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JBCYNN Posts: 22
3/22/13 2:42 P

hello first don't get discouraged! I know easier said than done huh?
one thing I have found that helps me is using the fat, carb and protein guidelines.
what I have found is I can stay within my caloric guidelines but if it's nit the right balance of nutrients it doesn't work for me. these guides really help me through the day!

MAYBER SparkPoints: (120,147)
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3/22/13 2:25 P

If you give up you will never know what you could have achieved
Keep at it one day at a time
One day you will be successful
More time is needed
emoticon emoticon

TURQUOISEBIKE SparkPoints: (0)
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Posts: 55
3/22/13 1:46 P

Lots of good points here already.

Extra weight from building musicle? Maybe your tight jeans will start to feel looser soon and you'll know that's what it is.

Water retention? Maybe. It could be hormones etc. but... you could also try cutting down on salt and seeing if that makes a difference.

Gym not working yet? Give it more time, of course, but also try mixing up your workouts more. Maybe, instead of going to the gym five times, you could skip one of those sessions in favour of a lower-intensity three-hour hike or cycle, preferably to somewhere beautiful or inspiring, at the weekend - or even turn that into an all-day affair. Maybe you could skip another of those five gym sessions in favour of doing nothing - absolutely nothing. Keep two sessions the way they are - or more or less the way the are, but with a different balance of cardio and strength - and go a good bit harder on one, once a week, on a day you're feeling strong.

Diet not showing results yet? Give it more time. No point worrying - when I fret, it sets of cravings - but that doesn't mean you can't tweak and experiment.

My strategy is to pursue a few different goals at the same time so that something is always working out for me and I can focus on that rather than beating myself up about whatever isn't so good.

I like to tot up my fruit and veg intake and congratulate myself on it (plus award myself bonus points for remembering other things I should be eating, like omega 3 rich foods)
And my exercise goals (speed, the strength for a particular yoga asana, better posture etc.) are independent of my diet goals.

MAKING_CHANGES_ SparkPoints: (9,129)
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Posts: 41
3/22/13 11:20 A

That is so true. It never even crossed my mind.

ANARIE Posts: 13,116
3/22/13 11:05 A

One HUGE factor that no one has mentioned yet...

Look at the calendar. Where are you in your monthly cycle? A woman can never know how a weight control program is working until she's been on it for at least 28 days, and 56 is better. It's normal to fluctuate as much as 7 pounds in 28 days, just because of hormone-related water retention. If you started at the low point in your normal swing, the water could be hiding quite a bit of loss.

This is a long-term thing you're starting. Think of weight change in terms of months, not days or weeks. The important weigh-ins are the ones 4 and 8 weeks apart.

LADYLOVE5683 SparkPoints: (117)
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Posts: 16
3/22/13 10:42 A

As mentioned I do believe that it is a matter of figuring out what works for me and after only three weeks I am not quite there yet. The only thing I think I finally have down is getting to the gym 5 days a week. The food I eat is definitely different but I am still getting used to it all. I also do not want to overwhelm myself with changing everything at one time. I have never done this before so I do not want to throw my body into shock. The rice cakes I eat have only 1g of sugar and the ww bread has only 3g so the sugar thing is not an issue. Weighing things are not an issue either. I use spoons and scales and when they are not available to shoot for the smaller size just to be on the safe side. Slow and steady and I will get it.
Thank you all so much emoticon

CHANGE_FOR_GOOD SparkPoints: (5,785)
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Posts: 36
3/22/13 10:25 A

First, you can do this. Try not to get discouraged. As many people have mentioned, it is a matter of figuring out what works for you. I find that if I vary the amount I eat during the week, staying within the given calorie range of course, that has helped. So, if you eat at the low end one day, eat mid-to-high the next day. Also, if you're having a hard time hitting the calories, try to stay away from the low to no fat foods. Add an olive oil/balsmic dressing to your salad, or peanut butter on your toast. I was doing Bob Harper's Skinny Rules Diet a while back and it was amazing all the things I could eat, yet not be too high calorie. Examples: Breakfast, 1/2 c oatmeal, 1 c greek yogurt, with berries or 3+1 omelet loaded with veggies and a little feta or parmesan cheese. Maybe check out the recipe section for some other mean ideas to shake things up a bit. Good luck!

3/22/13 10:12 A

Wait, why are bananas "not great"? Bananas are a healthy food, so are berries. Everything in moderation. Including starchy veggies. No one food is going to magically take weight off or stop the weight from coming off. Not even a banana.

GGMOM06 Posts: 9,208
3/22/13 10:02 A

You may have to many carbs and not good ones ...rice cakes and ww bread may even increase your calories unless it's only 4 g of sugar per slice and 1 slice is a serving i believe. You may need more Good Fats also . Oh and if you are using the nutrition tracker most of the foods are incorrect and i put my own in off the packages . Watch the sodium content too. Most of us get way too much ..don't cook with salt no matter what it is ! It isn't necessary not even for boiling eggs or pasta . If your veggies are a lot of starchy kind back off some and that includes fruits per day too . Berries are great but not bananas ! Hope this helps a little. emoticon emoticon emoticon

LADYLOVE5683 SparkPoints: (117)
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Posts: 16
3/22/13 8:48 A

Thank you for all the support and ideas on different things that I can try. I will take it all into consideration. I am just not going to let the scale discourage me and keep doing what I am doing. Something has to give sooner or later. emoticon emoticon

LADYLOVE5683 SparkPoints: (117)
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Posts: 16
3/22/13 8:46 A

my foods are pretty basic. Breakfast (oatmeal, yogart, eggs, whole grain cereal) not all at once of course. The healthiest things that I can find.
Lunch ( sandwich on whole wheat bread, salads with no dressings, maybe left over dinner if there is any)
Dinner (normal portions of meat no more than 4oz and the leanist stuff I can buy, lots of vegatables)
Snacks (nuts, rice cakes, fruit, fiber one bars)
I eat at about 8-8:30 for breakfast
snack at about 10-10:30
Lunch 12-1
Snack 3:30-4
Dinner 7-8 (I wish this was earlier but between work and the gym there is no way to get it in any sooner)
Those are just a few examples. It does seem to be very difficult to hit 1200 cal a day but if I do add the nuts it helps a lot.
My normal workout at the gym consists of either an hour on the treadmill (which I hate) or a hour on the elliptical machine (I love this one) than everyother day I try and do some weight machines to changes things up and do strength.
I don't know what I am doing wrong and it makes me even more mad when I type something like this cause it all looks like I am doing everything right but something is a miss.

3/21/13 9:25 P

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Try your best not to get discouraged. Attitude is everything. Everyone's bodies are different and respond differently to foods and exercises. Just keep trying to mix it up and find your own perfect combination. I feel certain in saying that if you keep trying, that over time, you will see results. I've been on a plateau for 4 months ... it seemed like nothing would ever change because I had a poor attitude -- I took it easy over the holidays, and when my metabolism responded negatively, I got upset with seeing inches creep back. But then I read a SP mail, and started a new challenge. Already, after only 4 days, I'm seeing positive changes. I think this is just the way it goes... Stay positive and keep trying -- you can do it!

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SSHANTI SparkPoints: (26,982)
Fitness Minutes: (29,463)
Posts: 206
3/21/13 8:10 P

I so feel your pain. I've been a member here for a couple of years and it's only been the last few months that I've seem any real progress. In my case, three things have changed.

One I started doing a more Atkins like diet, keeping the carbs to 25grams or less during any given day.

The other big change is after making sure I was sticking to the calorie guidelines here, I've cut my calories even more. The system whatever me between 1200 and 1600 and that wasn't doing anything for me. So now I'm staying between 1000 and 1500 but often going under 1000 per day. I'm making sure I keep taking enough vitamins and such to stay healthy on such a low caloric intake. The third change is at the suggestion of a friend, I've started with a trainer doing strength and toning on all my muscles. I've added circuit training and yoga to all the cycling and swimming I've been doing.

My friend had the same problem. She's a runner and was getting plenty of exercise like I was, but not really losing any weight. Then she started at the gym again. That's when she noticed the pounds started coming off too.

You can do, and yes, it can take time, but it is worth it!


EIDOTHEA1 SparkPoints: (23,924)
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Posts: 1,539
3/21/13 7:13 P

Are you measuring your servings? It's very easy to underestimate what you eat & the calorie count. I know it makes all the difference with me.

3/21/13 7:02 P

Yanno, you may have a food intolerance such as wheat.

Also, make sure you are tracking measurements as well as watching the scale. When one isn't moving, the other will be. I do wrist, neck, bust, ribcage, waist, belly, hips, thigh, above knee once a week, and compare week to week. That lets me track total inches lost, which sometimes happens when the scale isn't moving... other thing you can track is % body fat. I have a scale that does it for me, and I think I get a good average.

ALGEBRAGIRL Posts: 1,925
3/21/13 11:24 A

You track everything you eat - you measure it, too? Every time? Do you know what your level of caloric intake should be for you to lose a few pounds (1 or 2) every week? You need to have your height and present weight and age figured in to come up with that number. Underestimate your level of activity and you'll have more success (activity levels are hard to judge, even though you are 'working out' hard).

To see this all in action: eat 3 frozen meals, and NOTHING else, for a few days. Frozen meals tend to be high in sodium so drink a lot of water. It's only a few days. By doing this, you're not measuring (the food company is) and you're restricting your calories because you're not eating anything else. When you can honestly say that you've eaten only that and absolutely nothing else and you haven't lost weight, you can go to the doctor with a true medical conundrum. You don't even need to work out, just skip the exercise during that period. You're calories ought to end up being around 1400 or 1500 calories. Aim for that by adding up the calories on the meals.

Then, when you see some success, you can judge how dieting goes for you. It may be a measuring thing. It may be a 'forgetting what you ate' thing, it may be a 'too many calories as your daily limit' thing, it may be 'too much sodium and not enough water' thing.

NATALIYA30 Posts: 35
3/21/13 11:06 A

Sounds like you have good eating habits and tracking everything is great, too. When you say you are at the gym 5 times a week - what do you do there? Please, understand that I don't want to diminish anyone's effort and time spent at the gym but sometimes I see people not putting in as big an effort as they could/should and I feel bad for them because they won't see any results. People who are heavier than me walk on a treadmill without breaking any sweat while I'm running with sweat literally dripping down my nose (gross, sorry!). Of course, I am sure some have medical problems or going through a rehab and just can't be more active at the time. My point is we often underestimate our effort at the gym. And I am telling this to myself, first of all - time to crank it up a bit :)

A little more effort, a little more patience and you WILL see amazing results!!! emoticon

GRIZ1GIRL SparkPoints: (176,738)
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Posts: 2,243
3/21/13 10:47 A

It doesn't work for me when I just eat without accountability. TRACKING is the only way to go!

Plus, of course--DAILY EXERCISE. You can lose weight by starving yourself...but without exercise it won't last! Ya gotta workout to make it work!

MAKING_CHANGES_ SparkPoints: (9,129)
Fitness Minutes: (7,337)
Posts: 41
3/21/13 9:22 A

Hi, what works for me is tracking everything I eat, no matter what it is. It gives me accountability. I use the free app from spark on my phone. I don't have a computer. I measure everything(as others have said) and I do yoga a few times a week. I also cook in advance and portion it out for the week because I work continental shift, that way I don't just grab whatever when I am hungry. You will get there, it takes time. Bites and nibbled here and there add up very quickly. For me it is an awareness throughout the entire day. I always plan for
tomorrow. I have found that spark gives me something to look forward to every day. The tips, the blogging makes for a complete package. Good luck. Keep at it.

LADYSMITHC SparkPoints: (0)
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Posts: 222
3/21/13 9:12 A

I was looking for a place to post that: I MESSED UP.
I gained 2 pounds yesterday but came under my recommended caloric intake, under the carbs, over the fiber and withint the range for protein, etc. Here's where I KNOW I messed up. I can't eat ANYTHING after 7 and it's even better not to eat anything after dinner and even better if I have my dinner at 5 and call it quits.
I didin't do that that. I had a meeting last night from 7-9, and didn't eat before I left for it since I had so much prep work for it.
When I got home I knew I wasn't that hungry, but I found my husband reheating leftovers at 9:30 at night and guess what?!?!? I ate some too.
I didn't stop until I essentially had a full meal with him at NINE THIRTY at night! emoticon And I wasn't even really hungry!
So I went to bed about 1.5 hours later and too full for bed. Got up this morning and saw that I had GAINED TWO pounds.
I know, it's temporary, but timing is everything. emoticon I sleep better if I go to bed a little bit hungry, and I feel better in the morning if I've done so. SO, WHY didi I eat last night???!! And now I'm so grouchy about it.
Boo Hoo emoticon

TAYLORJUDY SparkPoints: (62)
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Posts: 1
3/21/13 8:56 A

I know what you're going through. My body settles into a new diet and fitness plan very quickly, and weight loss stops after 3-6 lbs. I eat between 1200-1400 cal/day and do cardio 2/week. I journal faithfully, +60g protein, -20g carbs/fat. I gain when I eat fruit, grains, processed food and lose when I incorporate dairy. Half of us have some degree of metabolic syndrome so my advice is to research this topic and you'll probably find some answers that will help you manage your diet more effectively.

SIMONLESFLEX SparkPoints: (27,743)
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Posts: 1
3/21/13 8:25 A

Please, can you write here sample foods and quantity are you eating?
Write here also your usual workout and how many times per week.

IF you're really eating 1200Kcal per day, working out... You MUST see at least 0.2-0.5lbs less per week.

FITFULLIFE SparkPoints: (17,017)
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Posts: 532
3/21/13 8:14 A

Are your workouts all cardio? You might try adding weight/strength training to your exercise. I'm talking about exercises like lunges, squats, crunches, machines, and bands. When I added this type of exercise to my workout 3 times a week, I started seeing the weight come off.

3/20/13 6:35 P

i think the best tip is to really look at the measuring. I am going to reinvest in a food scale. I am also concerned that I am not really burning the calories that the fitness tracker says I am.

SOTIREDOFTHIS SparkPoints: (4,969)
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Posts: 191
3/20/13 6:21 P

Also I would like to add drink gobs of water at the very least 64oz/day and much more if you are working out. I try to drink at least 72oz to 104oz a makes a huge difference......I also think that if you are working out that much that you are probably not eating enough.

Hope that you figure it out!

Edited by: SOTIREDOFTHIS at: 3/21/2013 (09:48)
ELENGIL Posts: 934
3/20/13 4:53 P

If you're adding a food from a package, you can add all the nutrition information from the package, just click the link below the [SEARCH] button that reads "enter food not listed". It will get added to your Favorites list for easy adding next time.

If you're adding a home-made recipe, you can add it through the recipe section of Spark.

If it's some other prepared food, then yes, just the closest you can find.

LADYLOVE5683 SparkPoints: (117)
Fitness Minutes: (50)
Posts: 16
3/20/13 4:45 P

I am going to try and start adding the things I eat to the site and maybe someone can tell me where I am going wrong. I did notice when I started to add foods they never seem to have what I am looking for. Do I just go with the closest thing to what I am eating?

3/20/13 3:45 P

If all the lab work came back normal to your doctor---no thyroid issues, etc....

Then I would start looking at the quality of the food you are eating.
You would want all most all food choices to be: very lean meats/protein, fruits, veggies, lowfat dairy and whole grains.

Since your nutrition tracker is not will have to check your daily intake.


ELENGIL Posts: 934
3/20/13 3:40 P

You don't have to necessarily eat more, just eat different. Are you currently eating low-cal or low-fat options? Try whole milk instead of skim, or add olive oil to your salad, eat the skin on the chicken, whatever. It doesn't have to be trying to cram more food in if you are already full, but there are choices you can make which would allow you to have a greater caloric intake.

It also doesn't have to be all at once. Maybe try 1300 for a week, then 1400 the next week?

Edited by: ELENGIL at: 3/20/2013 (15:42)
LADYLOVE5683 SparkPoints: (117)
Fitness Minutes: (50)
Posts: 16
3/20/13 3:30 P

I feel like if I eat anymore I am going to blow up like a balloon. 1200 is hard enough to do 1500 will really be a lot. The one good thing about the last 3 weeks is that I am not hungry at night anymore, I am to full from eating all day. Well I have been able to stay on the elliptical for more than 15 min now that I am 3 weeks in so I guess that's a plus as well.

ELENGIL Posts: 934
3/20/13 3:07 P

Did you put in your exercise into the Sparkpeople planner? I would think with that much exercise, 1200 may be too *little*.

I know it sounds very counter-intuitive, but I find I lose weight better when I eat mid-range instead of low range, and I don't exercise nearly what you're doing, so perhaps you should give yourself a week or two of eating more like 1400-1500 and see how that works. Sometimes too little is as bad as too much.

I know you said you had difficulty even reaching 1200, but if you add some calorie dense foods in (like nuts, meats, whole dairy foods) maybe that can help?

LADYLOVE5683 SparkPoints: (117)
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Posts: 16
3/20/13 2:57 P

I am 5'2" tall.
Yes, I have had a complete physical by my doctor and all is good.

LADYLOVE5683 SparkPoints: (117)
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Posts: 16
3/20/13 2:55 P

I do log everything on my IPhone using a different free app. I figure just as long as I am logging it in does it really matter where it is I put it? I am honestly thinking that I should be seeing some weight loss as this point as well, but not. I have had a complete physical and as far as my doctor is concerned I am fine with no underlining medical issues. I don't can't figure out what I am doing wrong... I just want to give up and I know that is not an option. I also do use a food scale. The first week was hard just to get to 1200 calories in a day I felt like I was eating all day long. At my third week it does not seem so hard anymore cause I have added some nuts to the mix which has really helped. Am I not pushing hard enough at the gym. I don't get it.

YOJULEZ SparkPoints: (15,981)
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Posts: 2,171
3/20/13 2:30 P

For your logging issue, perhaps you would find it easier if you just keep a small pad of paper around. I didn't join Spark until I was about halfway through my journey, so before that I just tracked on whatever paper I had around... usually a post-it note or my desk calendar at work. I think it's easy to eat too much later in the day if you haven't properly tracked what you're eating earlier in the day.

And yes, the app is not free, but to me, it was well worth the cost (which I think was 4.99). Getting set up in the system is huge, because you enter in your exercise, your starting and goal weights, age, height etc, and it gives you a calorie range to stay in. 1200-1300 may not be enough based on your stats and goals, but there's no good way for us to tell that. Also, I use from the computer mostly, so I like that I can access the stuff I set up in my trackers from my phone when I'm not at the computer. They sync together.

3/20/13 2:29 P

1200-1300 calories daily and working out 1 hour a day....Honestly, You should be seeing weight loss.
If you are measuring, weighing, accurately entering your foods and beverages, consistently etc and you are seeing no results....things are not adding up.

How tall are you?

Have you had a complete physical by your doctor???

SP Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Becky

LOVE4KITTIES Posts: 4,689
3/20/13 2:26 P

If you don't have one, I really recommend a food scale. You can get one for about $25 at the store or online and it's the best way to make sure you are eating the proper portions. I used to measure with spoons and cups and, after I got a food scale, I found out that I was eating more calories than I knew... It was an eye opening experience for me to start weighing everything.

Also, like everyone else has said, sometimes it just takes time. Keep at it and don't give up.

LADYLOVE5683 SparkPoints: (117)
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Posts: 16
3/20/13 2:21 P

Thank you. I am using measuring cups and spoons and scales and everything else I can think of. I eat roughly about 1200-1300 calories a day. When I do go to the gym I like the elliptical machine because running is really way to hard on my feet and knees. I have been trying to use it more often even if I just walk at a faster pace. I try and track things I here but I forget to, I do use a free app for my phone which is helpful because I always have it on me. This app is not free so I tend to forget to log things in. I'm just extremely discouraged. I can't figure out what I am doing wrong.

Edited by: LADYLOVE5683 at: 3/20/2013 (14:23)
DRAGONCHILDE SparkPoints: (60,780)
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Posts: 9,707
3/20/13 2:17 P

As long as you're weighing and measuring, it will work. :) I promise! Some people see big losses right away, others nothing. Are you measuring inches? Sometimes, people who start exercising will see inches lost, even when the scale's not moving.

Look at the more tangible benefits. How do you FEEL? What's your energy like? Are you enjoying your new nutrition regimen? Are you stronger or fitter already?

LADYLOVE5683 SparkPoints: (117)
Fitness Minutes: (50)
Posts: 16
3/20/13 2:15 P

Thank you for that. Maybe I just needed to hear that 3 weeks is not enough time yet. I just feel that I should be seeing something at this point even if it's just a pound or two but nothing. I am doing everything I can and I am getting very frustrated, I know it will all pay off in the long run but it just seems to me that something is off. I just don't understand it.

YOJULEZ SparkPoints: (15,981)
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Posts: 2,171
3/20/13 2:14 P

How much are you eating? Are you measuring accurately using measuring cups, spoons, and a scale? If you make your tracker public we can give advice on that part of things. Otherwise, we can't really tell you what you're doing wrong since we have no information to go off of.

I know it's the Spark mantra to say it can take 6-8 weeks for changes to show up, but I think if you're really tracking properly, eating within the correct calorie range, and exercising, you should see some sort of changes after 3 weeks. I started losing after a week of eating correctly and I wasn't even exercising. But I was tracking, measuring etc very diligently.

DRAGONCHILDE SparkPoints: (60,780)
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Posts: 9,707
3/20/13 2:12 P

It can take as much as 6-8 weeks for a healthy lifestyle change to show up on the scale, especially when you add exercise to the mix. Water retention from the exercise can mask fat loss temporarily.

Trust the process, and give it some more time! It'll get there. :)

LADYLOVE5683 SparkPoints: (117)
Fitness Minutes: (50)
Posts: 16
3/20/13 2:09 P

I have been at this for 3 weeks now. Tracking everything that I put in my mouth and at the gym 5 days a week for a hour and nothing is changing. I am getting very frustrated, what am I doing wrong? HELP!!! emoticon

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