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DIANAS SparkPoints: (16,518)
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Posts: 396
12/22/12 2:46 P

Ok, thanks for the replies! I will still keep tracking and just try to be more patient about the results

KRISTEN_SAYS SparkPoints: (80,300)
Fitness Minutes: (46,265)
Posts: 5,092
12/22/12 9:58 A

I wish weight loss was as easy as a simple math calculation, but it's not. Continue keeping track of your calories and maybe invest in a heart rate monitor so that you have a better estimate of how many calories you burned. (You say you do high-impact exercises, but track it as low-impact, so maybe you're burning far more than you thought and not eating as much as you should be, which can slow weight loss.) Don't get discouraged over how much weight you thought you should lose versus how much you actually lost.

MPLANE37 SparkPoints: (76,437)
Fitness Minutes: (66,901)
Posts: 2,170
12/21/12 4:18 P

The primary reason for fluctuations in the weight is change in water content of the body. If you have a cheap bioimpedance fat monitoring tool, you could easily see that. The tool will give you wildly different readings of body fat % in the same day, simply because the water content of the body will be changing significantly. What you eat also matters, because if you are eating very low carb, you cause the glycogen stores to be depleted, and water stored with glycogen is released, causing a sudden weight loss. But you can't deplete these stores below a minimum, so over time, your weight loss will slow down drastically. There are other issues too. For example, when you get very fit, the calories you burn doing the same exercise drops. But you keep eating the same, which translate into a caloric surplus if you have been maintaining.

DRAGONCHILDE SparkPoints: (60,906)
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Posts: 9,707
12/21/12 12:05 P

There's some more math that you're missing here.

The fact is, our bodies aren't calculators, and things aren't always as simple as calories in/calories out.

The less you have to lose, the slower you are able to lose it. Looking at your ticker, you have about 22 lbs left to lose, correct?

Well, for you, that means a 2 lb per week weight loss is very unlikely, if not impossible! You can reasonably attempt to lose 3% of your remaining weight loss goal per week (about 1% of your total weight.) So right now, you can aim to lose about .5-.66 lbs per week.

Yep, less than a pound.

This is because the closer you are to your goal weight, the body is trying to reach homeostasis... that is, balance. When you have 200 lbs to lose, the weight falls off in massive quantities, because there's just so much of it to go. But the less you have, the slower it comes off. There's a reason they say the last 5 are the slowest to go. ;)

By cutting calories too much, you can actually sabotage your weight loss efforts by slowing your metabolism. Aim for 2 lbs every week, and eventually things will grind to a halt as your body conserves energy, since you're not giving it enough to function. You're tracking too little exercise, and likely not eating enough to support it. We as a general rule tend to overestimate the calories we burn, while underestimating the calories we eat. You say you're tracking... but are you measuring and weighing what we eat, or are you eyeballing it?

To further confuse the issue, we often lose faster in the beginning, showing big weight losses when we first get started due to water weight loss and other factors like healthy eating. Start exercising? You can expect an upward trend in your weight for a little while as your body adapts to the new demands placed on it.

To REALLY play with your mind, you can gain/lose 5-10 lbs in a single day just from the process of eating and drinking, and moving! Our weight isn't a static number.

The lesson that comes out of all of this is that basically, your scale is the single WORST tool you have to measure your progress. Your scale can't tell you how your clothes fit, how your energy levels are, how you feel and look, anything about how healthy you are. It just tells you what gravity's effect is on you from week to week.

Edited by: DRAGONCHILDE at: 12/21/2012 (12:06)
MEG-NATALIA07 Posts: 679
12/21/12 10:06 A

What BUBBLEJ1 said. Yup.

PSCHIAVONE2 SparkPoints: (20,629)
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Posts: 783
12/21/12 9:48 A

If you keep it up you will see average weight loss each week. I am maintaining at 160 pounds but some weeks I weigh 164 and others 158 but my average is 160. Make sure you eat enough foods that are high in micro nutrients. Eat the best foods you can and keep the calorie deficit consistent. 500 to 700 calorie deficit per day will get you your results. You will eventually find out what works for you.

NIRERIN Posts: 14,102
12/21/12 7:20 A

the actual math works out properly. the problem is that when you do the math, you have to use averages and approximations, which makes it all screwy.
and there are two more issues here.
the first is that fun friend water weight. the foods that you eat contribute to what kind of water you retain and certain exercises contribute as well. both of those thing will eventually even out as you become more consistent, but for the short term, when you change a bunch of stuff all at once, your body can hang on to everything just in case it might need it because it doesn't know what is coming up. but that change in water weight is one of the things that obscures loss [water weighs half a pound per cup!] so that you don't necessarily see it when it happens.
which brings us to point 2, your results. if you weigh well over 400lbs, a 4lb per week goal is entirely reasonable. if you weigh significantly less than that 2lbs per week is right where you should be aiming for, and what you are getting. if you weigh less than 200lbs, you have a fantastically aggressive goal that you are hitting and exceeding.

and finally you have to remember that your body isn't like your bank account. if you deposit cash into the bank, you can see it in your account immediately. if you eat breakfast this morning, it's not what is fueling you an hour later [your breakfast is still digesting at that point]. what's fueling you after breakfast is what you ate yesterday and last night. so there is this weird delay lag in what you eat and when it gets used. which is why looking at things on a weekly basis is important and paying more attention to averages. eventually it will settle out. but be very cautious when you have huge deficits. 14,000 cals is closer to what you should be eating a week, not the deficit you are creating. because the tricky thing is that when you create too large of deficits, your body doesn't use fat as fuel [well, it uses some, but it also starts to burn more... wait for it], it starts to burn more muscle. muscle needs a lot of calories to work properly. so when you have huge deficits, your body uses muscle as fuel to help make up the difference. sort of like if your rent was 1000 a month and you changed jobs and couldn't afford it, you might move somewhere where the rent was only 700 a month. muscles use a lot of fuel, so when there is a shortage of fuel less muscle means there is less of a gap to be made up. when your body can't "afford" the muscle that it has, it uses it as fuel to help get it down to where it can "afford" what is has.
and this is another reason why bmr is an average. your bmr might be 1500 cals. but on the very extreme ends someone who is your height and weight could actually have a bmr of 2100 [if they are quite muscular] or they could have a bmr of 900 [if they have been starving themselves for years].
food is the same way. the tracker lists an apple as 70 cals. well, the apple that you eat might be 65 cals. or it could be 75 cals. or anywhere in between. foods have to be within 20% of what the label says, but everything from growing to processing means that each one is going to be just a little different. over the long term this is going to balance out, but in the short term this difference that you can't account for [unless you're willing to have half of everything you eat tested] can make your math off.

BUBBLEJ1 Posts: 2,981
12/21/12 3:31 A

Your body isn't a calculator. The math doesn't account for water weight, hormonal weight, sodium gain, etc etc. Just keep pluggin along and you will get there in the end!

CORTNEY-LEE SparkPoints: (67,852)
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Posts: 3,526
12/21/12 12:47 A

Yes, I have had the exact same problem that you are experiencing. The problem is... weight loss is not an exact science.

It is not as simple as calories in vs calories out. Your actual BMR may be very different than your calculations. There is really no way of knowing what your true BMR is outside of a lab setting and even then it is not 100% accurate.

The best thing is to play around with different things to see what works best for you. Try eating at the upper end of your calorie range on heavy workout days, and the lower end on rest days.

The best advice I can give is not to give up!!

If you are able to, you may want to set an appointment with a Registered Dietitian. Take your food logs with you and get their feedback.

I wish you the best of luck!

DIANAS SparkPoints: (16,518)
Fitness Minutes: (19,721)
Posts: 396
12/21/12 12:06 A

I'm kind of wondering, they always say that to loose a pound, you should consume about 3500 less than you burn.
So I've done the math based on the calculation of my basal metabolic rate and I've written down every single calorie I eat. I also calculate the calories I burn from exercise (i always put "low intensity" even if I do it high intensity and choose the lowest number that different calculators give me to not overestimate it).
I've been doing this for 4 weeks and the math just doesn't work. It worked out exactly for only first week.
2nd week: the math showed that I should have lost about 4 pounds, real loss was - 2 lbs,
3rd week: math = 2 pounds, but in fact I even gained like 100 grams (!)
4th week math = 2 pounds, reality: 300 grams since the last time

I'm quite sure that I haven't made any major miscalculations, if there are any, they can't be much more than 1000 calories a week. I haven't tested my body fat %, but I find it hard to believe that I'm gaining all that much muscle because I only do 2 basic strength workouts a week and the rest is mostly based on cardio. I'm overweight so I thought I would loose weight easier....
So I'm a bit in the state of loosing motivation to keep track of my exact intake and exercise.
Well I have to keep trying, but has anybody had the same experience or suggestions about this thing?

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