to look at the sodium thing though, thanks for that. :) And yes, I struggle to eat the protein I need to so I have started to take protein shakes, mixed with water.
Fitness Minutes: (2,646)
4 2/20/13 7:28 P
Thanks - I have now changed my setting so that my workouts and food can be shared. I do a lot of weight training at the gym, arms/upper body one day, legs the next etc. I am trying to do more dynamic exercises such as box jumps, jumping squats etc. I can bench 55lbs now.
I have noticed more definition and strength in my upper body ,but sadly my middle and lower body is stubbornly not going anywhere...
Have you asked anybody at the gym, the personal trainer or someone else? Also, I found in tracking my food that I needed to look at many categories besides calories & make sure I was getting enough protein (especially being pescatarian--veggie plus fish), not too much salt, carbs or fat. Sometimes I ate too many carbs or fat & I REALLY had to work at getting enough protein. Also on my tracker I included cholesterol & potassium, to make sure I wasn't ingesting too much cholesterol or not enough potassium. When I keep all those in check, my weight seems to come off more. That being said, you DO know that the more you work out, you gain muscle, which weighs more than fat. The only other thing I could suggest is you try to connect with one of the nutritionists on SP. OR......try to connect with Beth (INDYGIRL) www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_ individual.asp?blog_id=5256014 who has struggled with plateaus/not losing weight. I DO know if you stick with it, eventually you'll lose weight. The thing I learned with SP is that it's NOT about weight, it's about getting healthy & fit, & you're definitely doing that!
Fitness Minutes: (14,252)
9,673 2/20/13 7:21 P
Here's a great series of articles that can help break through plateaus:
You don't have your trackers shared, so it's difficult to provide specific advice based on what you're doing. Consider sharing those, and we can take a look and make suggestions based on your program. What is your current height, weight, target weekly weight loss goal, calorie range, calories burned per week, exercise program, etc?
The primary culprits when it comes to not losing weight comes down to one of two things for most people.
1) Overestimating calories burned - you can help mitigate this by investing in a heart rate monitor to track cardio activity. If you use Sparkpeople's entry for an elliptical, for example, you're likely to get an inflated number for your burn. Entering your own is better. Also be careful to only track purposeful exercise. A lot of people fall into the trap of tracking anything that causes them to exert themselves, like work, or laundry.
2) Underestimating calories eaten - only 11% of Americans accurately know how much they're eating. If you're not weighing and measuring your food (I mean break out those scales and measuring cups, and use them for EVERYTHING) then you may be underestimating.
Did you know that a serving of cheese is just the size of two dice?
Take the portion distortion quiz to test your portion knowledge:
What's your goal weight? How much do you have left to lose? If you are very close to your ideal weight, those last few pounds come off really slowly. I've heard people say the last 10 are harder than the first 50 (or more). If you are very close to your goal weight you might be better off looking at other measures besides just the scale (i.e. measurements, endurance/strength levels during your workouts).
Fitness Minutes: (2,646)
4 2/20/13 7:13 P
I've been working hard at the gym for 2 months, I have a personal trainer that I see on a frequent basis (funds permitting) and go to the gym on average 5 times a week (a bad week is 3 times).
I am using Spark's nutrition tracker to monitor my calorie intake, which is NEVER above 1700. I don't eat fried foods or chips and I really do my best to eat a sensible diet, yet I have not lost any weight at all and I don't feel that my clothes fit me any better.
In short I am getting really really low about it to the point I almost cried looking at myself in the gym! Can any one offer any help or suggestions? All gratefully received...
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