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9/3/13 7:51 P

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Great info. Thanks

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9/3/13 7:45 A

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Well, after I got past the initial bloat and back to my weight *before* the birthday party, I did some calculations using that weight as my starting point. It's been almost 2 weeks since then and I've lost 2 lbs averaging 1650 cals... from 122 lbs to 120 lbs. Which would make my average TDEE the last 2 weeks at around 2350 cals. This is a bit higher than usual, I've been pretty busy and did some extra exercise; swimming and hiking.

It's kinda cool... but I've been using this calculator to get an idea of how much I burn in a day through activity and I always thought it seemed a bit high. It did usually give me around 2300-2400 cal burn a day so it was actually pretty spot on.

Here it is if anyone else wants to check it out. Only thing is, you have to time during the day how long you're doing a specific activity to get an accurate result;

www.health-calc.com/diet/energy-expe
nd
iture-advanced


When I use the "lightly active" setting on Spark, I think Spark puts me just below that as the average amount of calories I burn in a day... maybe 2100-2200 (average). If I average a -700 daily deficit that would equal 2 lbs in 2 weeks which if I add 700 cals to my 1650 cals gives me 2350, that's how I arrived at that number. Spark gave me an average of -575... so pretty close but that's probably due to my lack of tracking on Saturday at my in laws and guestimating. I had a really high calorie burn that day (an hour of cardio and an hour of laps in the pool) but I also ate a lot... I guessed that I broken even that day but there is a good chance I overestimated how much I ate because I like to over estimate on days I don't track... so that could account for some of difference between Spark's calculations and my own. Even if it does over time show I'm still losing slightly faster than Spark predicts, I would just eat around the middle of the range they give me... but that's a ways off.

Anyways... I hope I didn't do your head in, reading this... and I know my body isn't suppose to "be a calculator" but this has been bothering me for some time! I had no clue... not even close to where I was maintaining or why I always lost so quickly before Spark had the option to choose activity level. Basically what this tells me that I *finally* have my Spark account roughly set up correctly or at least a heck of a lot closer and that I should use the lightly active option. I'll continue to monitor over the next few weeks just to be sure I'm in the right ball park.

Edited by: JENNILACEY at: 9/3/2013 (08:01)

Take your focus off the Marshmallow.

www.leangains.com/2010/01/marshmallo
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"Toning" is marketing muscles to women who are afraid if they pick up a barbell, they'll leave the gym looking like She-Hulk. It doesn't happen, what does happen is you get results. Lifting Barbie weights does nothing but waste time.


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DELLMEL SparkPoints: (62,217)
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9/2/13 10:43 A

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I find that when I just try to add a little more on my plate it start to go more and more. So I see now that damage me very badly. It's the amount of food that you take in that's not good for you. I had became very stressful the last past weeks and it cause me great damage to my weigh. Too much weight gain. Now it's bad to getting it off.

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8/19/13 7:16 P

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That makes me feel better and you're right. As long as I *care* things won't get out of hand. I know how to manipulate my weight now.

I'm going to try to shed a few pounds over the next couple of weeks but remind myself not to get obsessive over it and feel *I must* hit this calorie goal for the day, be a bit more relaxed with it. I know the signs now that my body needs more. Seems to be every 4th day I need a good planned re-feed close to or at maintenance to prevent deprivation and overeating. I'll roll with that.

Recomp. does interest me and once I get rid of the fat gain from my unexpected/uncontrolled bulk (which will probably be about 5 lbs). Recomp. should shave off any remaining problem areas that I don't see as urgent. Or as my back up plan if "dieting" starts getting to me again.


Take your focus off the Marshmallow.

www.leangains.com/2010/01/marshmallo
w-test.html


"Toning" is marketing muscles to women who are afraid if they pick up a barbell, they'll leave the gym looking like She-Hulk. It doesn't happen, what does happen is you get results. Lifting Barbie weights does nothing but waste time.


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BREWMASTERBILL's Photo BREWMASTERBILL SparkPoints: (31,080)
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8/19/13 6:51 P

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Been there. It's a bit of an emotional hurdle, but focus on your strength numbers and waist numbers and you'll be fine. Always remember that with tracking, you know how to make things happen. You can gain, lose, maintain, whatever you want.

When you should really be concerned is when you stop paying attention, stop tracking, stop caring. While you give a damn and have the proper tools, you can make things go your way with some determination.

Don't forget, you can also recomp where you keep your calories at maintenance but with heavy strength training you can substitute some fat for muscle. This is a slow road and things stall quite a bit, but might serve you well emotionally. Just a thought.

Simple, Effective Strength Training for Beginners www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo
urnal_individual.asp?blog_id=5425006


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8/19/13 2:54 P

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Ok. So I did some serious sleuthing into my past today. It appears that when I was around this weight before I was very strict with my calories and exercise regiment and I was calorie cycling around 1400-1450 cals while burning about 2000 cals a week through exercise. This is before Spark gave the option to choose your activity level so I was considered sedentary outside exercise. I was losing approximately 1 lb/week. That would make my maintenance around the 1900 cal mark.

I still don't understand why I was experiencing all the symptoms of starvation on this amount or why I started dropping weight at rate of 2-3 lbs a week in my last 10 lbs. I lost 10 lbs in less than 2 months (Feb/March) following this range. Or why I would be considered "sedentary" when I don't work a desk job nor sit on my behind all day popping bon bons like Peggy Bundy. I spend a good 2 hours a day cleaning my house plus taking care of my kids, cooking/baking, hanging the clothes out, washing dishes, gardening... I'm standing/walking about far more than I'm sitting.

I've since listed myself as lightly active, which I thought made sense because I'm not a sitter... I'm a mover but I always felt like 1800 cal BMR + activity seemed a bit high. 1600 cals without exercise seems to be more reasonable as long as I track my hikes and extra activity. I just switched myself back to sedentary and will track any extra leisure exercise in addition to planned exercise. Then I won't feel so obligated to run a muck just to reach my 1800 cal BMR + activity. Anything extra I do will be a bonus burn.

If I want to lose 1/2-1 lb per week, I should probably eat between 1400-1600 cals so I'll try that out and see what it does. Try to lose 5 lbs of pesky fat and ease my way back up to maintenance near the end of the loss. As BrewmasterBill addressed, the poundage isn't as important as my body fat percentage but because I don't have an accurate way to measure that, I just go by the mirror and scale estimates.

Yes, yes... I know, this is about vanity but I've worked so hard to build up the muscle I have and I want my efforts to show it. You'd think I had aspirations to be a fitness model! lol But I'm just really into weight lifting and achieving the kind of bod that shows how hard I've worked. It's become a passion of mine. I want to achieve a fitness peak so that's why I'm coming across all nit picky but I want to achieve it in a healthy way. Not by under eating and putting my health in jeopardy. I have not walked away unscathed from the emotional/physical turmoil I've experienced in the last couple months with my eating habits. I am now very fearful of gaining all my weight back.

Edited by: JENNILACEY at: 8/19/2013 (19:05)

Take your focus off the Marshmallow.

www.leangains.com/2010/01/marshmallo
w-test.html


"Toning" is marketing muscles to women who are afraid if they pick up a barbell, they'll leave the gym looking like She-Hulk. It doesn't happen, what does happen is you get results. Lifting Barbie weights does nothing but waste time.


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BREWMASTERBILL's Photo BREWMASTERBILL SparkPoints: (31,080)
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8/19/13 2:35 P

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I'm going to challenge your calculations a little bit. I seriously doubt you have any metabolic damage. If you're able to lose weight all week (and had lost weight fairly consistently on a diet of cardio sandwiches), I think your metabolism is OK. Of course, IANAD (I am not a doctor), so if this is your fear, go see one!

With that said, your BMR is 1300. Activity factor is probably high, so I'd estimate 1800 to maintain (which goes mostly in check with your measurements). You eat at a deficit most of the week (1600ish) which creates approximately a 6x200=1200 deficit. You pig out and don't track and guess it's 1500ish, so now we're at a surplus. Yes, it's not 1 pound surplus, but a surplus. If you do this twice a week, it'd be pretty easy to put a pound on or more. Now if we overestimated activity, this can cause gain quickly.

The good news is that you're probably getting closer to an "ideal" weight. I gained 30 pounds during a year of much strength training and still wear the same size pants. I'd say if your measurements are not increasing, you're packing on lean body mass.

I know putting on weight is not popular here, but I think lean mass, especially after serious dieting down (like we both did), is extremely healthy and critical to maintenance.

My advice, unless you truly think there is a problem, in which case, see a doctor, is to relax. The scale is one of the worst forms of measurement in maintenance (another unpopular opinion, I know). Body composition and waist to hip ratio are far better. Start at least measuring waist and hips. When things get too far out of whack, go on a cut and keep lifting heavy to preserve lean mass.

Simple, Effective Strength Training for Beginners www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo
urnal_individual.asp?blog_id=5425006


Current Program bb531.wordpress.com/about/

"In god we trust, all others bring data."

"You can't make people smarter. You can expose them to information, but your responsibility stops there." - Rip


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NELLJONES's Photo NELLJONES SparkPoints: (216,371)
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8/19/13 1:57 P

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I have been able to lower my set point a couple of times over the nearly 43 years since I lost my weight on WW, but it wasn't something that happened over days or weeks, but months and years. I stick to my plan day after day, no days off. I think it's the "no days off" part that does it.

Nell
Reston, Virginia

No one ever got up in the morning wishing she'd eaten more the night before.

Original Goal: 114. Current old lady goal: 106.


 
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JENNILACEY's Photo JENNILACEY SparkPoints: (74,472)
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8/19/13 10:44 A

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OHLALA53- I don't have a way to track my body fat but I still wear the same size 1 pants/shorts I did before the gain. I have little doubt with my workout regiment that it didn't all translate to fat gain, some of it was more muscle. I actually like the way gain looked on me, the fat seemed to go to places where I could use it and some of it was likely muscle gain.

It's been so hard for me to determine where I'm actually maintaining with all these little blips of binging/purging and now just the overindulging. My eating has been so completely disordered lately, adding to my confusion. I just wish I could stay consistent for a month at least and figure it out. I've been a lot closer to achieving that lately.

But I *seem* to lose 1 lb per week on 1600 cals. I *seem* to maintain around the 2000 cal mark.


Take your focus off the Marshmallow.

www.leangains.com/2010/01/marshmallo
w-test.html


"Toning" is marketing muscles to women who are afraid if they pick up a barbell, they'll leave the gym looking like She-Hulk. It doesn't happen, what does happen is you get results. Lifting Barbie weights does nothing but waste time.


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OOLALA53's Photo OOLALA53 Posts: 8,387
8/19/13 10:14 A
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Starches use more water to process, so you can gain more weight, not more fat, when you eat them. It is not a dangerous to have this water in your body, so there is no health risk.

Do you have a way of tracking body fat? Or perhaps use a measurement of your waist or thigh as a way to keep track of changes. You might be doing better than you think. For health purposes, it's unlikely your small gains are meaningful, especially with your workout regime. Consistent exercise is associated with longevity even more than weight.

People who have lost weight cannot maintain on the same calories as someone at the same weight and height who has never been overweight, especially if she's trying to stay at a weight that challenges her setpoint. The setpoint can be lowered but it may demand fine tuning that a higher weight wouldn't.

*"The goal of weight loss is incompatible with recovering from disordered eating." Center for Clinical Interventions
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JENNILACEY's Photo JENNILACEY SparkPoints: (74,472)
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8/19/13 10:09 A

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Thanks everyone for the prompt replies and advice.

Yes, I definitely track my sodium and am 99% well within the healthy range. Besides, sodium bloat usually only lasts a few days, it doesn't pile weight on week after week and I'm not a fan of most salty foods; chips, fries, etc. My weakness is the sugar. It's been this spring/summer that's been destroying me! I have one/two birthdays a month starting in May and not to mention vacations. Thank goodness they're all over now until next May. Cake.... :P~ I know the culprit.

A little more background... In my last spell of weight loss, I was losing weight far too quickly. This was before Spark had the option to choose your activity level and they had me classified as sedentary. Now maybe I was when I first started Spark but in the last 6 month stretch of my weight loss, I nearly doubled my activity level and I became quite athletic, able to maintain a 75-85% intensity level in cardio and became very muscular. Spark was still giving me the 1200-1550 cal range for weight loss. I was averaging around 1400-1500 cals but began losing 2-3 lbs/week in my healthy BMI.

For the last 6-8 months I've developed amenorrhea, my resting HR plummeted to 42 bpm, I was freezing all the time, my blood pressure began bordering on the low normal range. I started obsessing over food (dreaming about food, began binge eating at night, sleep eating, spending most of my free time cruising online recipes), some horrible things started happening to my body. I couldn't figure out why because *I thought* that 1400-1500 cals a day was a nice healthy amount for weight loss. I'm rather petite so I couldn't see how that amount would be too little for me. The binge eating/sleep eating quickly translated to a 13 lb regain. Which was fine, I was probably too skinny anyways. What concerned me is that I had no control over it and it wasn't healthy.

So I began eating more. Averaging 1800-2200 cals and seemed to be maintaining on this amount for the last 4 months. All of the symptoms (aside from amenorrhea) has since disappeared but I still tend to overindulge on special occasions (when I never used to) so that's what I'm working on now. It's actually gotten *a bit* better and I am no longer going for seconds of cake but then it gets sent home with me... and all bets are off. :/ However, it seems just bday cake is my last lingering food I can't control. When I was binge eating, it was everything from breakfast cereal to peanut butter, I just couldn't stop eating. Cake seems to be my one remaining weakness.

So it's probably pretty obvious my hormones were pretty out of whack from going for such a long time not eating enough.

The problem shouldn't be that I'm overestimating my maintenance or underestimating how much I'm eating... that's been the opposite of my problem. It is very important to me now that I eat enough. I've been feeling loads better since I have been eating more.

I started focusing on fat loss for maybe the past month. I lose weight when I eat around 1600 cals. Then I have a bday party and of course experience the initial weight gain of more carbs (sugar), overeating, waste gain, possibly sodium, etc. Most of that disappears and I'm left with around 1 lb gain. The following week, I stick to my 1600 cals and lose that 1 lb. So I've just been maintaining the last month. That's why it doesn't make much sense because even on the week I indulge I'm still at a -1000 to -2000 cal deficit. On the week I stay in my range I'm at a -3500 cal deficit but I wind up maintaining. However, when I was eating around 2000 cals I was maintaining.

I don't track special occasions, never have but I do keep a rough estimate in my head of how many calories I'm eating and I was tracking my binges. I actually try to overestimate how much I'm eating on those days because I know it won't be a question of eating too few calories. Even on my worst binges I'd maybe go over my projected maintenance by about 1000-1500 cals and that's at worst.

You're probably right and a good deal of it is that my body simply doesn't process all that excess sugar in the way it would other foods and maybe with a still lingering hormonal imbalance my body hoards it as fat gain. That would make sense. I am confident that ensuring that I'm eating enough will help me to eventually regain my self-control completely over sweets like cake like it did with the binge eating. Thank goodness cake will be out of the picture during the fall and winter and maybe when it emerges again I'll have had time to do some metabolic repair.

Do you think that's what it is? Metabolic damage? Even when I was gaining (binge eating) I still should have been roughly maintaining because I'd purge for a few days between (not healthy either, I know) and was exercising like a fiend to damage control. My poor body has been through too much. How do I balance myself out again?



Edited by: JENNILACEY at: 8/19/2013 (10:25)

Take your focus off the Marshmallow.

www.leangains.com/2010/01/marshmallo
w-test.html


"Toning" is marketing muscles to women who are afraid if they pick up a barbell, they'll leave the gym looking like She-Hulk. It doesn't happen, what does happen is you get results. Lifting Barbie weights does nothing but waste time.


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SKIRNIR's Photo SKIRNIR Posts: 5,211
8/19/13 9:01 A

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Salt yes. Sugar, I have no way of tracking on spark people, so no idea. I know when I measure my sweet treats though, I sometimes underestimate. But I have a hard time thinking that one calorie is different than another in weight gain. Of course, they are different when it comes to nutrients.

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AUNTB63's Photo AUNTB63 Posts: 6,971
8/19/13 8:53 A

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Although I am fairly new to this team what I learned to get here is that numbers to me are guide lines....there really are many variables when calculating for weight loss or maintenance. I follow the idea of everything in moderation, but when I exceed sugar or salt I know my body is going to absorb these and stick with me for awhile. As long as I continue to drink my water and exercise I can keep the numbers in my goal ranges.

Barb
"Sweat is FAT crying"

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SKIRNIR's Photo SKIRNIR Posts: 5,211
8/19/13 7:00 A

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If you are being honest with yourself on tracking the calories and exercise, including on the indulgence day, then I am wondering what is going on. Even though I admit most of the time when this happens to me, either I am not being honest on tracking food and slightly putting more in my bowl/plate then I am tracking or I am getting bored with my exercise and not working very hard at it. I don't do hard exercise every day, but regularly.

If you are being honest though, then I would do some other measurements, like body fat% or inches and see if you aren't putting on more muscle, etc.

3/31/12 Trailbreaker half marathon 13.1 miles in 3 hours 13 minutes
4/20/13 Neighborhood Watch 5K 39:17.6
10/5/13 5K Grace Pet Fest 38:47.6
12/1/13 Secret City Half Marathon around 3 hours and 4 minutes
4/19/14 Butterflies for Hope 5K for Lupus 39:23.8 (I hurt my back a few days before, and though it was my first official 5K with some jogging, my back hurt, so was very slow.)


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LOGOULD's Photo LOGOULD SparkPoints: (93,344)
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8/18/13 10:14 P

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Such great wisdom on this team! I, too, find that too much processed carbs or sugar will immediately put on weight and then it takes 2-3 days of clean eating - unprocessed carbs, fruits, veggies, whole grains, lean protein and the weight disappears.

"Success is the result of what you do when the Woo Hoo is all through....."-ON2VICTORY (Robert)

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8/18/13 10:13 P

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Do you track sodium? Even if you haven't tracked it in the past, you can get prior tracking by selecting a nutrient and then running nutrition feedback reports for the days you want to see, and a number for sodium will start to appear. NSAIDS like ibuprofen are another source of water retention. It could also be a reverse hormonal effect. You could be tempted by food you don't normally eat because you're in a certain hormonal state. If that were it, that could explain why the weight hangs on for days.

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MOONCHILD8's Photo MOONCHILD8 Posts: 6,637
8/18/13 8:48 P

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Hi All, I think it is what you eat that is putting on the weight not just having extra calories put away. I think sugar and fat like a piece of cake will put on weight. I know if I eat a muffin I will put on weight even if it is the only thing I eat for breakfast. I find that I should eat a grain or starch every dinner and it helps me to lose weight. I do not think you realize how much you are eating when you have a celebration. The portions count also and if we eat a bigger serving then we will put on weight. Linda from bean town

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MAREE1953's Photo MAREE1953 SparkPoints: (75,574)
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8/18/13 6:54 P

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Probably what I have to say is nothing you haven't already heard. I know that when it comes to weight loss and maintenance for me, I cannot merely rely on "the numbers." Us humans are complex beings, and I can eat the same foods, and exercise the same, but if I am under stress, my body reacts by hanging on to those calories for dear life, often resulting in weight gain.

If I consume calories made up of sugar or starches, my body processes those calories in a much different way than when I'm eating lean meats and low-carb veggies. Slows everything down.

Some people used to use building a fire as a way to get the point across--if you think of the fire as your metabolism, when you add a log here and there it burns steady, but if you dump a load of wood on the fire, it can nearly put it out.

Eating moderately most the time is my goal, with an occasional celebration-type meal once a week or so.

Good luck in finding the right balance for you!

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BESSHAILE's Photo BESSHAILE Posts: 2,709
8/18/13 6:42 P

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Salt
sugar
fluid retention
nutritional deficits

These are all things that can actually make the scale go all over the place.

If what you are doing isn't working - you'll have to do something different. And as for indulgence days, maybe when you know you're going to eat more than usual, or differently from the routine, pay very close attention to how your body feels - how full it is, how good it feels how satisfied you are. Those cues are your best friends.

Believe it
Do it
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NELLJONES's Photo NELLJONES SparkPoints: (216,371)
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8/18/13 6:30 P

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If you are steadily gaining weight, not just a bump up one day, then you are consuming more than you are burning. No living organism is sufficiently uniform day to day to be able to be overly mathematical about it. You say that you are gaining and it may be the weekly indulgence day, and it may be. We all need to experiment with maintaining to get it right, and just when we get it right the years go by, our bodies change, and we have to eat less. The math is part of it, but the scale is the final judge of how well your system is working. I'd start with getting rid of that weekly indulgence day which you have noted, and see what happens over the next few months. By trial and error we find our way.

Nell
Reston, Virginia

No one ever got up in the morning wishing she'd eaten more the night before.

Original Goal: 114. Current old lady goal: 106.


 
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KTISFOCUSED's Photo KTISFOCUSED Posts: 1,480
8/18/13 6:28 P

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I'll be interested to hear replies too because I am experiencing almost the same thing with a couple differences. First, I am not at goal (15 or so pounds away) so the gaining is a big problem. Second, I'm older than you-I'm 61. I am actually being sent to an endocrinologist because I was able to share SP reports with my doctor to show her that I've been doing everything right for such a long time. You have my sympathy because it is so frustrating, isn't it?

KT from Erie, PA

"A man who wants something will find a way; a man who doesn't will find an excuse." Stephen Dolley Jr.

"To get something different, you have to do something different."


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POOHSCOUT1's Photo POOHSCOUT1 Posts: 392
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you got me stumped can't wait to see what others post back.

MOVING AND MAINTAINING. Yesterday is gone, let it go, tomorrow hasn't happened, don't long for it. Today is the present .........enjoy it


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8/18/13 5:01 P

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First, I weight train and have built a decent amount of muscle, I workout 6 days a week (both cardio/ST). I'm a SAHM who rarely sits still, in fact... I'm not a fan of sitting still. Get bored easily. We do a lot of walking as a family. So yes, I'm pretty active.

Most calculators/estimates (incl. Spark) says I can eat between 1800-2200 cals (in that ball park). I seem to lose about 1 lb/week at around 1500-1600 cals.

So what happens if I'm creating a deficit all week say... avg. 1500-1600 cals and I have one day where I totally pig out and eat close to double that? Should I gain weight from that? Considering I'm creating a deficit all week and have only gone about 1000 cals above my maintenance for a day but under my maintenance for the week? Because I sure do! Beware birthday parties. I'll gain at least a pound of permanent weight for a one day surplus even though I'm creating a deficit the other 6 days of the week. Even though 1000 cal surplus does not equal 1 lb of fat gain.

What IS the deal? Because even though I may have a day a week where I go 500-1000 cals above my maintenance, I'm still creating a weekly deficit of at least -1500 to -2000 cals even with the surplus. Yet I seem to be steadily gaining a pound a week for the last couple months any time this happens. It just mathematically makes no sense to me. Any insight?

It IS something I'm trying to avoid doing. So no need to state the obvious. ;)

Edited by: JENNILACEY at: 8/18/2013 (17:06)

Take your focus off the Marshmallow.

www.leangains.com/2010/01/marshmallo
w-test.html


"Toning" is marketing muscles to women who are afraid if they pick up a barbell, they'll leave the gym looking like She-Hulk. It doesn't happen, what does happen is you get results. Lifting Barbie weights does nothing but waste time.


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