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BETHS60 Posts: 570
9/6/12 8:58 A

If you lost 20 pounds, clearly you are doing something right. emoticon

Weight loss can stall or fluctuate wildly for any number of reasons. How hydrated you are. Monthly cycle. How full your bladder is. I once gained 2 pounds by taking a shower. The scale is an excellent tool for helping you to monitor your progress, but it isn't the whole story.

I stumbled across an article yesterday about other ways to measure progress.

ARCHIMEDESII SparkPoints: (200,180)
Fitness Minutes: (299,303)
Posts: 27,333
8/31/12 3:54 P


There is a misconception that a person has to starve themselves to lose weight. While it's true that most Americans eat too much and need to eat less, the problem is that they are eating too much of the wrong food and not enough of the right foods. Popeye never gained weight overeating his spinach, neither will you.

It's true. Eating too little can hinder a person's weight loss. Why ? you're forcing your body to decide what is more important. Having calories (energy) to keep your heart and vital organs functioning OR having calories (energy) to exercise. I can assure you, your body doesn't care if you're trying to lose weight. All your body cares about is having enough calories to keep your heart pumping. If it doesn't have enough calories, it's going to start slowing down its biochemical processes until it starts getting a regular amount of food again.

So, if you've been eating 1200-1500 calories a day and if you've been burning 500 calories with exercise, that means you're only getting 700-1000 calories a day. That's not enough calories for a grown woman to function on. If you increase the amount of exercise you do, you're going to need to increase the amount you eat.

I know this is going to sound strange, but a person does have to eat in order to lose weight.

It's okay to eat more on days you do more exercise. with time, you are going to feel more and more hungry. that's normal if you've going to do extra exercise.

ROCKONIOWA SparkPoints: (36,384)
Fitness Minutes: (53,634)
Posts: 28
8/31/12 3:40 P

Thank you very much for the great advice. I appreciate you getting back to me so quickly. I'm going to clear my head and forge on!

SP_COACH_NANCY SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (112,042)
Posts: 46,222
8/31/12 3:33 P


Congrats on your weight loss success. One thing I want to stress to you is that weight loss is not based on a single weigh-in but what happens over a long period of time...what the experts call trending. Weight loss is not a linear process, even though it has been for you so far, you cannot expect a consistent weight loss throughout your weight loss journey because there are so many factors that determine the number on the scale each and every day.

Our weight is not a static number, but more like a vital sign. Just like your blood pressure, heart rate and body temp will vary throughout the day, same is true with your weight. Because our bodies are largely made up of water (the fitter we are the more water we retain), any deviation in our diet, hydration, workouts, even hormones can lead to a shift on the scale.

It isn't uncommon to see a slight upward shift in weight when we start exercising, or add a new training regimen and eating better. For one the muscles are making more mitochondria which allow for extra glycogen-stored glucose in the cells- therefore, your body hangs on to more water to help with the cooling off process for exercise and for helping process energy. Your muscles will also have an increase in blood volume in order to have better availability to oxygen and removing waste, especially lactic acid. These things coupled with eating higher fiber foods, such as fruits and veggies can show a gain, when in all reality it is just a shift in fluids.

As for your calorie range...yes, the more calories you expend the more calories you will need to eat to aid in muscle repair and recovery. Women who lead sedentary lifestyles should eat no fewer than 1200 calories, however, for those women who are active, this figure should be closer to the 1500 range...and if you are working out quite a bit, it may be even higher.

Remember weight loss itself should not be considered a goal...a goal has action steps to take, so by continuing tracking and working out you will reach your goal, however the goal is to incorporate life-long healthy habits so that you never have to begin the journey again.

I wish you well!

Coach Nancy

ROCKONIOWA SparkPoints: (36,384)
Fitness Minutes: (53,634)
Posts: 28
8/31/12 3:24 P

A little background. I started SparkPeople on July 1st, 2012 because it was time for a change. I was 227 pounds and miserable. I have never been that heavy in my entire life. The last two months have been going great, until this week. Last week I made it to the 20 pound loss mark, and I couldn't be prouder of myself. Then this week happened.

The scale this week has been all over the place, where in previous weeks it consistently went down, with the occasional plateau. I know, I know, I should not weigh my self everyday, but I feel like it keeps me in check and lets me know things are moving in the right direction. I have lost around 2 pounds a week for the last few weeks and this week it isn't looking like I will hardly lose a pound.

My short term goal is to get to 200 pounds by the end of September. I felt like because I have so much to lose that limiting calories and upping exercise would help it melt off faster. Is it possible that I have not been eating enough? I have been at the 1200-1560 range. Now today I finally saw where you can put in how many calories you burn each week, and it bumped up my calorie intake quite a ways, and that scares me a little bit. Is it actually possible to eat more and lose more? I'm scared to try. Please someone help me, and reassure me that eating more will actually help me lose more, because my head is just not wrapping around that statement! Thanks so much...I really would love to continue to continue this journey successfully!

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