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MCPEDIGO SparkPoints: (85)
Fitness Minutes: (0)
Posts: 11
9/9/13 1:43 P

Yeah, when making meal plans and tracking, i always made sure to get the appropriate number of servings of fruits and veggies. That is when I was tracking my nutrients; but between trying to get enough protein and enough iron (as a vegetarian and an anemic, this is a big issue), there never seems to be enough room for oil or extra fats. I do try to eat nuts and olives and such everyday in order to get some good fats, but have never been able to get enough while staying in my calorie range. I understand the importance of good fats but I can't seem to work them in. I'd kill for 1 day's meal plan that kept me in my caloric range and got me all of the fats and carbs I need, but I haven't found it yet. Unfortunately, sparkpeople does not have a vegan option and most of its vegetarian meals include dairy which I am trying not to eat (it makes me feel sick, I have never formally been diagnosed but i suspect a slight lactose intolerance).

ARCHIMEDESII SparkPoints: (201,401)
Fitness Minutes: (301,393)
Posts: 27,439
9/9/13 1:28 P


There is an easy way to increase the amount of healthy carbohydrates you eat without adding an excess of calories, increase the amount of fresh fruit and veggies you eat. For optium health, a person should eat 6-9 servings of fresh fruit and veggies each and every day.

Are you eating enough veggies ? if your carbs are low, I would think you aren't eating enough. because if you were, you wouldn't have an issue with low carbs. As far as increasing the amount of healthy fats, one of the best ways is by snacking on nuts. yes, you need to watch your portion size, but nuts are loaded with heart healthy fats. Ditto olive oil,. When you eat a big leafy green salad, top it with a small amount of olive oil. Olive oil is a heart healthy fat. How about fish ? if you can afford it, try to eat more fatty fish. Salmon, while a little high in calorie, is loaded with omega 3 fatty acids. those are good for you.

There is a misconception that eating too much fat makes us fat. There is a misconception that eating too many carbs makes us fat. Believe me, Popeye never got fat over eating his spinach.

here's what I learned from my own years of yo yo dieting, it's not the carbs that made us fat, it's the crap. The problem is that the carbs that everyone loves are those we need to be mindful of eating. things like fries, muffins, brownies, candy, soda, etc... those are the thing we need in moderation. If a person should be over eating anything, they should be over eating their veggies.

So, if you want a healthy way to increase the amount of food you eat that will increase carbs, but not calories is to eat more fresh fruit and veggies. For fats, try to eat a bit more olive oil, nuts or fish.

MCPEDIGO SparkPoints: (85)
Fitness Minutes: (0)
Posts: 11
9/9/13 1:19 P

I haven't used SparkPeople's but I've used FatSecrets. As I mentioned in my reponse to another poster below, I can't seem to get the recommended Carbs or Fat while staying at around 1200 for calories, so those are the only deficiencies that I'm currently aware of. I recently (a month ago ish) got a food scale and have since measured every gram of food I've eaten.

MCPEDIGO SparkPoints: (85)
Fitness Minutes: (0)
Posts: 11
9/9/13 1:16 P

Archidmedesii - I am 20. It was a BIA scale. I have taken a few health classes at school and learned about the different measurement systems; BIA scales are supposed to be correct with a standard deviation of 1% according to my school's resources. So it could be off, but not very far, I don't think.

I haven't used SparkPeople's food tracker, when I have done tracking, i used FatSecret as it has an app for my phone and I can go on the website and see how my macro and micro nutrients look. On average, I only get about half the recommended Carbs and usually 3/4s the amount of fats that I need. I know that that's problematic but I can't see a way to get the fats or carbs that I need without adding calories, which I already have a difficult time staying under on, haha.

I do drink some and cut down around early may. I drink 55 calorie beer when I drink beer and if other forms of alcohol, generally I will mix with diet soda or juice. I drink no more than 3 times a week and no more than 3 or 4 drinks at a time.

I also don't drink any coffees like Starbucks or anything; I make mine at home and have 1 cup most mornings with creamer, which I know can be a lot of calories.

About those other changes, that may be the case. As I said before, I have taken some health classes. One of which was throughout the summer and in it we measured all of those health indicators and by any measure, I am very healthy. I have good blood pressure, good cholesterol, good strength numbers, everything.

I just can't understand what is the best method of losing weight.. tracking calories? meal plans? specific diets? What can I do, you know? Why doesn't anything seem to work?

ARCHIMEDESII SparkPoints: (201,401)
Fitness Minutes: (301,393)
Posts: 27,439
9/7/13 4:09 P


At 5 ft 7 and 160 pounds, that puts your BMI at 25. That's the high end of a normal weight borderline ever so slightly on overweight.

When you had your body fat percentage checked, how was it done ? Did they use calipers or one of those hand held scanners ? if they used on of those hand held scanners, take any reading with a grain of salt. Hand held body fat monitors as well as body fat scales are notoriously inaccurate. If you want your body fat tested, ask for a 9 point caliper test. The 3 point is okay, but the 9 point is more accurate. any PT should be able to do the test. They'll pinch 9 points of your body with a pair of calipers. those readings will be plugged into a set of equations and the result will be your body fat percentage.

If you are very active, then yes, your lean muscle may be higher than you think.

Why are your size 8 pants getting tighter ? I can't see your spark page, so I have no idea what you've been eating or how much. When it comes to weight loss or weight gain, what matters most is what we eat. Good nutrition is what takes the weight off and keeps it off. Exercise is what keeps our bodies fit and healthy. In short, you can't out run a bad diet with exercise.

Would you be willing to open up your food diary to let the members have a look ? We could make a few suggestions.

Also, you mention that you're in school, but you don't mention how old you are. You may be eating a healthy diet, but what are you drinking ? Colleges do have the dubious reputation of being places where a lot of alcohol is consumed. So, you may be eating right, but what are you drinking ? Many people don't realize how many calories are in alcoholic beverages. So, you may be drinking more calories than you think. If you're not drinking alcohol, what about coffee ? I see college students walking around with those huge cups of ice coffee concoctions from Starbucks, etc. One of those large iced coffees could have 400+ calories. Drink more than one a day and that's one place you're adding calories.

These are just educated guesses. We have no idea what you are eating or drinking. We don't know how old you are. The more you can tell us, the better we can help answer your questions.

Also, just because the scale isn't moving doesn't mean you weren't making changes. The scale is only one way to measure success and it isn't always the best. Could you run a mile faster than when you started your training ? Could you run for longer distances ? Can you walk up stairs without getting tired ? Can you carry more bags of groceries ? How many pushups can you do ? Can you do more push ups today than you could a month ago ?

How's your blood pressure ? Do you know that if your blood pressure dropped during that 8 month period and your weight didn't, your doctor would still be thrilled. Lowering your blood pressure is a HUGE sign of success ! Did you have more energy ? Were you sleeping better ? You may well have seen some changes, but because they didn't involve the scale, you weren't paying attention to them.

There is more to good health than a number that stares at us from between our toes in the morning.

We really need more information to be helpful. As far as body fat, I would also urge you to have a 9 point caliper test done. don't trust body fat scales or hand held meters. Because as far as I am concerned, anyone who's training for a half marathon IS NOT FAT.

Why won't you lose weight ? As another person noted, you might be at a healthy weight for your height. Even though you may feel fat, depending on what your lean muscle percentage is, that would be a reason you're not losing. The closer a person is to a healthy weight for their height, the harder and longer it takes to lose any perceived excess.

The fact is, we are our own worst critics. Flaws we see in ourselves, no one else sees. How many of us women think we need to lose weight when we don't ?

These are a few thoughts to consider. We really do need more information. If you're willing to open up your food diary, we really could be more helpful.

KENDILYNN SparkPoints: (22,924)
Fitness Minutes: (24,670)
Posts: 2,738
9/7/13 3:31 P

When you were planning your meals, did you measure portions and track everything diligently or just estimate? There can be a big difference between what we perceive as eating "mostly healthy" and how many calories were actually taking in. If you feel like you have a pretty accurate idea of how many calories you were/are eating, have you compared that with what Spark recommends? We have so many deeply ingrained ideas about how to eat less to lose weight, but that's not always the case. You need to eat enough and meet macro nutrient requirements to fuel your body properly. This takes even more diligence as a vegetarian/vegan. I'm not trying to tell you that you're eating too little/too much, because I have no idea. But if you haven't used the Spark tracker, it wouldn't hurt to take a week and track what you're currently eating and see if you're under/over/on track with calories and macros. It might be an eye opening experience. Good luck :)

MCPEDIGO SparkPoints: (85)
Fitness Minutes: (0)
Posts: 11
9/7/13 2:25 P

Yeah; When I did my professional body fat assessment at my university it showed that I was overweight. So I could definitely be at a healthier weight, you know? I think i just want to wear a two piece and feel comfortable, haha. Its not even a weight thing so much as it is a size thing. My size 8's are getting almost too tight to wear, and even if not looking the way I want to is not bad enough: I'm a broke(this word is insufficient) college student, I can't afford new clothes! lol
I just want to know what works for other people I guess.

VETERINARIANESS SparkPoints: (2,526)
Fitness Minutes: (1,502)
Posts: 42
9/7/13 2:16 P

No offense, but she's obviously looking for help here and is unsatisfied with her weight, so telling her that she "may be at her ideal weight" doesn't help her at all.

Sorry MCPEDIGO that I don't have any advice for you, I just started back with SP and am in a very similar situation, and the majority of the "help" I have gotten has been to tell me that I am a healthy weight. It's very frustrating :(

DARCYBLUE Posts: 300
9/7/13 2:11 P

Sound like if you tracking your calories and during all you're doing all all that activities you might not be eating enough . And the gain you have might be muscles buildup not for where you are in weight wise. You might be at your at ideal weight . Just hang in there don't give up .maybe other sparklers will have more ideas . I just got back on the wagon myself after two years didn't gain much but did it lose also losing weight is always uphill battles .

MCPEDIGO SparkPoints: (85)
Fitness Minutes: (0)
Posts: 11
9/7/13 1:56 P

I began the year with a ton of resolve, I was ready to get healthy in every aspect, not just with my weight. I quit smoking, starting cutting back on drinking, starting eating natural and organic, starting being more active, quit the pill. For the weight loss aspect I decided that I would try using meal plans where I planned out every meal/snack for everyday in order to know exactly how many calories that I'd be eating. I maintained those meals plans for about 4 months with absolutely no results. I'm not going to lie, there were days where I would say "to heck with the meal plan, I'm going out to eat" but even then I was making healthy choices (I have always been a vegetarian and I have cut out almost all dairy/animal products, and really don't do sweets). I am pretty active in that I work 4-5 days a week walking all day and when I'm not at work I am pretty active as well. Around May I stopped doing meal plans as heavily (general plans, less specific) but still tried to make healthy choices, I also started hiking several times a week and doing other sorts of outdoor activities and was very active, including training for a half-marathon. I've kept that up all throughout July and mid-way through August but then I had a vacation with my in-laws and have been in school since then, so the last month or so has been pretty lazy admittedly. But even throughout all of my activeness and mostly healthy choices, keeping pretty good track of my caloric intake/expenditure, I haven't lost a single pound and may have even gained a few.
I feel total despair and just do not know how I can structure my diet plans and food intake in order to lose weight. What can I do?
I feel just at rock-bottom right now. Please help me!

I don't know if it will help to understand my situation but I'm 5'7", 160 lbs approx, and 20.

Edited by: MCPEDIGO at: 9/7/2013 (13:58)
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